It might be worth avoid this. It can devalue the reviews - even if they are actually legitimate. It may make people question if they were done for the “reward” or because they really feel that way about the product.
I think the biggest concern, is that a financial reward will push some people to jump through the program hoops for the sake of the reward. IE post a lot of reviews that don’t really say much, answer a lot of forum questions with barely-acceptable answers, etc.
I do very much like the idea of an incentive for people who drive the community and create a lot of good content. I am just encouraging caution to avoid unexpected negative results.
This is especially true with an affiliate program- you don’t want to find Inovelli affiliate spam causing problems on other websites. And if half the recommendations online to buy Inovelli carry an affiliate link, that may end up reducing the brand’s credibility as it could be viewed like a MLM program.
I’m just saying- as you create the problem, be always thinking ‘how will a moron abuse this’.
Your MVPs are contributing community developers. The people contributing firmware updaters that don’t make me want to throw my computer off the roof (thanks @bcopeland), the people writing web tools that makes writing notifications at all reasonable (thanks @nathanfiscus), the people that have contributed features to the drivers (thanks @npk22, jdmar3, etc). Contributing code, platform, scripts, glue should net you the most win. In my mind that’s the best contribution you can make as an enthusiast. You build the whole ecosystem. I wouldn’t be able to do any of my Inovelli->Hubitat->Google shenanigans right now without a bunch of user-contributed code filling in the gaps. I suspect a lot of us are in the same boat.
After that your most useful people are the ones who make the tutorials, FAQs, and reliably answer questions. Pet peeve, though: I hate seeing this summarized as “unboxing videos”. Those are for children, I want a summary of features and specs and an independent and unbiased review. Review videos with honest demonstrations of capabilities I am interested in, with the right technical details, are quite valuable to me.
I strongly support your idea to incentivize solving forum topics.
Since you have the sales records already, it would be nice to get retroactive points for purchases that were made through inovelli.com in the past.
You might consider tying the forum software’s Badges and Groups functionality in with the rewards program (in both directions).
I can totally understand your thinking here. We want to create opportunities for customers to earn points but not have too many options that are too easy to achieve. The nice thing about reviews is in places like Google and Facebook, you can only leave a review once. I think having our lower tier options like following our social pages would be the ones people would do first, but higher tiered actions like answering a question in our community or making a video showcasing your products would be harder for people to achieve without actually engaging with us. Great ideas from everyone so far!
We do plan on offering some retroactive points just to highlight since a few of you have brought it up. I think Eric mentioned above they would be from purchases made from Jan 1st, 2020 to present and that the points will have an expiration date.
In addition to the redeemable points, you could track the total lifetime points earned and give bonuses at certain milestones. For example, when you have X number of lifetime points you get free stickers, t-shirt, hat, switch, discount on next purchase, etc.
I probably shouldn’t joke about that again. The last time that I did, I wound up driving 825 miles round-trip in a lake effect snowstorm to Buffalo for a Bills game in one of our vendors’ suite at the stadium…
Hey guys, thanks so much for your input – we love it – exactly what we were looking for. We have a meeting with the team that’s developing this on Thursday and have incorporated pretty much everything on the lists above!
Yes, this is a great idea – and goes along with what @datavortex mentioned below, which I 100% agree with. We’re not the company we are without you all contributing to the overall product(s).
Let’s see it! I’d love to read it – I think there is an older post here by @simriv123 (How did you end up deeeeeep in home automation?) that was an interesting one – but yeah, I’d love to have a separate post talking about people’s journey’s – it’d be interesting to read and also help us understand where most people start. One of the struggles we have is that most people do not start with Z-Wave (or a hub for that matter) but rather with Alexa/Google and when they want to get serious with their HA journey, they start researching hubs and stumble upon us.
Yeah that’s great to hear – we actually have really good metrics with Amazon sponsored ads, but it’s good to see the anecdotal evidence vs just seeing Amazon’s data lol
I remember this for sure – I think I even said it was above my pay-grade lol
We appreciate it, definitely hard work (as well as a work in progress) as it’s such a small team, but we’re all passionate about HA so that helps!
