It’s set! Localvantia will officially go live on Tuesday, December 5th. And so that everyone can hit the ground running next week, today we are providing important information for all affiliates who have pre-registered merchants.
First, let’s go through the process of closing pre-registered merchants…
Closing Pre-Registered Merchants
Okay, so you’ve pre-registered one or more merchants. Great job! But starting on Tuesday, it’s time to begin closing these accounts you’ve opened.
Here’s how it will work…
1. From the My Merchants report (the list of all your pre-registered merchants), you’ll click the new “Contact” link that will be displayed (starting Tuesday) beside each merchant’s name, located on the right side of the screen.
2. A modal will open. Click the “Print Close Letter #1” link. The letter for closing your merchants will open.
Following is a sample of the letter. Note that the letter will automatically be populated with:
- Today’s date
- The merchant’s name and address
- The merchant’s unique invitation code (necessary so they can open their merchant profile page with the pre-registered information and photo—credited to YOU)
- Your email address (so they may contact you)
- Your first and last name
3. Print out this letter (preferably using a color printer and on a nice grade of paper) and then sign it above where your name appears.
4. Now it’s time to get the letter into the merchant’s hands. You can put it in an envelope and mail it. Or, you can personally deliver it (walk into the merchant’s store and hand them the letter).
Note: So that you can better track your follow-ups, the modal also allows you to designate your delivery method (Postal Mail, In-Person Delivery, or Other). There’s also a free-form notes field in which you can enter any notes that you wish. We also will automatically record the date and time you printed the close letter, and this information will be added to the My Merchants report for your future reference.
Now, it’s very important that you understand the following:
The close letter, all by itself, CAN be enough to get the job done, but you will likely significantly increase your chances of closing your merchants by adding one or more professionally-printed pieces to your presentation:
Envelopes & Letterheads
If you’re mailing the close letter, consider using a Localvantia envelope. We’ve just made available both regular #10 business envelopes for this purpose, and also #10 window envelopes. The added value of the window envelope is that you can print out your letters, fold them outwardly, and the merchant’s name and address will show through the window (no need to hand address the envelope or add a mailing label).
- Order the regular #10 Localvantia envelopes HERE. 50 envelopes are just $5.95 and come with 72 VersaPoints. Envelopes can also be purchased with MRP or TCredits.
- Order the Localvantia #10 window envelopes HERE. 50 envelopes are just $5.95 and come with 72 VersaPoints. Envelopes can also be purchased with MRP or TCredits.
Either envelope can also be used for general correspondence, additional follow-ups, and so on with your merchants (or prospective merchants). Similarly, Localvantia letterhead is available for general correspondence, etc. Order Localvantia letterhead HERE. 50 sheets are just $5.95 and come with 72 VersaPoints. Letterheads can also be purchased with MRP or TCredits.
We’ve also made available full-color brochures, one for Localvantia, and another for Rewardical, both of which are designed specifically to accompany the close letter. That is, to add impact to your presentation, you can have one or both brochures accompany the close letter.
The Localvantia brochure is a professional, full-color, classic “bi-fold” brochure printed on 100 lb. glossy 6″ x 8.5″ stock, two-sided, then folded in half vertically to 3″ x 8.5″ to fit perfectly in a standard business envelope. This eye-catching brochure provides a quick, professional, effective overview of merchant benefits with the Localvantia program.
Order the Localvantia brochure HERE. 50 brochures are just $6.55 and come with 79 VersaPoints. Brochures can also be purchased with MRP or TCredits.
Similar to the Localvantia brochure, the Rewardical brochure is a professional, full-color, classic “bi-fold” brochure printed on 100 lb. glossy 6″ x 8.5″ stock, two-sided, then folded in half vertically to 3″ x 8.5″ to fit perfectly in a standard business envelope. This brochure provides a nice overview of the Rewardical rewards/loyalty program as it relates to merchants.
Order the Rewardical brochure HERE. 50 brochures are just $6.55 and come with 79 VersaPoints. Brochures can also be purchased with MRP or TCredits.
Q: You referred to the close letter as “Close Letter #1.” Does that mean there are other close letters?
Yes. We can’t assume, of course, that every merchant is going to opt in after only a single follow-up. Indeed, traditionally, in sales, multiple follow-ups are required to close a sale. So, we will be adding additional close letters in the near future.
Q: I want to increase the impact of my follow-ups by including at least one of the full-color brochures. Which should I use?
Ideally, you’d include both, as they will really help “tell the story” of Localvantia and Rewardical. However, you can use just the Localvantia brochure if you wish to save a little money (providing information on Rewardical at this point is a good idea but not critical).
Q: Can I use the full-color brochures in prospecting merchants (BEFORE pre-registering them)?
You can, but we don’t recommend it. First, note that the brochures do not have anywhere to put a code or ID for crediting. This is by design. Our program is designed to always operate with a pre-registration being the first thing that happens. The pre-registration is what locks you in with crediting, so that if they end up a Localvantia merchant, YOU will be listed as the person who referred them. Pre-registration also plays a very important role in making it so merchants can get started quickly and easily. That is, when the merchant receives the close letter, he/she can go to Localvantia.com and they will already be 80% ready to go (because their business listing is almost entirely already pre-populated). With just a few quick clicks, they can be off and running, live in the Localvantia.com search engine, and attracting new customers because of it! We consider this to be critical…and that’s why you will continue to pre-register merchants.
Q: Okay, but let’s say I run into someone who owns a business and I decide to bring up Localvantia…but I haven’t pre-registered him yet. Can I not hand him a Localvantia and/or Rewardical brochure?
