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Q: How many resort emails are being read/clicked days after they’re sent?

We’ve all seen that spike in the open-rate chart where thousands of people open your email within minutes of it arriving in their inbox. But what happens after that first day? How many opens and clicks can a resort expect and are there enough to impact when you deploy your campaigns? Here’s what we found.

The Goods
The sample we took for this analysis was …

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Q: How many of your social media fans were destination guests in 2011/12?

For this week’s Stash we set out to answer one, simple question – how many of your social media fans and followers were destination guests in 2011/12? More than just male vs. female, not old vs. young, we want to know who these fans are offline and, more importantly, on the balance sheet. Slowly, we hope to find a good answer to this question. This …

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Q: Can your resort’s email subject lines be too long or too short?

It’s a simple thing, but one that is directly applicable to every email campaign you’ll ever create: do recipients prefer a long, medium, or short subject line? Does the number of characters influence the likelihood someone will open your email? Does it make no difference at all? That’s the question we wanted to answer. So we did.

The Goods
Some of us didn’t expect to …

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Q: Did more skiers cancel their ski vacations because of a low-snow year?

The Stash rolls on this week with another analysis of guest behavior during 2011-2012. This time around, we’re going to look at cancellations. Did Mother Nature’s habit of avoiding the mountains inspire resort guests to follow suit? Here’s what we found.

The Setup
We looked at data from 23 resorts for 2009/10, 2010/11, and 2011/12. Our initial reaction was that these numbers were much higher …

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Q: Did resorts give more discounts in 2011/2012 to combat low snowfall?

After publishing the list of subject line keywords and their impact on open rates, we couldn’t help but wonder how these numbers might fluctuate over time. Two weeks ago we looked at guest behavior during low-snow years, but what about marketers? Did they offer more prices at less than 100% because of snow that was less than 100%?

The Setup
To find an …

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Q: Which site influences skiers’ decisions the most: Facebook or Twitter?

When we first released our social survey data a few months ago, we knew this was a question we wanted to answer. All social media sites are not created equal and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. So, when we put Twitter and Facebook head-to-head, which would skiers say was most influential on their decisions?

The Theory: Visual vs One-on-One
Our best guess was …

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Q: Did affluent destination guests change their habits during a low snow year?

It’s hard to be optimistic about a season with so little snow for so many resorts, but there are plenty of lessons to learn about skier behaviors. Today, we’ll look at habits of the most wealthy destination skiers. We’ll define them as guests with household income over $250,000 who booked lodging during the season.

We weren’t quite sure what to expect from this analysis. …

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Q: Social + RFM: Are your most valuable guests active on social media?

Our recent social media research brought up some interesting points. It put the social marketing movement into perspective but also set a baseline for the resort industry so we can track these trends going forward.

Sitting on this data, we couldn’t help but ask deeper questions. Seeking a relationship between social activity and RFM is one of them.

The RFM Breakdown
RFM stands for recency, …

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Q: What effect do specific words have on ski resort email open rates?

Now almost two months in, the Stash is really starting to take us in some interesting directions. We’re going to step away from the email stats starting next week, but before we do, there’s an extremely insightful one to share.

Originally, the idea was to analyze email length to find a correlation between copy length and click rates. While we may revisit that topic in …

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Q: What influences opt-outs and how do those trends compare?

Piece-by-piece, the Stash is starting to paint a more complete picture of marketing. We’re finding that each question we come up with builds on the questions before. Last week we analyzed click and open trends, day-by-day, for the entire year.

This week we’re putting opt-outs under the magnifying glass to see when they spike, when they drop, and if anything correlates to these events.…

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Q: How does ski resort email performance fluctuate throughout the year?

After our recent “day of the month” question, Eric Hoffman, from Park City Mountain Resort said, “would be much more interested to see a month to month comparison, leading into and over the course of the winter, perhaps even week by week.” Your wish is our command, Eric. In fact, we went one better and ran these stats by day.

There are two things to …

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Q: If someone uses their season pass X times, what’s the likelihood they’ll renew their pass?

This is a tough question to answer. Right now, you may have a Gold, Silver, and Bronze pass with youth, senior, family, employee, and student pricing that all changes three times at price increase deadlines. Next year, any of those elements could be tweaked, creating dozens, if not hundreds, of varieties.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, we dug deep and found some …

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Q: Does day of the week impact ski resort email open & click rates?

Ski industry day of the week…
There’s a lot of data out there that tries to answer this question. Unforuntately, none of the samples are industry specific. For this week’s “Stash” we’re going to dig deep into our database to answer this question specifically for resorts.

The Theory
Now, this may depend on your personal history, but many email marketers have been trained that Thuesday-Thursday …

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Q: Does day of the month impact ski resort email open & click rates?

Avoiding Bill Paying Times…
The idea behind this question is simple and, intuitively, makes sense to ask: wouldn’t the large amount of bills, mortgage payments, and spending that come at the beginning and end of each month mean marketing is LESS effective and make sending emails mid-month MORE effective?

The Theory
So, if this is true, for the clicks per send rate we would expect …

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