Attracting new members to the club

General BVS related area
User avatar
MB
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 8:11 am
Location: Coventry, England
Contact:

Attracting new members to the club

Postby MB » Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:41 pm

Over the past few years, tens of thousands of people have bought electric vehicles in the UK.

The vast majority of these are electric bikes: I believe that since 2000, around 30,000 electric bikes have been purchased. That is a heck of a lot of electric vehicles.

Whenever an electric car appears on eBay, there are always a lot of bidders and a lot of general interest in the item. Electric cars always seem to sell for considerably more money than their fossil-fuel powered counterparts - compare the prices for electric Peugeot 106 and Berlingos with their fuel equivalents and you'll see what I mean.

So why aren't these people flocking to join the Battery Vehicle Society? I suspect the answer is that a lot of people don't know about it.

But now there is a brand new shiny magazine and web site, I think we've got a story to tell to the general public and get more people involved with electric vehicles: it's time to rustle up some new members.

Here are some thoughts as to how we do this:

Make sure we are accessible
It's great having the level of technical detail in the club, but the Review was too technical sometimes for its own good: the enthusiasm of electric vehicle ownership and information about what off-the-shelf options are available was ignored. It was a closed club 'parish newsletter' which sadly excluded more people than it included.

I'm sure that wasn't the intention of Review, and hopefully Plugged In magazine will manage to become a far more rounded magazine.

The web site will help too - it looks cleaner and fresher. Adding an electric vehicle directory will help matters too.

It would be great if we combined to put together 'fact sheets' about different aspects of owning electric vehicles. I put together an electric bike buyer's guide and posted it up here a week or so back. Tarted up with some photographs and a list of electric bike importers and manufacturers, that would make a great fact sheet for someone considering an electric bike but not knowing where to start.

Get manufacturers and importers on board
Send out a couple of copies of the new magazine and a covering letter to each manufacturer and importer in the UK. Explain what the Battery Vehicle Society is about and invite them to become members.

Mention the work that is being done by BVS members in establishing a nationwide recharging network and I think that every manufacturer will want to come on board.

Throw in a special offer on advertising in the magazine as well, and offer links from the web site for all trade members and that should be the final clincher.

Once manufacturers are on board, ask if they would be prepared to promote BVS membership for their customers, by including a BVS flyer in each electric vehicle sale.

Promote the club on ebay
If people are interested in buying an electric bike or an electric car, make sure they get to hear about the BVS. After all, if people want to buy an electric bike, surely they would be prepared to pay £12 a year to get a magazine subscription to find out more about electric vehicles?

I would recommend that we also include a couple of 'fact sheets' as well, so if people are interested in electric bikes, or electric cars, or electric car conversions, they also get some fact sheets as an introduction guide to get them going.

A few years ago, I used to sell electric bikes myself, and I sold a previous version of the Electric Bike Buyer's Guide (which amazingly promoted the bikes I sold at the time) on ebay for a few pounds each time. I had a regular flow of sales, so I know this method works.

I'm sure there are plenty of other ideas. Anyone else want to suggest something?

marktime
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 11:36 am
Location: Littlehampton, West Sussex

Postby marktime » Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:27 am

A lot of very good points there Mike, spreading the word is really important. I have been thinking about how I found my way here and it was not a straight line!
The Prius forum, 'It's not easy being green' and 'Navitron forum' led me to BEVOB, G-Wiz and back to BVS. None of this was planned they were just links that caught my eye. You can see that my path was 'environmental' others may arrive from a 'classic car' background or
through an interest in electronics etc.

That said I make a point of ignoring all internet adds (or do I?) so it may be that subtle mentions and links will make the best use of the 'web' in WWW. rather than conventional advetising.

MarkTime
Soft as Graphite, Hard as Diamond, Black as Coal & clear as CO2, It's a Carbon thing!

