Size Does Matter: Especially with Rewards and Incentives


As the saying goes, “It’s not the size of the incentive that matters,” oh wait, yes it is!

Incentive envy effects us all.

Incentive envy affects us all.

With 100s of live incentive programs running right now, we have a really killer view into a ton of different incentive strategies to drive business behavior.

I wasn’t sure how to break up this post, so I made a simple matrix for several of our most common types of programs (with desired behaviors) and reward amounts. I filled in the boxes with behaviors and actions:


Consumer Engagement

(Be Loyal!)

Employee Engagement

(Work well(ness)!)

Market Research

(Answer Questions!)

$.01 to $5 -Small incentives for small behaviors.

-For instance: watch a video, download an app, perform a few actions online – frequent rewards are meaningful.

-Credits for logging steps (with a fitbit).

-Points for sales activities.

-Very frequent peer-to peer spot awards.

-Online Surveys: Quick, multiple choice – earn points to redeem for small rewards.


$10 to $75 -Customer Referrals.

-Offers/promotions for mid-ticket items


-Peer-to-peer and manager-to-peer spot awards.

-Wellness challenge completion.

-Employee anniversary, birthday, other live events.

-Inside sales spiffs.

-Online Surveys that are more involved and targeted.

-General Population Focus Groups.


$100 to $500 -Offers/promotions for high-ticket items, e.g. software purchases, tires, large appliances


-Manager-to-peer rewards and bonuses

-Health screenings

-Major employee life event.

-Employee or B2B customer Referral.

-Sales spiffs.

Professional, Expert, Subject Matter Expert Focus Group – Very Targeted Populations.


$500+ Sweepstake and kickbacks for extremely high-ticket items, e.g. houses, private jet services, solar panels, business shipping loyalty. -Travel Savings.

-Employee referrals.

-Milestone Employee event.

-Enterprise/channel sales spiff.

Extremely targeted expert population. Examples: Neuro-surgeon, rocket scientist, C-level executives, etc.


The general rule of thumb is to match the value of the behavior to the size of the reward. Then simply deliver that reward instantly to maximize impact and keep them coming back.

Size does matter!


Written by Scotty Greenburg

LinkedIn PictureScotty has been at Tango Card for 4 years in Marketing. Along with the rest of the Tango Card business team, he has helped to create a culture of incentive domain expertise to best support Tango Card’s enterprise reward and incentive customers. He also likes to eat Paleo (he says all the time).

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