This may be a strange time to introduce the idea but now is possibly the most opportune time in recent years to run a bicycle marketing campaign.

With nearly three quarters of Britons anxious about loosening lockdown, getting on a bus, tram, tube/Metro, or train to go back to work is a big thing to ask of staff.

Social distancing is going to be almost impossible to enforce without radically reduced passenger numbers of public transport. And not everyone has a car.

The age of the cycle may be here at last.

The average distance to travel from work to home is 8 miles.

This should take between 25-40 minutes depending on the health and experience of the cyclist.

Unconnected to COVID-19 but recently announced were plans to inject £2billion into Local Authorities to help improve facilities for cyclists.

This, coupled with reduced load on the roads from motorists, make cycling a viable option for many people previously stopped from doing so for fear of being hit by cars and lorries.

The number of orders for bicycles under the Cycle To Work has risen 200% among people working for the emergency services.

Speaking to BBC News, one bike shop owner said that his sales had increased from 20-30 a week to 250 a day. Bicycle repair services are also booming.

And, of course, since the lockdown came into force, bicycle shops were classified by the Government as essential retailers.

What message do bicycle sellers need to share with businesses right now?

Your bicycle marketing campaign should cover the following four points –

  1. If you can enforce social distancing in your workplace, give your non-car-owning employees a bike so that they can get in avoiding public transport.
  2. Fitter, healthier staff are more productive. And they take less time off.
  3. Save money through salary sacrifice using the Cycle to Work scheme.
  4. Great for communicating to staff that you care about their health.

What is the Cycle to Work program?

Employers can provide their staff with reduced-price bikes and the accessories to go with them with the Cycle To Work hire scheme.

The Cycle To Work hire scheme is offered by Cyclescheme and it is open to employees who are paid via the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) system.

What are the benefits? According to Cyclescheme, participation means:

  • a healthier, more productive workforce
  • money saved on National Insurance Employers’ Contributions, and
  • reduce CO2 emissions (good for your Corporate and Social Responsibility scheme, if you have one).

There are five steps to take for an employer wishing to a launch a Cycle To Work scheme, and they are:

• Sign up

An employer visits to register their company. When they register, an account will be set up for the company and through their access portal, they can find the scheme’s administration tool.

• Employers let their staff know about it

Employers should then market the scheme and its benefit to their staff. Cyclescheme provide free promotional literature for an employer to pass around their workforce.

• Choose a bike

Now you market your bikes to an employer for their staff to select from. To apply, your employee needs to enter their personal details once they have chosen their bike and sign the Hire Agreement.

• Certify

The employee requests a certificate and when they do, the employer receives notification. The staff then confirms that they are eligible to join the scheme and the employer approves their request. At that point, you send an invoice for the employer to pay and an e-Certificate is sent to the employee.

• Delivery or collection

The bike is then delivered to or collected by the employee and Cyclescheme then pays for the package. From this point on, the employee’s salary sacrifice starts.

Company benefits are small in comparison to employee benefits

The employers do save money on your National Insurance Employers’ Contributions each year for every member of staff who takes the scheme up.

Because the employee gets their bike without having to pay VAT, income tax, or National Insurance Employees’ Contribution, their saving is a substantial – £222 a year.

Each staff member will, on average, burn 4,485 calories a week cycling to work and stop the emission of 45kg worth of CO2 a week. Those figures are correct at the time of writing according to the Cyclescheme website.

What happens at the end of the hire period?

The initial hire period lasts for 12 months. At the end of the hire period, the employee can either extend the hire, pay to own the bike, or return it. According to Cyclescheme figures, 94% of participants choose to extend so that they can benefit from similar levels of savings for longer.

If they extend the hire, the employee pays a one-off deposit of between 3-7% of the total value of their package and then they enter into an Extended Use Agreement. The employee pays nothing and then, after 36 months when the bike is at its lowest market value, Cyclescheme then transfers ownership of the bike free to the staff member.

If they pay to take ownership of the bike, they will have to find 18-25% of the package’s original value. They will not save as much in tax as by extending the hire but they will be the outright owner of the bike.

Alternatively, they can return the bike if they no longer wish to hire it or take ownership of it (either now or 2 years later).

Four bicycle marketing campaign options

1. Data-only option

  • Choose from the types of decision makers and companies you want to market to – over 2,000 lines of business available so choose only the companies you want. You can also select companies to contact by geographical area.
  • Data includes company name, email address, contact names, contact job titles, postal address, and phone numbers. Supplementary information provided may include turnover band, company net worth, profitable or loss-making, percentage changes in sales volume and profit, type of premises, and number of branches.
  • Full database usage rights for 12 months after purchase with discounts for renewal.

2. Our B2B email marketing campaign service

  • Choose from the types of decision makers and companies you want to market to – over 2,000 lines of business available so choose only the companies you want. You can also select companies to contact by geographical area.
  • Email design – our copywriters and designers will create a persuasive, attractive, engaging, and compelling email design for your company demonstrating the personal and corporate benefits of purchasing bicycles for staff and the Cyclescheme.
  • Three email broadcasts – we will send your email via our trusted servers to the organisations on your database.
  • Full reporting on each email campaign – three days after each send, we’ll email you a spreadsheet showing which recipients opened and clicked through to your website (and the number of times they did so).
  • Full database usage rights for 12 months after purchase with discounts for renewal.

3. Our B2B telemarketing service

  • Let us have conversations on your behalf with key decision makers (DMs) with the aim of finding out how many staff could bike in and stay safe in your premises with social distancing.
  • Lead generation – pass warm leads onto your sales team.
  • We can book and qualify appointments with decision makers (either face-to-face, phone, or Skype-type meetings).
  • Market research – get us to ask any questions you want to decision makers (including asking about how staff currently get to work, whether they have a storage area for staff to leave their bikes, and so on).
  • Full conversation planning (including openings and objection handles).
  • Live reporting of the campaign – see records completed in real time.
  • We’ll notify you straight away if a prospect indicates that they want to talk with you straight away.

4. Mixture of electronic marketing and telemarketing

While electronic marketing and telemarketing can be very effective on their own, lead generation increases greatly when the two are combined.

Running a bicycle marketing campaign in the COVID-19 era

To discuss launching a bicycle marketing campaign in the COVID-19 pandemic era, please get in touch with More Than Words.

We’ll find out in as much detail as possible about the range of bikes you offer and how you can help Britain get back to work faster and healthier.

For more information, call 0330 010 8300 or click here to email us.

Call 0330 010 3495

Getting businesses to purchase bikes for their staff through the Cycle To Work scheme

For more information, please call us on 0330 010 8300, click here to email us, or fill in the form below and we’ll get back in touch with you.