Reward People Who Check-in at Your Location

Getting your customers to check in at your venue is at the heart of location-based marketing. There has to be something in it for them. Here are some tactics to reward people for checking in:

  • Recognize your mayor on foursquare.

    Offer a free cup of coffee, a special discount, a private lunch or dinner with the owner, or even a special poster with the picture of the mayor.

    It is a mistake to only recognize the mayor (or other equivalent across other location-based services). Make sure you offer rewards to others so you don’t alienate any potential customers.

  • Consider adding challenges that are specific to your business on a platform that encourages exploration, such as SCVNGR.

    For example, you can ask customers to find the store manager and introduce themselves for additional prizes or extra points if you use a reward system.

  • Reward periodic check-ins to encourage ongoing participation.

    Give away a discount for the first, fifth, and tenth check-ins.

  • Acknowledge anyone who checks in to your company’s physical location(s).

    It’s usually a good idea to wait a few hours before doing this; otherwise, you may come off as creepy. This technique is also best done through social networks like Twitter or Facebook, assuming that your customer decided to cross-post his or her check-in.

Ultimately, create an offer that anyone can take advantage of and then add something extra for the most frequent visitor. This encourages people to come to your business and check in while also creating some competition for the most frequent visitor spot.

At ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, anyone who checked in during the summer of 2010 campaign saved around $2 for a triple scoop of delicious ice cream while the mayor got a whole extra scoop!

Compelling foursquare offer from Ben & Jerry’s.
Compelling foursquare offer from Ben & Jerry’s.

Think through ways to incorporate location-based marketing into all of your customer touch points. For example, you can incorporate your foursquare info on your receipts at checkout; have your salespeople mention your Gowalla URL when answering the phones; and include your Facebook URL in brochures and e-mails, billing statements, and point of purchase displays — and perhaps even direct-response television and radio.

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