Loopt launches mobile loyalty program; Starbucks, Gap among first partners

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Smartphone app Loopt launched a mobile loyalty program June 1 that will enable consumers to win rewards from partner retailers, such as Starbucks and The Gap.

Other marketers running initiatives on the platform include Universal Music Group and Stanford University. Checking into bars with two Facebook friends can earn consumers access to five free MP3s from Universal artists. Consumers who check in to Stanford's 2010 commencement events will win graduation gifts.

Consumers can use Loopt Star to win other rewards, including coupons from participating companies, by meeting brand-specific actions, such as checking into a location a requisite number of times or referring it to Facebook friends.

Loopt has been developing the platform since January, said Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO of the company.

“This was in development very much in response to advertisers asking for this product,” he said. “They would describe what their ideal mobile advertising model was. Everybody liked cost-per-click better because it was more traffickable.”

Altman added that brands can customize Loopt Star to meet their needs and goals. The advertising is also less intrusive than other mobile rewards initiatives, he said.

“It's not in the user's face. You get rewarded for the places you can go,” he said. “When I check in with Facebook, I get rewarded. The advertisers get way better results than traditional banner ads.”

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