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Showing posts from February, 2011

How to Keep Prospects on Your Website Longer

One thing we need to all be cognizant of is people's time. When someone visits your website, they're probably ALREADY in a rush even while the page is still loading. They're probably wondering which site to go to next before they even start reading or viewing your stuff. That's why it's so crucial you show them something so incredibly compelling they can't resist hanging around for a while. The best way I've found to "hook" someone is with video. I wouldn't set the video on "autoplay" because it's probably best to let people decide for themselves what they want to do or don't do on your site. But if your video looks cool with a nice screenshot, you'll make it very difficult for anyone to resist watching and spending at least a minute or two (and hopefully more) on your home page.

Post Your Free Coupon at Camp Coupons.com

Just a reminder folks, if you haven't posted your free coupon at Camp Coupons.com, now is the time to do it. The site's getting TONS of traffic every day and this should only increase increase in the coming enrollment season months. This is free advertising for you, so Check it out...

Camp Videos That Generate More Business

Guest Post By Brad Magill
Videos have been part of the camp marketing arena since the age of VHS tapes. While the technology has changed dramatically, the core principal is the same- to capture the culture of your camp in an appealing light and generate more business.

7 Camp Video Ponderings:

Your video is more accessible than ever

Internet video has boomed in the past several years. In the early days (way back 5 years ago), you could put your video online, but the quality was very poor. The future is here— you should have your video online and in high quality, for prospective families to watch at the click of a mouse.

Targeting specific audiences

Here are some challenges associated with creating a successful camp video:

• Appeal to parents so they will entrust their child’s life with you.
• Appeal to campers so they will think your camp is the coolest.
• Appeal to potential staff members so they want to spend their summer at your camp regardless of pay.

Use separate videos to targe…

How to Make Your Telephone Marketing Work Better

I know most camp directors hate telemarketing. But you really should be using the phone as much as possible. The more you use your telephone, the more enrollment you'll get.

If you're not comfortable making "cold calls," get someone else in your office to do it or forget it altogether. But don't forget to make follow up calls to everyone who calls you. 
If somebody asks for a brochure on Tuesday, call them next Monday to make sure they got it. And when you're talking to your prospect, say their name about 2 million times. 
There's nothing sweeter in the English language to people who hear their own name. It's a great sales tactic for you and creates a warm and fuzzy feeling for your prospect.

How to Update Your Blog 3 Times Per Day

You may have heard me say (about 20 million times before) that you should be updating your blog at least three times a week. It's the best way to get maximum "google juice" and internet awareness for your camp. This time of year you might consider doing it three times a day. If you don't have time to write every day, set aside just one day where you write 50 short, pithy blog posts in advance, then release three per day for the next couple weeks. Then do it again. If you still can't find the time to write or you have writer's block, I might be able to help you out by "ghost blogging" for you. Let me know.

How to Build a Sales Force Like the Big Boys

Recently we talked about having your customers and staff serve as your camp's "sales team." Maybe you can take this notion further. Why not have a "real" sales force like the big companies do?

Did you know many salespeople make more money their company presidents, CEOs and executives? If you can find a few salespeople adept at signing up kids on your behalf left and right, you certainly won't mind them making more money than you!

Look on job boards and classified ads for people who would like to work for 5% - 25% commission. Train them about the details of how your camp operates so they can get out and start finding kids for you. When a family registers for camp, you pay half the commission due. You pay the other half when the camper completes his or her enrollment time.

The thing I really like about this idea is you get the potential to reach countless kids and families you otherwise wouldn't, but you don't have to pay any money for it unless you g…

How to Get Families to Remember You All Year

Here's a way to get families remembering all the fun times their kid had at camp and thinking about you in the off-season.

When a camper makes an arts & crafts project, store the project at camp. Don't let the child take it home.

Several months later, say in November or December, send the craft to the family with a handwritten note saying you were doing some site maintenance and came across this beautiful project their kid made at camp and you thought they might like to have it.

They'll be floored!

Not only will they LOVE the fact you even found it in the first place, they'll be grateful you took the time to send it. They'll probably hang it on their wall or something. They'll definitely call you to say thanks, and you know they'll share this story with their friends!

Trust me, this one works. I'd rather do something like this than send the family a calendar or something they'll probably throw in the trash. I've used this tactic forever …

Top 10 Tips for Using Your Website to Increase Camp Enrollment

Guest Post by Phillip Galbreth

1. Keep camp details up year-round.

Rather than take down registration info after the season ends, keep fees and session details posted so potential customers can see what next year might look like. Add a note stating that the season is over, but new dates will be posted soon. Parents who find a site without any details will simply move on.

2. Invest in online advertising.

“If you build it, they will come” does not apply. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean parents will find you. Camp directories, Facebook ads, and online display advertising on relevant sites are low-cost ways to drive traffic to your camp Web site. And more traffic means more campers!

3. Use multi-media to showcase your camp.

A photo gallery gives parents a visual taste of camp activities and facilities. Flip video camcorders start at $149 and can be used to create and post videos to your site. The better glimpse you can give parents, the better chance you’ll have to sell yo…

Marketing is the Difference Maker

The difference between wildly successful camps and the not-so-successful ones is marketing. The difference between wildly successful businesses and those not-so-successful is how well they do their marketing. Everyone's working as hard as everyone else. So if working hard is all it takes, we'd all be rich. That means marketing is the difference maker. If you've got a kick ass camp, the world needs to know about it. Marketing is how you tell them. Then, when your camp gets wildly successful, you'll see that marketing is your best friend.

How to Write the Perfect Text Ad for Pay Per Click Advertising

Guest Blog Post by Dan Weir:

I’ve heard from way too many camp directors that they want to create the perfect ad for a pay per click or CPC system.

Stop trying. It’s impossible.

Instead try to write an ad that delivers exactly what you do. The entire benefit to a cost per click ad is that you only pay for people that click on your advertisement. If you write something that is an exaggeration or not straight forward, you are wasting money.

“Rated Best Summer Camp in the Catskills, NY” is a complete waste compared to “Safe Sleepaway Camp in the Catskills, NY”. “Rated Best Summer Camp in the Catskills, NY” will get you more clicks. “Rated…” will drive more traffic to your site. Despite great results with clicks, all of this is completely wrong.

All of the visitors to your site will spend 2 minutes at the most on your website. 35% of those visitors will leave right after the home screen loads. They won’t see the video you spent hours editing. They won’t make it to your sleek onlin…

Do Camp Fairs Still Matter?

Recently there's been discussion among camp professionals as to whether Camp Fairs are still relevant as a marketing tool. I've been outspoken as anyone. I believe Camp Fairs still have their place in your marketing, but thanks to the Internet and social networking, the benefit of attending them has been marginalized.

Or has it?

Today's Small Business Trends website includes a blog post called, "Why Networking in Person Still Matters" by Deborah Shane. Shane makes some pretty nice points about the value of  face-to-face marketing compared to online marketing. She argues the power of connecting in person with customers and prospects trumps the internet, especially with respect to getting to know people and building trust:
"Why is face-to-face networking so important? The power of personally connecting and human interaction accelerates relationship building. In 10 minutes I can learn more about someone, and they about me, in person than in six months online ...…