Coming Soon: Inovelli Rewards Program

The only problem I see is that they are expensive, inovelli would have to sell like 10 -20 switches to cover the cost of 1 of those things given for free as opposed to an inexpensive electrical screwdriver or a credit card usb drive with a program on it. The cost of the item needs to justify increased business.

That being said, all those times would be awesome mid-high tier items! Waaaay better than a cap IMO

Question for you guys around the swag and the dry contact pen, inductive voltage meter, etc (anything around helping with wiring).

Since we have a policy where we can’t help directly with electrical (insurance), do you think giving people tools that they may not know how to use, it encourages people to try something they may not feel comfortable doing (ie: wiring)? Or do we now have to explain how to use these tools with their products?

Just a question - I like the idea, just trying to CYA.


I am thinking the rewards portion will be similar to a shopping experience. You have X points and can pick what you want. Provided this logic is correct you aren’t “giving” us anything. We are saying we would like this thing, that we likely would have purchased anyways.

That being said I am sure insurance will have different thoughts on the subject as usual…

Personally I would stay clear of that. I already have that stuff and honestly, I don’t know if I would trust a freebie without a brand of a reputable tool company. I would like something a bit more useable that could extend the brand at the same time. Polo w/logo, insulated sports cup etc. Even an EA (Early Access) program like Ubiquiti would be cool.

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The best swag that I ever received from a small company was a free YETI 20 ounce Tumbler with the magnetic slider lid. Retail is $29.99, plus a reasonable setup fee for a small batch if you want custom logo artwork.

I would never have bought one on my own, and it has been my go-to drinkware in my office for morning coffee/tea and ice water the rest of the day. Because I am still working from home due to COVID-geddon, I bought a 14 ounce YETI mug and accessory magnetic slider lid for home back in July while my office one is still in lockdown.

I joked with one of the C-level execs that I was amazed that the knockoff company spelled “YETI” correctly, but it was the genuine article customized from the above link. It’s a shame that they don’t have anything in Inovelli red, though…

Would you really rock the Red? We go back and forth on that or black/silver. I know not everyone likes red.

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I know that sign shops around here do not recommend red for long-term use outdoors, because it fades in the sun over time. Blue supposedly holds up for years, though.

My purchases have all been Red Series so far, so all of my Inovelli experiences have been red/white boxes. Would I personally rock a red tumbler? Absolutely! When I bought my YETI mug, I went with brick red because it was the closest to bright red that they had:

I’m also partial to black with red trim, sort of like my old VW GTI. (I’ll NEVER own another black car, though! Too much work keeping it clean.)

Being the master of procuring inexpensive trinkets to hand out as racing trophies, cases of custom-printed ceramic mugs or glasses would surely be more budget-friendly. I also used to get medals and stuff from Oriental Trading…

I know you’re planning on expanding to Zigbee (or at least were), but Z-Wave chipset generations might work: 100, 200, 300, 500, 700 … at least until the next thing comes along. :smiley:


Another cheap racing trophy/swag thing that my SAF did was to upload the club’s logo to Shutterfly, and then have it printed on merchandise like mugs, water bottles, tote bags, etc in their online store. No artwork setup fee, and quantity one minimum. Not a YETI, but more budget-friendly…

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I’m a bit biased since I’m such a Star Wars fan (I’m sure some of you are too), you could do Inovelli Youngling, Padawan, Knight, Master ?


I’m not sure how the temporary status level would work. You are comparing a travel program with HA product purchase/installation. For the referral and forum support points earners that might be enticing if enough points can be earned through occasional posts. If you are looking at making the top tier the reward for people posting daily in the forums then that is a clever and inexpensive tech support incentive program. Regarding Delta I have their CC and get points for purchases to use as money for a ticket. So rather than give specific items just monetize the points -> 97 points=$9.70. So instead of buying 5 switches and getting the 6th free (**just and example - whatever the points and rewards end up being), when I only need 4 switches and one dimmer I can use the points from the 4 switches to discount the dimmer. I have Homeseer product and they give points but it does not encourage purchases since it is $5 off for every X dollars spent. It is not enticing and having to reach a level before I get the $5 is more frustrating. I would rather have the opportunity to apply $3.19 towards my purchase or bank it for another purchase.

