Are Awards & Badges Necessary?
The Prizing Structure
Prizing and incentives are important to your Program and should not be ignored. Our typical prizing structure includes both achievement-based prizing and giveaways. Additionally, certain programs benefit from incentives given out to induce enrollment and survey participation. Below is a description of the types of prizing and incentives we recommend and facilitate, as well as an explanation of the benefits derived by use of these rewards.
GIVEAWAYS. These prizes are not necessarily based on skill or achievement, but are used to reward persistent participation.
- Instant Win prizes. These are typically low-dollar-value prizes such as giftcards for $1, $5 or $10 in value, and they can be given out daily. They appeal to people who measure value by what they could gain, regardless of skill.
- Sweepstakes. These are typically high-dollar-value prizes such as merchandise, travel packages or gift cards of $100 or greater, and they are often given away at the end of each challenge. A "Grand Prize" sweepstakes can be conducted at the end of a series of challenges (e.g., monthly or quarterly) or at the end of a program, and may have a substantially higher value of $1,000 or more. Sweepstakes tend to appeal to people who enjoy having a chance to receive high value for minimal effort.
ACHIEVEMENT. These prizes are based on skill or achievement, and are used to reward excellent performance and/or participation.
- Leaderboard prizes. These are of moderate dollar value (e.g., 1st place = $50, with a sliding prize value down to 5th place = $15) awarded for achieving a pre-determined rank on the leaderboard at the end of a challenge. These prizes are typically appealing to competitive or achievement-oriented people.
- Badges. These prizes have no dollar value, but offer "bragging rights" to the winner as well as an intrinsic sense of accomplishment. These can be awarded for accomplishing pre-determined milestones in a challenge, such as answering the first question correctly, or playing all questions in a challenge. These prizes typically appeal to gamers and to people who particularly enjoy being merited for their efforts.
The system can select random winners for the giveaways, and enables you to send notifications and in-game emails to notify winners. We can also be hired to acquire and fulfill prizes as a Pro Solutions Service, if desired.
By adding the above prizing inducements to your program, you provide attractive "extrinsic" rewards that enhance the attractiveness of your Program, particularly in the early phases. For certain userbases, such as the general public (as opposed to "captive" users such as employees or students), offering a $10 giftcard for the first X number of enrollments is a way to drive more enrollments, before users have yet experienced the value of the Program. Similarly, it is wise to consider providing incentives of between $20 - $50 for participation in pre and post surveys, if your program needs that kind of data. This ensures the participation you need to make your measurable program statistically significant.
The point of incentives and prizing is not to drive people to learn or take actions -- it is to provide them with a token of respect for their time invested in your experience.