by Donna M. Airoldi | March 02, 2011

Incentive planners looking to learn how to create gift card programs that drive business, why branding is important, how to select the right vendor, and what cloud computing is and why it’s important should check out the new white paper “4 Steps to Develop a Successful Gift Card, Loyalty or Reward Program That Merchants Want,” from SparkBase, a technology provider for processing stored-valued reward and loyalty card and mobile programs.

The paper delves into why stored-value programs are important, what merchants are looking for in a gift card program, how to design a program to meet business objectives, and how to prepare your organization to support a program within the four steps, which are:

1. Don’t create a program just to have one. Create a program that drives your business.
Topics covered: building a program in-house, white-labeling software as your own, decreasing merchant attrition, and enhancing your value proposition.

2. Craft a program that merchants want.
Five types of programs are reviewed, coupled with five steps for how to build them.

3. Secret programs don’t work. You must sell and support a program to see growth.

4. Pick the right partner for success.

The paper also includes 17 key questions to ask vendors and suppliers when considering new programs.

“We put this white paper together as a response to the questions we field on a daily basis from ISOs and acquirers as they try and construct a viable gift card, loyalty, or reward program,” says Andrew Kraynak, vice president of marketing at Cleveland-based SparkBase. “We wanted to break a program down into practical, executable terms.”

The paper is available as a free downloaded at