Day #13 – Loyalty / Rewards #Backers101

Objective: You will be able to create attractive rewards for your Backers campaign that will upsell your community with equity, leveraging and strengthening the loyalty you have developed with your community.

In our Campaign Value Proposition lesson, we discussed what your business is offering your Backers. We stressed the importance of upselling your current customer base on your equity, while also bringing in new community members who have not yet used your business. Further, we discussed the importance of the financial benefits a Backer is set to receive, but also that we should extend those benefits beyond financial – there should be social and emotional benefits for someone supporting you on Backers. These are your earliest supporters, so they should feel special for taking the leap and believing in you with their hearts and their dollars.

So how can we create this feeling using our rewards on Backers? You’ve already made a list of 10 potential add-ons in the Campaign Value Proposition lesson. Now we want to refine these and think about how they can drive deeper engagement with your community, which helps build loyalty and lifelong relationships.

A major way we can do this is by considering connecting our add-on rewards (everything beyond the equity offering) on Backers into a larger reward/loyalty program your business plans to use. The key to these sorts of prgrams is that they should incentivize continued loyalty from existing community members, while also encouraging community members to reach out and bring in new people. Earlier, we had you look at the case study of Public Mobile’s incredibly successful reward program.

This program is very powerful for a few reasons. First, it understands its audience. People using Public Mobile are looking primarily for cost-savings. The rewards program therefore offers cost-savings for actions the customer takes that will benefit Public Mobile. Examples of these actions are setting your credit card to auto-pay each month. This costs the customer nothing, while Public Mobile gives $2 off their plan. The auto-payment setup ensures though that Public Mobile gets paid each month and that people are less likely to abandon their plan. This is worth much more than $2 per month to Public Mobile.

Second, the program directly supports individual loyalty – each year you are with the company, you take $1 off your monthly bill. That’s good reason to stick around.

Third, the program directly supports community engagement using exclusive rankings – if you contribute to the community discussion forums, and people upvote your comments, you become ranked within the entire community. The top contributors receive money off their plan depending on which tier they rank in, anywhere from $1/month to $20/month off. This incentivizes community engagement and saves major costs for Public Mobile as they no longer have to be available to answer questions – the community is a self-sufficient source of questions and answers.

Finally, the program supports growing the community. When you refer a friend, they receive a $10 bonus and you receive $1/month off of your plan for as long as that friend stays active using Public Mobile. This is an incredibly low cost way for Public Mobile to acquire new customers, and the new customers are already engaged and more loyal than usual because their best friends and family are the ones who brought them over to the company.

While your reward or loyalty program might not look like Public Mobile’s, it should make those main considerations. You should know your audience and design rewards that pay respect to thri interests and needs. You should create feedback loops that make people want to stick around and keep using your product/service. You should ensure your program gets people involved in the community, which benefits everyone in the community while also deepening their attachment to your brand. Finally, your program needs to incentivize people to go out and convince their friends to join your community and use your product/service.

When designing our Backer rewards, we can embed these concepts in a few ways. You need to know your audience, and then think about what incentives would drive them to increase their personal loyalty, get them more involved in the community, and go out in the world as your brand ambassadors. Some examples might include exclusive discounts on your product/services for Backers, exclusive community status in your community platforms/forums (such as a badge, special title, etc), or referal programs where by sharing with others your Backers stand to benefit.

Action Item(s):

  • Assess if a loyalty/reward program might be a good fit with your company. Are there incentives you can think of that would enhance customer retention, customer engagement in the community, and customer-driven acquisition of other new customers?
  • Assess whether any of your current add-on list support these objectives.
  • Try to add 5 more reward add-ons that would integrate with a loyalty program or support the objectives of this type of program.

Further Reading:


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