In today’s consumer climate, customer incentives drive sales. There’s no doubt about it! Offer prospects and customers a deal they can’t refuse and you (and your sales team) will have no problem closing a sale. On the other hand, don’t offer an incentive and you run the risk of losing customers.
Unfortunately, giving buyers what they’re looking for (and expecting) through a discount can really cut into your company’s profitability.
For a manufacturer, retailer, or any other company with commercial interests, this can seem like a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” sort of situation–would you agree? Don’t give up just yet.
What if we told you there was a way to maintain profitability while still giving consumers the motivation they need, the incentive they’re looking for, to make a purchase? What if we told you a successful rebate program is the solution to this problem?
5 Tips That Will Ensure Your Consumer Rebate Program Is Successful
1. Design A Rebate Program For Your Customer
Like with any marketing tactic, knowing your customer is critical. Rebates are no different. The more you know about your target market the more effective you’ll be at engaging their interest and converting them into loyal customers with a rebate.
Talk with the people who deal with your customers on a day-to-day basis–your sales team. Any good salesperson will be able to provide valuable insight into who your customers are, including what problems, needs, or questions they typically have. You may also consider conducting surveys or focus groups, social listening, analyzing data, and so on, in order to learn more about your customers.
Once you have a complete understanding of who your customers are, you’ll be better equipped to design a rebate program that fits your specific type of customer. Think about your specific customers in terms of:
- Creating an offer your specific customer will find compelling enough to act on.
- Promoting your offer in ways your specific customer is guaranteed to see. (What form of payout does your specific customer prefer)
- Design your rebate program to fit your specific customer’s buying (but also lifestyle) habits. (How would your specific customer prefer to redeem a rebate)
2. Assign Roles and Responsibilities Within Your Rebate Program
Carefully consider who will have a role in your rebate strategy. Someone will need to claim responsibility for planning, setting up, promoting, executing, processing, and analyzing your rebate strategy.
Remember, a rebate program doesn’t necessarily have to stay internal. Outsourcing, especially when it comes to the processing steps of your rebate program, can prove to be extremely beneficial. (Continue reading for more on the benefits of outsourcing.)
Individuals involved in the rebate program should have a complete understanding of the strategy including the goals and rules of the program.
3. Make Profitability Your Rebate Program’s Top Goal
If you design, establish, and maintain a rebate program that has the ability to bring in more revenue than the rebate itself loses–well you’ve already succeeded in our book. The goal of a rebate program should be to drive profitable sales growth, not increase sales volume at any cost.
Through the use of data, you can easily determine how far your rebate program can go before it becomes unprofitable–something you’ll want to be aware of.
4. Analyze Your Rebate Program and Constantly Update Accordingly
Once your rebate program is up and running, it’s important to monitor it constantly. You’ll want to know sooner rather than later. if the program is driving the results you were hoping for. If you come to the conclusion that the program is flawed or could benefit from adjustments–don’t be afraid to update accordingly. Be sure to take note of what works and what doesn’t for future programs.
Keep in mind, as technology and trends change, you’ll likely see fluctuations in your analytics. Updates will be necessary to ensure your rebate program stays relevant.
5. Run Your Rebate Program Seamlessly From Start To Finish
From start to finish, your rebate program should be thoroughly planned and well-executed. If your company plans to manage the rebate program internally, you must ensure that your customers have a simple way to submit their rebates and that your team has the capacity to process them quickly and efficiently. Any flaw in the process can lead to some major issues and leave customers with a negative impression of your company.
When deciding whether or not to outsource your rebate program, consider the many benefits.
- A committed team of dedicated, trained, and skilled professionals with knowledge and expertise in rebate planning and processing who are on your side
- Long-term cost savings
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
- Quick turnaround
- Access to necessary technology
- Ability to focus on what you and your team are good at—bringing in more business.
Follow these tips for a successful customer rebate program and you’ll put your company in a position to increase sales and build customer loyalty.
Not quite convinced? Download our Incentives by the Numbers Guide to see just how successful other companies have been (and will be in the future) with their customer rebate programs.
And if after all of this you decide to partner with a company that specializes in incentives, keep Incentive Insights in mind. We provide highly flexible rebate processing and fulfillment solutions to meet your needs. We do what is necessary to ensure your rebate program is a success. Discover the Incentive Insights difference.