Pop quiz: what comes into your mind when you hear the words “camp registration software”? When do you think it is used or useful to use?
I threw this quiz to a number of our thousands of camp clients in the past few weeks. The results were: “a software to register campers to your camp that is used from around January to June.” Interesting and sort of makes sense.
When you begin with your registration software, it usually looks like this:
- Setup your system.
- Register and gather family and camper data.
- Camp time!
But what happens after everyone is signed up and campers have packed up and gone home? You have just collected a wealth of information and the possibilities are endless! Besides just saving it to roll over to your next registration season, you can capitalize on the information you’ve received and make it work for you.
You might be thinking: “That sounds all nice and Google like but I don’t really know how to do that…”.
In this post I am going to give you step by step action items on how to use your camp registration software to support your sales and marketing goals.
I will outline how your software can be used in your low season to maximize your return and increase your business and revenue. Best of all: no data scientist degree required 🙂
What do you do with all the information you’ve collected?
Using the filtering function in your registration software is the best tool you have!
Once you’ve collected information about your campers, and families, you can utilize this to understand how your camp performed, target specific groups of parents to connect with, and lock in your families year after year.
Using your software’s email tools plays a huge role.
Below are a few scenarios on how to use your camp software after camp season:
- You can target parents that started but never completed their applications by sending them an email inviting them to finish the process, or check out what you are offering next time to entice them to come back. This group of users is a sales opportunity you shouldn’t miss!
- During the registration process, you can filter and find campers with outstanding balances. An email full of information can help encourage parents to close their balance. You can also use your software’s autobill feature, if available, to automate payments and make this process even easier and more streamlined for everyone.
- Filter parents who have answered a question in your application about camp sessions they’d like to see in the future. You can generate a list of ideas from this information to improve your camp options for next year. Essentially, you can evaluate what campers and their parents loved, what they want to see, and what people didn’t like so much to grow and improve for the future.
- Use your software’s timestamp and recent actions tools to see which parents haven’t logged in a while and create an email promotion to reengage with them. Here’s a great example of an email you can send
- Offer automated discounts for doing more business with you. This includes setting up your system to offer early bird and late bird pricing, so people are rewarded for registering on time or paying more for register late. You can read more about registration discounts and early bird promotions in this post.
Camp Software as an All-Purpose Sales Platform
Your camp registration software is really a long terms sales solution for your camp.
Some registration software on the market will collect your data online for you, but present it simply. Either in an excel or another format. Others will collect information for you AND give you access to the back end, which will allow you to achieve the abilities mentioned above.
When you think about registration as a way to gather all the data you need to improve your marketing and grow your camp, you can see how your registration software plays a vital role as a sales platform.
You might be thinking, “All this is nice but I will never find the time to actually do this”. I get it. But, your low season is the best time to do this! You finally have a chance to breathe and relax.
You are probably reading this blog post for the low reason because you finally have time! Often times, camps assume that their registration software isn’t needed during their low season since they aren’t “registering” anyone.
But going with the idea that registration software is also a sales tool, your off season is THE time to evaluate your past events, make changes, reach out to families and design a fresh marketing strategy going forward.
Your low season is an opportunity to:
- Deal with receivables and correct any lingering issues.
- Generate statistics from past data.
- Measure who your audience is. If you are a camp and had a large number of 7th graders this year, next year that means you will have a large amount of 8th grades. PLAN FOR THIS in your programming!
- See which programs were full, which weren’t and adjust your program offerings for NEXT year based on turnout THIS year.
- Email parents with information on upcoming events and programs, new offerings, etc. Instead of using and paying for an email marketing software AND a camp registration software, simplify your process and use one platform for everything!
- Optimize your forms and questions. Make sure you are asking questions you want and need answers to.
- Make sure to include where they heard about you. Then you can evaluate your outreach. Also ask what they want to see more from you. You can then tailor your offerings to what campers actually want and will register for.
- Use your system to create a survey to send to parents after camp. Your software should also allow you to filter and find the parent emails you need to send this survey off to! A great software will allow you to create an automated email that will be populated with each parent’s invitation, so each email will read as though it was personally written for them and include login details for the system, so they can quickly go in and answer your questions! Once you’ve gathered this info, you can easily run reporting and use stats on this data to plan for the future! When you create the survey as a part of your software, you continue to centralize your data, so you have it there forever! Instead of using a survey tool, consider using your software for this purpose!
The goal of any paid software is to get the most out of it for the money spend on it.
Understanding that registration software provides much more than registration management will allow you to get the most out of your software.
Not only that, you will improve connection and communication with clients. Use feedback to enrich your camp and understand what you’re getting right, and where there is room to improve.
Here are some more great marketing ideas for your camp to put in place next summer!