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My Vision of the Future of Resort Email – Part 2: Specific Messages Based on Reasons, not Offers

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This week I’m temporarily returning to my daily-posting roots to share my vision of how I see the future of resort email marketing. Enjoy.

A 20% open rate on an email represents a few things, but in simple terms it’s a lesson that about 20% of the people you sent that message to found it relevant enough to open.

Relevance, simply defined, is the proximity of something, anything, to someone’s needs and wants. The smaller that gap is, the more relevant something becomes.

The trick is that no two people have the same needs and wants.

Why Ask Why
On my fairly frequent brainstorming walks around the Ryan Solutions office, I find myself asking a simple, straightforward question as I watch the cars pass by:

“Why would the guy in that Jeep take a ski vacation and how might his reasons differ from the lady crossing the street?”

As I’ve chewed on this question over and over again, I’ve come up with two, core pieces: actions and reasons.

Actions are what we often think of as products in this industry.

It’s skiing in the winter or biking in the summer. On a more granular level, it’s doing tricks in the terrain park, carving groomers, skiing bumps or trees or however else you like to slice and dice the different pieces of a product.

In effect, this is WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO DO when they come on a resort vacation.

In 2007, Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism conducted a survey about travel behaviors. Among other things, a chart highlighting motivations for travel was fascinating.

These motivations varied from bonding, to learning something new, to relaxation, to being pampered, to creating memories or finding solitude. But, again, there is no concensus: everyone travels for different reasons.

If actions are WHAT people want to do, reasons are WHY THEY WANT TO DO IT.

Por Exemplo
Comparing my habits to a friend’s may be a simple way to illustrate this.

He goes skiing for the adrenaline rush. Steeps and cliffs are all part of what gets his butt out of bed and onto the mountain. His ACTION is skiing steeps and his REASON is an adrenaline rush.

I ski mainly for the relaxation. The idea of uncrowded, mellow runs and awesome views from slow lifts are what get me into my boots and onto the mountain. My ACTION is cruising mellow runs and my REASON is to relax.

Back to the Needs
Now, we both get an offer from Mount Trashmore about “Midweek Groomers & Sunshine without the Crowds.” Who is more likely to respond? Me, of course.

But, visa versa, this message goes out, “Experts Only: Benson Chutes Open Tomorrow!” Suddenly the likelihood is flipped because the relevance has flipped.

The point I want to make is simply this: what someone hopes to do at your mountain and the reason they want to do it is different for every person in your database.

And, for the most part, you don’t know who is who. But, maybe you can using data that’s been sitting under our noses all along…

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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