You certainly can, but if you do so we’d recommend you let him know you’re going to pre-register him and he’ll be receiving a letter from you shortly with his invitation code to get started. That is, clarify that you’re just giving him some advance information now, but you’re going to follow up with an official invitation. If you don’t do this, you risk letting someone else wind up as their referrer/account manager.
Q: I want to hand-deliver my close letter and brochure. What’s the best way to do this?
Ideally, you’d put your materials in an envelope addressed to the merchant. Using a window envelope eliminates the need to separately address the envelope because the address, as printed on the close letter, can show through the window. You may also want to add your business card.
Q: So after the merchant receives the close letter from me, goes to Localvantia.com/go, and enters the invitation code…what happens next?
The merchant will see what will become their merchant profile page in the Localvantia.com search engine. It’s populated with all the information you pre-registered (name, address, category), and the photo you took. From here, the merchant can make any necessary edits. Next, they’ll proceed to add some basic additional information to fill out their profile and account. Next, they’ll choose their participation rate. And that’s it. They’ll immediately be live in the Localvantia.com search engine and we’ll begin promoting the merchant to all area affiliates and members. They’ll also immediately receive a welcome letter (email) from us confirming they are officially onboard…and they’ll start to receive Localvantia merchant training, tips, newsletters, etc. intermittently from us. We’ve also created a nice Localvantia Merchant “getting started” guide that they can start reviewing to maximize their participation in the program.
Q: The photos I’ve taken for pre-registrations may not be perfect. Can the merchant replace the photo I took with their own, better photo?
Definitely, yes! The merchant will be able to modify/update all elements of their profile. And for photos specifically, they’ll also have the option of adding several more photos so they can have an entire “gallery” of photos for viewers of their profile to browse through if they’d like.
Q: What’s the minimum amount a merchant has to pay to participate in the program?
Currently, for grocery stores, gas stations, and automotive businesses, they can participate for as little as 1/2% ($.005 for each dollar in sales). For all other types of businesses, the minimum is 1% ($.01 for each dollar in sales). Of course, it is in the best interests of the merchant to participate at the highest rate that is feasible for them, as this means a higher number of Rewardicals they’ll be putting out to attract and retain customers.
Q: So where/how does the merchant choose how many Rewardicals they want to award to their customers…and how does the merchant get Rewardicals, and how does the merchant pay the rewardicals to their customers?
The merchant doesn’t have to do ANY of that. All they have to do is choose to participate at the 1/2%, 1%, 2%, 3%, or whatever, level…and we take it from there! That is, once they’ve chosen their participation rate, everything happens automatically. Here’s the process:
- Customers make purchases like normal at the merchant’s store.
- The customer now submits a claim for his/her tokens at Localvantia. Alternately, the merchant can instantly verify the purchase when customer checks out using a smartphone–eliminating the need for submitting a claim form later and the need to upload a copy of their purchase receipt. More on this in next Tuesday’s announcement.
- We now invoice the merchant for the cost of the Rewardicals (via email).
- Once the merchant has paid the invoice, we then deposit the Rewardicals earned by the purchase into the customer’s Rewardical.com member account…which they can now redeem at their convenience!
That’s it. For merchants, so very easy! Special note: Merchants will also have the option of funding an account so invoices can be paid instantly, automatically, and customers can receive their Rewardicals immediately. More on this in next Tuesday’s announcement.
Q: Can a merchant change their participation rate?
Essentially whenever they want, yes.
Q: For the envelopes, etc…is it possible that the artwork could be provided (digitally) to a local printer so I could have them printed locally and avoid high shipping costs and delivery delays?
Yes. Submit a ticket to Support if you are interested in doing this. Please keep in mind that quality control is critical and we will NOT allow just anyone to do this. We will need to be convinced of your capability and trustworthiness. You can also speed up the process by providing information (their website would be ideal) on the printer you intend to employ so that we can do our due diligence on the company that will be printing the materials.
Q: Can I use the Rewardical brochure to help in referring new Rewardical members?
No, it’s not designed for consumers/prospective members. Rather, it’s written specifically for merchants and, hence, presents the merchant benefits of the program, NOT the benefits that a consumer would care about.
Q: So what exactly are my responsibilities as a Localvantia merchant’s account manager?
For most merchants, it will likely be very simple and easy. That is, you’ll go through the close process and get them formerly onboard, and for most merchants that might be all you ever have to do. But some merchants may be “needier” than others. Some may want to talk to you before and/or after signing on. Some may have questions occasionally you’ll need to answer for them. Some may want your advice about how to promote Rewardicals to their customers. You need to be ready to provide this assistance. And then there’s the concept of being “pro-active.” That is, getting merchants officially onboard is great, but if you’re in SFI to create financial freedom for yourself, you don’t want to stop there. No, you want to “size up” every merchant and try to gain an real understanding of how their business operates so that that merchant can flourish in Localvantia. Remember, the more Rewardicals they dish out, the more YOU will receive. So, for example, if you think your merchant could increase activity by installing signs in their windows, or putting flyers in all takeout orders, or putting table tents on tables, etc….it’s in your best interest to suggest these things. Don’t sit around and hope the merchant figures it out on their own; MAKE IT HAPPEN; be pro-active.
Q: Yikes, closing merchants, following up, etc. is way more work than I want to do. Am I really required to do all this?
If you want to be listed as their account manager and be the beneficiary of all the referral tokens generated by the merchants, of course, yes. This potentially very large benefit is not for pre-registering. Rather, it’s for your efforts in closing the merchant and for any needed ongoing account maintenance. If you’re not willing to take on these responsibilities, or you prove to be unable to achieve typical results, some or all of your accounts may be transferred to another affiliate in the area.
Head over to the FORUM–to the SFI NEWS DISCUSSIONS section–to discuss this announcement with your fellow SFI’ers now.