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Incentive Marketing for Information Products

Incentive Marketing for Information Products

How to Create:

Rebate Incentives

The “Graduation Rebate” for Information Products

We all know that rebates come from the manufacturer not the retailer, which is why we so easily accept mailing in the coupon to get our discount after the fact, instead of the more convenient savings that you get right at the store. There is another reason why companies will offer you a $2 rebate on an $11 bottle of vitamins instead of just discounting the price $2 right at the register. Many of us are guilty of thinking that we will follow through when in reality we will get distracted, re-allocate the job’s importance, forget, procrastinate or give up. I have a lot of experience with this phenomenon myself.

So you buy the bottle of vitamins that you want but don’t need or pick up the more expensive brand when you typically wouldn’t because of the rebate. Then you get home, put the bottle in the cupboard and stick the rebate sticker in a pile of not too important things to do. Odds are if it doesn’t get taken care of that week it won’t be mailed in at all. This makes rebates a very profitable marketing method.

Typically I would not recommend using a rebate as a promotional tool for your information product, this is a learning incentive. It just doesn’t make sense since they are meant to be discounts offered by the manufacturer for products that you purchase from the retailer. Sure, by not making the discount available immediately they save money on the healthy percentage of them that are never redeemed, but there is still reasonable justification for the system since you are getting the discount from the manufacturer not the store and this doesn’t apply to you.

So the question is how can you use this information to generate higher profits ethically? The solution you provide a “rebate” to people who actually USE your product to achieve their goals and improve their lives. This accomplishes several things simultaneously.

However, there is an ingenuous twist on the rebate concept that you can use for your information product, I will call it the “Graduation Rebate.” The concept of the rebate incentive is that your clients will have to complete a requirement like a test in order to “graduate” from the program. Upon completion of the program they will receive a monetary graduation gift and a small present symbolizing of their accomplishment.


The “Short Sale Specialist Program” for Realtors may cost $1,497 to purchase, but upon completing the graduation requirements the client will receive a $500 check and a framed certificate of completion for their office.

Obviously you must make a big deal about the graduation gift in the promotional material so that your prospect is sure to get the message. You must develop a way of testing your clients’ knowledge, and a way to ensure that you get notification that someone has graduated quickly so that you can get their check and gift out quickly. Do not try to be sneaky and give them a gift certificate to use with your business. Give them a check payable to the client for the amount specified in your marketing, and make sure that it gets to them quickly.

This incentive marketing program can be a great addition to your information product for multiple reasons:

• It gives your prospects more incentive to buy. Naturally they plan to use the product or they wouldn’t consider purchasing it in the first place. Therefore, the graduation gift tends to serve as a discount in your client’s mind. They figure, “Well, I’m not really spending $1497 at all because I will get $500 of it back. I’m really only spending $997.” It’s less than a thousand dollars, which for some reason seems dramatically less than $1001.

• It motivates your clients to take action. Now your client has another reason to open the box or go through the site and absorb the information that they paid for. You can’t force them to apply the information to improve their businesses. You can’t even force them to open the box, but at least this gives them additional motivation, which is good news because let’s face it, your fates are tied to some degree.

Guess how many more products your clients are likely to buy from you if they never use anything you give them and therefore get zero results? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they probably won’t buy anything else from you, and why should they? They were buying it for the benefits not to have the pretty kit. Of course there are a few crazy people that will keep buying the material even though they never read it, but let’s just say you can significantly increase the likelihood of a return customer if they use the material.

• You need testimonials and word of mouth promotion. There are very few people who open the box, then you’re not going to be getting the floods of great testimonials and referral business you are hoping for. Is it your fault when your clients don’t follow through? No, but it is in both of your best interests that they do.

• It provides you with a consolation prize. Ideally you want to earn a life long client, but if not even cold hard cash will motivate this person to follow through then you probably won’t get their return business. Instead you get to keep the graduation gift money, therefore increasing the profit margin on clients that don’t follow through. Of course, this is a nice perk in the short run, but don’t be deceived – it’s not ideal. Your ultimate goal is to get them to use the tools you sold them and earn their return business. A loyal client is far more valuable to you, but to offset the loss, clients unlikely to buy from you again ultimately pay a higher price.

Step-by-Step How to Create a “Graduation” Rebate Program

Identify the information from your material that would work well for clear question and answers in a multiple-choice format.

If you are at a loss, here are some ideas:

• Provide definitions for terms that may be new to them

• Identify the correct examples of specific marketing

• Identify effective sales or client service techniques

• Ask to identify the proper name of things, select the correct order of things

• Identify the wrong choice or the item that does not belong

Your clients should be able to easily look up the answers to the questions in your test. Focus on the core principles, big mistakes, and most important keys to their success. The purpose is to ensure that they do understand the factors, steps, and components to their success. Unfortunately, you still cannot force them to actually use the information that they now have, but you have at least ensured that they have gleaned the key information from the material.

Make your quizzes/tests available via your Website. You can provide the link and a password to the client with the information product. You can have it set up so you or your staff is notified via e-mail the moment someone completes the test, so you can mail their rebate check and gift immediately via priority express mail. I would recommend hiring a professional to step up your testing site for you.

If a testing Website is out of the question, you can choose to include the paper version of the test in your product or put it on a disc that your client can run on their computer. Although these methods are easier up front, there are some drawbacks. First of all, it’s an extra step for your client to take to submit their test manually through the mail or e-mail. If you accept the results through the mail you will have an additional time delay before you get the results, and most importantly a paper test does not give the client the opportunity to see their own results instantly so that they can retake the test if needed.

Selecting the Amount of the Graduation Gift

To make this most effective, I like to provide a substantial gift amount, typically anywhere from 20% to 50% of the purchase amount of the product. Obviously there are several factors that you will want to consider when choosing the amount of the graduation gift:

• Price of your product - If your product is only $47, 20% is less than $10, not a very good incentive for all the work of studying and taking quizzes. The less expensive the product the higher percentage of the purchase price the amount should be based on to provide sufficient motivation for the client. Graduation programs generally work better with more expensive and intensive products.

• Profit margin - Make sure that you are aware of your costs so that you can place the amount at a level that you feel comfortable with. Typically you want to leave a healthy profit margin unless you are comfortable using this exclusively as a gateway product to other services.

When doing your calculations, remember most people will not go through the effort to complete all of the tests and receive their gift even if the tests are very straight forward and simple.

• Testing results - The bottom line is that you will eventually need to pick an amount and record the results of the test. Over time you can modify your approach to get the best results.

Here’s a list of tips to help your Graduation Reward Program become a huge success:

• Name it – For example, “Graduation Reward Program”

• Present it with class - Deliver the graduation check with a certificate of completion or diploma. You may wish to deliver it in a unique way, framed, on a plaque, or an acrylic, crystal or rosewood award so they can display for their clients. Providing them with a quality piece to recognize their achievement and work gives them additional incentive to purchase and complete the program – not to mention acts as an advertisement to any one who may see it.

o Make the delivery important – Send your package FedEx or priority mail.

• Promoting Product to your Lead List - The easiest way for you to promote your graduation gift program to your lead list is through your Ezine, but you can also use your sales page, direct mail letters and other forms of marketing.

• Shipping – Just like the graduation gift you want your product to be shipped FedEx or Priority Mail for a couple reasons:

o It speaks to the level of importance of the material.

o It reflects that you care that your client gets their information safely and in a timely manner.

* Don’t want to deal with all of this?  Brassy Marketing can help click the “contact us” tab at the top of the page or this link:  Internet Marketing and let us know what we can do to help you.

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