For me HA product is purchased in a few small batches to figure things out and then outfit the house with that setup (one big purchase) and then nothing for a long time. Unless you have a lot of very different product coming out. But I am not going to outfit my house with Z-wave switches and then change them all when you come out with Zigbee switches (Are you still working on those, the roadmap says due now). So status level would not do much in that scenario. If you complete one room at a time over the course of a couple years, status may not help either since they would be small purchases spread further apart.

If the price is the same on your site and Amazon and I am going to get swag or another contactless voltage tester, I would probably go to Amazon due to ease of purchase and speed of delivery. So to drive me to purchase at a better margin on your site entice me while I am there! For the people in the know on this forum entice us to drive more traffic to your site with monetized points. Just don’t lower yourself to multilevel marketing - where my review is followed by a link or code to purchase from your site. All that does is wash away any credibility my review had because it screams “I am only saying these things to get paid”

Enough rambling!

I might be a little late to the game here, but I’m part of an online community called Element14; which is the ‘social media’ part of and Users get points for various things like:

  1. Posting
  2. Replying
  3. Getting likes on posts

Each user’s rank goes up quickly at first, and gets harder to level up later on. All of your posts are marked with your rank and a logo for the given rank; for all to see. They don’t actually /get/ anything for rank, other than “street cred” but in this case it could be something else - swag of some sort.

Okay, I put some thought in, and although I dont know everything about inovelli’s internals so please forgive me if i came to some wrong conclusions!

target audience meme
Meme just cuz.

** Who is the target? **
So thinking of Inovelli, there are two kinds of clients, the at home DIY’er and the Reseller. Both are very different groups and need different things. I do feel as well that comparing Inovelli to Hotel or Restaurant rewards isn’t a very good idea since unlike those industries, there some big differences between the industries.

The Home DIY’er:
This is the typical member in the Community, they are someone who stumbled into Smarthome tech, either by amazon plugs and bulbs, or they bought the wrong smartlock and had to get a hub, or they are a programmer who decided computer tech could work in their office too. This is the backbone of Inovelli and the primary consumer.

  • The Average American home (3 bed/2.5 bath) has approx. 25-30 light switches. This means they will at most purchase that amount of switches, but will most likely purchase 10-20 before moving to a new house, factoring in things like trying out a variety of switches and not getting switches for more obscure rooms. (I dont know if people typically take their smarthomes with them, or leave them and start again).
  • Assuming this you can expect a lifetime maximum purchase amount of around $840-1140 with the average DIY’er ranging from $290-760.
  • Assuming a profit margin of 10% it means Inovelli has to expect to only have $29-76 to use to have this rewards program per person lifetime.

So the question becomes, what is the Primary point of the community?

  • Increasing the Word of Mouth marketing/Creating Raving fan base. (Referral Program)
  • Making a great community that focuses on tech advice, innovation and customer support. (Loyalty Program)

The main target of the community should be what the rewards program is built around.

Hotel and Restaurant Chains have the advantage that there is no realistic limit to the lifetime spending cap (A loyal customer could use them for decades). At the same time they do have a limit of scale, As people only sleep once a night, or eat 3 times a day. So they reward long-term consistency with punishments for a lack of brand loyalty or activity. But with the smart home industry, unless you have a much larger variety of products, Does it make sense to punish the most loyal of customers for maxing out the number of switches in their home by making them lose their points?

On the flip side, Tesla has a Tiered program which rewards grow with referrals. At 5 qualified referrals you get invite to the grand opening, and at 10 you get access to an exclusive product, with the first to reach 10 getting it for free. It has reported 42X Roi for this program. However, this program does not reward repeat business, mostly because people will only buy 1-3 Tesla’s at most. So an introverted Smart home consumer would not reap any rewards, even though they might be one of the best sources of advice and solutions in the community that would help dramatically with New Client retention and turning them into raving fans.

