I have repeatedly seen businesses large and small ignore their existing customer base and market to the new customer. There is an age old adage that 80% of your business is going to come from 20% of your customers.
Do you ever put marketing campaigns together that look something like, “Stay with us for 3 nights and get 50% off of your first nights stay” or “Like our Facebook page and get 50% off,”
First time visitors are the target of these campaigns. But what about the person that has been coming to see you repeatedly and has already posted a Facebook “Like”? What are you doing for that person?
Don’t get me wrong. I can understand why you would want to run a marketing campaign like this; I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t set up a campaign just for your existing clients. Why risk them feeling ignored and unappreciated?
It takes surprisingly little to change the perception from an underappreciated to a valued customer. Simple things like a thank you note when a repeat customer has returned, a note to say we have a special coming up just for our repeat customers, or a repeat customer’s event goes a long way towards making your customers feel special. And a customer that feels special will be a customer that spreads your Word of Mouth advertising, recommends you to their family and friends, and returns to your business repeatedly.
Rewarding loyalty doesn’t need to cost a lot and the benefits are huge. Need some more ideas?
- Create a Loyalty Club that rewards your repeat customers. This needn’t be complex but you do need to make the reward valuable in the eyes of the customer. Give them a free night’s stay after they have stayed a predetermined number of nights with you. How about a seminar on handling normal repairs that is only available to your Loyalty Club?
Just make sure that whatever you offer, it is unique and special to the Loyalty Club and market it as such.
- When a repeat guest checks in, recognize them at the front desk with a friendly hello and reward them with a free bundle of firewood, a free bag of ice, or no charge for the extra people for the first night.
- Create a special forum for your repeat guests where they can stay in touch with each other when they aren’t in the park. As we all know, we love belonging to an elite club.
- Have an end of year or start of the season weekend event and invite your repeat customers to join you. Have a BBQ, a Hawaiian luau, or a plain old picnic to thank them for being such loyal guests. This can be open to everyone in the park, just give the repeat guests special tickets so that they aren’t charged anything. Make those special tickets stand out from the rest by giving them a bright, vibrant color. Now people are going to be asking why the ticket is different from theirs, giving your repeat customers the perfect opportunity to spread the Word of Mouth about the Loyalty Club.
- Send out holiday cards with a coupon for their next stay with you. Give them an extra 5% off of their stay.
- Make your repeat visitors a part of your “Advisory Board.” The advisory board will help with things like deciding on new activities, colors for signs, marketing efforts, etc. They will be a part of your email list that you send surveys to on any issues that you need advice on.
Repeat guests are one of your best marketing programs. They will share your name with the people they work with, other family members and friends and neighbors giving you great Word of Mouth advertising. They will also share the fact that you value their business and that you recognize that they have choices out there.
When the next conversation turns to the latest deal that the phone company is offering to new customers, your loyal visitor will likely mention that they received a special offer from your park because they had visited it often.
Rewarding your loyal guests shouldn’t cost a great deal and the return on that investment is going to be much larger than you expect. Plan your program out. Identify the rules for becoming a loyal guest member, create a calendar to schedule your mailings, and tweak your system until you find the right mix for your park.
What works for you in bringing people back after their first visit?