How to Jump Start Your Channel Rewards Program

by | Oct 23, 2019 | Blog

So, you’re trying to decide whether to start up a channel rewards program. You might have some experience with them in the past. You might also have just heard that they’re a great engagement tool.

Wherever you are in your journey, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to discuss a few of the key traits of a good channel rewards program and how to make yours as effective as possible.

While here we’ll cover some of the key points, if you’re looking for a deeper dive into this topic, download our guide: The Definitive Guide to an Effective Channel Incentive Program.

1. Channel Rewards Program KPIs

Often times, the goals of these programs will be ambitious and simple.

“I want to grow incremental sales of x product 15% by 2021.” Great goal. But you’ll also need to make sure you’re on track to hit that goal. That’s why we suggest setting up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to help track the health of your program. Here are a few:

  • Enrollment rate—the number of enrolled participants vs. those that could be enrolled in the program.
  • Participation rate/Engagement rate—how often people visit the reward site, or click on your promotional emails.
  • Percentage of participants earning points—this will give you an idea of how many people are engaging actively with the program.
  • Revenue from program participants vs. revenue from non-program participants—this is a great factor for proving ROI.

Again, to find a more comprehensive list of these program KPIs, download The Definitive Guide to an Effective Channel Incentive Program.

2. Channel Rewards Programs Should Be Simple

The last thing you want is a frustrated channel partner. If your program’s rules for earning are too convoluted, your channel partners won’t earn. If your enrollment process asks them a million questions, they won’t enroll.

A good saying to keep in mind when setting this up is, “Aspirational and Attainable.” Make your program as easy to understand as possible, making it more attainable. But also, make sure it’s exciting enough to make participants want to aspire to achieve it.

If you’re setting up personalized goals for your channel partners to reach, use simple metrics. Increase your sales in the first year by 1%-3%. Earn 2x points for selling X product. Earn bonus points for submitting pictures of your partners’ stock counters.

These are all great examples of simple earning structures that should get your channel rewards program off the ground in no time.

3. Engage Your Partners Regularly

Whether it’s through targeted marketing messages, updates to program rule structure, or even special promotions tagged on to your program, you want to make sure you’re at the forefront of your partners’ minds.

People will lose interest in your program. That’s a sad fact. But these same people will stay around or even come back if you make your channel rewards program fun and engaging. That’s a happy fact.

Gamification is a great way to keep people interested in the more mundane tasks that are a necessary part of a channel rewards program. For instance, filling out demographic information. Boring, right?

But what if you could host a fantasy football league for all your partners? And what if that league helped you ask questions that got you valuable data on the partners in the league? All while watching your indirect sales reps smack talk each other.

Not so boring now, wouldn’t you say?


While keeping people inspired and having fun isn’t the direct business result that gets you to “15% incremental growth by 2021”, it is what keeps those partners coming back to you. It’s what keeps your products top of mind while they’re selling to their customers.

Want more information about channel rewards programs? Get The Definitive Guide to an Effective Channel Incentive Program now and become the channel expert you want to be!



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