What exactly are you paying for when you decide to adopt an online rewards program for your business? When you're in the process of choosing the best online rewards program for your budget, you should expect the cost to include these three things:
1. The rewards themselves
When it comes to travel incentives as well as debit and gift card rewards, you pay for those incentive rewards upfront. But what about merchandise or online rewards programs, in which your participants collect digital points then spend them on items in a rewards catalog?
With online rewards programs, you pay for the points "currency" that your participants spend. But because participants don't immediately cash those points in for rewards, some incentive companies offer options in paying for points. For instance, you can pay as points are issued (ie., when participants earn rewards and you disperse points to their account) or redemption (ie., you pay for points only when participants redeem them).
2. Incentive technology and setup
You typically have two options in paying for the incentive platform or technology you purchase: fixed cost or variable. If you choose fixed-cost, you purchase all the features and tools you need upfront.
If you partner with an incentive company that requires variable billing, they will pay programmers or tech companies to totally custom-code your program. That could get costly, but you'll get a platform that has everything you want. Pre-programmed, “out of the box” incentive software is the more affordable alternative, but you may with basic features that aren't customizable or personalized features to motivate participants.
Some incentive companies, like Incentive Solutions, offer their own unique costing. You pay a fixed cost for a basic package, which includes everything you need for rewarding and communicating with participants, with optional program-enhancing with specialized features you can add on as needed.
3. Monthly incentive program maintenance and/or services
Monthly incentive program services include customer support, reward fulfillment and marketing or creative services. Usually, you can expect to pay more for these services the more people are participating in your program. Many incentive companies offer differing monthly costs based on participant group size. Incentive programs with fewer participants pay less than larger programs, in other words.
Learn more about incentive program costs and other aspects of incentive program budgeting by checking out our Slideshare: Budgeting Best Practices for Your Incentive Program