MyPoints Lowers the Cost of Loyalty

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MyPoints.com tomorrow plans to announce "Instant Loyalty," an inexpensive, turnkey version of its standard services.


By bringing down the price for its services, MyPoints.com hopes to sign on throngs of new sites and ultimately new members to add to its 7.1 million-user base.


The new service offering lets sites that may not have astronomical marketing budgets (or that have little interest in investing a six-figure sum in a loyalty campaign) put together a MyPoints-branded program. Typically, these programs allow the client site to offer visitors points redeemable for travel and merchandise for registering at the site, taking surveys and making e-purchases.


Instant Loyalty allows client sites to offer consumers entrance into its loyalty program by placing a bare-bones, logoed link to the MyPoints Web site. Previously, MyPoints offered only pricier co-branded site deals and private-label programs that allowed client companies to use MyPoints technology as the back end for their loyalty programs.


One of the new service's first users, SkyDesk.com, a business-to-business Internet storage services provider, believes Instant Loyalty will help draw new customers.


"We offer storage or backup services. People need it, but it's not a sexy or impulsive buy. An incentive like this really helps to get people to try our services," said Brandon Wilson, product marketing manager at SkyDesk.com, San Diego.


A benefit of the new offering is that customers signing up through a client site must return to that site to check point balances and spend the points -- although points can be earned anywhere in the network.


The service costs less than $30,000 and takes less than two weeks to implement.


"The loyalty program gives us an opportunity to really increase our conversion rates and retention rates," said Wilson. "The point component allows us to incentivize customers to behave in desirable ways. Traditional banners may get 1 percent response rate. Point-oriented programs get a higher conversion rate."


MyPoints claims its offers create a 15 percent qualified click-through rate, as well as a 10 percent conversion rate.


Building membership is a key goal of this new service.


"This is the first stepping stone in our product line. We wanted something to be entry level. This allows masses of sites to put in a loyalty solution that helps retain their clients," said Chaz Berman, executive vice president at MyPoints.com, San Francisco. "One of the goals of all of these programs is to achieve currency ubiquity. The more people using MyPoints, the more meaningful it's going to be to MyPoints and all of our partners."


Client sites understand the offering is a two-way street. "Their overall objective is for us to source customers. There are incentives and bonuses for acquiring certain numbers of members or customers," said Wilson. "MyPoints is getting tons of exposure. Everyone who comes to the site is exposed to this offer."


Under the deal, client sites must make a media commitment, meaning they must run at least one marketing campaign, either on the site or through e-mail, to promote the service. "There's no reason to put points on site unless you drive people who are interested in points to look at it," said Berman.


Other Instant Loyalty users include MyFlowerShop.com and Games2Learn.
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