How to create a multi-level rewards program

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Multi-level (or “tiered”) programs offer rewards and benefits that increase in value as members progress and achieve milestones. This guide shows how to configure this type of program.

Table of contents:

What is a multi-level program?
Define how members should move between levels
Create a new level
Delete a level
Differentiate the benefits of each level
Levels on the member portal
Personalise communications based on member levels
Increase customer engagement through gamification
FAQs

What is a multi-level program?

A multi-level, or “tiered”, program offers different rewards and benefits to specific groups of members depending on their earnings (points total). Once members join a certain level, they will unlock new perks related to that level.

Basically, the more members interact with your brand, the more points they earn and the better the rewards and benefits they can obtain.

Here’s why this type of program is so powerful:

  • it establishes longer-term engagement,
  • the exclusive privileges on offer make members feel important,
  • and you can segment your member base more effectively.

Keep reading to find out how to create a multi-level program.

Define how members should move between levels

First things first, open your program and click on Levels in the menu bar. Then, click on Settings and:

1. Pick a qualifying currency

Levels are set up based on points. Select the currency (point type) that will count toward earning levels.

Note: The selected “qualifying” currency can still be used to redeem rewards. If you have other currencies, those can be used to redeem rewards but do not count toward earning tier status.

2. Set your level expiry model

Members qualify for tier statuses by earning a specific number of qualifying points. You can define this number when you create the level.

In addition, they sometimes must do so in a limited time. This time is called the “qualification period”, and it represents the length of time after which the tier status may change.

At the end of the qualification period, members are evaluated for a possible downgrade, and a new qualification period starts. The expiry date and the duration of the qualification period depend on your selected model.

To determine the level expiry model, the options are:

  • Expire after a limited time: The qualification period starts on the day the member starts earning points in the qualifying currency. It continues for the length of time (in years) specified in the “Frequency” field.

    In this case, the qualification period is “rolling”, i.e. it’s a “sliding window” from the day of the member’s first earning. This means that the expiry date is calculated based on the date on which the member originally started earning points in the qualifying currency.

    Example:
    - Silver = 5,000 points
    - Gold = 10,000 points
    - Platinum = 20,000 points

    Let’s say Heidi is in the Platinum tier and has 20,000 points but hasn’t earned any for the last year. If her first earning date is June 23rd and if the qualification period is 1 year, Qualifio considers the earning history between June 23rd, 2022 and June 23rd, 2023. As Heidi hasn’t earned enough (or, in this case, any) points during that time, on June 23rd, 2023, she is downgraded to a lower tier as she does not match the criteria of her current Platinum tier anymore.

    Note: Would you rather have the period start on the day the member joins the program? Reward members with an immediate enrolment or “signup” bonus. (Example: new members of your program are automatically awarded with 200 points as part of their enrolment.) That way, the members’ first earning date will match their enrollment date.

  • Expire on a specific date: The qualification period starts on a fixed date and continues for the length of time specified in the “Frequency” field.

    Enter the date that the tier expires and the new qualifying period starts. A tier assessment will be scheduled on that date. Then, select how frequently the assessment is repeated (in years).

    For example:
    - Silver = 5,000 points
    - Gold = 10,000 points
    - Platinum = 20,000 points

    The specified date is September 1st 2022 and the frequency is 2 years. Matias has 16,200 points and is in the Gold tier on September 1st 2022. After a couple of weeks or months, he reaches 20,000 points and is moved to the Platinum tier. Mathias’ tier is then “locked” until September 1st 2024, when a new tier assessment will be run.

  • Do not expire: select this option if you don’t want the members’ level to be recalculated automatically based on their points. Members can be moved into levels manually on each member’s page in the CRM (find out more here).

Note: The qualification period you specify here is applicable to all tiers and cannot be specified at the tier level.

3. Save your changes

Click Apply to all levels to save the configuration.

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It is possible to update your global configuration at a later stage.

Create a new level

Choose + at the top of the page to create a level.

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Based on your requirements, complete the following options:

  • Enter a name to identify the level – such as Rose, Silver, Gold or Diamond. To increase brand engagement, think of a name that reflects your customer journey and considers your members’ ideal selves. For example: admirer, enthusiast, connoisseur, insider, etc.
  • Personalise the level with an image that reflects the “theme” of your level.
  • Enter a brief description that explains the purpose of the level for members. This is where you can let your creativity flow!
  • If applicable, fill out the same fields in other language versions, e.g. French on the screen below.

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✅ Information from this section can be displayed in the portal according to the language version chosen by the member.

  • In the field Minimum number of points needed, set a minimum points value needed to be assigned to this level, i.e. the number of points members must earn to receive this “status”. If you define no requirement (0 points needed) for Tier 1 of your program, members will automatically fall into that first tier upon registration.
This is the criterion against which members will be assessed. Qualifio uses the threshold defined for each level to determine the next level and changes the level based on the member’s current level and your level strategy. Click here to learn more about configuring those settings.

Click Save. The level is configured for your program.

Delete a level

The levels created in Qualifio are not supposed to change a lot, but if one or more of them is no longer needed, there is a possibility to delete them.

Navigate to the Levels and find the one to delete. Click on the three dots of the level and select the Delete button.

Note: Once you have deleted a level, you cannot revert this action. The members at the deleted level will be downgraded to the lower level (or no level, if there isn’t any lower level).

Differentiate the benefits for each level

Bring in a touch of exclusivity by differentiating the rewards and privileges available at each level.

  • Allow your most loyal members to earn more points for the same action using Earning rules.
  • Create rewards that are unique to each level using Burning rules.

Levels on the member portal

If you want to show members what level they are in, use the Level widget. Click here to learn more about it.

Personalise communications based on member levels

By including levels in your program, you have a way to send more personalised communications to your members. If you know subscribers’ level, for example, you can set up automated email campaigns to nurture specific groups.

For example, members could receive a notification telling them when they have been upgraded to a new level (Qualifio doesn’t notify them).

Final thought: increase customer engagement through gamification

Looking for a fun way to entice members of your program to make it to the next level? Gamification brings in exciting elements while ensuring that members earn something with every participation or every win.

Frequently asked questions

Q. How many levels can a program have?
A. You can create an unlimited amount of levels for your program. However, using two to four levels seems like a good rule of thumb.

Q. What customisations are available for levels?
A. Each level can be named and given an image and description. The minimum number of points (that you need to earn to make it into a level) can be changed for each level too.

Q. How do I see what level a member is in?
A. A member’s level is shown on their profile in Qualifio. Find out more about the features of the CRM here.

Q. Are there any emails for levels?
A. There aren’t, but we push level information to our integrations, so you will be able to use that information to personalise your emails or send notifications to the members at a specific level.

Q. When a member uses their points and their balance drops below the threshold to the tier, are they downgraded to the level below?
A. Any member that spends the points they earned won’t be downgraded a level. This is because their level status is calculated on the total points accumulated in the last qualification period rather than on their current points balance :) 

For example, the threshold for the Gold level is 2,000 points. If a member has 2,500 points and burns 800 of those, they will remain in the Gold level with their 1,700 points. Nothing to worry about here!

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