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Avoiding the Spotlight Effect With Your Incentive Program

After digging deep into the latest research, you believe you’ve finally designed a picture perfect incentives program for your employees. You know your sales team will love the reward opportunities, and appreciate the creative edge you have included in your program. To go one step further, you send out a company-wide email, informing every one of the program, and its expected launch date. Immediately, 40% of your audience is interested to participate in your incentives program.

Feeling pretty proud, right? You’re audience really seems to be interested and engaged in becoming a participant in your program. Looks like all your hard work has paid off.

A few weeks later, however, enrollment has barely increased by 5%. Waves of panic begin to set in.  Your program will never recover at this point. You did all your research, checked everything off your list, and the program was showing great potential. What could have gone wrong?

The Spotlight Effect

Quite often when we make something a strong priority for ourselves, it makes sense to assume everyone else has made it a priority as well. This eventually causes us to believe we are receiving more attention than we actually are. Behavioral economists have named this “The Spotlight Effect.”

So, although your program was creatively planned, and did offer great rewards, your target audience is probably too absorbed with their own priorities to care. They may have considered enrolling in the program as soon as they skimmed through the email, but were quickly distracted by other pressing matters. If they don’t choose to enroll immediately, chances are they won’t remember to do so later on. So how do you keep your audience intrigued for the long haul?

Maintaining strong communication with your audience is key. Using a variety of media outlets, you can capture their attention and make sure they do not lose interest. Follow these three steps to get your program back on track and keep it there:

Don’t stop trying – For those who did not respond to your initial email, it can be beneficial to continue reaching out to them through other forms of media. Consider ideas like:

  • Sending a new email
  • Send text messages
  • Mailing a postcard
  • Discussing the program during staff meetings, sales meetings, tradeshows, conferences, etc.

Notice how they respond – After experimenting with different forms of media, examine the data to better understand what actually works. Some of your audience may have responded positively when you called them directly. Make a note of who these individuals are, and periodically call to see how everything is working out. However, be careful not to bombard these individuals with too much of one medium. Make an effort to mix up the media, and provide new content.

Keep the content relevant – Sometimes the awards you are offering just aren’t enough to keep your audience active and engaged. Find areas that will motivate participants, like leader boards and standings updates. Since we typically all have a competitive drive, use it to get your audience excited! People also tend to be motivated by their own achievements. Allow them to visually track their progress by providing resources help them meet their objectives.

Creating a stimulating incentives program for your target audience is only the first step. In order for it to be effective and make an overall impact, keeping the audience engaged and interested is a necessity.

Call Loyaltyworks at 800-844-5000 and let us walk you through how to setup, execute and avoid the spotlight effect with your next incentive program.



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Atlanta, GA 30341