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  1. #1
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    Incentives versus loyalty vs reward
    I want to use a virtual currency on my site, such that users earn points for various activities. I would like my members to earn points for watching videos, for completing offers, and for buying certain products. I want them to use those points to play in skill-based contests.

    I have joined trialpay and superrewards, but would like to nudge users towards certain products like travel, and resorts, and liquor and premium products that those interested in gaming/gambling might like.

    Trialpay and superrewards do not seem to have those kinds of products.

    I find a lot of sites that have video ads don't want your business unless you have lots and lots of traffic...and I am just starting out.

    Any ideas/advice?

  2. #2
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    The balance between rewarding someone for their actions and flat-out bribing them is a difficult one to maintain.

    Soft incent, along the lines of a small cash back or some other reward for an action, can be quite successful as long as it is so small that it's not the person's only reason for taking that action. Hard incent (i.e., sign up for 5 offers or watch these videos and get an iPad or play a game, etc.) is a very difficult proposition and only fits for a limited number of merchants, primarily continuity programs. This is because usually there is very little desire for the actual product; consumers are just enduring what they must do to get the free reward. Are you trying to get people to purchase travel or resort stays to earn the points to play the games? If so, there's little likelihood of working with those merchants because game-players can earn an instant reward for a reservation which they can easily cancel or never show up, leaving the merchant to pay for an unrealized sale.

    There can also be very little engagement in watching a video, if the only reason someone is watching it is that they are getting paid to do so. That's why there's a need for large numbers of people to watch the video - so that out of the many there may be a few that actually are interested in the product.

    Virtual currency is a very, very tricky area. There are a lot of vital points to consider if this is the type of site you want to build. Keep trying to figure out every way someone could "game" your system and develop a solution to prevent that if you truly want to work with more/larger merchants.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrooks - AffiliateWindow View Post
    The balance between rewarding someone for their actions and flat-out bribing them is a difficult one to maintain.
    (Snip...)
    Virtual currency is a very, very tricky area. There are a lot of vital points to consider if this is the type of site you want to build. Keep trying to figure out every way someone could "game" your system and develop a solution to prevent that if you truly want to work with more/larger merchants.
    True, true and true...thanks for your reply.
    I just realized how important it is to frame the concept properly.

    I prefer the model where people who would be interested in making a purchase anyways will receive a reward for doing so.

    It was my belief that merchants can defend themselves by "charge-backs" - they can deduct the commissions from charge-backs by charging back the affiliate before the affiliate even gets to touch the commissions (hence the delay of one or two months for payments). Of course, there are still some costs associated, such as transaction fees that the merchant might have paid, and the costs of reversing a sale.

    Gaming the system: yes, amazing how people at all levels will always try to do that. It is kind of what makes us so adaptive at survival.

    I do not see much difference between what some poorer people do to try to extract as much as possible for as little as possible and what some richer people do to extract as much profits as possible for as little as possible.

    Ford Motors, and a number of other corporations, have considered it cheaper to put up with lawsuits for wrongful deaths and negligence rather than pay money to fix things or meet regulatory requirements. Many Contractors have built fortunes by not paying their Sub-contractors - and forcing them to sue a company that has no real assets.

    Many businesses play the game of extracting as much work as possible from employees without having to pay benefits or have any obligations for an ongoing commitment.

    I've lurked in discussions on this site where people have expressed disgust with "Coupon Sites."

    In a society where employers squeeze everything they can out of employees to enhance Productivity, it is not surprising that consumers would start feeling the need to squeeze everything they can out of the purchases that they make.

    I see the dependency many people have on coupons as entirely normal and predictable.

    The whole concept of "Sales" is a farce, and people eventually realize that if you can afford to give me a 50% discount now it probably means I was a sucker to pay more in the past.

    In my situation, I want a Membership community site, where everyone has had their identity verified, and nobody who is merely looking to rip anybody off will last long.

    It's gambling oriented, and gamblers love to splurge - it is not for the kind of gamblers who go broke....more entertainment oriented. An awful lot of gamblers love to get good deals - so they have more money for gambling!
    That was the whole reason for the "Comps" business being developed.

    Anyways, I know I am swimming against the current.
    I'll appreciate any tips about products which I might be able to promote, and merchants who might not mind working with a startup in my niche.

    Sadly, though, it probably would make business sense to have a link for Payday Loans....or Tax Consultants.

    But, the general idea would include helping people find where are the best values in Hotel Rooms in Atlantic City and Vegas and the other areas where there are casinos...Many affiliate programs won't touch you until you have reached a certain size.

    Aside from working hard to grow, I was hoping there were some additional ways to "game the system"

  4. #4
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    So your target audience is gamblers who would have the opportunity to play a bit more by taking actions such as watching videos, completing offer forms or purchasing goods and services such as travel?
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrooks - AffiliateWindow View Post
    So your target audience is gamblers who would have the opportunity to play a bit more by taking actions such as watching videos, completing offer forms or purchasing goods and services such as travel?
    Hmmm....don't know if I would summarize the essence like that.
    I was saying that the reason some of them like to get deals and bargains in travel and hotel costs is that it saves them a bigger bankroll to pay for the entertainment value of their trip...so, yes, they will have relatively more money to throw away on slots and blackjack and whatever they like to play for entertainment.

    Watching videos and buying stuff and participating on the site provides them with the opportunity to play in contests on the site, and to earn points which can be used to increase Membership Privileges and earn prizes, like win a trip to Lost Wages (Vegas).

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