Once you’ve established what motivates your members, you can decide on what benefits or incentives you will offer. The possibilities are endless, and range from ‘karma’ for giving back, to all expenses paid overseas trips.
While it is important to put an emphasis on intrinsically motivating your members, many of the large, successful programs use a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Superuser programs tend to be more heavily intrinsic (rewarding with status or knowledge), while ambassador programs lean more towards the extrinsic (offering financial incentives or swag).
“The rewards and incentives that work for us are of the “special access” and exclusive information type. These create exclusivity and confidence that helps members with building and maintaining their profile as thought leaders and experts.”
Claudius Henrichs – Skype
If you lean too heavily towards extrinsic motivators (like swag or financial incentives) you run the risk of setting expectations which might not be scalable. Offering free products to every member may be feasible when there are only 10 people in your program, but will it still be feasible if you grow to 100 members? Gifts should be seen as an extra perk, rather than something that members are entitled to.
“We tried and failed to offer users a free product in return for their support and to our amazement they wanted things like virtual badges for their profiles.”
Stephen Fell – TalkTalk