As communities form and grow independently, companies now face a new challenge – motivating these individuals to like the community and actively participate in campaigns and events. Loyalty program can solve that but to build one you need do a home work.
In this article, we will try to create a gamified loyalty program and to do that we go through the following objectives:
- First, we will use a game design approach to problem-solving to increase engagement within the sports Discord community.
- Second, we will construct a gamification system based on the hierarchy proposed by Werbach and Hunter, categorizing game elements into three main groups – components, mechanics, and dynamics.
- Finally, we will use the Octalysis Framework to understand the factors driving engagement in different contexts.
By implementing this three-pronged approach, we hope to provide a comprehensive guide for businesses seeking to encourage active participation and engagement in their Discord communities, particularly those focused on sports and other similar interests.
Exploring Dynamics of loyalty program
In loyalty program design and product development, dynamics are the driving forces that pique users’ interest and maintain their motivation to continue playing the game or using the product. These elements are vital as they stimulate user interaction and engagement.
To determine which dynamics to focus on, we must define a few things:
- Business Goals. These will help us determine the long-term objectives of our game design.
- Desired Actions. This will assist in creating more specific quests or game rules.
- Target Audience. This will help us decide the most suitable game elements based on user personality.
- Existing Experience. This will ensure that gamification aligns with existing business strategies and naturally integrates.
Business goals with loyalty program
What do we want from out loyalty program:
- Increase the amount of engagement through voting, messages, and reactions.
- Navigate members through the journey of joining the community to becoming an active member.
What do we want users to do in our community and app:
- Check-in for new messages and announcements every day
- Vote in polls
- Actively put reactions
- Being active in the community
What different people do we have in the community?
- Enthusiasts and Hobbyists: These are individuals with a strong personal interest in either crypto or sports. They join these communities to keep up with the latest news and trends and to engage with like-minded people.
- Investors and Traders: In the context of crypto communities, these people are primarily interested in the financial aspects of cryptocurrencies. They are looking for insights, tips, and discussions related to trading and investing.
- Professionals and Experts: These individuals may be professionals in sports or crypto. They join communities to network, share their expertise, and stay informed about industry developments.
- Newcomers and Learners: This group includes people new to sports or crypto and looking to learn more about the topic. They seek guidance, basic information, and a supportive community to start their journey.
Analytic of existing experience
The Octalysis framework, created by Yu-kai Chou, is a gamification framework that lays out eight core drives that motivate people. It is often used to help define dynamics. Let’s apply it to an average Discord community and see what insights we get from it.
This is going to become our blueprint of existing dynamics and improvements, which we want to introduce with new change:
- Epic Meaning & Calling 6 / 10: People come to this community because of something bigger than themselves. There are no social things like donation clubs, but we all believe in something that makes us part of this community.
- Development & Accomplishment 2 / 10: The community has no goal or reward; it is open to everyone. Just follow basic rules.
- Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback 3 / 10: I can share anything with the community and get feedback. However, we have no unique mechanics to facilitate that.
- Ownership & Possession 3 / 10: People gain experience from messaging and get levels in the community. There is no tangible reward for that, and the engagement rate is low.
- Social Influence & Relatedness 10 / 10: Many people come here daily to talk about stuff! This is crazy. Do they even have work?
- Scarcity & Impatience 2 / 10: Even though our community members are impatient, the community is not making anything unique except provoking posts.
- Unpredictability & Curiosity 4 / 10: There are some new people daily, so members are curious to see what they are doing here and texting.
- Loss & Avoidance 2 / 10: Sometimes, the community posts limited promos or updates in the community, and there is a chance to lose that.
Such a community has excellent organic engagement but low conversion and effectiveness for business. What we will try to do now is to utilize intrinsic dynamics like Empowerment and Unpredictability combined with extrinsic Accomplishment and maybe a little bit of Scarcity to make our community organically drive business value through gamification.
Mechanics of loyalty program
While describing game mechanics for loyalty program, let’s think of them not as tools but as specific campaigns. Let’s add some meaning to them and start thinking about what system we need to build authentic gamification, focusing on Empowerment, Unpredictability, and Accomplishment.
A correctly made progression system can extend users’ already high intrinsic motivation to talk in the community with a feeling of progress and empowerment. It is like visiting a gym where everyone is your friend.
There are five ranks in our community. Every rank has its own Discord role and unique benefits. To level up the rank, you need to earn experience through participating in community activities and completing quests. To keep your rank active, you need to sustain your activity, or you will downgrade.
The constant process of upgrading and downgrading makes the game more dynamic and allows for tons of reward opportunities. Imagine being downgraded and receiving a booster that will double your next deposit and keep your rank active if you do it in 24 hours.
People like feeling unique while receiving quests or rewards from loyalty program. For example, some people are into parlays, so why don’t we give them parlay quests? Some segments can signify the members’ unique achievements or their determination.
You can create a segment dedicated just to people with high streaks. For example, if you lose five times in a row, you get a “looser” segment, which will give you +50% for rewards, additional quests, and a discount for redeeming the bonus balance.
Emojis are a great way to engage community members in Discord, and it is straightforward to track them. However, emojis are too abundant and add some scarcity to them, together with social value, making them a powerful tool.
