Here are the citations for frequent shopper/frequent clicker type
programs that pre-date mid-1998. A few of them extend back to 1996,
though some of the models are more tenuous than others in terms of
their resemblance to electronic Green Stamp type programs. MyPoints
and ClickRewards seem to be the two big hitters in this game, although
quite a few other programs are mentioned as well.
I've pieced this together fairly quickly in order to meet your tight timeframe.
But before rating this answer, please let me know if you need any
additional information. Just post a Request for Clarification, and
I'll be happy to assist you further.
All the best,
[all text below is excerpted from the articles cited]
Trading stamps make a comeback -- on the Internet
Incentives for Online Shopping Could Transform Retail Landscape
San Jose Mercury News
May 23, 1998
Trading stamps once reigned supreme as a promotional currency.
Now it's back in updated form, on the Internet.
...Incentives and promotions are proliferating rapidly on the World
Wide Web, as retailers and publishers seek to differentiate themselves
from their competitors.
...Netcentives, one of the best-regarded Internet promotions
companies, has exclusive multi-year contracts with seven major air
...For the past two months, the winning plan has rewarded consumers
who shop online with merchants such as Music Boulevard, 1-800 Flowers
and Garden Escape with points they can trade in for frequent-flier
miles, hotel accomodations or rental cars. Merchants use these
promotional "ClickPoints" to encourage consumers to buy more than one
product, sign up for online services or spend $100 or more in a single
...MyPoints.com operates on the trading-stamps model, giving members
points that can be turned in for an eclectic range of goods and
services just for visiting a Web site or taking an online survey.
CyberGold.com of Berkeley takes that model one step further, rewarding
Internet users with cash just for reading ads or purchasing products.
Yoyo.com offers prizes to participants in contests and trivia games
MotivationNet is offering the MyPoints incentive program designed for
A Green-Stamps Approach To Incent Web use
Report on Home Banking & Financial Services, 3 (11): 3+, March 16, 1998
...Called MyPoints, the program pays Internet users points for
performing such routine browsing tasks as visiting Web sites, opening
banner ads, and completing online surveys.
...Like Green Stamps, the idea behind MyPoints is to reward customers
in an effort to secure their repeat patronage.
...A single point carries a monetary value equivalent to one cent.
Points are rewarded in increments reflecting the quality of the time
spent. For example, consumers earn 100 points just for registering
with MyPoints, but they may earn as much as 1,000 points for
completing consumer polls.
...Consumers select the products that they wish to purchase from one
or more of MyPoints' designated online catalogs. Spiegel, for example,
is a redemption-center participant that provides an online catalog
listing items that can be purchased with points earned from MyPoints.
December 9, 1997
Universal Rewards Currency Introduced at Internet World Show;
Technologically Advanced System Basis For Online and Offline Marketing Programs
The MyPoints(TM) Universal Rewards Currency was introduced today to
Internet marketing companies at the Internet World show in New York.
MyPoints Universal Rewards Currency represents the Internet's first
incentive tool that gives marketers the flexibility to design their
own powerful online and offline rewards programs. With the MyPoints
Currency, marketers can efficiently increase site traffic, create
brand and site loyalty, encourage product purchases and build
demographically targeted, one-to-one customer relationships.
...initial participants in the MyPoints Program include Alexa
Internet, @Backup, Burgers Smoke House, Carnival Cruise Lines, Cool
Savings, Corporate Sports Incentives, Edmund Scientific, Hello Direct,
Marriott Hotels, Meals.Com, Overton's, RainSoft, Sara Lee Direct and
Signature Group (Shop 4, Global Online Travel, Dining Ala Card).
..."Like the Green Stamp program of old, the MyPoints Program is based
on a common 'electronic rewards currency' that marketers use to reward
Internet users for interacting and transacting with their Web site or
completing other activities,"
... "For example, a company trying to build traffic on their home page
might provide 25 points when a qualified consumer visits a critical
page within the site. More demanding activities, such as completing a
survey, obtaining a price quote, requesting a product sample or
placing an order, are rewarded with greater amounts of points.
..."For the consumer, the flexibility of earning points from a vast
number of marketers -- for both online and offline activities --
combining them, and then spending the points for thousands of items
from dozens of online
locations, represents the ultimate rewards system. Other systems
simply don't offer the variety of choices,"
...The MyPoints Program is free to consumers and easy to use, yet the
system gives them total control of personal information to assure
their privacy is protected and they gain value from interacting with
marketers....Participants in the MyPoints Program have access to a
powerful search engine for finding opportunities to collect and redeem
points. Participants can check the balance of their MyPoints Program
account at any time, along with detailed information on where they
have collected and spent points in the past.
