first responder verification

Why First Responder Verification Programs Work

Each day, first responders put their lives on the line for the greater good. Overworked, underpaid, and unsung, they continue to dive head-first into dangerous situations for the safety of others.

Recognizing first responders with exclusive discounts isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s a good financial decision for your business. Learn how companies have found success when they partner with SheerID’s first responder verification service to support our first responders with exclusive discounts, offers, and benefits.

Why You Should Give First Responders an Exclusive Discount

First responders are a diverse group with complex needs. The community has 2.3 million members: one million are police officers, 1.1 million are firefighters, and 248,000 are paramedics and EMTs. They earn from $45,000 to $70,000 per year and have $91 billion in total spending power.

First responders have a hectic work schedule, mid-level income, and stressful job. Not surprisingly, research shows they appreciate receiving special discounts. Ninety-nine percent of first responders indicated they wanted to know more about exclusive offers. If companies offer special deals, 89% of first responders said it would positively impact their feelings towards the brand, 59% would feel valued, and 41% are more likely to try a new brand. Additionally, one in three first responders would spend more money on a brand with a first responder discount program, and 38% would make the purchase sooner.

Still unsure whether you should launch a first responder discount program? Here are five more reasons why marketing to first responders is a winning strategy.

Brand Awareness

When your company supports a good cause, everyone wins. First responders benefit directly from the discount programs, and folks who support first responders also respect the message your company is sending. Ninety percent of consumers are likely to switch to a cause-branded product, so stay ahead of your competition with a first responder discount program.

Brand Differentiation

Do you already have promotions for other audiences? Military and teacher discounts are typical, while first responders often are left behind. Offering a first responder discount program is your foot in the door to a new, ongoing revenue stream.

Viral Marketing that Lowers CAC

First responders are eager to tell their colleagues about good deals. Research shows that 98% of first responders would share a personalized offer with other first responders. Increase your word-of-mouth marketing without spending a dime after establishing your first responder discount program.

Win New Consumers

Take first responders from the top of the purchasing funnel to the bottom with a first responder discount program. Personalized promotions have the power to convince consumers to take the plunge on a product or service they previously might have gone without. When your business makes first responders feel special, it will expand into a niche audience that will continue to grow your revenue.

Earn Continuous Engagement

Personalized marketing, such as a first responder discount program, is increasingly becoming consumers’ preference. A 2021 Report from McKinsey shows that 71% of consumers expect a personalized experience and 76% of consumers are more likely to consider purchasing from brands that personalize.

When you give a first responder an exclusive offer, you are creating a highly personalized experience because you are rewarding them for a central part of their identity. And when you know a customer is a first responder, you can deepen that personal experience by re-engaging them with campaigns on holidays that celebrate them, like National First Responder Day.

Best Practices for First Responder Discount Programs

With SheerID, you can easily implement a first responder discount program on your website in less than a week. The SheerID Identity Marketing Platform enables you to create a discount for first responders and then verify that consumers redeeming the discount are qualified for your offer, preventing fraud. Once your program is up and running, leverage these best practices to get the most traction on your offer:

Send the Right Message

First responders are part of humble communities. Police officers, firefighters, and EMTs don’t linger in the limelight. Focus on community-centered messaging with themes of gratitude.


  • Thank you for caring for our families and communities
  • Thank you for your service
  • We appreciate everything you do

Include Related Professionals

First responders are often the first people on the scene of any emergency. They include police officers, firefighters, and EMTs – but other professionals can also be considered first responders. Consider opening your discount to healthcare professionals, federal officers, volunteer firefighters, 911 dispatchers, and corrections officers.

Run Campaigns on Relevant Holidays

Take advantage of holidays and seasonal purchasing trends. Be sure to mark your calendar for International Firefighters Day, National Police Week, National EMS Week, and National First Responders Day. First responders don’t receive the same holiday-centered appreciation as veterans or teachers, so they feel extra special when you recognize their hard work.

Tell First Responder Communities

Scour social media for local Facebook pages, common Twitter hashtags, and popular Reddit forums that include your first responder consumers. Remember, you probably won’t find police officers, firefighters, and EMTs in one online community because they have different jobs. Search for their specific careers and market to them with purpose.

First Responder Discounts That Get it Right

There’s no doubt that businesses benefit from offering first responder discounts. Rewarding first responders for their service and earning their business is a win-win. These are a few of the first responder discount programs that have made a difference.

Tuft & Needle

Tuft & Needle knows that real heroes deserve real savings. That’s why this mattress company offers 15% discounts to first responders. In a competitive field of over 150 businesses, Tuft & Needle stands out with identity marketing that creates deep emotional connections with its consumers. Melanie Ladue, the Gives Back Lead, explains that “It’s a win for us and the communities we serve.”


Rothy’s initiated their generous first responder discount program during the pandemic: a one-time 30% off discount followed by a four-time 20% off discount. Business boomed as a result. Adding discounts for first responders and medical workers to the company’s identity marketing program grew the revenue it generated by an impressive 60%.

Cheap Caribbean

Cheap Caribbean, the leader in affordable yet luxury vacations, reduced discount fraud by 36% and eliminated 117 hours of labor when they implemented their exclusive discount program. Their program began with special offers for nurses. Since then, they have expanded to gated offers for first responders, as well.


First responders can receive up to 50% off a TIDAL streaming service subscription through their discount program. Angelo Sasso, TIDAL’s Senior VP of Customer Engagement, explains that TIDAL values knowing its customers. The company uses first responder discounts as a way to connect with its customers on a deeper level and show appreciation for their service. It’s a strategy that improves CLV. First responders and other subscribers that sign up under a specialty plan have higher retention rates than customers that sign up under a standard plan.


ASICS, an athletic shoe and apparel company, is driven by its mission: “of sound mind and sound body.” Who better to appreciate sound minds and bodies than first responders? By including first responders in its “heroes” discount program during the height of the pandemic, they accrued 26,000 orders in 25 days.

Seamlessly create a first responder discount

With SheerID’s first responder verification services, your business can seamlessly create a gated discount program that shows your appreciation for first responders and increases your revenue. Consider pairing this program with personalized offers for nurses to increase your margins further. Contact us to receive a demo on how to implement first responder verification today.

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