Beginning in January, four airlines will send out 20 million e-mails inviting their customers to watch online ads in exchange for airline miles.
The e-mails will direct customers to e-Miles.com where they can watch ads from brands such as Hilton, 1-800-Flowers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and LendingTree. After viewing the ads, consumers will be asked to answer questions pertaining to the featured product or service.
Consumers can earn 10 to 20 miles for each 30-second spot viewed and more for longer ads. In total, some 17 advertisers have partnered with e-Miles for the initiative including the St. Martin Tourism Board, Visit Florida and Zales. The brands pay e-Miles a fee on a pay-per-viewed-ad basis.
Airlines that will send the e-mail invites include Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and US Airways.
“We see this as a very efficient new channel because we’re able to target very directly,” said Mark Drusch, president of Dallas-based e-Miles. “We’re going beyond impressions here.”
And if consumers use the Web site just to rake up miles without caring much for ads, “we still know that we got the message before the consumer,” Drusch said.
In general, a free domestic ticket will run a consumer 25,000 miles.
“If a consumer spends four to five minutes participating with ads [daily], in one year they can earn a free ticket,” Drusch said.
Dallas-based e-Miles handles the program internally.