As such, A strictly Loyalty or referral based program doesn’t make sense for this situation. The Repeat business is not high enough to sustain long-term loyalty programs, and the complexity of the product is difficult enough that new customer retention is a challenge. Also the issue of a points program is one that makes accounting a pain. So in my opinion a program that appears as more of a tiered system path or “Quest chain” might work better.

Tiered Rewards Program for the DIY’er:

The worst part of rewards programs is the accounting for future sales. So rather than making that a liability, lets turn points into an asset for the DIY’er by making it so Points are not exchangable. :exploding_head:

Instead lets change Points, to EXP or EX Points (For marketing to non-nerds)

These points are not for trading in, but instead for reaching higher tiers and “Leveling up” to higher tiers. The rewards will be based on tier level and permanent, and the requirements to level up are tailored for what they want to be their experience for that stage of the customer lifecycle. This helps avoid the challenge of accounting, while not punishing consumers for maxing out.

Tier 0 - Registration

  • Expected time to level up: <10 min
  • Required Exp to level up: 100
  • Goal of the Tier: Get them involved in the community, and get a quick win.

In this tier points are awarded for SUPER simple things, Filling out profile, registering their product for whatever warranty exists, Doing an intro post on the welcome thread, watching the installation video ect. There should be enough options for someone who doesnt want to socialize to still level up, but points are skewed in favor of involvement. The big carrot on a stick is access to rewards, referral links, and a message from the owners thanking them for thier purchase.

  • Reward upon level up: go from Restricted to Full access, a referral links, and a message from the owners thanking them for their purchase.

Tier 1 - Newbie

  • Expected time to Level up: 30-60 min
  • Required Exp to Level up: 250
  • Goal of tier: Community involvement and competency.

Seeing as most people at this point have questions, and need help, rewards are skewed towards making posts and asking questions, and getting involved in the community. At this point as well they are given a personal referral code to start sharing with friends.

The referral code should be a staple and set reward, otherwise it encourages people to hold off referring friends till they get a better code. Maybe something like “your friends get 2X points off thier first purchase, and you get 2X points for a week!”

  • Reward upon level up: Welcome gift item, a discount code for thier next purchase, and access to swag shop and an email from thier assigned HR/Forum guide.

Tier 2 to 4 - The Grind!

  • This is where most community members will sit.
  • Exp requirements: 750, 1500, 3000 (for example)
  • Goal of Tier: Rewarding them for learning and growing, while setting up to be mentors

Exp rewards will start with a high amount of points for referrals and purchases (something like 200 per purchase), but as tiers go up it starts raising the rewards for community involvement. Encouraging them to get monetarily invested into the community in the beginning, and then once they are experts, invested into becoming a resource for newer members as time goes on.

A few thoughts on potential perks per level.

  • Have them choose a perk at each level up, this way valuable data can be collected on what is wanted by the member, and give them a feeling of choice.
  • Perks can be a few select ones, or a large variety to pick from - Choice is what would set you apart in this case
  • Could be a once per year Discount code, or a permanent 1% off “Buff”.
  • Perks could be access to private forums, beta testers, spotlights on them and their business, special skins as they level up, unlocking certain swag available at certain levels, a live webinar once a month with the creators.
  • Small gift(s)

A good benchmark for points would be if they were to just simply purchase 25-30 switches at full price without participation, they would hit Tier 5. Ill explain more to this thought process below.

  • Reward on final Lv up: Permanent Discount of 5-10%, A Congrats gift, A personal thank you call from someone cool, access to exclusive swag and forums, a special thank you to you in every box, A nameplate skin in Inovelli Red.

Tier 5 - Endgame

  • This is where the deep rewards come in
  • Exp is now a currency that can be used like cash for limited edition runs on items
  • Goal of Tier: Their part of the family

At this point, these people have theoretically done up thier entire house in Inovelli Switches, or contributed so much on the forum they have made a big impact. The idea for the first group is to thank them in a way that is saying “Thanks for your loyalty, take 10% off your next smarthome”. The idea for the second group is that “Thanks for helping our community and bringing more members to it for us! Here is 10% off your first home!”

