The Cost-Per-Visit Model: The Holy Grail of Marketing For Local Businesses

The cost-per-visit model is something that has been talked about for many years by marketers as the holy grail of marketing models. Numerous companies have attempted to implement this model (most notably Google) but none have done so successfully.

I want to quickly attempt to explain why this model is such a big deal (especially for small, local businesses).

Paid advertising in general (and why small businesses don’t use it)

If you own or manage a local business, there’s no doubt that you do (or did at one point) some sort of paid marketing with the ultimate goal of hopefully driving more traffic into your business.

To determine whether any paid marketing efforts were successful or not is pretty straightforward: you simply add up the total cost of the marketing expense and hope that’s it less than the total amount of profit generated from new customers as a result of said marketing effort.

Pretty straightforward, right?

Well, here’s the problem when it comes to any form of paid marketing for local business:

  • It’s really hard to measure

  • Requires a (usually large) upfront cost

This is why most small, local businesses actually don’t invest in any form of paid marketing even though it could greatly help grow their business. These businesses simply don’t have the cash flow necessary to justify the risk.

Cost-per-visit model (and why it’s so powerful)

The cost-per-visit model fixes both of the issues that have previously prevented small businesses from utilizing paid marketing to grow their business.

With the cost-per-visit model, you only pay if and when a customer actually visits your business as a result of that marketing effort. Not only that, but as the business owner, you actually set your own price (i.e. how much you’re willing to pay for each new customer visit).

With cost-per-visit, there’s no upfront cost, it’s completely risk free, and can be tailored based on each business’s average customer spend.

Also, the cost-per-visit model is completely measurable (it has to be in order to work).

This model is literally a marketer’s dream as it allows a business to spend exactly what it can afford to acquire a new customer with no risk or upfront cost at all.


How Pointz implements the cost-per-visit model

At Pointz, our mission is to simply get more people supporting local businesses, and we are really proud to be one the first companies to implement this model.

We’ve implemented this model at Pointz by giving businesses owners complete control over how many points to offer to customers at any given time and charging them only $0.01 per point of the points that are actually given to a customer.

So with Pointz, it’s completely free for businesses to offer points (no risk, no upfront cost). Businesses only pay when someone comes in, visits their business, spends time, and earns the points.

Since businesses control the points, they control their own cost. It’s that easy.


Older forms of paid advertising are costly, risky, and hard to measure (especially for small, local businesses). The cost-per-visit model fixes all those issues. We are proud to be one on the first companies to successfully implement the cost-per-visit model and bring it to local businesses.

What is a local business (and why you should support them)

Supporting local businesses is something that everyone seems to believe is a good thing, but has anyone ever asked why supporting local businesses is a good thing? And how much good does it do? Furthermore, what determines whether a business is “local” or not?

What is a local business

It turns out determining whether a business is “local” is not so black and white.

At Pointz, when we determine whether a business is “local” we mainly look at two things:

  • Do the owner(s) (or majority of owners) live and operate in that community?

  • Do the profits stay in community?

Now, for many businesses this provides a very clear cut way to determine whether a business is local (and whether you should support them over a non-local business), but there are of course some grey arrays, specifically when considering locally owned franchises.

Why supporting local business is good

Good People Brewing Company, Birmingham, AL

Good People Brewing Company, Birmingham, AL

Although this might seem obvious to some, the main reason why supporting a local business (instead of a non-local business) is good, is because your money stays in the community (the same community where you eat, work, live, and play).

When you support local businesses, the money you spend ends up going towards roads, schools, hospitals, police, firemen, and so much more.

This doesn’t happen when you decided to support a non-local business.

How to support local businesses

Ask anyone on the street whether they support local businesses or not and more often than not they will say “yes”; but what does it mean to actually say that you support local businesses?

If you say that you support local business, you actively choose (even sometimes when it’s not easy) to eat a local restaurant (instead of going to McDonalds), to join a local gym (instead of Gold’s), to get your hair cut at a local barber or salon (instead of Sports Cuts), or to shop at a local grocer (instead of Walmart).

I’ll admit making these choices to support local business over the competition is sometimes not only less convenient, but also costs a little more money upfront. However, that little bit of extra money goes back into the community, and when combined with a joint effort and time, will not only trickle back down to you, but will also yield a huge investment in the long term.


Supporting local businesses is good. Determining whether the business is “local” is not necessarily clear cut. Everyone says they “support local businesses,” but that doesn’t mean they actually do.