Internet incentive programs becoming more and more popular
Green stamps hit the Web in e-mail incentive programs
Advertising Age November 10, 1997
...VIRTUALLY nonexistent a year ago, Internet incentive programs are
quickly populating the Internet.
...But how these programs will pan out is uncertain because they are
so new. Intellipost Corp.'s BonusMail launched commercially last
August and counts 150,000 consumers in its service. Meanwhile, the
MyPoints program from MotivationNet, the ClickRewards program from
Netcentives and the e-centives program from Emaginet are all planning
official launches by mid-January.
...Not all Internet incentive programs use a points system. CyberGold
for instance, gives consumers cash or credit on their credit cards for
viewing ads, but said push isn't in its paradigm right now.
...Intellipost Corp...launched BonusMail (www.bonusmail.com)
commercially last August....
...How it works: For every BonusMail promotion users open, read and
respond to, they are awarded Rewards credits, which can be redeemed by
any of the offline or online redemption partners in the program.
Netcentive's ClickRewards program will allow Web sites to reward Net
surfers for activities such as buying products, registering with the
site's database or viewing ad offers
Web incentive program wins clout with airline alliances
Advertising Age September 29, 1997
...THE LATEST COMPANY to capitalize on the promise of promotional
marketing online may have the best model yet. Industry analysts and an
impressive list of customers say Netcentives, a San Francisco company
that announces its launch today, has a good chance to set the standard
for the Web's promotional currency with its ClickRewards.
...The Netcentives service, set to launch in November, will allow
sites to reward surfers for activities--such as purchasing products,
registering with the site's database, or viewing ad offers. Users can
then redeem their accumulated ClickRewards Points for a variety of
goods and services, including their favorite brand of frequent flier
MyPoints is paying users universal rewards currency, which can be used
to buy merchandise in major catalogs
MyPoints aims to be universal Web currency
Advertising Age, August 18, 1997
...PAYING CONSUMERS redeemable points to review Web sites or e-mail
ads isn't a new idea. But paying users a universal rewards currency,
which can be used to buy merchandise in major catalogs is--and it's
also the business model behind MyPoints (www.mypoints.com), a service
going live this fall from MotivationNet, a startup from Schaumburg,
...The key difference between MyPoints and some of the other Web
incentive programs, such as NetPerks from Omnicom Group's Alcone
Marketing Group or CyberGold, is how points are earned and redeemed.
While most other programs are restricted to Web activities, MyPoints
also awards credit for offline activities, such as completing a
warranty card or participating in an employee motivation program.
NetCentives, promotional tools & marketing company, introduces
ClickRewards program that rewards online shoppers with airline miles,
hotel discounts & catalog merchandise
Catalog Age, June 1998
...According to Inside Flyer magazine, nearly half of the 40 million
worldwide participants in frequent flier programs have access to the
Internet. So 1-800-Flowers, Garden Escape, SkyMall, and Music
Boulevard, among other online catalogers, saw the logic in
participating in the new ClickRewards program, which rewards online
shoppers with airline miles, hotel discounts, and even catalog
...Consumers can earn ClickPoints, the digital currency of
ClickRewards, by making purchases or filling out surveys from online
...Consumers who aren't interested in earning frequent flier miles can
redeem their points for merchandise from the catalogers featured on
NetCentives' Website. "It was the ability to be a redemption site for
ClickPoints that was the real motivation behind our participation,"
says Debbie Newman, vice president of marketing/advertising/sales at
Yahoo will introduce section on Visa Shopping Guide for consumers
participating in ClickRewards program
AdWeek East, December 15, 1997
...Yahoo will launch a section on its Visa Shopping Guide for
consumers participating in ClickRewards
...ClickPoints can be earned through transactions on the sites of
Macy's, Microsoft Network and Broderbund.
Omnicom Group's Alcone Marketing Group is launching NetPerks, which it
bills as first "frequent surfer" program on Internet
Alcone's NetPerks to offer rewards to frequent surfers
Advertising Age, January 06, 1997
...Omnicom Group's Alcone Marketing Group, New York, today introduces
NetPerks, which it bills as the first "frequent surfer" program on the
Internet that offers consumers free Internet access and prizes for
interacting with an advertiser's site...
