Busiest Rewards Programs — Revised for August 2007

August 28, 2007 · 1 comment

Last September, I put together a little list of how some of the popular rewards programs stacked up traffic-wise, according to their rankings at Alexa.com. Alexa ranks websites based on the number of site visits they receive, on average, in a 3 month period, along with some other factors like the average number of pages on that site that the visitor views. (More info here.)

This does NOT mean that Alexa ranks the sites based on the number of active members or profitability. People could visit the site for a promotion, like MyPoints’ current Back to School Find the Lock game or Jellyfish’s Outwit the Smack game, and not do anything to financially contribute to the site by shopping. A site might have more traffic if it’s currently running ads, too — people could visit the site and not even join. And I do want to stress that just because a program has high traffic, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily *better*; some of my favorite rewards programs are those that are smaller and can give more personalized service.
So, for what it’s worth, here are the Alexa traffic rankings for the rewards programs I checked today:

1. MyPoints: 3,731 (vs 1,025 around this time last year)
2. Ebates: 15,339 (4,468)
3. Memolink: 22,207 (6,671)
4. Upromise: 23,264 (7,016)
5. Jellyfish: 30,900 (didn’t survey last year)
6. FusionCash.net: 42,352 (46,829)
7. ClubMom: 49,216 (10,994)
8. BondRewards: 73,571 (didn’t survey last year)
9. CreationsRewards.net: 75,658 (61,002)
10. Freeride: 81,356 (27,357)
11. SunshineRewards: 103,838 (didn’t survey last year)
12. QuickRewards.net: 118,130 (54,972)
13. MrRebates: 118,779 (didn’t survey last year)
14. Milesource: 303,576 (62,201)
15. ClickToTheMagic: 1,097,404 (1,698,676)
16. LittleGrad: 1,039,506 (didn’t survey last year)
17. Greenpoints: 1,077,416 (234,813)
18. BabyMint: 2,700,407 (429,701)

As a side note, two rewards programs included in last year’s comparison have gone under: FreestyleRewards (was 225,515) and PointPool (was 812,863).

For comparison’s sake, CompareRewards.com comes in at 832,035 (vs. 403,014 last year). Same as last year, I continue to receive around 300 site visits per day and about 2 pages per visitor on average. From this all I can assume is that other sites have become relatively more busy while my site has remained pretty steady. You could assume from this that ClicktotheMagic, LittleGrad, Greenpoints, and BabyMint get fewer visitors and/or fewer page views than my site does on an average basis.

Another comment: Nearly all of the sites I pulled traffic numbers from last year dropped traffic-wise this year, and by a multiple of 3 or 4. As long as they all dropped consistently, you can assume that it’s just a matter of OTHER types of sites becoming relatively more highly trafficked (or that the rewards programs all improved at the same rate). What’s interesting is those that don’t fit that 3 to 4 multiple criteria.

FusionCash.net actually improved its ranking slightly. That’s interesting. I will contact their management and see if I can get a comment from them about why they think that would be (a big marketing push, for instance, or if last year’s ranking was skewed for some reason).

ClicktotheMagic’s ranking increased as well, and I do think this was also because of a skewing of the prior year’s number. The site had been down due to some technical problems for a good while last year, during the time period in which Alexa collected ranking data.

Creations dropped only slightly, but I know that they’re doing some marketing campaigns (I’ve come across a couple and went, hey! I didn’t know he was doing that kind of advertising!). I’d say that QuickRewards has been a success story, because it only dipped by a multiple of 2, and I know that that is without any marketing budget at all.

As for Greenpoints and Babymint…I’m really not sure why those rewards programs are still up and running. I think these guys are going to be off the canvas by this time next year. I have some sincere doubts about ClubMom as well, at least their rewards portion of the site, as their owners eliminated their referral program and instead are focusing on growing another one of their (non-rewards-related) websites.

But I can’t end this article without once again gushing over Jellyfish.com. This time last year I didn’t bother ranking them — they had only recently launched in late July and the site was VERY slow to grow. However, through non-traditional advertising methods such as word-of-mouth, partnerships with other websites, the introduction of the Smack Shopping reverse auction, and so many in-between-deals games that it makes your head spin, newcomer Jellyfish.com has catapulted itself into an Alexa traffic ranking of under 31,000. As of June 1, it was estimated that the average Jellyfish member visited the site 18 times a month and spent 50 minutes there. And I can tell you from vast personal experience, for every person who only visits once or twice a month, there’s quite a few who go there multiple times a day, or even stay logged on all the time. The site is very addictive, to say the least.
So there you have it, for whatever it’s worth. Let’s check back next year around this same time and see how it’s shaking out.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andrew from RewardsDB.com September 7, 2007 at 9:15 pm

Some possibly helpful info
re: greenpoints – they are primarily actually an offline rewards programs for several of the big east coast grocery stores so have a lot of members collecting points who only log on vary rarely to redeem but earn every week. They also have a lot of members who aren’t online at all.
A couple of things about Alexa ranks.
* The rank is calculated on traffic over the last 3 months.
* The rank is determined by a shrinking number of Internet Explorer for windows users with the Alexa toolbar installed – so the greater percentage of Firefox or non-windows visitors a site has the worst its rank will be.
* Alexa does track worldwide traffic so for popular sites you can see international breakdowns – this is useful for some but does mean that many US sites can decline in popularity compared to certain international sites without actually declining in popularity among US visitors (which I think is what you see happening here)
* It’s pretty easy to manipulate Alexa rankings – you just need to install it on a few PC’s and then visit multiple pages on your site each day – you will see the rank improve noticeably – this also is a good indicator of how few people still use the alexa toolbar.
That said – Alexa can still be useful as an indicator…
There is a new competitor to Alexa – compete.com that addresses some of these issue – it uses ISP provided statistics as well as an IE/Windows Toolbar. It also only tracks US traffic so for things like rewards programs only open to US residents it may be a better measure of relative ranking.
Keep up the good work.
Andrew (from RewardsDB.com)


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