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Author Topic: Word-of-Mouth Incentive Plan  (Read 5039 times)

Posts: 936

Kitsune Trickster

« on: May 27, 2009, 10:40:56 PM »

I've just picked up some work with one of the companies that produces customer loyalty cards. The kind where you earn points for your purchases and once you earn enough points, you can spend them on product discounts or exclusive items.

I've seen a couple of gaming related companies do something similar, but most of these companies are in the field of miniatures or CCGs where players typically lay out huge amounts of cash on an ongoing basis to stay competitive "in the game".

This really doesn't work well for most indie RPG publishers, because we just don't have the time to release a sourcebook every month...besides, the field seems to be heading toward a minimalist aesthetic at the moment (according to numerous threads over on Story games).

So I'm thinking of turning the concept on it's head, a bit of an inverse loyalty program.

The theory is simple, I offer a redemption card with every purchase of a book or product from my website (two or more redemption cards for purchases over a certain value). The redemption cards are each worth a nominal value ($2?) and are tracked with serial numbers which are recorded on a spreadsheet.

Here's the twist, the player who gained the redemption card through the purchase cannot claim the value of the card. They must give it to someone else, and in turn tell other people about the gaming products the card is associated with. There would be nothing to stop the new potential customer from visiting the store, spending money then giving the original customer their redemption card(s).

I'm hoping that this sort of plan could be used to heighten word of mouth, and might even be viable for a group of allied companies/designers who want to spread the gospel of their games.

The concept I've got in my mind seems pretty solid, but I'm sharing it to see if anyone can find some gaping holes in the idea.


A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Graham W

Posts: 449

« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 05:32:44 AM »

There's a company called Graze.com, which produces boxes of healthy snack food. Every customer gets a code, which can be used by another customer to get a free box of food. (They sign up for a schedule of boxes, the first one of which is free). When they do so, the original customer gets a discount.

If you're in the UK, you can try this out, by going to Graze and entering the code 8YP8LPB. You'll get a free box of food and I'll get a discount on my next box. That's how it works.

It's very effective. The codes get Twittered, Livejournalled and Facebooked around, and there's an incentive for people to do so, because they get discounts off their food.

So, I think your idea is great, and would be even better if you offered an incentive for the original customer to give the discount to someone else.

Also, I really want Indie Press Revolution, or someone similar, to implement something like this. Give a discount code, when someone buys a book, which someone else can use to get a discount: and that, when it's used, gives the original person discount vouchers to use. That'd be great.

Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 2775

« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2009, 03:23:06 AM »

This is a strong idea, I like it. As word of mouth is the strongest sales method for these games anyway, it makes sense to invest your marketing budget on that.

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
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