To keep them interested in the endgame I would suggest something that Mobile games do all the time: Limited edition loot. In the Swag store it would be very profitable to do limited edition runs of certain swag, (Anything from hats to paddles) and sell it for a limited time. The Exp that Tier 5 earns moving forward could be redeemable as Invoelli cash for these items. Other tiers also can buy them, but they got to pay straight cash. (1000 Exp = $5 kinda thing)

Another thought is to make it so that there are bonus perks that have to be unlocked each year, and extra exp can go towards that as well.

In reality these people will be either large customers, or guys who you know anyways, so they will probably tell you what they want anyways, and you just need to assign a point value to the idea.

Also it could be possible for there to be a contribution pool, so if there is ideas or swag you want to test, they can contribute exp towards it. Maybe put up 3 ideas and whichever hits its goal first gets brought into action (Ex. A leather jacket run, a switch cover that looks like Sonic, An app that makes your lights flicker in time to getting Rick Rolled. whichever gets to 1000 contributed exp first gets made).


Thats all my thoughts for now, I was going to write up about ideas for resellers, since they just care about customer service and low prices, but I think I’m going to go to bed instead. Thanks again @Eric_Inovelli for taking the time to hear our ideas, even if they might be more than what you want :rofl:

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Ok… I am biased but I do love this idea :joy: although I’m sure Disney / Lucasfilms own the rights to those terms.

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I would love to create more engagement on our social profiles (I love responding to comments on our social channels), but I’m curious of this thread’s opinion in adding points for replying to posts. I still want us to be able to create organic and inviting social content and be able to answer easy questions that get asked along the way. I always wonder if substantially increasing our comments would reduce the value of the conversations. The same could be said for only having positive reviews… I always think it’s sketchy when a company has 0 poor reviews.

I’d love to know your thoughts!

I’m making notes from your response because you make a ton of great points (some we’re already planning on implementing) and I want to make a longer reply… I’m sure Eric will too. BUT… When we were talking about the Tiers we initially had Newbie as an option but playing devils advocate with ourselves, we thought some might take offense to the name? Do you think this is a more universally excepted level name and not a diss?

Oh I didn’t mean the names I posted, I dont think tiers should be called “the grind”. More just concept Placeholders.

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I think it would be a pain for someone to abuse this. The points aren’t much (like 1-2 points for replying) so it takes a long time build them up this way. Getting a Like on a post is something done by the community, so that serves to filter out abuse, and they can be worth more points (like say 5 points).

10 likes on a post = 10x5=50 points.
10 replies on other posts = 10 points.

I also think Newbie should be fine :slight_smile:

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Yeah definitely – I think this is where we’re leaning for one of the Tiers :slight_smile:

This is one of my favorite subs on Reddit in regards to knockoffs:

I do like this!

Yes, great points. I’ve been meaning to post a more succinct rewards program idea now that we’ve had some time to digest a lot of your ideas.

You’re right, Delta has the luxury in that people are always going to travel (aside from this year) and they can reduce your level every year and make you re-earn it (whereas your miles do not expire). Initially, we were going to emulate something like that, but decided that instead, your level will never expire nor will your points. Even if you spend all your points on whatever, you will maintain your level.

It will work exactly as you put in that each $ is worth x amount of points and you can either redeem those points for whatever smart home product you want or if you don’t have enough points, you can exchange them for $'s off your order. I’m a huge fan of Chase Points and love using their point system in exchange for either $'s off Amazon orders, travel, hotels, etc.

Definitely, this is what we see in our data too – you’re not alone my friend!

The pricing will be better on our website as we have some margin to give back to everyone :slight_smile:

Yeah I can’t stand this. It’s a huge turn-off – as soon as I catch wind of this on Amazon reviews, it loses all credibility. Also when companies violate Amazon’s TOS and put inserts in the box that says, “Get $x for leaving us a review” – but of course, if you leave a 1-star, you do not qualify.

