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When it comes to headlines, The Homestead is getting it right.

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As NSAA National a couple weeks ago the talented Danielle Kristmanson from Origin Design talked about “speaking to the core.” It was an excellent session and my wheels were turning in high gear by the time she reached her last slide.

There was one line she shared along the way, however, that has been cycling through my brain every since. These words may not be exact, but should be close:

“We need to give people a reason to aspire to join us before we ask them to do so.”

This has been one of those thoughts that I’ve tried to distill, but wasn’t able to until someone did so for me.

The Funnel
What she’s describing reminds me of a salesperson’s funnel. At the top are those cold leads. They are miles from being ready to buy. So if you put a contract in front of them and ask them to sign, they’re gonna be confused.

At the bottom are the warm leads. They’re already sold, they’re just crossing the last couple of Ts before they pick up the pen and make it official.

With that thought in mind, I want you to think about what the vast majority of resort websites show for their hero headlines:

  • “Season passes, on sale now. Prices go up May 31!”
  • “Stay and Play’s Starting at $199/night.”
  • “On Sale Now: Summer Festival Tickets”

Seriously, I browsed 25 sites just now and only two had something other than that style of messages. But each of those is written for a tiny group at the bottom of your funnel: the people who are already sold.

When you look around, much of our marketing is simply telling people now is a good time to sign on the dotted line. It’s not filling our funnel, it’s not moving people through the funnel, it’s trying to convert those warm leads over and over and over again.

But take a look at what The Homestead in Michigan has on their homepage:

Instead of yelling “Book now for the lowest rate” they’re simply giving visitors – sold or not – an extra reason to want to book in the first place.

And I love it.

Not Either/Or
I think it’s important to note that what I’m talking about isn’t an either/or situation. You can talk to both extremely easily. For example…

Instead of saying “Season passes on sale now!”
You could say, “A season of Vermont’s most incredible mountain vistas, on sale now.”

Or instead of saying “Stay and play, starting at $199/night.”
You could say, “Escape the summer heat with the people you love, for $199/night.

That’s not my best copywriting, but you get where I’m going. Give people something to feel, not just do. Give people reasons to come. Give them something to aspire to.

If they’re already sold, they’ll be even more so. If they’re not? Well, maybe they’ll get a little bit warmer.

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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