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Archive for June, 2006

Rough First Half of 2006 for Rewards Programs

June 22nd, 2006 at 05:34 pm

Rewards programs have been through the proverbial wringer in 2006. In fact, the only constant seems to be that everything is changing.

Take uPromise.

Text is It was sold and Link is
It was sold to student loan provider Sallie Mae.

Take MyPoints.
Text is It was sold and Link is
It was sold to United Online, owner of the NetZero and Juno ISPs.

Then there are the lawsuits.

Text is is being sued and Link is
is being sued for unwanted adware downloads. Trespassing, the plaintiff says.

Text is is being sued and Link is
is being sued is being sued for, among other things, copyright infringement from its "Get Free Levi's 501s" campaign and violating CAN-SPAM.

There have been some closures in the industry as well.

Parade Magazine
Text is shut down and Link is
shut down their ParadePerks rewards program, due to "logistical difficulties."

The off-line Betty Crocker Points program announced it is
Text is phasing out and Link is
phasing out its long-time catalog.

And Experian's Metareward portal, their incentive program side of the business,
Text is closed down and Link is
closed down...which in turn shut down rewards programs that licensed the portal,
Text is like Netflip and Link is
like Netflip.

Rewards program sales, lawsuits, and closures...oh, my.

Meanwhile, the programs still in the game are scuttling to increase, or keep, their piece of the pie.

uPromise announced it will offer
Text is points for debit card purchases and Link is
points for debit card purchases.

ClubMom, which operates the ClubMom Rewards program, introduced a manner in which members can
Text is earn points without spending and Link is
earn points without spending by posting tips and stories to the site. Adding a strong social element, including Mom Blogs, ClubMom is attempting to
Text is build on the social networking craze and Link is
build on the social networking craze which apparently extends to mothers as well. ClubMom Rewards also announced
Text is extended offerings and Link is
extended offerings in their points-for-vehicle-purchase category.

Greenpoints, the online descendent of the S&H Green Stamps program, redesigned their website, added more merchants, and
Text is doubled and Link is
doubled (they say temporarily) their shopping rates.

Instant win games, extra points for your first purchase, double points on certain days, free points for reading their name it, there has been a promotion for it.

What's yet to come for the remainder of 2006 remains to be seen, but if the first half of the year is any indication, hold on tight -- it's going to be a bumpy ride.