Planning a Milestone Series

Milestones are a powerful way to create long-term, engaging relationships with your advocates, including customers, ambassadors, professionals, and influencers.

Brands that leverage milestones benefit from increased monthly campaign completion, stronger social engagement, and deeper brand loyalty from advocates.

Milestones (sometimes referred to as levels or tiers) are achievements that are unlocked by earning points. Advocates earn points by completing campaigns and driving word-of-mouth sales. Upon unlocking a milestone, a participant receives a reward, such as discount codes, store credit, or free products.

A milestone series is a collection of milestones, each with increasingly higher points. Well-designed milestone series encourage participants to stay actively engaged over a longer period of time.

Milestone Series Checklist

Launching a milestone series in Wooly is a simple task, but there are several key factors to plan out to ensure the best experience for both your brand and your advocates. The following sections walk through five decisions you will need to make when setting up a milestone series.

You may also access and print a pdf version of the checklist: Milestone Series Planner.

1. Participants

Milestone Series work great for any type of program in Wooly but are particularly effective with brand ambassador programs, athlete programs, and customer programs. When creating a milestone series, you can add one or more programs. For example, if you have an ambassador program and a separate customer program, you might want to engage and reward them differently, thereby warranting two separate milestone series. 

When a milestone series launches, all members of the associated program(s) are eligible to participate and will see the milestones when they log into the advocate portal.

2. Time frame

The time frame of your milestone series often depends on the program(s) you are targeting. For example, if your brand runs a calendar-based program, you will likely schedule the series to launch on January 1 and run through December 31.

Suppose you have an open program that continuously accepts new applicants, such as a customer program or an affiliate program. In this case, you might consider keeping the series ongoing. As new people are added, they can participate in each of the milestones without feeling rushed. 
When participants reach the final milestone, you can promote them into a new program with its own milestone series.

3. Milestones

A milestone series can have one or more milestones, each with a unique name, color, points, and reward. The most common number of milestones in a series is 3-5, but we have seen brands create up to 15 milestones with great success. 

There are some common naming schemes for milestones, such as those in the list below. Try to think of ways the milestone names could tie into your brand's personality.

  • 3 milestones: Bronze, Silver, Gold
  • 4 milestones: Diamond, Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire
  • 5 milestones: Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4, Tier 5
  • 10 milestones: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, ... , Level 10

When planning how many milestones you want, consider how many points will be required to unlock each milestone, how frequently participants can earn points, and your budget for rewards 

Refer to the Milestone Series Worksheet to help you estimate how many campaigns and referrals participants will need in order to unlock the milestones in the series.

4. Points

You can reward advocates with points for completing campaigns and as referral rewards for driving word-of-mouth sales. It is important to strike the right balance between making milestones attainable without being either too difficult or too easy to progress through the series. 

A helpful exercise is to map out how many campaigns and/or referrals a member must complete to unlock each milestone. 

For example, suppose you want to incentivize participants to complete all 12 monthly campaigns during the following year. You could assign each campaign 100 points as the incentive and base your milestone points on quarterly rewards:  Bronze (300 points), Silver (600 points), Gold (900 points), Platinum (1,200 points).

There are currently two ways in Wooly to earn points: campaign incentives and referral rewards.

Points for Campaign Incentives

In addition to discount codes and products, you can offer points as an incentive to complete campaigns. We recommend selecting from the default point options (100 points, 150 points, 200 points, and 300 points), but you can always add a custom point value to each campaign.

Points for Referral Rewards

In addition to discount codes and products, you can now offer points as an incentive to complete campaigns. We recommend selecting from the default point options (100 points, 150 points, 200 points, and 300 points), but you can always add a custom point value to each campaign.

Learn more about creating ways for advocates to earn points.

5. Rewards

The magic with milestones happens when participants get rewarded for unlocking milestones. Milestone rewards typically increase in value the farther participants progress within the milestone series. It's common for brands to offer a highly desirable reward for the final milestone to give sufficient incentive to reach the end of the series. It's also a great idea to give some kind of recognition within your community when participants hit key milestones.

A reward may be assigned to each milestone within a series. Options for rewards include:

  • Discount codes (percentage off and fixed amount)
  • Products
  • A custom option of your choosing

For Shopify brands, discounts codes are automatically created and issued within your store when a participant unlocks a milestone. Brands using carts other than Shopify can upload pre-generated discount codes into Wooly to be automatically assigned when a milestone is unlocked.

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