Thanks for the question. Anyone who likes Viz is my kind of person!
The simple answer is Facebook ads. On Facebook you can target anyone who is a City fan and show them an advert to join the Trust. You only pay Facebook if the person clicks on the advert, which would take you to a dedicated page to join the Trust.
Let's say you have to pay £1 to Facebook for every City fan who clicks on the ad. And 1 in 10 of those people who click on the ad join the Trust. That means you're paying £10 to get someone to join the Trust.
Let's also say that each person who joins the Trust via the ad pays the minimum £24 Trust membership fee. And all of them cancel their membership after a year. Take away a few quid for things like PayPal fees and you can say that each sign-up is worth £20 to the Trust.
Given you've paid £10 to get £20, you now have a scalable model that can be ramped up. That's essentially how you increase the Trust membership via Facebook advertising.
Of course, I've massively simplified things. In reality there are lots of factors that will determine the success of the project. The targeting of the ad, the strength of the call-to-action, the benefits of joining the Trust, the ease in which to fill out the form, how you can pay, the speed of the page, optimisation for all phones, and so on.
The beauty of the Web, unlike print advertising, is you can "split test" everything, almost like a scientific experiment. You can show different people different ads, have different sign up pages, different offers, different prices, and so on, and see what resonates and converts the best with City fans. You can do all this simultaneously and have dozens of experiments running at the same time. Essentially what you're looking for is the slightest of marginal gains, repeated over and over to make the best return.
If you can get to a position where you're spending less than the minimum joining fee to get a new Trust member, then you're in a good place. Especially as some who join will pay more than the minimum fee, and all new members should have more buy-in to City as a club, leading to extra revenue from merchandise sales and gate sales.
Hope that's covered the basics. In reality it's a lot of work and trial and error, and you need a decent understanding of behaviour on the Web to maximise the upside and get a good ROI.
Facebook is the easiest, short-term way to increase Trust membership. There are others, but that is perhaps for another post!
I'm a new member of Exeweb and have never been a member previously. Over the years I've lurked quite a lot!
Re Facebook, yes, if you have liked Exeter City on there then an advertiser can find that out. It's why Facebook is such a powerful advertising platform, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and is in the news most days. As a user of Facebook you are accepting that the data you put up there will be shared with advertisers.
I have never used Facebook or Twitter etc and i've recently joined the Trust. I can understand that many people nowadays bizarrely can't function without using these platforms daily and therefore trying to attract new members via these platforms makes sense. However, i do think REAL engagement and interactions with fans is important and necessary rather than the pseudo-engagement that comes with just incessantly posting adverts to join the trust on social media.
If Exeter were promoting something on Facebook then i'd never know about it. Probably i'm in a minority though.
Do the club promote things via email? If they do i'd not know about that either as i've never had an email from the club about anything. Maybe everyone who buys a ticket for a game can give their email address and then anything the club wish to push can be sent by generic email to all the addresses on the database. I check my emails every day. I never check social media platforms because i don't use them. Sending an email to everyone would ensure a wider range of people would get to see what the club are promoting as young and old, most people use email regularly.
Also could the whole package of trust membership be revamped maybe? Say include a lot more incentives and rewards. Although i appreciate to do this the minimum cost of membership may have to be increased. Jazz it up a bit.
I'm not a Facebooker either and suggest that the many Grecians that use it are aware of the Trust and it's work. I think it would have to be a pretty good ad to entice fans to join and, like lego, think that there could be more incentives to do so. Good luck to you Ed and I'd like to think that this could work but do you have any other strings to your bow ?
Seems a bit steep that every click costs the club a quid, especially as there's no guarantee any of the clickers will join the Trust.
This would be a kind of "passing trade" exercise, since I'm sure most City fans already know about the Trust Are people likely to click and think "Oh OK : I think I'll join Exeter City Football Club Trust"?
If it was free : no problem.
PS. Appreciate you have stuck your neck out and come onto Exeweb to share your ideas and ask for feedback