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If You Give Away a Ski Vacation, Why Not Ask for One More Piece of Valuable Data?

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Since training my watchful eye on the ski industry I’ve seen a lot of really interesting vacation giveaways.

All, thankfully, have required an email address to join along with a small list of other, valuable pieces of information. Things like:

  • Address
  • Age
  • Family size

But I wonder if we’re missing a big opportunity by adding one more piece to this puzzle: an arrival date.

The Word
Google has built much of their advertising business model – to the tune of 10’s of billions of dollars a year – largely on one word.

That word is INTENT.

Someone searching for “colorado ski vacations” is, 99 times out of 100, much closer to actually buying a “colorado ski vacation” than someone who simply sees your banner on [popular ski website].

But the real value isn’t that their just closer, but in the aggregate this proximity is quantifiable. Take 1,000 such searchers, compare how many buy a vacation to 1,000 visitors pushed from a banner on [popular ski website] and you’ve got an A vs B with actual numbers.

Simply knowing what someone is thinking about doing in the near future is a powerful tool for a marketer. It’s the key piece behind cart abandonment because you know what someone is interested in doing. You know their intent.

Not all people that “intend” to do something actually follow through, but, again, the likelihood is greater than most any other group.

In the case of your contest, I think something similar can be done because you can adjust your tactics around two things.

Contest Dates
First, you can make sure the contest is over long before they would have booked a trip anyway. This avoids cannibalization among the optimistic souls who may delay booking because they are hoping to win

Relevance Boost
Second, once the contests is over you can communicate to them not vaguely around an possible future action of unknown likelihood and date, but around a specific thing that, at least once or twice, has been on their mind.

Think of it This Way
What if, right now, you ran a contest that got every guest that has come within the past 3 years to enter as well as another 1,000 random leads from your database. And what if every entry had a field that read:

“Winners get to choose the dates of their vacation. What week would you use your free vacation if you won?”

You would go into the ski season not just with a list of people interested in lodging at your resort, you’d go into the season understanding when they’d be most likely to visit.

That, my friends, is a powerful ally.

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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