From revenue to good reviews, in business there is always something to gain. On the blog, we've written a lot about how your business can grow. But today we focus on how you can gain by giving something away.
While other advertising efforts are easily ignored, a giveaway will make you stand out. It's actionable, offering your customers something of value in exchange for their email subscription. Depending on what's being offered (like an equipment rental or a discount), you need to know how to make the payoff for your subscribers worth their investment.
Here are three simple concepts to help you grow your subscriber list.
An email subscriber list is crucially important for any small business on the rise. A recent study by Skift concluded that email's average return on investment is 122% in the travel industry. Meaning that some of the most engagement your tour company will receive is coming from your email list.
Developing this list takes a lot of time and effort but the rewards are worth it as your email lists keep an open channel to communicate with past, current, and future customers. So how can you use offers like giveaways to increase this list?
1. Define an attractive offer
When you think of giveaways it's easy to think of loud, flashy sales or the promotional office supplies vendors hand out at expos. But most of those things only work at face value. Draw subscribers in with something that can be of use to them and something your company can continue to offer in the long run.
Perhaps the most obvious prize for a tour provider to give away is a free tour. Naturally, this is a great promotion idea, but if you gave a free tour to every subscriber on your list, you might be giving away all your tours for the next several months!
For your average email marketing promotions, think of something that meets between a grand prize like a free tour and something smaller like a promotional coffee mug. Every business is different, so you will know where the middle ground is.
As you work on your offer, you'll find the right balance to strike with your audience. You can start by simply offering a 10-20% discount on a tour. Another good option is a printable voucher for free rental supplies to the first several subscribers in a week.
It's important to note that defining an offer starts with the content around it. So even if the prize is appealing to customers, the way it's presented could affect the response. Make sure your promotional content is well-written on your website, social media channels, and that the emails they're subscribing to present your business in the best light.
Additional resources for writing:
- 5 important tips for writing a useful website
- Writing a blog post for search engines? Here’s our SEO checklist
- The Writing Handbook for Tour and Activity Providers
2. Find a promotional partner
One of the best ways to create an offer that customers won't want to miss is to work with a partner. A strong partner network is one of the most powerful tools for your marketing efforts. It will increase your distribution efforts and bring you a wider audience that's already engaged.
Lining up with a partner to offer a giveaway will bring in additional promotion. It helps customers to associate your businesses with each other. This pools both of your audiences together and helps create valuable connections.
Some combined giveaway offers could include:
- Offering two free tour passes - this could be on one decided tour or as an offer to each of your tours.
- A personalized tour around a city - this could be a collaborative effort between you and another local tour guide where together, you come up with a special city tour that's customized to the interests of the giveaway winner. This could work especially well for tour operators with different activities, like a photography tour guide and a gastronomy tour guide.
- Instagram contests - these are a great way to build up your subscribers, not only in your email list but also for your social media presence
3. Exclusive giveaways
An exclusive giveaway can rely on your company's use of add-ons. While these are normally great for increasing revenue, there are plenty that make sense to give away for free. Downloadable content works especially well, so a photo album could be a good fit for your subscriber list.
Think carefully about your audience and the content they'd find most useful. In addition to the promotional emails or newsletter you send your readers, you could offer subscribers an exclusive travel guide book. Afterall, what could be more exclusive than information the average tourist wouldn't know about?
Create a high-quality list, and offer these insights as a free download when people subscribe. A good example would be for a company like a city walking tour. A list of insider information could include local places of interest like iconic hot spots, favorite restaurants or bars, and an assortment of hidden gems.
The key is to make it fit with the type of tour or activity you're offering. For example, those taking a stargazing tour might not be so interested in the local nightlife scene, but they could find it useful to get a local's insight about the best places in town to see the sunrise or sunset.
Overall, giveaways don't have be flashy or over-the-top. The approach most tour and activity providers take will closely align with the tone of their business. In most cases, it's subtle and the growth happens naturally. By keeping these things in mind, it won't be long before your subscriber list is full of engaged new readers.
Looking for ways to make your business even better this year? TrekkSoft can help.
Written by Sara Napier Burkhard
Sara is a writer from the American West Coast. In recent years, she's written for companies like Hipmunk, iTourMobile and Mylikes. She now resides in Zurich, Switzerland where she finds new adventures and attempts to speak German with minimal success.