Excellent idea – we were thinking similarly in that people in the community would have whatever badge associated with their name so that people can see it and also people that may not be aware of the Rewards Program may be introduced to it by wondering what the little emblem is next to someone’s name. I like the, “street cred” idea + swag!

Opens a Monster… let’s do this.

Correct – off to a good start, I’m tracking!

You should be in marketing – this is the stuff I love doing! I do agree with the opening paragraph as that is typically the path to Z-Wave and/or us. This will change in 2021 in that we’ll be opening up to the mass market via ZigBee (CHIP). But for now, you’re good with your assumptions (they’re a bit low as we do plan on selling bulbs, remotes, and other auxiliary products outside of our core competency, but for the sake of this exercise, your logic is spot on.

It actually revolves around three areas (hopefully we can have our cake and eat it too):

  • Brand Loyalty
  • Education
  • Engagement

Brand Loyalty in that we increase word of mouth marking and a raving fan base as you mention, but also hopefully to capture some people who may be considering other options. Right now, we have an advantage in that we’re fairly active on Reddit (I know it’s a small base, but we’re playing the long game with SEO here) and typically we’re recommended by smart home owners. The loyalty program adds another layer to people’s recommendation (Inovelli’s awesome AND they have a cool rewards program). No other brand to my knowledge in the smart home industry has a loyalty program, but I also haven’t done a ton of research.

Education in that we’re rewarding people for doing what they should be doing anyway… reading the directions lol. There will be a set of tasks you can complete that will help you with installation and getting your product setup the way you want, which will hopefully cut down on customer service tickets.

Engagement in that we want people to engage and be directed to the community as you all collectively have more experience than we do in different areas and it’s hard sometimes for us to keep up on every platform. We’re also a small company (for now) and it’s hard to keep on top of tickets sometimes, so it’s nice when we can push this to the community and reward those who are engaged and helpful.

Yes, spot on. We decided to make it so you keep your Tier status regardless of if you spend your points. I completely agree here as there’s a cap. Once you’re done with your house, you’re spending goes down unless there’s an innovative product that comes out.

I’ll have to read more about the Tesla program as I’m not too familiar with it, but it sounds interesting.

Interesting… I guess the way we approached this was that we built this into our margins and adding in an estimated redemption rate, we should have some way to calculate future sales. I realize it’s somewhat of a pain, but also, this would negate some of the traditional marketing expenses. I do agree that having it to where points do not expire may cause some issues in the future, but I suppose that’s where the line, “subject to change” comes into play lol.

Yeah, we’re tracking here :slight_smile:

I do like this – I think this would discourage the MLM type affiliate links everyone is referencing. People are more apt to give out to people they like.

Love it. This is essentially what we were thinking as well. More to come!

We were thinking something like, “the next project is named after you and you get the first one off the production line” but we’re in the same camp in terms of Limited Edition Loot.

I like this – keeping things fresh and people engaged. Really good idea!

Haha – I sincerely appreciate you taking the time out to do this. It’s extremely helpful and I want it to be something we all build together. As for the resellers, we will likely make that more of a Phase 2 as they’re already getting a decent discount and from what we can tell, most really only care about price lol. But, there could be something around a training program = more money off or something.

I’ll update the post above to reflect more of where we’re at currently and thanks all for your inputs, it’s awesome working with you all!


#whatredditsreallyfor #thx4thesub

I have seen this, and I feel its a bit of a trap because markets and currencies change. Either the points need to be reduced in value as time goes on, or you need to add a 0 to the end of everyone’s point balance and announce a new program. Either way it upsets most people even if they get more points to keep them happy. I feel a 7-11 style points system might be better since you just assign items to point value groups, and then you can add and remove items as time goes on, or offer “last chance sales” when you need to move certain items up a class because Cobalt prices go up or something.

