Simplify Those Rebates

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Rebates can stupefy, confound and turn consumers (not to mention retailers) into irate crazies. Schlage Link avoided this madness by using a few important best practices when it launched an online rebate offer in March to mark its one-year anniversary. The campaign is going so well that the company, which markets a keyless home security system, has extended the offer an additional month to June 30.

Schlage Brand Manager Ann Matheis shares her top six rebate form “must dos:”

Spell it Out: Make it clear in large, bold-face type exactly what the consumer needs to do, such as send in UPC code or original receipt; postmark and receive-by date; limits per household; or other specifics.

“Make it like a checklist, it’s much easier and faster to process the rebate,” she says.

Legal: Make sure the terms and conditions are included at the end of the rebate form.

Set-up Steps: Lay out the form in three or four steps so consumers understand what they need to do to redeem their rebate. Schlage uses four steps:

  1. Buy the product.

  2. It lists the items that must be included in the envelope.

  3. Provides the mailing address.

  4. Indicates the postmark date.

Note to Self: Add a note at the end of the steps to remind consumers to keep copies of all paperwork.

Fulfillment Choices: Choose a fulfillment house that strictly adheres to these rules and gives good customer service, but also makes sure that all the appropriate documents have been sent in from consumers.

“Select a house that can teach you how the process works, because they are the ones that learn the lessons the hard way when the rebate forms aren’t properly filled out,” Matheis says.

Online Option: Create the rebate form so people can either enter the information directly online, or print it out, fill it out, then mail it in.

“We’ve gotten it down to a pretty easy system to execute,” Matheis says.

Got an incentives tip to share? Contact Patricia Odell at


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