How Lime Drove 7,000 Connections with Law Makers in New York
When Lime wanted to make scooters and bikes available in New York, and especially on the crowded island of Manhattan, it had work to do. Advocacy work.
The company had to convince the legislature in Albany to pass a bill and ensure the governor’s support, before it could turn its attention to the mayor and council in New York City. In cases like this, Lime has
learned to depend on its audience of riders and people who want more transportation options.
“Advocacy has been a critical tool for Lime in demonstrating to elected officials that there is strong support for shared scooter programs among the communities they serve,” said Jonathan Perri, Director of Advocacy at Lime. “Personalized emails from our riders let mayors and city council members hear exactly how their constituents are using scooters to get to work and school, and to supplement gaps in public transportation.”
Using email, text, social media campaigns—even messages in the Lime app—the company built a list of more than 5,000 advocates and launched six separate campaigns over more than a year. Roughly half this list took action, resulting in almost 7,000 connections with public officials. A petition drive garnered more than 1,800 signatures.
The company’s open rate for email averaged 42 percent and clicks averaged almost 11 percent. Conversion on one text campaign topped 9 percent. After the company hosted a “Lime Lounge” pop-up event in
Manhattan, debuting new scooter technology and other Lime initiatives, metrics spiked. One email follow-up campaign saw a 76-percent open rate.
New York state officials ultimately allowed bikes and scooters to operate, and the New York City Council passed legislation authorizing a pilot program to begin next year. Lime won in New York.
Building Community with ‘Accessible Advocacy’
Lime’s advocacy efforts help it enter new markets but they also give the company a voice in communities it serves. “We truly see ourselves as part of the communities where we operate,” Perri said. “We have a mission to help create more sustainable and healthy cities.”
The company has launched several initiatives over time. The Lime Hero program, for example, allows riders to round up what they spent on a ride and donate it to a cause. The Respect the Ride campaign gave away free helmets and got more than 100,000 people to sign a safety pledge.
In perhaps its largest effort yet, the Lime Action program aims to turn 1 million riders into advocates for safer streets, sustainable cities and social justice. The company is encouraging its audience to support community initiatives sponsored by other organizations.
That might include building protected bike lanes on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition; joining My Hood My Block My City, a Chicago nonprofit providing underprivileged youth with opportunities beyond their neighborhood; or helping the Austin Outside coalition fund and create a citywide network of sidewalks, bike lanes and urban trails in Austin, Texas.
“We want to take issues and make them compelling enough for everyday people to understand them and take action,” Perri said. “That’s the strategy here: accessible advocacy.”
advocates via email, text, and social campaigns
connections generated with public officials
average open rate for emails
We want to take issues and make them compelling enough for everyday people to understand them and take action. That’s the strategy here: accessible advocacy.
JONATHAN PERRI Director of Advocacy