Rewards are something we all love, don’t we? But if much work or commitment is required to obtain the desired reward, then not so many will do what it takes, even if at the end awaits the prize we want.
Think about it: how many give up on keeping a diet and working out, although the prize is to lose weight, look & feel better? how many never try this out but they would like the prize?
Rewards are of different types, some easier to obtain others not so much. Some are offered to you in exchange for something, others you offer yourself, ideally also after you complete certain tasks, and not for nothing.
Some rewards are explicit and quantifiable, you know exactly what they are and what you need to do to obtain them. Anyone who offers a reward will be explicit about it, telling people what they offer, how much and how it can be earned.
Others are implicit and non-quantifiable, you just know that by consistently doing an action over an extended period of time, you will reap the rewards eventually. It may not be clear what the rewards are or when they will be tangible, but in most cases they are the best kind of rewards one can pursue and gradually obtain.
Here’s an example of explicit reward: view an email, click on the credit link and you will get 10 credits. You know exactly what you need to do for your reward and it is very easy to obtain, in this case.
Here’s an example of implicit reward: build your list and a great connection with your subscribers, and you will earn more money. It isn’t as simple or clear when you reached the point to claim your reward, isn’t it? However, between 10 credits at a mailer and more money earned from your own list with whom you have a great relationship, which do you think would be a better reward? Of course, one reward is very easy to get, the other can take years and the reward is gradual, never all at once.
Another great example of massive implicit rewards is a long streak of achieved S.M.A.R.T. goals.
One other example of implicit reward is completing a course for a skill you want to develop. The reward is the improved skill level you will have at the end of the course. You might get a diploma or something at the end, but the real reward is the new expertise you have.
But, there are two more ways to categorize rewards:
Instant rewards. Also known as instant gratification, they are offered immediately after an action (usually simple) is completed. The biggest problem with instant gratification is the average person (thus majority) won’t look past it, regardless if you tell them consistency of action is good for them and show them your personal example as proof. So, the average person will search for more places that offer instant rewards, dividing their efforts in tiny pieces. None of these insignificant pieces of effort can bring them the desired success, because they are unfocused and uncommitted.
Delayed rewards. Delayed rewards create commitment to a goal. Contests can be this way. There is a virtual instant reward in the form of the contest points, but the real reward is delayed until the contest is over.
Another example of delayed reward is this: if you are an advertiser, learn how to build beautiful and effective lead pages, then take some time to have fun.
To wrap up, rewards can be explicit or implicit. They can also be instant or delayed.
Would you like to share with us what kind of rewards do you prefer (and perhaps which you don’t), and maybe give us a reason why? Thank you!