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Tips Kitchen Table Recap: Six Non-Traditional Ways to Generate Revenue During COVID-19

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In the previous Kitchen Table Gregg and I looked at some metrics that could signal WHEN to begin marketing again. They also looked at some considerations as to the WHAT and HOW of marketing once you began dipping your toes back into the marketplace. This week we looked at some real world examples of promotions that can help drive revenue today even in the face of the overwhelming challenges of the current reality.

For those of you worried that it may be “too soon,” a recent survey of TravelZoo subscribers indicated that 72% of respondents were indeed ready to start receiving travel offers again. With that said, there is still one GIANT elephant in the room. For the foreseeable future there is no answer to one of the most fundamental questions related to booking any sort of travel – “When are we going?.” Right now, that is a question that has no answer. With that in mind, a lot of the examples we will look at today completely remove that question from the equation.

At the beginning of the session we surveyed participants to ask how many of currently have travel offers in the marketplace…71% of respondents said they did not currently have anything active.

Splash Lagoon – Future Fun Voucher

  • $99 gets you a one-night stay at their property and up to 4 water park tickets
  • Purchaser receives a voucher that can be used to book a date at any time in the next 18 months.
  • Promoted through email and social channels
  • First round sold out in under 3 hours
  • They have since re-visited concept for 3 additional rounds
  • Has driven significant cash flow during this time of need
  • This effectively removes the WHEN from the equation and drives revenue now

Loge Camps – Alone Together Promotion

  • Offered the ability to buy a promo code value for a percentage discount on a future booking. Promos ranged from 15% off for just $30 all the way up to 75% off for $750.
  • Also included a limited edition artist collaboration mug that is valid for on-site drink discounts for all future visits.
  • Offer began on a Thursday and was completely sold out by Sunday
  • This was an interesting use of the tech on hand as they did NOT use their normal booking platform, instead they used their retail POS to be able to quickly get the offer live.

Boyne – Zoom Rooms

  • This is an old favorite that Gregg has written about on SlopeFillers on several occasions…here, here and here
  • Allows you to buy a room at a discount now and then use later.
  • The visitor is only allowed to “lock in” the room reservation 48 hours prior to arrival.
  • Makes great use of last-minute distressed inventory and drives revenue now.

TravelZoo – Save Now Travel Later

  • This one is less about TravelZoo specifically as it is about the broader trend of “Save Now Travel Later”
  • …”a few of our favorite deals from our partners that take the worry out of booking; they all can be cancelled for a full refund, or rescheduled without any additional fees…so you can buy now and book when you’re ready..”
  • At the time of the webinar, there were over 125 offers under this category – check them out for some inspiration and see if there is anything that may work for your situation.

Grizzly Hackle – Stay @ Home Raffles

  • This one comes from a completely different industry but I think it has some legs for the travel space.
  • Executed entirely on Instagram
  • The have a variety of bundles of merchandise available to win in a raffle.
  • The raffle is limited to 10-20 entries in order to keep cost down and odds high
  • Original retail value of items is re-cooped based on entries x entry amount i.e. 10 entries at $85 is equal to $850 retail value
  • In a little over a week Grizzly Hackle had 35 raffles that drove over 25K in revenue.
  • Creative use of Instagram to drive revenue while store was under forced closure and also had the side benefit of increasing IG followers.
  • For the travel space, this could easily be done with unique travel packages i.e. weekend stay, spa package, lift tickets, etc

Shopify Stores

  • We are starting to see a variety of operations quickly spin up retail operations using online platforms such as Shopify.
  • Crystal Mountain, Washington created a Shopify store for the spa operation in order to bring their unique wellness products to the market.
  • This could be used for gift cards or branded merchandise.
  • Inntopia Digital services can assist in getting your start off the ground.

These are just a few of many examples out there that drive revenue today by making creative use of tech to either remove the uncertainty of “When are we going?” or to sell unused retail inventory.

At the end of the webinar we re-visited our original question and asked…Now that you’ve seen some creative examples, will you begin offering travel promotions. In a complete reversal from the beginning of the session, 85% of participants said they wanted to give some of these ideas a shot in the near future. We hope you too can use these as inspiration as you begin to re-enter the marketing world.

To view the recording of this webinar click here.

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