I’m in the same Boat, I love Aartech, but Amazon’s prime shipping is still a certainty that is hard to compete with. But thats more of an Aartech problem.

Heh. My drug of choice as well.

Yea, I was conservative, but out of curiosity whats the companies goals? Just the big market items like Bulbs, switches, and plugs or an all around one stop shop like the Smartthings line? just ditched its loyalty program (probably because of covid), they just has a 1 point=0.02 dollar exchange rate it seems. But Leviton just opened thiers up for installers. New My Leviton Pro Support and Rewards Program Available for Smart Home Installers

I dont want to seem like a pessimist, but I feel like it might be better to focus on one, and then add the others. I know of a few companies that try to please everyone, and make nobody happy, not only that but it takes a lot of resources to cover all these bases effectively.

That being said I dont think there is any reason you could not just have 2 programs:

  • a simple referral code program that just does 10% off for your friend, and 10% for you. This can later be rolled into the loyalty program by just saying it was a temp promotion.
  • inovelli community program. Honestly I think the engagement will naturally foster education. And a training video program sounds awesome, but you will still get a ton of tickets from people looking for other humans to help them. A solid community with a chatroom or two could go a long way in helping distressed newbies feel welcome.

This is why I love you guys, you got a great and knowledgble team and fantastic forward planning Eric!

Nooooo! Dont touch it man!!! Loyalty programs get wrecked if even minor changes touch point characteristics! People treat points like cash and get verrrrrry angry if you mess with them. It’s better to devalue points over time rather than touching some Zigbee Dragons Hoard! I would stress that you come up with a backbone for the points system that doesn’t change no matter what, and work within those parameters.

Cineplex Scene points for example set 1000 points equal to 1 movie ticket, then realized that inflation would kill thier profit margins. Rather than deal with a PR nightmare they simply made sure that when new tech and products came out like 3D, Atmos, and VIP expirences, that they be classified as “extra” features so the customer pays the difference in price. So fast forward to today, and everyone expects that the points cover only a ‘basic’ expirence and they pay for extras. And the points dragons sleep.

I get this fear of affiliate marketing, but at the same time, many YouTubers and Bloggers need revenue. So it becomes a balancing act of providing compensation to attract the publicity, but without turning into viagra spam. I think you have done an amazing job with how you approached Reed and John (Smart Home Solver and DIY Smart Home Guy), but at the end of the day, cash gets you on comparison lists!

(Also I would recommend Paul Hibbert for when you go Zigbee, he’s big for the EU especially)

Oh man, that would be something I can see getting crazy! Even just naming the item set at some ridiculous point number would be intense. Maybe a lottery thing where people can buy tickets for points? That way a newbie can still win, but the older guys have the advantage.

One challenge is when you put out a truly good offer, like item X is 50% off for Y number of days. And all the Points Dragons wake up and dump all thier points, snapping up all your stock at a loss. There are ways to mitigate the damage it could cause, but as soon as you put limits on points, but not cash, you upset those people again.

Its kinda why having points exchangeable for ‘cash’ is a bit of a risky game, you can’t restrict too much, and you can’t change too much because people get mad at change. And if these people are your top contributors in the community forum, you run the risk of being held hostage by your own community.

I think you should take a look at Square-Enix. They have a similar issue in that thier customers have a low cap (you only buy one copy of a video game), and so they needed to create a loyalty program that caters to a low cap - limited margin system. MEMBERS REWARDS | Square Enix Store

Dang Resellers, all they care about is making money. Don’t they know there is more to life? Like Swag? That sweet, sweet swag :sunglasses:

I haven’t had a look at levitons new installer program (launched on sept 1), but maybe there might be something there!

I think this is what will truly set your program apart :slight_smile:

Thanks! I love marketing, it was my first choice, But back when I got into the job market in 2008 it wasn’t paying the bills, so I ended up a locomotive engineer. I would love to get back into it one day, Maybe once I get enough Smarthome Airbnbs lol.

Either way its 4 am again so I need to go to bed! Sorry for the long post, here is a potato :potato: :sweat_smile:

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