Content Becomes Cash In AARP's Rewards For Good Campaign

Enticing people 50 and older to spend more time on their Web site interacting with content, AARP introduced the Rewards for Good program, which allows consumers to earn points toward saving money on their favorite items.

Site visitors earn points for completing a task aimed at helping people live a better life. Flags and badges on the site identify the content that will earn site visitors points. The program focuses on getting site visitors actively engaged in the content on the site. Some tasks take a minute, while others take much longer. The amount of points gained is associated with the time and difficulty of completing the task. Membership isn't required, but members do get 50% more points, explains Nataki Edwards, VP of digital strategy and operations at AARP.

Signing up provides site visitors with points immediately just for registering. Members and site visitors can use the points to get discounts on products offered through a third-party partner Destination Rewards. For instance, redeeming 5,000 points in the purchase of a Michael Kors product could mean $100 off a $300 handbag.

"We do share revenue with our partner on advertisements that occur on the redemption site, but the business model for AARP is really about educating non-members and members about tools and services on the site related to Medicare, Social Security, financial planning and living healthy," Edwards said.

Time spent on the site isn't a big metric for AARP. Key performance indicators rely on site visitors trying different offerings and activities. It allows the site to determine the activities most important to site visitors. How often they redeem points and what they buy.

The Rewards for Good program is not AARP's only campaign. The company recently launched a travel channel where site visitors go to book travel plans and become better informed about their destinations and what to bring. The first week AARP is giving away a 15-day European river cruise. The non-profit will give away one dream vacation each week for 10 weeks.

Other brands have begun to entice consumers to engage with content on their site. Microsoft gives consumers points for searches on Bing. American Airlines (AA) began a program that allows frequent flyers to earn miles by liking the brand on Facebook or completing games on the company's Web site. Playing trivia and other games on the site can earn up to 700 miles. Sharing and completing social actions gets the consumer 350 miles. The AA challenge is available through May 23.

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