...Just like a frequent flyer program, advertisers who sign on to
NetPerks become category-exclusive sponsors, with their incentives
listed on NetPerks' Web site directory
...Points, which will be determined by each sponsor, can go toward
free Internet usage or prizes awarded in the online NetPerks Store,
which could be anything from subscriptions to Web zines to sponsors'
...Alcone isn't the only one to be setting up frequent incentives
though. In December, Mezzina Brown spun off FreeRide Media, a company
that offers a similar service, awarding free Internet time and prize
incentives to people who earn points interacting with advertisers'
sites. But unlike NetPerks, FreeRide opened its doors with a large
collection of sponsors, including Clairol, Nabisco Biscuit Co.,
Newsweek and Lever Brothers.
Loyalty program called Free Ride is introduced that allows computer
users to earn points for purchasing brand-name products
New York Times December 16, 1996
...A loyalty program called Free Ride has been introduced that is
intended to allow computer users to earn points for purchasing
brand-name products. After 1,000 points are earned, the user can win a
free month of Internet access.
...In a related move, startup Cybergold (Berkeley, CA) intends to
being a program that will reward people with cash for reading Internet
CyberGold has devised a way to pay people for viewing advertising on its Web site
The Advertising column
Wall Street Journal November 14, 1996
...CyberGold has devised a way to pay people for viewing advertising
on its Web site. Its software gathers Web users' demographic data and
then offers them individual menus of ads on its Web site. After
completing the task, users click on a special symbol to receive
credit, which is sent to an online bank account or applied toward
frequent flier miles, a product purchase or a charitable donation.
Ads on the World Wide Web are expected to reach $110 mil this year and
are expected to reach almost $2 bil by the year 2000
EXPERTS CLAIM THAT AD PRESENCE WILL INCREASE ON-LINE
San Jose Mercury News August 25, 1996
...GoldMail, a subsidiary of Maritz Inc., gives points to on-line
readers who answer questions about its ads. The points can be redeemed
for merchandise from the Spiegal catalog and trips on American
Airlines and United Air Lines. GoldMail faces competition from
CyberGold, a Berkeley-based start-up with a similar concept.
GoldMail, a company that is a unit of Maritz, and startup firm
CyberGold, are entangled in a legal battle over which firm had the
idea of creating a Web site that offers to pay consumers for reading
and then responding to Web ads
Golden opportunities tangle in legal battle
Advertising Age, July 15, 1996
..GoldMail was announced June 5. Less than three weeks later,
Berkeley, Calif.-based CyberGold, brainchild of entrepreneur Nat
Goldhaber, detailed its own service.
...GoldMail http://www.goldmail.com) sees big business providing
incentives for consumers to respond to advertising on the Web.
...Consumers entering the company's Web site fill out an extensive
survey detailing their interests and demographic information. After
receiving a password, they can read ads at the GoldMail site. Each ad
carries a credit ranging from a few cents to a few dollars.
...Consumers must prove they've read the ad by answering a few
questions online. If the choose to, they can provide their name and
e-mail address to the advertiser, earning even more credits.
...Credits can be redeemed for merchandise from an online Spiegel
catalog, travel or gift certificates.
...CyberGold (http://www.cybergold.com) presents registered consumers
with a list of ads they can view...Instead of offering merchandise as
a reward, CyberGold hopes to convince Internet content providers to
accept CyberGold "currency" as a form of payment.
..."An individual can take the money offered to them and use it to buy
the intellectual property of their choice," Mr. Goldhaber said. The
company plans an early fall launch.
CyberGold Inc's eponymous Internet advertising service promises to
deliver exact demographics of users to advertisers
Gold on That Thar Web
Brandweek, July 15, 1996
...Think of Monopoly money on the Web and you have an idea how
CyberGold works. Individuals sign up for the free service by filling
out a demographic profile. As they log onto their account through
CyberGold's home page (www.cybergold.com), it presents a list of
available ads matched to the profile, and tells the user how much
CyberGold he or she can earn by reading each ad. Users choose ads,
then spend a minute or two reading and interacting with each. When
they're finished, CyberGold is credited to their account, play money
that can be redeemed on-line for merchandise and services.
Again, let me know if you need anything else.
search strategy: Searched a number of newspaper and business
information databases for variations on the terms "green stamps"
internet OR online "frequent shopper" "loyalty program"