The success of any community depends on the engagement of its members. Members should be recognized for their participation to encourage continued involvement and avoid drop-offs. How do you do this efficiently? The answer is simple: you deliver consistent value and regularly reward them for their contributions. Points rewards programs are a great way to reward members well and build a scalable strategy for engagement.
What Are Points-Based Rewards, and Why Should I Use Them?
With points-based rewards, when someone does something you consider valuable in your community (such as responding to a survey, creating content, making referrals, providing support, or whatever you’d like) they are awarded numerical points. Community members can collect these points for doing desired actions and once they reach a set threshold, redeem their points for a reward. This reward could be an e-gift card from a loved brand like Amazon, a prepaid virtual Visa or Mastercard, or even an e-donation. Here are just a few examples of how a points rewards program could be used:
- A software company awarding points to users who provide feedback on new feature releases.
- A community of nurses participating in a longitudinal study on mental health are awarded points for staying engaged in the study.
- A community of business partners are awarded points for providing objective feedback on working alongside a particular company over time.
As you can tell from these very different examples, the uses for points rewards programs are endless! Why are points based rewards programs so effective at driving engagement across different industries and communities? Here are just a few reasons:
- They provide something akin to a high score. For example, on Reddit, users are commonly judged by how many karma points they have; the higher the score, the greater the level and quality of their participation. This can provide a strong sense of accomplishment.
- Points provide a powerful way to attach rewards to specified points milestones. For example, you could say that when someone hits 300 points, they are eligible to receive a reward.
- We see points everywhere: people collect airline miles, trophies in video games, karma on Reddit, and even people getting their coffee cards stamped so they can get their free coffee when they reach ten stamps. The benefits are clear: people are motivated by clear, unambiguous rewards, and points are a simple and effective way of doing this well.
Real-Life Example of Points In Action
How does this look in action? Imagine you have a research community of students that you’d like to study over their entire university career. You want to reward two key types of behavior:
- Responding to surveys
- Referring other students to join in your research community
Each time someone completes a survey, you award them a pre-defined number of points (e.g. 50 points). For each referral they provide, they also receive points (e.g. 200 points.) Day by day their total number of points grows, and then when they reach a set number of points (e.g. 500 points), they are invited to go and select a digital reward (such as an UberEats e-gift card.)
Pretty neat, right? The best part is that points based rewards programs can be completely customized for your needs. You set the rules: what activities earn points, how many points they earn, and what rewards are available for point redemption. Of course, you may have some questions if you haven’t set up a points program yet. Don’t sweat it – we’ve got just what you need to get started.
How Do I Start My Own Points Rewards Program?
We know it can feel overwhelming to build a points rewards program from the ground up. There are a lot of aspects to consider: budget, user experience, and overall effectiveness. The good news is we’ve got a practical guide that will help you hit the ground running with your points program.
We’ve teamed up with Jono Bacon, a community and collaboration strategy consultant, author, advisor, and speaker. His book, People Powered, won a 2020 Business Books Award Winner for helping communities supercharge their business, brand, and teams. With his expert guidance, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to building your own points rewards program that’s jammed packed with examples and worksheets.
In this free 30-page guide, you will get an action plan on how to launch a successful points rewards program. You’ll learn how to:
- Use points-to-rewards to create a high level of engagement within your community
- Design a simple, scalable incentives program that drives measurable results
- Calculate your points scale and how many points to award for each activity
- Maintain your desired budget (and get the most out of every dollar!)
- Get your points rewards program started as quickly and easily as possible
Ready to build an awesome points rewards program that drives engagement? Visit this page to have a downloadable, printable copy sent to your email.