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Perspectives
Groupify picks up steam with new features, baked-in marketing.

In 2016 Epop Studios launched a new product that was filled to the brim with potential. Now, less than three years later, that potential is being realized in a big way. Here's the latest.

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

One of my favorite trends within the ski industry right now is watching agencies build products. Things that leverage the talent and skill they use to run their business and serve their clients, but do so in a way that can scale and separate themselves a bit from the constant challenge of purely trading hours for dollars.

The product I’ve been watching the closest is one I first covered back in April of 2016; Groupify.

A product of Epop Studios whose namesake, Steve Pope, was perhaps the first SlopeFillers reader I met in person at NSAA 2011, I’ve long felt there was much more potential in this product than anyone was giving them credit for. And now, based on what Steve told me recently, some of those killer features are starting to come through.

A new update we just released has some features added to the backend the resorts have requested. First, chhanging Date – if anyone who joins the group, decides they now can’t go on the day the group selected, that person can be moved to another date and start a new group! – and, second, refunds – the resort now has more power over the refund. We started with a “no refunds, no exceptions policy”, but as we all know customers have things they can’t control from illness, road conditions or as simple as “I can’t go that day”. The resort now has the power to make the decision and issue the refund.

But that’s not all, my friends, oh no. If you know me you’ll understand why the third update on their list is not just my favorite, but a really smart and powerful move.

Email automation – the day after the group trip, EVERY member of the group is now getting an email inviting them to start a new group. Resort also has ability to add their own content, which could be links to survey, or any special offers, deals they want to promote.

Automation built for a specific purpose right out of the box? Sooooo smart.

I seriously love what Steve and his crew are doing. They’ve also been the guys I point to as examples of good, hard, quality work and I love hearing them get more and more love. Speaking of which, word on the street is that Kelly Pawlak, NSAA’s new president, has been pointing to Groupify as one of those technologies that can grow the sport through its ability to activate the social aspect of the sport.

And she should, Steve mentioned that – and he’s blown away by this stat too – nearly 84% of people who get invited to a group via text or email by their friends actually end up joining that group. Remember, you join by buying a ticket. Think about that for a minute.

It’s the reason Steve can tell me stories like this:

Last season had a mom, who wanted to do a tubing birthday party for her daughter. She was bringing the daughter and 4 friends, 5 people total. She contacted the resort and asked for any discounts for 5. The resort told her to use “the share and save program” (how that resorts markets Groupify).

The mom saw that should could invite others and they would all pay on their own. She sent out invites to the 4 families, saying she was paying for the daughters but anyone else was welcome to get their own ticket and join in the fun. She ended up with 36 in her group!

Amazing stuff and awesome to see the talented folks at Epop start to show their stuff are a larger scale. Congrats, Steve and team!



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