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How to Upsell Your Summer Camp Customers and Make More Money

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to make more money. Even though your main source of revenue will always be camper tuition, what happens when all your cabins are filled or camper groups are maxed out and you don’t have room for any more kids? Do you have any other revenue-generating options?

Well if you run an overnight camp, you might already be using some of the more common strategies like fundraising, renting your facility to user-groups, offering team-building programs for companies … that kind of thing. (If you’re not doing this yet, now’s the time to start!)

For day camps, you might consider starting new programs to compliment what you’re already doing. For instance, if you run a site-based camp with enrollment capacity limitations, why not add a field-trip component where the numbers of kids you can take have no limits?

The one thing every camp can do is implement a formal “upselling” program. This would be similar to when you go to McDonald’s and they ask you if you want to “supersize your fries” for only 10 cents more.

The way to get started is by adding something to your enrollment form allowing customers to purchase additional options above and beyond standard camp registration. You can also upsell your customers when you confirm their kids’ enrollment.

Depending on your creativity and willingness to offer upselling opportunities to your customers, the financial impact of implementing a formal upselling program will vary from one camp to another. But even camps that offer very basic upsells to their customers can benefit. Here’s a couple ideas I came up with in my head while writing this post:

  • A resident camp could let their campers pick their own beds for just $25 more.
  • A day camp could offer a hot lunch program for just $7 more. 
  • A resident camp could offer a $20 gift certificate to its camp store for the discounted price of $15 “just for families who sign up today”
  • A day camp could offer evening programs
  • Any camp with elective activities could offer “extra” electives time for just couple dollars more
  • Any camp could package three t-shirts together for the price of two 
  • Any camp could offer an exclusive “membership club” where, for just $50, your tuition will be frozen at this year’s rate with no increase in future summers for as long as your family attends camp

I could go on but you get the idea. The main thing to note is that while camp tuition will probably always provide the bulk of your income, there’s many other potential revenue streams available you may not have considered.

As long as your customers see value in your upsell offer, you’ve got a winner because they probably wouldn’t have purchased whatever you’re upselling otherwise.

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