Yesterday I got an email newsletter from the Glacier Raft Company (GRC). My family and I spent a fantastic day this summer on the middle fork of the Three Forks River in Glacier National Park on one of GRC’s boats. It was a great time and I would recommend the trip and the company to anyone going to Glacier.
I opened the email from GRC with a lot of anticipation, thinking there’d be some cool pictures of rafters going over Bonecrusher rapids or maybe even a video of some lucky person jumping off a raft into the freezing water. I was thinking since we didn’t get a great photo of us or a video rafting, I’d be able to share this video on Facebook.
Instead when I opened the email I found a request for a Yelp review and four ads encouraging me to come to Glacier National Park in September for all the great deals they have on fishing trips, cabins, and more rafting. As much as I’d love to head back, I just can’t see it happening (kids in school, I’m 1,500 miles away, all my vacation time is gone for this year…that kind of stuff). I have to believe the vast majority of people who received the email felt the same way.
This is the second email sales push I’ve gotten from them; I’m now thinking I’m obviously not going to get anything of value to me from them.
Some Email Newsletter Advice
If I were advising GRC (and similar service/entertainment businesses), here’s what I’d recommend:
- Split your mailing list geographically
It’s simple; one list for those near enough to drive for a weekend and another list for those that live too far away for a short trip. Market the hell out of special deals in September to those that can drive there fairly easily and don’t bother with those of us who aren’t.
- Use content on your blog to troll for Facebook shares and inbound links
Put up a video of each of the main rapids; in your newsletter let people know about them. Encourage them to share the videos with friends and family to show everyone all the fun that you had this summer. Yeah, let me rub my friends’ noses in it! Those videos are going to be shared on social networks, through emails, and probably even blogs; all of which are huge ranking factors.
- Think about your audience
Don’t send your audience what you think is important; think about what they will want from you. Next spring don’t show me your price lists…show me videos and photos of what the river looks like so even if I can’t come there, I can imagine what it’d be like and maybe start pushing my family to head there the summer after that. Keep me wanting to open your newsletters.
You’ve spent time and money to create and maintain the list you have…now spend just a bit more time and effort to make sure you aren’t pushing people off of it. And, at the same time, get those precious Facebook shares and keyword-rich inbound links.