IQ News: Click Here: FreeRide Doles Out Freebies to Ad Surfers

Online loyalty program FreeRide, New York, this week will launch DestinationPoints, a new section of its site that aggregates banners by category and rewards users who go to the section and click-through to advertisers’ sites.
Jordan Stanley, president and co-founder of FreeRide, said the feature offers advertisers an easier way to reach consumers. Online marketers, he said, “feel like a 6-year-old tugging on Mom’s dress while she’s on the phone.
“Banner advertisers never intended their sites to be visited by half of 1 percent of an audience,” Stanley said, referring to average click-through rates. DestinationPoints aims to increase click-through by leveraging FreeRide’s 300,000 users. “We take [Web surfers] and put them in one place, an arcade of destinations,” he continued.
DestinationPoints aggregates banners by nine categories: people and communities; computers and the Internet; games and gaming; music and entertainment; money and careers; shop ’til you drop; news/sports/weather; and travel and cars.
It will feature FreeRide’s existing 1,350 sponsors and more than 50 new ones, such as AT&T WorldNet, CBS SportsLine, Disney Store Online and the Mining Co.
Stuart Gold, marketing manager of Microsoft’s Sidewalk, New York, said the company has run banners on FreeRide and plans to participate in DestinationPoints.
Visitors to Destination-Points can earn up to 25 points a day, or about 700 to 800 a month, Stanley said. Points are redeemed for gift certificates or products, including CDs and movie tickets, from sponsors such as Disney and CDnow.
“We really try to, in every step of the process, let the consumer have a refreshing experience,” Stanley said.
The new venture will be supported by ads in trade magazines next week, online promotions and contests in the summer.