The increase of online sales, customer engagement and marketing is providing a window of expanding opportunity. Gone are the days of customer information in a recipe box or a note book. Today, proactively gathering permission-based insights from your customers is a competitive advantage to grow your business and better service your guests.

Tactical Practical Insights to Using Data to Grow Your Ski Business

  1. Ensure you are fully aware of, and adhere to, the Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL) with all your marketing outreach activities.
  2. When seeking permission to communicate with your customer, present the full breadth of your marketing communications and ask for permissions for each.
  3. Deliver relevant communications and ensure customers can opt-out or opt-down, e.g., change the type or frequency of the communications they receive. This is particularly valuable for summer vs winter guests, locals vs. destination customers.
  4. Put as many of the puzzle pieces together to understand your customers needs and interests so that you can provide them with relevant marketing messages. This includes demographic information, purchase history, visit history, days on site, and their past reactions to your marketing communications.
  5. Set goals for your customer engagement efforts. For example: Convert individual ticket purchases to a multi-day lift package buyers, or upsell rental reservations to demo equipment.
  6. Create a continuous learning process in which you methodically test and learn from all of your marketing communications. But beware of the law of small numbers: if you test your message across too small a sample, you may not be able to draw any valid conclusions from the results.

Presentation Highlights

  1. If guests purchase from you, you have earned the right to send them a confirmation email; this is implied consent and has a 24-month window. Conversely, you must have their permission if you are sending commercial messages.
  2. When seeking permission from your guests to receive your communications, aim broadly to give them the opportunity to sign up for a range of marketing communications (e.g. newsletters and promotions)
  3. Give people a reason to want to receive your communications. For example, provide an incentive for allowing their name to be on your database, e.g. a 15% discount off your next purchase or earlier access to special promotions.
  4. Recognize that some of your customer data may be misleading and identify if there are things that can be done to better understand what the data means. For example, the buyer of a product is not always the user (parents buy for their children), and customers with billing addresses that are far from your location may in fact be weekend homeowners and behave more like locals that those typically from farther away.
  5. Continually work to build your customer profiles to gain greater insights into your guests‘ needs and interests. Great insights can be derived from their purchase history, communication preferences and reactions, as well as their activity history, and household relationships.
  6. Consider the use of exclusive offers that use a promo code so that you can close the loop on conversion.
  7. Conduct A/B testing – in which you split your marketing messaging into two or more groups