Summer is here, and for millions of kids across the United States, that means one thing: camp. Marketing to new families is a year-round job for summer camps, but with tight budgets and a small window of profitability, finding cost effective marketing strategies is essential. Mobile marketing tactics are some of the most affordable and reliable ways to reach a new audience. Try some of the following ideas to give your sign-up rates a boost this summer:
Retaining existing business is the best way to ensure long-term security for your summer camp. One of the most convenient ways for people to engage with your brand is via email, so make an effort this year to collect email addresses from attendees. Send out quarterly e-newsletters, and run occasional contests to remind people how much fun your organization is. During summer, email is a good way to send updates to parents: group shots, pictures of activity sessions, etc.
Summer camp directories such as KidsCamp.com will put your brand in front of more people. Research the most commonly-searched keywords and terms entered by parents looking for summer camps. Local search terms are less competitive and more relevant, so “summer camp Bakersfield CA” will be more effective than simply “summer camp.” If you see a directory ranking on the first page of Google and it’s above your own site for the same keyword, that’s the one to plump for. Many directories will list your summer camp for free. If you do pay for a listing, be sure to track referrals from that directory so you can gauge how effective it is. It should, of course, pay for itself with new enrollments. If not, try another directory. Make sure it’s visible on mobile searches as well as desktop, because an increasing number of searches are conducted exclusively via smartphones.
Equally, your website should be mobile friendly. That is, with a responsive design that’s easily navigable using a small screen device. Large buttons, few in number, should let people perform critical actions such as calling your business, finding the location, discovering more details about the camp and establishing cost. Ensure there are no dead links, and allow people to register online. As long as all the important stuff is easily dealt with from a mobile device, you can have as many internal pages as you like. Encourage campers and families past and present to engage by hosting contests, puzzles, picture galleries and chat forums.
Mobile coupons are an effective retail and hospitality strategy, and they work just as well for summer camps. Reward loyal customers with a $100 off coupon, and entice new enrollments over social media with the promise of a discount if they sign up to your mobile list. The more you can offer prospects, the likelier they are to choose your camp.
Using an SMS messaging text alert system is a good way to reassure parents that they'll be notified should anything go wrong, or simply to remind them about collection times. Implement an SMS notification system and the added sense of security will be a major plus point for your summer camp, especially if your competitors lack something similar.