skip to main content

Email Marketing (All)
Hey, Guess What, Skiers Don’t Just Like Snow…It…It…Changes Them

divider image for this post

I’ve sort of found myself in a nerdy quest to find every behavior and trait possible that impact how skiers act. In the Stash this week over on Ryan Solutions, I finally had enough data to try one I’ve been itching to look at for a while: snowfall.

Now, there are some behaviors that may have an impact but are extremely difficult to track and use for marketing segmentation (“only send this email to people who have waxed their skis within the last week”) so I had to accept my limits and ask a more specific question: if snow fell at your resort today, does that fact make your marketing messages more relevant to your skiers?

In other words, should snow falling at your resort be a trigger for certain marketing to improve the timing and make it more relevant to the people that see it. This seemed like a timely query as social media enables resorts to make more and more people instantly aware of current weather and conditions.

The Groups
I wanted to get a few perspectives, so I used three message types for my analysis.

The first type was newsletters and one-time email blasts. These would include large numbers of people who are not near the resort and may only know if it is snowing there by watching social media or the weather channel.

Of the three groups, this is most likely to contain locals who are eager to see if the weatherman was right and are more likely to be physically located in the same snow storm that the resort is experiencing.

This group was mostly composed of guests that were getting a pre-arrival / post-depature email from a resort they were about to visit or just returned from. While they aren’t at or near the resort when the email was sent, they may be watching forecasts and conditions closely to see how they’ll be during their trip.

The short answer is the obvious one: yes, snow does influence skier behavior, at least in the form of a higher open rate for emails. Here’s how it shook out:

As expected, snow report open rates were higher when it snowed and showed the biggest difference (29.37% vs 28.00%, +1.37 pct pts or +4.88% overall). Next were newsletters and blasts (28.55% vs 27.92%, +0.64 pct pts or +2.28% overall). Last of all were the recurring messages (52.77% vs 52.27%, +0.50 pct pts or +0.95% overall).

We already knew it probably changed behavior, now we know about how much. Snowing and have a local message to push out? Get on it. Snowing and have a broad message to push out? Probably not as big of a priority, but might be worth a little bit of extra effort to send it out.

One thing to remember is that this analysis only matched days with recorded snowfall to open rates for messages sent that day. With no actual analysis between a 1″ storm and a 14″ storm, there’s a good chance the snow-effect would be magnified by bigger snow totals.

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.

Get the weekly digest.

New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.