Micro-incentive provider ifeelgoods launched a promotion today with popular ecommerce store Shoebuy.com to offer users 50 free Facebook Credits for making any purchase on the site. This is the first time ifeelgoods has been used to incentivize action which leads directly to profit for the company hosting the promotion. If the promotion attracts users whose purchases generate greater profit than the cost of the Credits, other ecommerce sites may seek to similarly incentivize purchases.
Ifeelgoods launched in September to help companies encourage users to take actions such as signing up for email lists, clicking ads, and sharing with friends. Its first major promotion offered 5 free Credits to users who followed the Dallas Mavericks on Twitter. Facebook Credits are often valued higher than their actual monetary value by users, especially social game players, making them a powerful but cheap driver of action. Shopkick similarly lets users earn Facebook Credits for visiting certain stores, and scanning or purchasing certain items.
When users visit Shoebuy.com/Credits, they’ll see a banner explaining the promotion. After users make a qualified purchase, they are presented with an option to Connect to ifeelgoods, causing 50 Credits to be deposited in their account. Users have five days from the time of purchase to redeem the Credits in this way. They can then be spent in any Facebook application that accepts Credits, and do not expire. Shoebuy.com is protected from users trying to game the system by returning their purchase after spending their Credits, as $5 is docked from any returned total. Note that users must go through Shoebuy.com/Credits, even though it seems to simply redirect to Shoebuy.com, in order for the offer to engage.
Ifeelgoods promotions benefit Facebook as well by getting Credits into the hands of users who might not have participated in the virtual economy yet. Upon buying virtual goods with the free Credits, at least some users will get hooked and begin purchasing Credits from Facebook. Users benefit from being rewarded for their natural behavior, and companies hosting promotions attract new customers and sway others to actually purchase. With everyone involved benefiting, micro-incentive systems such as ifeelgoods could become very popular.