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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : January 16, 2012

Top 3 reward program tips for small businesses

Small businesses can employ rewards and loyalty programs just as powerful as national brands. SparkBase is a platform which helps local and small businesses process and build loyalty programs so that merchants get the biggest bang for their reward buck.

by Kristina Knight

"What I tell merchants is that the first call needs to be to the credit card processor or the bank because they may have a platform that can easily be integrated and used," said Doug Hardman, SparkBase CEO. "You can be up and running in a few days with a program which can then quantify how rewards are being earned and uses. The second call needs to be to merchants in your area to talk about programs they're using and how they're finding success."

After those two calls comes the time to determine what your reward program will be and begin implementing it. That part, of course, can be even more frightening than the phone calls part. Here are Hardman's top three tips.

First, secret programs don't work. Include reward program information in print ads, keep punch cards in front of the register and put stickers up in store windows. Make sure it is easy for customers to 'see' the program literature.

Second, promote the program. See if your local newspaper or shopper will cover the program during a holiday issue, use details in advertising and put it on your social network pages/profiles. And don't forget about your website. Use it to promote the rewards program.

Third, incorporate mobile. Utilize SparkBase Mobile Wallet, virtual rewards cards. If you send SMS texts to subscribers include a bit about the reward program.

You can read part one of my chat with SparkBase CEO Doug Hardman here.

Tags: loyalty marketing, loyalty programs, rewards marketing, rewards programs, small business tips, SMB tips, SparkBase

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  • Giving a reward is one effective strategy for branding. Consumers will enjoy purchasing your products while gaining points for the reward.



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