Showing posts from November, 2011

Top 6 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Click-Through Rate

Yesterday we discussed how to improve your email marketing open rates . Today we'll focus on improving click-through rates, because it's one thing for people to read your email but a whole other deal getting them to take action and click the links embedded in your email. The following six strategies have helped me improve my camp's email marketing click-through rates as much as 51%. I'm hoping these tactics include your email click-through rates, too. 1. The Pictures and Videos in Your Emails Should be "Clickable" A pure text email (unless it's incredibly short) will never outperform an email that contains images and/or videos. The pictures and videos in your emails should be clickable links to whatever you want your recipient to see next. You probably don't even need to tell people to click the pictures, because half the time their curiosity will get the best of them, and they'll wind up clicking the pictures on their own volition anyway ju

How to Increase Your Email Marketing Open Rates

Tonight I received a 2-part question relative to email marketing. The first part of the question was, "What's the best way to increase email open rates?", and the second part was, "What's the best way to increase email click-through rates?" This is a VERY timely subject and excellent question because just like snail-mail, email marketing sending rates increase tremendously during the Holiday season, often by as much as 35% compared to the rest of the year. In fact later tonight I'm sending an email to one of my lists of 3,000 people inviting them to sign up for camp next year right now and, if they do, I'll give them a $50 gift card to either Best Buy, Sport Chalet, Starbucks or Burke-Williams, their choice. I hope they open my email! Concerning open rates, a big factor of whether people open your email depends on if your recipients are familiar with your camp or they are new prospects. If they've been to your camp before, or know about you s

How to Make Your Camp "Talkable"

I'm sure you get a lot (if not most) of your summer camp business from word of mouth (or referrals) from happy camp families. Here's a very good video from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) on how to get more word of mouth referrals, how to measure whether your word of mouth marketing program is successful, how to benefit from word of mouth marketing and how to make your camp brand "talkable." If you're into word of mouth and social media, check this video out.

Marketing Seminar: Live, or Online?

I've heard from a number of camps who'd prefer our upcoming marketing seminar in March to be an online event rather than a live, personal one in Palm Springs so more people can attend. If you'd prefer a marketing "webinar" to a live event, please "LIKE" this post so I can get some idea of how many folks might be interested.

How to Get Prospects to do What You Want Them To

What happens if you've invested a lot of time and money crafting the perfect ad, building the perfect website, writing the ideal article -- but it doesn't work? Well, one thing to consider is, did you include a "Call to Action"? Nobody should ever see an ad you took out in the newspaper and be left wondering what to do next. You can't expect people to read your mind. You need to tell them exactly what to. That's your "call to action." Here's how to craft your call to action: Figure out the purpose of your ad (or web page, or blog post, or whatever), then incorporate it, clearly and simply, into your marketing message (whether it's an ad, article, whatever). If you want someone to call you after they see your ad, your call to action is, "Call Now!" (and you include your phone number. If you want someone to go to your website after reading your article, your call to action should be, "Visit our website now" (and incl

Your Camp is Pepsi, and Your Competition's is Coke

There's lots of ways you can show your prospects your camp is better than your competitor's. And you don't always need words to do it. You can use pictures to prove your point just fine. In fact sometimes pictures are better than words. As you probably know, I'm a big fan of stealing advertising ideas from other industries, then applying those ideas to market my own camp. So imagine if you switched the Coke can for an image of your competitor's camp, and the Pepsi can for an image of your own camp, and the Coke straw for a picture of an unhappy, homesick or crying camper, and the Pepsi straw for an image of a happy one. Now THAT would be an effective ad!

Top 3 Website Design Tips

Late fall and early winter seems to be the time many camps update their websites for the future summer. The top three things to keep in mind when designing your site are: 1. Make it visually appealing Nice looking sites are better than ugly ones, right? Fonts, colors, and pictures should match and be nice to look at. You only have a few seconds to grab someone's attention, so don't waste that precious time -- use it to GRAB your website visitor and suck them in to your content immediately.   2. Make it easy to navigate Simplicity is best. If you can tell your camp's story in just a few, easy-to-navigate pages than 50 pages of complicated stuff where people have to jump around to find everything, they will become confused, pissed off and leave your site. Keep in simple! 3. Make it load fast If people need to wait around for your pages to load, they'll get frustrated and leave. Not only that, search engines reward sites that load faster than others. Also, more

What are Teenage Girls Talking About Online?

