May 19, 2016 at 12:03 pm #189278
Based on some discussions going on in various other places, I wanted to open up a topic to specifically gather ideas about Premium Membership.
As you probably know, running this site is not free. Nor is buying merchandise to sell. Yes, we do sell it, but there are hefty up front costs to sourcing it. Our only sources of revenue are Premium Memberships and Vendor Sponsorships. Currently, only 3% of our users are Premium Members.
To that end, I’d like to get some of your feedback and ideas on ways to motivate Premium Memberships. There is value in this site in the community, camaraderie, advice, etc. The existing Premium Members have paid their memberships based on their perception of that value. But we understand that increasing Premium Membership isn’t going to happen unless we can provide more opportunities to capitalize on that value.
So, if you have ideas for how we might be able to do that, we are all ears. Please keep this stream positive. This is not a place for criticizing our current practices…we are people who are doing this on the side in addition to very busy lives and we already know it could be better or different if…if…if…etc. So please limit this to ideas for what we can DO, not what we SHOULDN’T do. Thank you.May 19, 2016 at 4:06 pm #189289
Bryan EvansParticipantPremium Member
I want to thank you for the opportunity to offer some opinions on this matter. I agree that you provide a great forum for members of the overland community especially in the great northwest and I do like visiting this site. I have seen good companies struggle to make it and instead of finding a long term solution for growth they feel the “quick” fix is to raise costs. Not long after, they are no longer in business due to return customers no longer willing to pay more for the same product/services.
I am a “paid member” at another site that allowed me options. The first option is a more “kick the tires” approach and suites many people that are willing to give it a try and see if they like it.
Cost: 25.00 for a one year membership.
Vinyl Site Sticker
10x more Attachment Space (100MB)
50x more PM storage (2500 total)
Large Avatar -120 x 120 pixels
Animated Avatar Allowed
Larger Profile Pic – 300 x 300 pixels
Animated Profile Pic Allowed
Now there may be more things offered to your existing members and could be toned down or subtracted for this level of commitment and I think that would be acceptable.
I actually paid for a 5 year membership and it cost 60.00 (14.00 per year). I didn’t get anything extra other than longevity of the above upgrades but I am happy with that. I did spend 25.00 for the 1st year and when it came time to renew I found the benefit of paying more for the longer time.
I understand that is significantly less than your existing membership costs but as you stated you only have 3% of users paying up. I am not sure of the amount of users your forum has but if you could see a jump to 34% with this option wouldn’t it produce more revenue?
On a side note, can you make it easier to post pictures? It would be nice to hit a paperclip button and it brought up a browse window that would allow me to pull pictures from my computer and then download them……….PLEASE 😉
By the way, I would gladly relinquish 60.00 bucks for 5 years and forgo the “kicking of the tires” route.
BryanMay 19, 2016 at 5:37 pm #189290
brinton bigelowParticipantPremium Member
Even though I rarely post anything or respond to posts I’m thankful this site is available…
I think for the little price of 60 bucks a year it is well worth knowing it will be here for me to browse…May 20, 2016 at 8:47 am #189308
Bryan, thank you so much for that input. We have been sort of tossing around ideas for making other ranges of membership available. Part of the issue is that we don’t have a custom website that would allow us to offer the kinds of perks you listed above…we are constrained by the system we’re using because designing and developing a custom site is waaaaay outside our financial capabilities. But I definitely hear your feedback on the varying levels and we’re going to work on new ideas in the coming weeks.
As for your request about the pictures, can you not see the Add Media button at the top of the reply box? That’s the paperclip option you describe. If you can’t see it that is not unheard of…apparently there are some browsers/operating systems that prevent it but we can’t figure exactly why. Here’s a guide I put together for posting pictures…yes some of them can get complicated but unfortunately at this time it’s all we got because of the aforementioned lack of developer funds. 🙂May 20, 2016 at 8:48 am #189309
Even though I rarely post anything or respond to posts I’m thankful this site is available… I think for the little price of 60 bucks a year it is well worth knowing it will be here for me to browse…
Thank you, Brinton. We really appreciate that feedback. 🙂May 20, 2016 at 8:39 pm #189338
I do enjoy occasionally visiting the site and after sitting with Dan, when he came to Denver and listening to his ideas of a forum and club for off roading it was truly appealing and I wholeheartedly felt that supporting it was a great idea.
I was a premium member for awhile. There was a startup Denver based unit. It quickly faded away and although the reasons are forgotten by most it is not really effective to be a premium member in a far away place when the discounts and perks are non existent or only for the folks in the NW, including the possible GPS tracking for NW traveling that has been mentioned is available through other mediums.
I applaud the members and Dan and Amy for their joint efforts to promote a localy based club.
