As a camp director, you have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to knowing what makes a good camp—from the ideal activities to how to ensure your participants make a lifetime of memories. But when it comes to growing your participant base, you may not be utilizing everything marketing has to offer to the fullest extent. No worries! You’re not alone.
Did you know that according to the American Camp Association, 70% of camps say that marketing is a greater priority now than it was in the past? Knowing is the first step, but what do you do next? We outlined 4 mistakes to avoid when marketing your camp, so you can streamline the process and get back to what you do best: creating the best experience possible for your participants.
You’re not Personalizing Communications and Promotions
There’s nothing worse than getting an email that feels like it was sent to you by accident. Your prospective participants are more likely to engage with your content if they feel like you’re treating them like individuals, not part of a larger group.
And while the idea of individualization may seem daunting, it shouldn’t be! You can easily personalize and segment your emails to ensure their maximum impact with just as much effort as sending out a generalized mass send.
With the right camp management software, simply import your contact lists, and it’ll do the heavy lifting for you, sending targeted emails to specific groups, so you can connect with the right families at the right times.
Plus, when it comes to promotions, offer discounts your participants actually want. Entice families to register and fill your last remaining bunks or spaces by issuing time-limited coupon codes. Offer incentives such as early-bird discounts and last-minute registration promotions. Push special offers to specific groups and get up-to-the-minute tracking info on your coupons.
You’re Underutilizing Social Media
Social media is probably the most important channel for marketing your program in this day and age, so if you’re not using it to its fullest extent, you’re sitting on untapped potential. Plus, with so many ways to market on social media, you’re bound to find success.
Whether you have the budget for paid social media advertising or simply post on your platforms organically, digital word of mouth not only builds a strong reputation in your community but also helps reach new audiences you may not have previously tapped into.
Also consider utilizing your current participants as pseudo ambassadors for your camp. By incorporating social buttons in your registration flow with the help of the right camp management software, in a single click your camper parents can share that they’ve just registered their child at your camp. Or, include social media links on your emails and encourage people to engage on your channels.
You’re not Automating Time-Consuming Tasks
You have too much to do each day without adding “sending emails” or “Tweeting” to the list. In fact, it might be one of the reasons you neglected your camp’s marketing strategy in the past. However, with a little bit of planning and initial set-up, you can automate a lot of the everyday or weekly tasks that a successful marketing strategy requires.
With the right camp management software, you can customize and send automated emails every time a prospective participant (or their parents!) fills out a form on your website or signs up for camp. You can even use pre-built email templates or customize and save templates with your logo, camp photo and contact info to save you valuable time on every future email.
You’re Ignoring the Data
You’re sending out emails, posting on social media and doing everything else you’re “supposed” to do to market your camp. But none of that matters if you don’t know if what you’re doing is actually making an impact.
A lot of being successful with your marketing efforts is testing out various things to see what works best, then doing more of that successful thing. If sending an email on Fridays results in a low open rate, try out a different day or time. If you get more traction on social media by posting with an image or video, make sure to include media with every post. As long as you’re conscious of your choices and using the data to maximize performance, you’re bound to find success.
Marketing Your Camp Is Easier Than Ever With ACTIVEWorks Camp & Class Manager
At ACTIVE we help camps of all sizes across the country stay top of mind among their audiences and grow year after year with seamless, easy-to-use camp management software. Once we learn a bit more about your camp, we can connect you with a software specialist to find the perfect technology for your unique needs. Whether you need software to help with marketing and communications or a more focused solution to generate revenue, our experts are here for you.
Get started today to take your camp to the next level—this year and beyond!