If teenage girls are part of your camp's target market, you need to know what's important to them. Here's a blog post that will let you know what teenage girls are talking about online. Now that you have this information, you can create marketing messages (such as blog posts of your own) around these topics.

How to Get More Referrals

Here's a nice article on how to get more referrals. This page links to 12 different resources  so you're bound to find a referral generating strategy that works for you.

How to Make More Money Without Increasing Camp Enrollment

I want to show you how to make more money (I'm talking EASY money, pure profit) without increasing your camp enrollment. That means camps that have reached their enrollment capacity or others who have trouble getting new campers are in very good shape. But first, here's the back story. Last spring at the Tri-State summer camp conference I led a session called, "How to Triple Your Camp Enrollment in One Year." The concept of tripling your enrollment is not hard to grasp: If each one of your current camper families refers just two others you'll have tripled your enrollment right away. Now many of the camp directors who attended my session were astounded at the simplicity of this formula. But others would not accept the concept of tripling your camp enrollment in just one year as a viable idea. They did not believe what I discussed would work for them, or they said it was unrealistic. Listen. I'm not too eager to get egg on my face, so I assure you everyt

How to Ask Your Fans Questions on Facebook

One of the best ways to engage your fans and get valuable feedback on your camp is by using Facebook's Questions feature . If you ask the right questions, it's usually irresistible for people to sit idly by without responding. This feature works like a poll. You pose your question, then your fans can choose from predetermined (multiple choice) answers you have created. Just click your "Question" icon (you'll find it on the same horizontal line as your status bar) on your Facebook page to get started.  

It's Time To Add or Update Your Camp's Free Coupon on

Don't forget to update your existing coupon at or add a new one . Either way, please fill out this form so we have your latest information. Although adding a coupon is free, what we do ask is that you  LIKE Camp Coupons on Facebook in exchange for being included on the site.

How Cutthroat Are You Willing to Be?

Sometimes it's easier to sell the idea of summer camp on kids and families already attending camps than trying to get new kids to sign up who've never been to camp before. So, if I could should you how to steal away as many kids from your main competitor as you want, would you be willing to do it? (And trust me, there'd be nothing illegal or immoral about this marketing strategy, it's just that you'd need a whole lot of guts to do it...) So...would you? Could you?....Do you have the you-know-what to try it??? It seems to me like your camp is worth it....So what do you think??? Post your comments and let me know! 

How to Get More Campers from the Same Number of Website Vistors

Chances are you have several pages of your website where visitors spend the most time. Once you determine which pages these are, you can leverage this information to get more campers from the same amount of website traffic you already have. In my case, I discovered that web pages which include pictures of both counselors and campers seem to keep website visitors on the page at least twice as long as other web pages which include photos of kids, but not staff. (You might give this a try and see if you get the same results for your own website and associated photos. If you don't know how to get statistics like these for your website, ask your web host who will be able to help you.) In any event you can be sure you have at least some pages of your website where visitors hang around much longer than others. Once you have identified which web pages are your most popular, your next step is to implement strategies to convert them into paying campers. Two ideas come to mind. First

Should You Use Video Marketing as a Staff Recruitment Strategy?

If I were gonna start a new summer camp marketing program today, video marketing would be at the top of my list of promotional tools. But video marketing isn't just a great way to get more kids into your camp. Given the way college students watch online videos these days , video marketing is also a great staff recruitment strategy.

Single Dads or Single Moms: Which is a Better Target Market?

A while back I mentioned single dads were an untapped target market for you. Single moms may be just as big, if not bigger. Did you know 40% of all kids are now born to single mothers? And 80% of all single mothers work? As you can tell from this article on , it's probably worth your while to send a mailing or something just to single moms and see what you get. The potential is enormous!