How to Choose the Best Rewards Programs to Fit Your Goals and Your Budget

By: Luke Kreitner

April 3rd, 2017

Pricing is a common concern among people looking into the best rewards programs. Everyone wants to improve their bottom line, but no one wants to overpay for the results they need. Luckily, it is possible to put together a rewards program that achieves what you’re looking for without going beyond the limits of your budget.

The structure of the best rewards programs will depend on your business and what it needs, and there can be a great deal of variety in how it comes together. At the same time, a few steps are necessary when figuring out what kind of rewards plan fits your budget while also helping you reach your goals.

What Goals Do You Hope to Achieve with Your Rewards Program?

One of the first steps to deciding on a rewards program that fulfills your expectations while remaining within your budget is perhaps the simplest: you need to have a clear understanding of what you’re hoping to achieve! Beyond helping you to establish the behavior you are hoping to drive with your incentives, this will also help you figure out what kind of expenses you will have. You can gain a better, more specific understanding of where you would be investing your money.

Even bigger, more ambitious goals won’t force you to spend more than you want to. The key is to be specific about the goals you’re striving for and keep track of what you’re hoping to accomplish ahead of time. In this way, you’ll avoid investing where you won’t get the desired amount of return value.

What Type of Billing Model for Incentive Rewards Works Best for Your Situation?

Just as there is a multitude of reward types to choose from, there is also no shortage of ways to pay for them. The ideal billing option for the rewards plan you choose will depend on your preferences. They each come with distinct advantages, some of which might suit you better than others.

The various costs associated with incentive rewards programs are the cost of the rewards themselves, the recurring (usually monthly) program maintenance costs, and the price of setting up the incentive technology when you get started. For reward costs, you can have issuance billing (payment for points upon issue to participants) or redemption billing, which means you only pay for points when used. The advantage of issuance billing is handling reward costs upfront, and all at once. On the other hand, redemption billing removes the issue of wasting money on reward points that never get redeemed.

Recurring maintenance costs cover services such as reward fulfillment, marketing efforts and customer support. The amount of money you spend on this will depend on the number of participants. The fewer people in the program, the less spent on maintenance.

As for the technology and set up pricing, those can come as fixed or variable costs. With fixed-cost, you’d be paying for the technology and all needed components upfront. With variable costs, you would have access to custom features that could be more expensive, but which could also provide a much better program. Some companies offer basic packages that have room for optional upgrades for an extra fee.

Consider Your Reward Options when Choosing the Best Rewards Programs

When you have made the decision to implement a rewards program, there is still the matter of deciding on what types of rewards you want to feature. The nature of the rewards offered in your program will depend on your vision. However, it should also take into consideration the types of amenities the participants would enjoy. The program needs to appeal to them to be effective! Luckily, there are options available to suit just about anyone. These include:

Online rewards: Merchandise options for online rewards programs include sporting goods, books, movie rentals, toys, electronics, and even tickets to upcoming events.

Gift card rewards: Gift cards are perhaps the most versatile type of reward you can provide, as they work in countless different stores and locations.

Travel rewards: Ensure ongoing company or brand loyalty with trips that can provide participants with a memorable experience they might not achieve on their own.

Once you’ve decided on the best rewards programs for your needs, the work isn’t finished by a long shot. There’s help out there! At Incentive Solutions, we’ll provide you with tools and support to help you stay on top of your programs and the progress made toward your goals. For more information on the best rewards programs and budgeting, or for answers to your questions, visit us online or give us a call at 866.567.7432 today.


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About Luke Kreitner

Luke Kreitner is the VP of Sales at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that specializes in helping B2B businesses accelerate growth, increase sales, motivate channel partners and retain B2B customers.


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