On February 2, Domino’s Pizza delighted pizza lovers everywhere by launching a new loyalty program promotion just in time for the Super Bowl. The new Points for Pies promo gives customers the chance to earn points for every pizza they eat between February and April 28, 2019 — regardless of where it comes from.

This means Domino’s customers can even earn points for eating with competitors like Pizza Hut, who are the official pizza sponsor of the NFL.

Points for Pies allows Domino's customers to earn rewards for eating any kind of pizza — even a competitors'.

Besides being a genius example of “hackvertising” at work, the Points for Pies promotion is also the best thing Domino’s could have done for their pre-existing Piece of the Pie Rewards program. Having played second fiddle to Pizza Hut’s Hut Rewards in the past, Domino’s has quickly turned into one of our favorite (and most delicious) examples of  how to effectively re-engage your rewards program members.

Here’s why.

Scarcity creates excitement customers want to be a part of

There are few things more motivating than the fear of missing out. Commonly referred to as “FOMO,” nobody wants to miss an opportunity to experience something awesome, especially if that involves saving money.

Scarcity is the powerful force behind Domino's Points for Pies success.

That’s why the limited time nature of Points for Pies is so smart. By making the promotion only available for a limited time (12 weeks, to be exact) it gets injected with a sense of scarcity that makes it infinitely more valuable to customers who might be thinking about participating. Knowing that they could miss out on value that isn’t always available pushes Domino’s customers to do whatever it takes to take advantage of it before it’s too late.

How Points for Pies works

For other brands like Chipotle, the only action required was to make a purchase and collect a punch card. However, Domino’s takes it one step further by seamlessly integrating their existing Piece of the Pie rewards into every new customer’s Points for Pies experience. In order to take advantage of all the value Domino’s has promised, customers need to intentionally transform themselves from “customers” to “members” by creating a Piece of the Pie Rewards account in order to immediately get engaged in their community.

Both of these actions are the key to Domino’s ongoing success. Leveraging their rewards program this way sets them up to build a more sustainable brand community with more members joining and engaging in valuable member behavior.

Establishes valuable customer behavior

Even though we already alluded to this, it’s important to reiterate how incredibly important customer behavior is to the success of not just the Points for Pies promo but Domino’s ongoing brand community as well.

The world’s most successful brand communities are built around the understanding that passive members are not valuable. Simply getting customers to join your community by creating an account means nothing unless they’re willing to return and engage in valuable ways over time. This is the biggest differentiator between weak communities and strong ones.

Domino’s overcomes that by making joining their community a logical and valuable decision for anyone who hears about Points for Pies. By not requiring customers to actually switch pizza providers in order to participate, Domino’s has created a risk-free opportunity for new members to explore their rewards program and learn how their app works. This eliminates a frustrating barrier to entry that might have kept customers away in the past, and makes it easy for everyone to experience the joy of participating.

By removing their program's learning curve, Domino's removes the possibility of customers disengaging once Points for Pies is finished.

When you combine this ease of adoption with the fun act of eating pizza, Points for Pies and Piece of the Pie become natural extensions of something most people already loved doing: eating pizza. By rewarding customers for completing these simple actions, customers are much more likely to adopt Domino’s as their pizza of choice and will already know how to stay engaged with the program even after the promotion ends.

Anticipates (and overcomes!) member disappointment

When you start exploring Points for Pies, you’ll quickly discover that members are only able to earn one free pizza over the course of the entire promotion. That means members can only complete 6 earning actions in a 12 week period, painting a very limiting picture of what it means to participate.

Points for Pies and Piece of the Pie Rewards earning rules

However, before you rush to conclusions or make judgements on how stingy this structure might be, consider how easy it it is continue earning and redeeming with Piece of the Pie rewards. Organized in a similar way, Piece of the Pie allows members to earn a free medium pizza for every 6 orders they place. Since Points for Pies requires every participant to already have a Piece of the Pie Rewards account, too, it becomes a super easy transition to continue earning and redeeming at the same pace.

Points for Pies doesn't introduce new program mechanics — it builds on top of what already works.

This is an example of incredibly insightful rewards promotion design. Rather than introducing a new program structure, Domino’s identified what works really well with their existing program and simply built on top of it. As a result, disappointment is eliminated early and members are presented with an obvious solution: earn more pizza by enjoying more pizza.

Increases program visibility

If you want to get your customers excited about your rewards program, one of the best tools to use is social media. From Twitter to Facebook to Instagram, your customers are already spending a lot of time on each platform, making social media the perfect (and affordable) way to get anything new and exciting in front of your customers.

This is something Domino’s clearly understands. For the past several weeks, the pizza chain has been teasing Points for Pies, sharing mysterious images of pizza-shaped dog toys and homemade pizza with captions like “We’re not afraid to crush on pizza that’s not ours.”

Domino's Points for Pies social content

These messages culminated with a three-day countdown where Domino’s finally released details about the promotion, including a link to a dedicated Points for Pies landing page. This page is not only beautifully designed, but also includes clear program instructions and a video walkthrough of how the promotion works.

Domino's Points for Pies landing page

Each of these elements work together to deliver a cohesive promotional experience that not only felt like the rest of their brand but also significantly increased their program’s visibility. The more visible a program is, the more likely people are going to be to join it, and this is just another in a long line of things that Domino’s got right.

Supported by a mountain of social content and clever copy, Domino’s was able to generate interest in Points for Pies that sustained itself through to launch, getting customers excited to join and confirming that the decision to join is a worthwhile investment.

Makes pizza a social event

One quick search through your Instagram feed will probably reveal that people love sharing pictures of their food. From gourmet cuisine to burnt toast, food is something people like to share together.

By combining social media and food photography, Domino's has made eating pizza an activity anyone can participate in.

As the heart and soul of Points for Pies, this is what truly separates Domino’s rewards promotion from the rest. With new AI technology, they designed an app that recognizes pizza in all forms, making it easy for members to point, shoot, and share their pizza experiences with others.

Domino's Points for Pies Instagram post

Whether members are taking their own photos or enjoying pizza with friends, Domino’s has made it possible for their members to enjoy their signature dish in ways that are mutually beneficial: Domino’s gets more exposure and new program members, while members get to earn their next pizza faster.

This sustainable cycle is how the world’s best brands are building strong brand communities. By getting more customers to enjoy pizza together, talk about it with friends, and share photos, Domino’s has effectively drawn more members into their community and established clear ways for them to join, engage, and share. For all of these reasons, Points for Pies is more than simply a way to earn free pizza — it’s a pizza party that everyone’s invited to!

What you can learn from Points for Pies

You don’t need to be a food and beverage brand to learn something from Domino’s. Regardless of what your business looks like, Points for Pies can teach you 5 important lessons on how to run an incredible program promotion:

Keep your program exciting by trying something new

Make your program promotions easy to understand, adopt, and engage with

Know your program’s weak spots so you can help members see past them

Keep your program visible at all times — top of mind = top choice

Make it easy for members to include their friends in your rewards experience

So whether your favorite pizza is from Domino’s, homemade, or straight from the freezer, Points for Pies is one rewards promotion you’ll want a slice of.