Showing posts from March, 2012

How to Keep Enrollment Flowing After Your Early Bird Discount Ends

One of the great things about offering early bird discounts is the flurry of enrollment you get leading up to the deadline. The frustrating downside is contending with the inevitable sign-up drought after the deadline passes. But there's a couple things you can do to keep enrollment flowing. The most obvious thing is to simply extend the deadline to anyone who will listen: "Due to overwhelming demand, we're extending the early bird discount ... etc. etc..." But while this generally gets you a few more enrollments, you also run the risk of pissing everyone off who busted their asses to meet the deadline in the first place, not to mention your credibility also suffers because everyone will realize there's no need to rush to sign up in the future when they can get the discount anyway even if they miss the deadline. Personally, I confess I ALWAYS extended my early bird rate by approximately one week past the deadline to accommodate families who missed it for whate

How to Add a Map to Your Website

Do you have a map of your location on your website? Your camp's location and facilities are a big part of what you're selling. In fact for many camps, their locations are their competitive advantage.  If you've got a great location, better  maintenance , a special lease or permit nobody else can get, or you just want to help curious parents know where you're located, you need to include a map on your website. Adding a map to your website is so easy, there's no reason not to add one. Here's how: Go to   Google Maps Enter the address for your camp's (summer) location. You will then see a map of your site and the surrounding area. Zoom in or out if you want to. Find the "LINK" icon adjacent to the upper left hand corner of the map (top right hand corner of text side of the page). Click the "LINK" icon. You will now see two sets of code. Click the  bottom  one that says "Paste HTML to embed in website." The code should now

Direct Mail: When Less is More

You're probably aware of the term "repetition" as it relates to marketing. The more times people see your  message, the better, because all those impressions eventually add up in your favor helping you build brand awareness and making prospects more likely to try your camp . But the number of people you reach is not as important as how many times you reach them. If you're starting a new camp, you might be OK sending 10,000 postcards to 10,000 families to get the initial word. After that, you're better off (from cost-effectiveness and brand-building standpoints) sending 2,000 postcards five separate times to the same group of families rather than 10,000 families just once. Sending a one-time mailing might get overlooked by the majority of those you send it to. In fact the average person might not even notice it. But if you send a postcard to the same person five times in a row, you can BET they'll  notice it, at least eventually, and they'll take interes

How to Get New Camper Leads With Ads You Used Long Ago

If you're like most camp directors (me included), you probably don't advertise in newspapers and magazines too much anymore. After all, print circulation is down and most people turn to the internet to find camps these days. But what if you could reuse the same print ads you used long ago -- ads you already paid good money for -- in new, different, and more cost-effective ways? Well, you can, and these very same historical ads can generate many new leads and camper prospects for you. Go ahead and look through all the old print ads you used to run. (Hopefully you've kept them accessible.) Try to recall which ad pulled best. Once you've identified your best historical ad, put it on a postcard as a direct mail piece , then send it to all the prospects in your target market area. You will likely find the same ad works just as well as before, and for a lot less money, too, because you don't have to pay anyone or take the time to design anything new, and direct mail po