American Express Open is launching the Business Gold Rewards card that will help small businesses earn double rewards points on marketing spending.
The card offers double points for all spending on online marketing. The announcement comes on the heels of American Express allowing cardmembers to use points for Facebook advertising. This marks the first time any company has connected a rewards program to advertising spend -- it also represents the only rewards program designed to generate demand for a business (most are cost-cutters), according to the company.
What small businesses need is demand for their products and services, said Doug Tabish, vice president of Charge Cards at American Express Open.
"They are pushing us to help them think more holistically about how to generate demand," says Tabish in a release. "We're responding by offering maximized benefits with Business Gold Rewards, allowing entrepreneurs to reinvest the points they earn to better their existing businesses."
With the Business Gold Card, business owners will now receive three times the points on airfare as well as double the points on advertising, gas and shipping.
For one New York City-based small business FertilityAuthority.com, an online source for male and female fertility information, online marketing has become a core function and vehicle for increasing its growing customer base.
"As an online company, we have spent a significant amount of time and effort in advertising across social channels, including Facebook and Google. This allows us to attract new users and connect with existing ones," says Paul Bucalo, director of customer acquisitions for FertilityAuthority. "We spend thousands of dollars a month to actively market our company. The new rewards platform will enable us to convert this spend into valuable rewards points that we can use to reinvest in other business functions at no cost."
According to the American Express OPEN Small Business Search Marketing Survey, a survey of small business owners utilizing some type of online marketing for their business, three-quarters of entrepreneurs planned to add some form of online marketing in 2011. Roughly three in ten will add a company Web site (36%) or social media strategy (29%). About one-in-five plan to add search engine optimization strategies (23%), mass email campaigns (22%) or search advertising campaigns (16%).