Keep us posted! Happy to help
Yeah definitely, question for you – our first thoughts were to put them in the, “tips and tricks” section where each hub is located in the community.
However, we will be building something similar to what you suggest in the next couple of months in that we’ll be creating a, “blog” (it’s not really a blog, but more of a, “choose your own adventure”) where you can read through various use cases and at the end of each article, we’ll list links on how to do that with your hub. This then leads to our Knowledge Base (support.inovelli.com).
I suppose we could list it in both places which should help with SEO.
Love it – we’ll have to brainstorm a bit around the referral program as my gut instinct tells me this could be abused, but then again, at the end of the day more products are sold, so that’s always good. However, I definitely agree with @Chris in that I don’t want it to tarnish any reputation we’ve built nor the credibility if every post on FB, Reddit, etc is, “buy Inovelli and be sure to use the code: xyz” (I’m being dramatic, but you get the point). I do, however think that people should be rewarded for spreading the news in a credible way.
Love the addition of #2 and #3 here. #4 is good too and we were thinking of trying to figure out a way to have people actually read the support articles without just clicking the link and receiving points without learning anything. Maybe put a 3 question quiz at the bottom to earn the points? I’m not sure.
Awww yeah – now we’re cooking!
This is good too – I like these! The Priority Support is pretty easy to accomplish as Zoho Desk allows you to tag someone as Priority and the goal (separate project) was to tag priority people, people who have spent $x amount over their lifetime, etc.
Could be something!
There is definitely a fine line here that we’ll have to balance. Also, oftentimes English is not the first language so it may discourage someone from writing a review.
Yeah totally – you raise a great point and something we encourage everyone everywhere in our company (ok, there’s 7 of us lol) – is to be real. Customer service will talk to you like you’re a real person – our responses are not scripted and even if our product doesn’t solve a solution, we’ll recommend a competitor in a heartbeat.
We definitely do not want to tarnish this reputation with spam. I love your last sentence and will keep that in mind!
@datavortex – I didn’t want to copy your entire post as this response is getting long, but I’m going to let you know that your response really hit home and I actually copy/pasted it to the team we’re working with. You’re absolutely right in every paragraph – thank you!
I’m going to move this to a new topic as I’d love to discuss your thoughts on this. I think it’s a great idea and we’ve talked internally about it before – we just couldn’t think of a good way to design it. What we’re talking about here is the Rewards Program, so I didn’t want to confuse people.
LOL – That would actually be pretty sweet. We’ll have to sell more switches to afford that VIP suite though!
If only the Red Wings weren’t absolutely terrible… I’d like to go to the new arena.
@Eric_Inovelli Thanks for taking the time to reply to all of us, and admitting the red wings are terrible
A couple thoughts that came to mind reading your posts:
I think more than getting points for tips and tricks, helping newbies get through their first expirence should be rewarded even more.
Many of us started smarthomes by accident and ended up in a world full of pros speaking a different language that you have no idea how to speak and boards that are so long you can’t find solutions easily (Let alone solutions you understand).
Maybe having a tier system that rewards newbies for asking questions, and pros for giving solutions would be helpful for the culture we would want. Even just an email saying “We want to help you, so any questions you ask for the first 20 days get you 1.5 points, if you ask a unique question or well explained problem we will give you 5× points!”
Then people in the 3rd tier would get many opportunities to answer questions, direct to answers, and then even clean up/merge unwanted posts after without making the newbie feel dumb, since they got bonus points! The idea is to encourage community involvement as opposed to perfect forums. The sub could even have a note saying posts are cleaned up constantly.
The other thought I had was about Swag. Its nice to have the big backpacks and leather jackets at the end of the rainbow, but maybe in the beginning have something cool available as an easy grab, like an inovelli bottle opener, phone charger, tiny screwdriver or EDC credit card (or all of the above and they pick one). That way they have an initial goal for getting involved in the community after they get the welcome gift, then they move up an tier and you open up all the other swag available.
Or something useful for installing Inovelli parts! Maybe a non-contact voltage tester, one of those tools which are really handy for not killing yourself when opening a switch box, aren’t super pricey, but aren’t in many beginners’ toolboxes. But a bottle opener could also be positioned as critical for celebrating after your successful installation.