Key to Successful Incentive Fulfillment


Accurate, timely and cost-efficient delivery of incentives defines successful fulfillment. In the digital age, some audiences respond well to email and technologically advanced fulfillment approaches. Others prefer non-interactive delivery methods, including direct mail, yet these costs are high due to postage, printing and labor costs.

To combat cost and time challenges, marketers might consider working with full-service fulfillment and incentive partners to provide integrated solutions. Having fewer parties handle different pieces in a campaign results in more efficient execution and decreases the chance of errors. Marketers also realize significant savings on hard costs by avoiding markup fees from multiple vendors. Soft costs decrease dramatically as internal resources are freed up when marketers no longer have to deal with multiple contracts. They can focus less on logistics and more on future campaigns and initiatives.

Scotts Lawn Service executed a winning fulfillment strategy as part of a loyalty campaign. The company wanted to retain customers who were likely to cancel their lawn service, while expanding its email database. Scotts also wanted to encourage customers to use its online billing option.

Scotts distributed a postcard pointing customers to a landing page where they could register and receive a $25 certificate. Once someone registered or signed up for online billing, he or she received a redemption code sent directly by Scott’s incentive partner. Scotts saw a triple-digit percentage lift, not just because of the attractive incentive, but also due to the efficiency of the fulfillment.

In another successful campaign, Scotts sent an e-mail as well as a billing stuffer offering a $50 certificate with the purchase of an additional service. Scotts worked with the same partner to distribute the incentive via direct mail and e-mail, understanding that marketers lose valuable time and money by coordinating fulfillment tasks themselves. Scotts met direct-mail cost challenges by entrusting one provider with all fulfillment activities, including developing and printing the award letters, inserting the certificates and shipping the promotion to customers.

Marketers with physical stores incorporate incentives directly at the checkout counter to draw customer traffic. This way awards are delivered with positive, in-person experiences that increase incentive interest and loyalty. Incorporating incentives electronically into the point-of-sale (POS) system ensures automatic delivery and ElectronicFulfillmentminimizes human errors.

Motherhood Maternity implemented a promotional campaign using a POS-system fulfillment strategy at 550 stores nationwide. The incentive sought to increase average transaction values, as the retailer awarded a $50 certificate when customers spent $75 or more. The redemption information was printed on customer receipts. Cashiers offered encouragement and redemption instructions. As a result of the campaign, Motherhood Maternity saw average in-store transaction values grow by more than 20 percent.

Regardless of strategy, marketers have shown that attention to fulfillment detail is just as crucial to customer engagement and loyalty as the incentive itself. When done right, fulfillment opens the door to return on investment and long-term customer loyalty.