Beyond Loyalty Points: Promotional Overlays 101

Running short-term, tactical promotions as a part of a loyalty program isn’t something new. It has been going on for years, where apart from regular discounts, brands have offered additional discounts to loyal customers. However, with advance tech now available and customers being spoilt for choice, marketers are getting more creative with these promotions that go beyond discounts. Assured rewards, contests and sweepstakes, gamified promos and more are replacing old-school discount schemes. These short-term loyalty program promotions are also called promotional overlays. The objective of promotional overlays is to motivate specific behaviours and influence desired tactical results without changing the loyalty program framework. Promotional overlays aren’t intended to yield long-term results. Instead, they can be used to achieve objectives like:

  • Driving Acquisition
  • Activating Dormant Customers
  • Driving engagement
  • Rewarding specific behaviours

According to Visa’s ‘Game is Changing’ 2018 loyalty report, 87% customers are interested in having details of their purchase activity and behaviour monitored in order to receive access to personalized rewards or engagement. In this blog, we cover different kinds of promotional overlays and how they can be used to deliver personalized rewards and engagement to your TG.

Assured rewards to Influence Behaviour

Slab-based or spend-based loyalty programs typically offer increasing discounts at different spend slabs. This redundant tactic is taken up everywhere, making customers less interested in spending higher. Instead, promotional overlays powered by rewards with a higher perceived value than discounts, given away on every purchase, can help break the clutter of discounts. Any reward’s perception varies vastly among different demographic groups. Which is why a well-curated rewards program targeted towards your audience goes a long way. While your catalogue for promotional overlays can include popular rewards like movie tickets and salon vouchers… a horse-riding session or a baking session with a master chef can target a niche audience that’s hard to impress. Because after all, these are experiences that your customers will remember in the long run. And what’s more, these assured rewards cost a fraction of their perceived value to the brand.

Digital Rewards for Instant Gratification

Digital avenues like music and content streaming subscriptions, cashbacks, mobile games are now becoming extremely popular across tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India. Given that the number of mobile internet users in India has reached over 478 million as of June 2018, mobile-first avenues are growing exponentially (Source: KANTAR-IMRB). Depending upon your TG’s profile, digital rewards can be curated to power promotional overlays. Popular digital rewards that can be given away are Saavn, Gaana, Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions. Cashbacks are gaining fast popularity and can be availed by a customer on various apps like Amazon Pay, Paytm and PhonePe. Digital rewards can be redeemed in an instant and are easy to disburse via SMS, email and even WhatsApp. This cements the credibility of your promotions in your TG’s mind.

Contests and Sweepstakes – for Engagement & Activation

Contests and sweepstakes are one of the many ways a brand can run exciting promotional overlays on loyalty programs. Skill-basedgames or contests can be integrated into existing loyalty programs and create a buzz by offering customers big-ticket prizes. Selfie contests, branded quizzes, social media-linked contests can be run as promotional overlays for a limited duration on loyalty programs to drive engagement. Luck-basedgames, popularly called Sweepstakes can be run on loyalty programs to build virality. Offering your TG high-value rewards like travel, chance to meet celebrities, gold gift vouchers during the right festival or occasion will activate dormant customers among other intended results.

Target-based Schemes for your Trade Channel

As the saying goes, for most brands, trade channel partners are the first customers. Having a strong and engaged trade channel is an important mandate for most companies. To achieve this, dedicated loyalty programs are launched for trade channels, for instance, retailers or wholesaler loyalty programs, sales incentive schemes, influencer loyalty programs and so on. Crafting promotional overlays on top of these loyalty programs with a set target in mind, could yield impactful results. Driving acquisition, increasing sales, supporting POSM visibility, festival or occasion-based delight programs are a few of the results that could be achieved using promotional overlays. Using rewards that influence your TG and are easy to redeem via a loyalty program structure can drive maximum engagement.

Traditionally all loyalty programs have been framed in a way where customers have kept purchasing products, earning points on every purchase and then ideally wait for 2-3 years in order to redeem those points. Over the years, because customers have become choice rich, easily opting in and out of brands, marketers have reimagined their loyalty programs. And in order to make these loyalty programs relevant, engaging and consumer-centric, promotional overlays are the ideal solution. To run such exciting promotions or loyalty programs altogether, get in touch with us today at or 080 4055 4844.