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Exploring Points-Based Rewards to Increase Community Engagement

Explore why point-based rewards can boost community engagement and member interactions, and learn about the best practices for launching a rewards program.
Written by
Last updated
October 23, 2023

Community engagement is critical for driving contribution and empowering customers as well as prospects to provide valuable feedback about products and services. A brand-led online community becomes all the more powerful since it creates a direct line of communication consisting of open and honest feedback.

So how can you proactively generate meaningful and authentic engagement with your customers while delivering tangible business results for your organization? The answer is quite simple — reward them!

Community managers encourage specific member behavior to increase community engagement, improve member interactions, and positively impact the purpose and mission of the community. In this article we’ll explore points-based rewards and how your community’s engagement activities, combined with a Points-to-Rewards program, can lead to better business results.

Community actions, mission, and goals

The first step to increasing community engagement with a Points-to-Rewards program is to clearly define your community’s purpose and broader mission. Identifying the Major and Minor audiences you want to influence and the types of activities you want to reward will ensure you stay focused on delivering results. Major audiences fall under the wide spectrum of audiences that you want to attract. For example, this could include:

  • Consumers or Customers
  • Partners, Distributors, Resellers
  • Developers
  • Product Testers
  • Social Media Influencers
  • Association Members

Minor audiences are more specialized audiences within a Major audience. For example, let’s say you are a music subscription service targeting Consumers, your Minor audiences could include:

  • Freemium Subscribers
  • Individual Paid Subscribers
  • Family Plan Paid Subscribers

With target audiences and member behavior defined, community managers will need to calculate their points. There’s a step-by-step process to ensure you calculate these numbers correctly, and we’re here to help.

Calculating points:

  1. Define budget
  2. All activities and rewards need to sit within your overall budget.
  3. Points-Per-Dollar value
  4. Evaluate how many points per dollar you award within your budget.
  5. Point-Per-Activity value
  6. Identify how many points to distribute for each activity by estimating the dollar value of each activity and having a clear points-per-dollar value.
  7. Ensure that all activity points fit within the overall monthly budget.
  8. Should you decide to add an activity, consider diluting the point values to make room for the additional rewards in your budget.

Points calculation
Point calculation process

Calculate your points by defining your mission and purpose, determining your audiences, and designing your incentives. By implementing a thoughtfully designed incentives program, your community will act in purposeful ways that will help quantify its value and reach your organizational goals.

Introducing points-based rewards

Your community of users has opinions and ideas that you want to know. They provide feedback on new services, for example, and offer a wealth of ideas, and points-based rewards are an excellent way to reward your community for its engagement. With a points-based reward program, community members earn points for their ongoing engagement.

As engagement and points value increase, members can redeem their points for a digital reward of their choosing. To encourage long-term participation, members can grow their points balance and cash in on larger rewards, later on, all while contributing to your mission. Most people participate in reward programs because they are easy and provide incentives.

Some rewards can be immediate for users, while others require a longer commitment. Either way, points-based rewards are popular with businesses because they are effective, and engaged communities appreciate them because community members are rewarded for their ongoing loyalty and feedback.

Assigning points your way

Each points-based program can be personalized based on your company’s values and mission. As community members engage, community managers can assign point values based on the quality and quantity of their participation.

Whether the purpose of your community is education, networking, virtual event planning, or product feedback you’re able to assign points your way and tailor the points-based program to meet your specific purpose and goals.

Why point-based reward programs work

Each organization has different goals, but engaging the community of stakeholders through a points-based program has several benefits:

  • It is designed with the flexibility to meet your business’s values and goals.
  • It’s a familiar format that community members easily understand.
  • Rewards can be immediate or drive long-term community interaction.
  • It provides data that improves organizational results.
  • It is cost-effective, scalable, and available to members located worldwide.

Engaging your community is critical to increasing retention rates and long-term participation. With a point-based program, your community will choose to contribute to your business while earning desirable digital rewards. If you want to engage your online community, increase engagement with reward programs customized to meet your needs.

How to get started with points

In conclusion, implementing a point-based reward system for a community can be an effective way to encourage and recognize active participation. By defining clear rules and objectives, selecting appropriate rewards, and regularly communicating with the community, organizers can create a sense of engagement and motivation among members.

It's important to continually evaluate and adapt the program as needed, to ensure that it remains relevant and impactful. With the right approach, a point-based reward system can help to build a thriving and dynamic community that benefits everyone involved.

Director of Marketing, Bettermode

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