points-based reward programs

When the community first began, there was a sense of excitement and members were eager to join and participate. However, as time went on engagement became less frequent – almost to the point of being nonexistent. The question that many community managers grapple with is how to recapture that sense of enthusiasm and urgency. The answer is quite simple… reward members for their participation.

As a community leader, you want and need to encourage certain behaviors to build membership, increase engagement, improve interactions, and ultimately reach the goals you set out to accomplish. This article explores how a Points-to-Rewards program can boost engagement and deliver the results you want to achieve.

Create a Points-Based Rewards System

The first step in building a Points-Based Reward system is to have a clear definition of who is in your community (customers, employees, partners, prospects, etc.), your community’s long- and short-term goals (use the SPACES model to help determine your community’s business value), and your expectations of the members (online engagement, content creation, event attendance, etc.) Once you’ve got this defined, you’re ready to calculate points:

Step 1) Determine your budget: Be sure the budget includes all activities, reward costs, as well as platform costs.

Step 2) Set your points-per-dollar value: Determine how many points per dollar you will reward.

Step 3) Identify point-per-activity values: This includes the number of points to distribute for each activity. This step is best accomplished by estimating the dollar value of each activity and determining a clear points-per-dollar value.

Step 4) Verify that activity points fit within your budget: As part of your overall monthly budget, you need to ensure that you’re not exceeding budgetary limits. However, should you decide to include an additional activity, this is easily accomplished by diluting the point values.

For more information as well as a worksheet, check out our Practical Guide to Building a Points Rewards Program eBook. This eBook gives you everything you need to define your goals, determine your audience, design incentives, and calculate points.

Launch Your Points-Based Reward Program

As with any new incentive program, you may be wondering if a points-based reward system will actually deliver the results you need. According to a Harvard Business Review article, the way your audience will determine a program’s value is based on five elements: cash value, choice of redemption options, aspirational value, relevance, and convenience.

With a Points-Based Rewards program, your community members will earn points for engaging with the community. For example, you need a speaker for your next community event and your goal is to get 30 community members to RSVP and attend the event. You could offer a $15 digital reward to the first member who volunteers (and meets the criteria) to speak at the event and then provide a $5 digital reward for a local coffee shop to RSVPs who actually show up for the event. Now, you have a speaker, at least 30 members in attendance, and everyone is enjoying fresh coffee!

Tailor Your Points-to-Rewards Programs

Enticing participation doesn’t end with events or one-off digital rewards. Encourage long-term participation with Points-to-Rewards programs that allow members to accumulate points that they can redeem for increasingly valuable digital gift cards. For example, you run a Product community, and one of your programs is an Ideation community, where members share ideas and feedback that drive innovation and product improvements. You can create a rewards program that encourages them to share their thoughts on an ongoing basis. You could assign a certain number of points to ideas, frequency of ideas submitted, and even suggestions that got implemented, which will reward your members for their ongoing participation and benefit you from their contributions.

Although you probably will boost community engagement with a one-size-fits-all rewards program, it isn’t always the best approach, it’s best to create a tailored program using your company’s values and mission as a starting point, and then personalizing the points earned for each program you launch. Whether your community is focused on customer success, support, acquisition, or just about anything else, a rewards system can help you to reach your engagement goals.

Reap the Benefits of Points-Based Reward Programs

A points-based program provides:

  • The flexibility to achieve your business’s objectives.
  • A familiar format that your community members can easily understand.
  • The capability to create programs where rewards can be immediate or points can be collected to drive long-term engagement.
  • The ability to improve your results by leveraging the data collected.
  • A solution that is cost-effective, scalable, and available to members across the globe.

It’s critical for you to be able to increase member retention rates and foster long-term participation. A Point-Based Rewards program that was designed with you in mind enables you to grow membership and improve participation by providing the kind of rewards your community members desire.

Download Rybbon’s free guide and start creating simple and effective Points-Based Reward programs for your business today!

Kristy Hartman

Kristy is a digital marketing professional who specializes in innovative marketing solutions for the technology space....

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