User avatar
aminorjourney
Posts: 1084
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 5:24 am
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Postby aminorjourney » Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:44 am

Playing the "google" game is one of the best ways to get new members forward. We're constantly keeping an eye on the forums and hits to our website to ensure that the information is getting out to the wider audience on the Internet.

So far, in two weeks our hits have increased fivefold. As the site is linked from more and more places (and our google ranking increases) I think we're much more likely to encourage new members.

Also added to that is the online payment for membership, which Kate is working on :)

Nikki.
Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

EVangelist and Media Relations Coordinator, www.ZeroCarbonWorld.org
Host, www.transportevolved.com

http://about.me/aminorjourney/bio

marktime
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 11:36 am
Location: Littlehampton, West Sussex

Postby marktime » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:08 pm

Nikki, I was thinking along the lines of some cleverly crafted posts on other fora to lead potential members here.

The navitron forum for example is based around a renewable energy business but the forum is open to all commers, traders, DIY and dreamers etc.


Mark
Soft as Graphite, Hard as Diamond, Black as Coal & clear as CO2, It's a Carbon thing!

User avatar
floydster
Site Staff
Posts: 433
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:36 pm
Location: Central Scotland
Contact:

Postby floydster » Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:23 pm

marktime wrote:Nikki, I was thinking along the lines of some cleverly crafted posts on other fora to lead potential members here.

The navitron forum for example is based around a renewable energy business but the forum is open to all commers, traders, DIY and dreamers etc.


Mark


I've had to promote one or two sites in the past and found that creating a sig with the URL and posting on high volume news groups/forums works a treat. Groups/forums about TV shows have a high volume of subscribers and a lot of them are curious enough to follow the link in your sig.

Don’t just post on other forums related to yours; they’re the ones who’ll go looking for sites like theirs.

Floydster
I know I'm in my own world - it's OK, they know me here.

User avatar
qdos
Posts: 2089
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:26 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Postby qdos » Sat Jun 23, 2007 10:57 am

I've also had experience in getting sites noticed too. The best way is to carefully post relies to discussion forums where you can insert meaningful links which are appropriate to the threads.

If you just post links all over the place you wind up with poor quality visits. What we want are people who are genuinely interested. There's an awful lot of surfers out there who just enjoy flaming and will pounce on opportunities to mess about.

Also if you flood sites with non related links it get's marked against you and you go down the listings. Digg is a good media to get networking. www.digg.com

I tell you what though. The new Plugged In magazine is a superb promotional tool :)

User avatar
MB
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 8:11 am
Location: Coventry, England
Contact:

Postby MB » Sat Jun 23, 2007 8:49 pm

I'm still waiting for my copy to come through the letter box...

User avatar
ChrisB
Posts: 4657
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:33 am
Location: Hampshire on the Southcoast
Contact:

Re: Attracting new members to the club

Postby ChrisB » Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:25 pm

MikeBoxwell wrote:A few years ago, I used to sell electric bikes myself,


Mike I keep meaning to ask why you stopped selling Ebikes :cry:

ChrisB
I reject reality and substitute my own !!!!!!

User avatar
floydster
Site Staff
Posts: 433
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:36 pm
Location: Central Scotland
Contact:

Postby floydster » Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:12 pm

aminorjourney wrote:Playing the "google" game is one of the best ways to get new members forward. Nikki.


Find a copy of "Google Hacks" if you don't have it already, ISBN 0-596-00447-8. My better half has a copy of this and most of her sites are on the first Google results page. Then again, I don't know if she uses it as whatever she's involved with usually works out. Oh, to have some talent......:roll:

Floydster
I know I'm in my own world - it's OK, they know me here.

User avatar
MB
Posts: 352
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 8:11 am
Location: Coventry, England
Contact:

Re: Attracting new members to the club

Postby MB » Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:14 pm

[quote="ChrisBMike I keep meaning to ask why you stopped selling Ebikes :cry:

ChrisB[/quote]

Quite simple really, I sold the company. The company that bought it was a competitor coming into the UK and they wanted to get our market share.


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests