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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 keep in mind with this data set. First, this is about 2.5 years worth of data, so isolated events (snow storms, major emails sends on a specific day that got a huge response, longer seasons, etc.) are certainly in play. domain name data Second, we did smooth the curve quite a bit. Instead of showing raw numbers for each day, every data point is an average of a 20 day period around that day.

Let’s jump in.

Open Rate (per Send)
The first common metric you’ll see in your email program is the click rate which is the first metric we’ve plotted below. As you might expect would be the case with winter resorts, open rates drop substantially in the summer months.

Click Rate
Click rate, however, tells a different story. The highest engagement with emails actually ends up being in the middle of summer and then two separate spikes as the fall begins and then later as resorts open.

This first thing that stood out to us was the spike that occurs in September. What might cause this? Likely a few things. The first snow of the year typically falls in Utah and Colorado in late September. Resorts like Loveland and Arapahoe Basin make national headlines as they start making snow. New fall ski movie teasers are popping up daily.

In short, the season seems to be arriving. The dip at the start of October might correlate to the fact that early season ski sales and that sudden hype has given way to a more realistic outlook that, for most skiers, the season is still a month or two away.

Then, as the season does actually start, email actions start to rise again. Opens stay high, but clicks drop again suggesting perhaps that destination guests have already booked, season passes are already purchased, and now snow reports and event updates are more common.

So, what does this mean to your marketing efforts? Know the spikes. If you see an open rate drop in early October, don’t be too alarmed unless it’s still low come December. Skiers are actively opening and clicking emails in September, so take advantage. Follow the trends, compare your performance, and see how you compare.

Next Week: When are email opt-outs highest?
Next week we’ll dig deeper into another email stat as we analyze what makes opt-out rates spike. We’ll look at overall, seasonal trends, issues with individual campaigns and more. If you don’t want to miss a beat, follow @RyanSolutions on Twitter or use the form below to subscribe via email.

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