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What Are Card-Linked Offers? And Why Should Brands be Using Them?

Card-Linked Offers provide a frictionless purchase journey for the consumer and highly targeted, fraud-free marketing for brands. Merchants benefit from 100% attribution, best-in-class ROI and increased customer loyalty.

Quite simply, Card-Linked Offers (CLOs) are offers (cash back or discounts) that consumers receive just by activating offers on their banking apps, websites or loyalty programs such as Chase, Google Pay, Wells Fargo, Citibank and many more. CLO is one of the newest and most powerful form of performance marketing that allows both online and retail brands to offer incentives to customers who use a qualifying debit or credit card at a participating business enabling customers to be identified by their payment card number thereby eliminating the need for a separate loyalty card while also providing brands with valuable data and insights. Consumers do not need to hand in a physical coupon or show the offer on their mobile device which makes the transaction incredibly frictionless for both parties. Here are some reasons why brands should be using Card-Linked Offers to boost their customer acquisition and retention efforts:

Targeted Advertising

Advertisers can target their ads to specific audiences based on their actual purchase behavior. This targeting is more accurate than other methods, such as demographic targeting or interest-based targeting, because it is based on real purchase data. For example, card-linked offer marketing can provide marketers with information about the types of products and services that consumers are interested in, as well as their purchasing habits and preferences.

Highly Efficient ROI 

Card-Linked Offers are unique because in addition to tracking e-commerce transactions, they seamlessly connect online advertising efforts with in-store purchases. With traditional digital marketing campaigns, merchants pay for impressions or clicks, but they cannot track accurately how many in-store visits, or most importantly, how much sales were driven by their online ads. With CLOs, merchants can now see the direct impact of their online advertising budget because every transaction made can be tied back to the consumer. They are extremely popular with consumers because they are personalized and relevant, and businesses can gain a better understanding of consumer spending behavior, needs, hobbies, and favorite brands. This performance marketing channel is more critical today than ever given recent restrictions on zero and first party data.

This new level of attribution and ease of use has led to significant growth in the adoption of CLOs by both merchants and consumers. According to a survey of large brand digital marketers,Card-Linked Offer marketing has surpassed Social Media Marketing as their most preferred marketing tactic.

Another reason that CLOs are the fastest growing portion of digital advertising budgets is that there is no upfront cost - merchants do not have to pay for advertising impressions or to print mailers and coupons. Merchants only pay a small marketing fee each time a new customer makes a purchase. With other digital advertising channels, there are often high costs per acquisition and unclear return on investment. With card-linked offers, brands are able to offer consumers discounts and cash back on purchases, while at the same time acquiring new users and winning back lapsed ones with highly efficient ROI.

High Quality Data Analytics

Card-Linked Offers provide advertisers with high-quality, first-party purchase data from millions of bank customers. This data is more accurate and reliable than other types of data, such as surveys or website tracking data. If you didn’t know your customers shopped at various brands and competitors, now you do!  Advertisers are sent detailed reporting and analytics on the performance of their campaigns. This allows advertisers to measure the ROI of their campaigns and make data-driven decisions to improve future campaigns. There is no need for complicated attribution analysis as Card-Linked Offers can determine sell-through perfectly with attribution data.

Large Global Reach

LuckyDiem prides itself on playing nice with others in the sandbox and unrivaled transparency. As a result, LuckyDiem has become the largest CLO network in the world with over 200 million cardholders in the US and another 400 million around the world. This broad reach allows advertisers to cast a net over a wide audience with their campaigns. Brands are exposed to millions of credit and debit card holders within a vast ecosystem of financial institutions’ secure environment. Fraudulent activity is greatly reduced while consumers are excited to save money through cash back offers in a frictionless and automatic process both online and in-stores.

Increase Sales & Customer Retention

CLOs are also proven to increase the number of in-store visits, the size of the purchase as well as customer retention, with 61% of consumers saying discounts and coupons increase their loyalty to a brand (Expedia Affiliate Network) and 77% of consumers saying discounts influence where they shop (RetailMeNot).

And with CLO technology, merchants can track customer behavior easily by seeing average order size, as well as the number and frequency of purchases. This knowledge gives merchants the ability to incentivize customers to make repeat purchases and to reward their best customers for their loyalty.

CLO vs Affiliate Marketing

Brands are adding Card-linked Offers to their marketing mix at a feverish pace often at the expense of affiliate marketing which has limited targeting and reporting capabilities. As economic headwinds continue, C-suite execs have been demanding more data and proof that their marketing dollars are delivering sales as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Here’s a high level overview of how CLO marketing compares to affiliate marketing:

  • Audience Segmentation and Targeting

  • New and/or lapsed customers

  • Single-use Offers

  • Repeat usage optional for customer loyalty

  • Consumer Insights

  • Share of Wallet, Share Shift, etc.

  • iROAS Reporting

  • 3-4x+ is typical

  • Incremental Sales Lift Reporting

  • 100%+ is typical

How Can I Launch a CLO campaign?

Contact us today to learn more about LuckyDiem’s Card-Linked Offer campaigns.  We can develop a ROI and incremental sales forecast to predict the success of a CLO campaign based on your marketing objectives. We will also provide in-depth analytics and reporting such as incremental lift, LTV, share shift and more to provide granular insights into the purchase habits, acquisition costs and revenue data to ensure our CLO campaigns are performing against your business objectives and expectations.

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