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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Can Your Camp's Enrollment Confirmation Packets Generate Word-of-Mouth for You?

When a family signs up for camp, you send a confirmation packet, right? Maybe your packet includes a Parent Handbook, instructions for what to wear and bring to camp (packing list), a payment receipt and all that. But does your confirmation packet serve as a word-of-mouth referral generator too?

Here's how it can. When a family gets their confirmation packet, give them all the usual stuff I just mentioned. But also include a Customer VIP or Referral Card which entitles their friends to a 10% discount off camp tuition.

(Actually you can include anything else you want in your confirmation packets, but your guiding thought should be "what could I give just-enrolled families something they'd share with their friends?").

If your customers can say to their friends, "Hey, I just signed up for this great camp, and I can get you a discount so your kid can go there too," bingo! You just hooked another enrollment, and you didn't have to do a thing to get it. (Don't worry about giving 10% off, because you're probably spending a lot more than that to get a new customer anyway. So this strategy ends up being a bargain for you.)

I hope you give this a try. It's a VERY easy way to get generate viral word-of-mouth right in the middle of camp enrollment season. You really can't beat this as a core part of your referral marketing plan.

2 comments:

  1. What if the family you have just enrolled questions the fact that their friends now get a discount and they don't? Surely if they have just paid full price, parents may be reluctant to pass on discounts or will call back to ask why they didn't too receive a discount. It's a great idea and I would LOVE to get word of mouth marketing up... Just a general question to deal with possible future problems.

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  2. Hi Janine, thanks for your comment. Your concern is valid, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. If you're really concerned about it, then here's what you can do: Only give the referral / VIP dicount cards to returning camp families who've already become attached to you and your program in the past, not just anyone who signs up. Tell them you're starting a "New Customer Discount" program and they should feel free to hand out these cards to their friends so they (their friends) can get the New Customer Discount. If you have a high (or decent) annual camper return rate, you should be passing these cards out to lots of people who will share them with their friends and you'll get lots of new campers for next to nothing without pissing anyone off :)
    -- Eric

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