From now on, every active community member gets 1 Kudos emoji per day that he can give to another member in reaction to the user’s message with 🔥. People who get most of the Kudos give most of the value to the community. The kudos system is an example of crowdsourcing when we make customers responsible for rewarding active members.
We can make Kudos even a primary metric for rank, and that will mean that to gain rank, you need to get kudos from other community members, which makes more sense than the number of messages or reactions.
Why don’t we add more engagement by allowing people to earn some loyalty tokens without leaving the community? What if they could participate in shuffles by just putting an emoji on the right message? There can be some regulations, but overall, none of the gamification elements are directly linked to money, so allowing people to play will be an incredible engagement tool.
Imagine late-night hypes around someone playing their big reward balance in the emoji voting game, and everyone is joining.
You should utilize the group quests mechanic if you have some product behind your community. Think of it as a quest that all members must complete together. It can be two members or 50 members. All of them may know each other or be strangers.
Some group quests in the loyalty program can work as a #1 gets-all, encouraging additional competition around the existing product. Making the right teams and putting users with the same level and activity in the same team is essential. In this way, competition will be balanced and healthy.
Some examples of competition group quests could be:
- Become the most successful investor by getting the most significant weekly ROI.
- Become the most active member by participating in community activities within a set period. This could include joining chats, participating in polls, or contributing to discussions.
- Win a prediction contest by making the most accurate forecasts for sports or crypto events. This could require a keen understanding of trends and an excellent strategic mindset.
- Gather the most Kudos emojis monthly by providing valuable contributions that resonate with other community members.
Some group quests could allow our community members to collaborate and make a meaningful impact. For example, quests that make you support crypto projects with less than a $ 10 mil cap or quests to support some sports teams. In collaborative quests, the reward is usually shared.
Some examples of collaboration group quests could be:
- Organizing a collective effort to raise funds for a charitable cause related to sports or crypto.
- Collaboratively predicting outcomes of significant sports or crypto events.
- Collaborating on creating educational content or resources for the community
Components of loyalty program
Mechanics alone won’t build user experience either, so what is left is to define a couple more specific small game components that communities can use to construct authentic gamification, focusing on Empowerment, Unpredictability, and Accomplishment.
Components responsible for rewards must provide enough incentives for users to open the app daily and complete desired actions. Loyalty budgets are usually small, and cashback won’t interest many people. That is where gamification can add a lot of value.
The case study for this reward type is the gamification of Caixa Economica Federal Bank by the Funifier team. The budget for the loyalty program was too small to make sense of just tokens, so game designers made rewards rare and valuable. Instead of winning cents every day, once a week, you can win a Piece of Prize.
Imagine the Prize being a puzzle of 1, 2, or 30 pieces. Some Prizes can have simple stuff like a coffee machine, some can have a car, and you need to get lucky and win it.
Some specific examples of prize pieces could be:
- Whole ETH: A full Ethereum token, a prized asset in the crypto world, offering significant value and investment potential, making it an enticing reward for crypto enthusiasts.
- Gaming PC: A high-spec Gaming PC designed for peak performance, appealing to gamers and tech enthusiasts seeking the ultimate gaming experience and prestige within gaming circles.
- iPhone: The latest iPhone model, known for its advanced technology and sleek design, is a luxury prize that attracts a broad audience, from tech lovers to the general public.
- Exclusive Merchandise: Pieces can be collected to redeem exclusive merchandise related to the community’s focus, such as limited-edition sports gear or crypto-themed apparel.
- Sports Event Tickets: Obtain pieces that, when combined, grant access to major sports events, offering an exciting incentive for sports enthusiasts in the community.
- VIP Experiences: Rare pieces that lead to unique experiences, such as meet-and-greets with athletes or crypto industry leaders, offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for community members.
Gamification has an idea of incentive loops where one game mechanic triggers another in a loop to cause constant engagement behavior. Sometimes, even the most popular games like Fortnite and Dota 2 rely on boosters. A booster is a reward that allows you to earn more rewards. It empowers you and re-engages you when you are about to lose interest.
Here are some examples of boosters that communities can do:
- Limited Access: This booster grants users exclusive entry to certain areas, features, or content within the community that are not available to the general membership.
- Chance to win: A booster that enhances a user’s opportunity to win specific Prize Pieces or rewards through community activities.
- Experience Multipliers: Temporarily increase the rate at which users earn experience points or rewards, motivating them to participate more actively during the booster’s active period.
For us, user flow is not a straightforward, linear journey. It can be pretty unpredictable. A user might visit our app once a month for half a year and then use it daily for a week. We must ensure they remember us and understand what to do.
A common challenge for community moderators is encouraging users to use and adopt tags correctly. Many users overlook this step or are unaware of it. An engagement workflow could be created to prompt users to complete this step. It might include a quest, a boost, an email notification, an SMS with a quest, and a Prize Piece to incentivize the desired action.
Gamification provides numerous tools for engagement workflows, which can be used to boost re-engagement rates without increasing the budget. The art is in identifying the right components and numbers. This process may require some A/B testing and patience, but it could create an optimal workflow.
When it comes to execution, you can build this all yourself or use a Loyalty Program Management solution like Scrimmage Rewards. It’s an excellent way to start quickly and experiment with various ideas and game elements – https://scrimmage.co/. You can integrate it with your website in 1 day and start seeing the impact in 1 week after registration.