Distributor: Moving the Middle

A points-based program drives incremental sales from small- to mid-sized accounts

The Client and Their Past State

The Client

A top 50 distributor of HVAC supplies in the United States.

The Audience

HVAC Dealers/Contractors

The Objective

To increase incremental sales from small- to mid-tier contractor accounts.

The Challenge

The program was run during a tough time for HVAC. While the year was a peak for the industry in general, price hikes caused by external forces like tariffs put a strain on customer relationships and made competition steep.

The Client’s Current State and Key Results

See the Difference

Compared to a flat performance from those not enrolled in the program, enrolled accounts saw an 8% sales increase YoY overall.

Getting the ROI

Overall business saw a 5% increase in sales YoY, and the program generated an ROI of 240%.

Award Winner

HMI’s marketing strategy was a gold winner at the 2018 Hermes Creative Awards.

Above and Beyond

Accounts that hit their goal grew 55% YoY. These accounts exceeded their goals by an average of 30%.

Growth Where it Counts

11% of sales growth came from small- to mid-tier accounts.

How They Got Here


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Program Design

While the client had been running a group incentive travel program for its top customers for a while, this was the first time they had run a points-based program. Based on the goal and the challenges of the client, HMI put together a reward program that was geared toward incentivizing the “Middle 60%” or the client’s small- to mid-tier accounts to not only buy more but also buy more frequently from the client.

Using Data to Set Objectives

To achieve this, HMI worked with the client, exploring their data, to identify the most impactful accounts who would be targeted for the program. After solidifying the target audience, HMI developed an effective program design accompanied by an extensive marketing campaign to help drive engagement with the program.

How They Earned

As participants in the program purchased, they earned points. Once they achieved their goal, they started earning at an accelerated rate.

A Fast Start

To help with engagement with the new program from the start, HMI created a first-touch bonus opportunity for new enrollees: if participants enrolled by a certain date, they were awarded the option to choose from 3 merchandise prize options.

Strategy & Implementation

The program strategy included:

  • Fast Start Bonus
  • Personalized purchase goals
  • Strategic marketing for key accounts targeting
  • Incremental growth program structure
  • Product segmented earning opportunities
  • Dedicated incentive management team

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