Rewards and Redemption
The next question to discuss is: will consumers be excited with the points they earn opening microns? (Of course, there is high content value in microns so the points work as the icing – that extra nudge.) Let’s look at it from the consumers point of view.
Assume I get about 30 brand messages a day. Let’s say 10 of these become microns. For opening these, I get 10 points. (I could get additional points for specific actions in the microns – clicks, answering some questions, providing feedback.) So, in a month, I can potentially earn 300 points if I open all the microns. Is that good? What can I do with these points?
This is where the second half of the loyalty program needs to be set up correctly – rewards and redemption. What can be the notional value of each point? It could range from 1 paisa to 10 paise to a rupee. If we assume the value of a point to be the cost that brands typically pay for an email, it will be in the range of 1 paisa. This may not be exciting for consumers to act on the points incentive – their earning over a month will be Rs 3. The way to make the points more valuable would be to offer exclusive digital products not available anywhere else – thus increasing their value for consumers.
Brands could actually pay a lot more for the opens and clicks – after all the return they get on an action performed by a recipient can be substantial. What a loyalty program using microns does for them is help them set up a direct attention relationship with their customers. Brands thus need to think of microns as helping them with top-of-mind recall – increasing mental availability. Therefore, to make microns loyalty a success, the points, rewards and redemption story needs to be made compelling by brands. That is what the best loyalty programs – especially the airline frequent flyer programs – do so well.
Where the micron service provider comes in is as a coalition builder. It does not make sense to have each brand operating its own loyalty program. A program across all brands can make it very exciting for customers – much like how airlines miles can be earned across various partners (hotels, car rentals, credit card spending). Designing this loyalty program right and combining it with the power of microns can be the next big innovation in transforming how brands interact with their customers.