Thanks and happy trailsMay 20, 2016 at 11:13 pm #189343
I think of it more like a donation than a membership. I don’t really expect anything, but I would like to contribute to the lights being on and whatever other site improvements are to be made.
If the goal is to increase revenues, perhaps fundraising for the monthly bill would be more straightforward for people. I’ve seen other forums work that way. The little thermometer deal on the side of the page and a pay-pal or whatever link.May 21, 2016 at 7:28 am #189348
Patrick TingleyParticipantBasic Member
I agree with what’s his name above me…. I like this site and contribute to help keep it running. Plus Dan said if I didn’t he would send naked pictures of himself. I also contribute on DTX and WAS on another site, but that site didn’t even send you a sticker, email acknowledgement or anything which kinda pissed me off so I stopped the monthly donation. Which it isn’t about recognition or anything, just a simple thank you. But yea, to help keep the lights on, and good people and information here. Same with DTX, plus a couple other perks, like no filters… works for some, not so much for others. Definitely not something for this site.May 21, 2016 at 8:16 am #189349
There are over 900 members in this group and having a Premium membership vice a Basic membership does rather separate the members. I do feel somewhat diminished by the title of ‘basic’.
Just a proposal…if everyone were to donate $25 on their birthday, as a present to themselves and the group as a whole it would amount to almost $23K a year. Easy to remember the date, yes?
I am not sure what it takes to run a site and devote the time to mediate the posts but it might be a equatable way to alleviate most concerns. Everyone involved would have equal access to a great site and have the comfort of belonging to an organization that promotes off road safety and have access to the discounts and … those elusive GPS tracks that seem to be ultimately valuable.
…a thought…discussion? But, after all, this is not my site.May 21, 2016 at 11:44 am #189351
Good input and thanks Patrick, Brinton, Bryan and Alex for your input here as well.
I am kind of torn, really. We actually have over 2000+ registered members. Not all who register post or indulge in conversation, etc.
I will say out Premiums and vendors keep the web hosting, some swag and small development projects pretty much covered.
I would like to see a little more revenue to be able to diversify NWOL logo wear, advertising on other sites and periodicals. Amy and I, as did Craig Miller, our predecessor, put and keep this community together out of passion. We don’t see any of the cash transferred, other than to pay hosting bills and annual taxes. Plus the upkeep of the domain registration annually.
In the past, we did conduct an all hands call for action to give the site’s bank account a shot in the arm, as our hosting fees were OUTRAGEOUS!
We have since transferred hosting to a more stable and economical option.
DanMay 22, 2016 at 10:27 am #189365
Kelly ZaparaParticipantPremium Member
I too see the premium membership fee as a donation (although a sticker or two would be nice) as a way to help out the ‘community’ I choose to participate with. Having run a few businesses, I know what it takes to keep things going and if my small yearly fee helps, then I’m happy to send it in. In the scheme of participating in our hobby, the $60 is a fairly small amount to help keep this group together and to share or use the information that’s available through this site.May 22, 2016 at 3:11 pm #189368
Steve MarchiandoParticipantBasic Member
For me $60 a year is too much. Not much happens over here near Sandpoint. Even the local gatherings are an hour drive away. What is the value added for people that are out in the middle of nowhere? What price are people willing to pay for what the group beings to them. If there are 2000 members and you could get %25 of them to pay $10 you would have more revenue then %3 paying $60. Do you raise the cost? Lower the cost? When I did sales it was all about value added, not about price. What does NWOL bring to the table to add value to the members.May 22, 2016 at 4:12 pm #189370
I will be curious to hear the answer to that last question, being farther away than you are…here in Denver.May 22, 2016 at 7:31 pm #189372
Keith KammenzindParticipantPremium Member
The 60.00 is well worth it to me. I live about three hours from Spokane and five hours from the Puget Sound I still attend meet ups.
I just participated in the WBDR first leg attempt with a great group of NWOL people. It was 222 miles for me to where the group trip started. I think there is value in the camaraderie and willingness of people to assist when needed. I had not met 2/3 of the group previously. Everyone was cordial and with a very diverse bunch of vehicles from mild to extreme. I would not have attempted the trip on my own.
just my 2 centsMay 22, 2016 at 8:46 pm #189379
Michael RettingerParticipantBasic Member
What if we did a fundraiser like a public radio station? Maybe we could get venders to donate some cool stuff, To give away if folks would give a higher dollar amout. Example if you donate a 100 dollars you get a T shirt if you give $500 you get a recovery kit! Ext. Not sure if this approach would work but seems like a cool approach. Question is NW overland a non profit? If so that is something that I would donate more to at the end of the year.
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