10 Trends in Rebates and Sweepstakes

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Consumer promotions – such as rebates and sweepstakes – are a strategic marketing tactic that allows companies to increase sales and build brand awareness. Research shows that 95 percent of consumers are interested in products that utilize promotions marketing. In addition to creating excitement around a brand – loyalty programs allow companies to quickly expand their consumer database over the course of just a few weeks or months.

With the continuing evolution of social touch points and technology, how do brands position themselves to grow their market share? This article will address the top 10 trends in rebates and sweepstakes to help companies stay on the leading edge of promotions marketing.

Rebate Trends

Showrooming – Savvy shoppers are now visiting brick and mortar stores to examine products and ask detailed product questions only to return home and seek out the same item at a lower price online. This practice, known as “showrooming” is a frustration to retailers who are losing sales to price-sensitive shoppers. However, some retailers have found a way to counter showrooming by offering location-based mobile rebates to consumers who are doing more browsing than buying. Rebates can effectively lessen showrooming by appealing to a shopper’s desire for the best deal, and allowing retailers to advertise a lower net price than online retailers can.

Flexible Submission Options – Consumers now demand convenience in all areas of their lives. Rebates are no exception. Working with their promotion processing partners, brands can now analyze consumer demographic and psychographic data to determine which type of rebate submission (online, mail, etc.) is best suited to their target audience. Online submission tools are not only convenient, they also offer a fully branded consumer experience that can seamlessly link to websites and social media pages. Brands can customize the site to promote additional offers, deliver paperless rebates and maintain positive consumer relations.

Flexible Reward Options – Give consumers a choice when it comes to their rebate reward. Offer a wide-range of branded gift cards choices that can be delivered electronically or via mail. Options range from direct spend to themed or open cards that are pre-loaded with the rebate dollar amount. Data collected from consumer rebate reward choices can be analyzed and applied to future marketing efforts.

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Customized Rebate Experiences – The emergence of social media has allowed brands to tailor their rebate offerings to consumers. Tracking data such as page preferences, followers, likes, online purchases and video views provide brands with the metrics needed to segment their audience and delivers unique offers that are specific to consumer needs.

Focus on Women – Studies have shown that women are almost twice as likely to seek out a rebate compared to their male counterparts. With the advent of social media, finding women and understanding their consumer preferences has become easier. Ironically, the type of product promotion does little to affect women’s buying decisions, since studies show that most women are heavily involved in the majority of household purchases.

Sweepstakes Trends

Tiered Prizing – This strategy encourages additional consumers to enter a sweepstakes by linking the number of entrants to the size/value of the prizes. Meaning, the more people who enter the sweepstakes, the better the winnings become. Tiered Prizing creates a sense of community around your brand by encouraging consumers to share the sweepstakes on social media sites and entice friends to enter. It also builds strong brand advocacy for those who enter.

Engage Consumers On Their Turf – Knowing where your target consumers “live” online will allow you to incentivize their behaviors at the right time and in the right place. Engaging with your customers on their turf allows you to drive immediate action or purchase, create upsell opportunities and drive brand affinity and loyalty. Tactics such as “geo-fencing” allow retailers to send text offers to opted-in consumers who are positioned near a pre-defined store location. Check-ins can be rewarded with the chance to win credit at a restaurant or a retail store. This tactic also helps drive sales and build brand awareness during off-peak seasons.

Reward Social Behaviors – Turn socially active consumers into brand ambassadors by encouraging them to share and tweet your content. Incentives can be as simple as additional sweepstakes points for activities such as watching videos, answering questions, uploading photos, etc. This tactic helps drive brand awareness and build consumer preference. Be sure to keep your requests simple and genuine, while providing value through meaningful rewards.

Gamification – While gamification has been around for several years, it has only recently been applied to sweepstakes and contests. Gamification involves adding gaming techniques to traditional sweepstakes to further engage consumers. Leaderboards are a great example of gamification as they allow entrants to “compete” with other contest participants and generate additional excitement around your brand. Keep in mind, increased traffic provides an opportunity to balance the game with supplemental marketing content such as upsells and additional promotions.

Partner with Experts – The rules of sweepstakes and contests are constantly changing, which is why more and more brands have opted to partner with a team that specializes in promotions law. They can help you create and audit your program to ensure you are complying with both state and federal regulations as well as ever-changing social media policies. Promotions processing companies can ensure your prizes are selected and delivered properly and in complete compliance with the official contest rules.

Promotions Fulfillment Center has been working with leading brands to execute their promotions program and maximize the return on their marketing investment. To learn more about how we can help your brand, contact us today for a free program assessment.

About Promotions Fulfillment Center

At PFC, our clients’ success is our number one priority. Since 1974, PFC has delivered outstanding results, with turnkey solutions in fulfillmente-commercerebatessweepstakescoupons and contact center – all backed by leading technology. Brands who partner with PFC have historically achieved considerable cost savings in excess of 35 percent and have significantly improved their turn times. PFC allows clients to focus on their big picture business goals, while skillfully managing all the details. For more information call (800) 493-7063.