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How to Increase Engagement to Foster Visitors for Life

Updated: March 31, 2017 | CRM | Share on LinkedIn

by Dave Langran, technical director

We all have our individual reasons for why we visit an attraction – from interest in a specific exhibit to a childhood tradition to a love of thrill rides and perceived value. These reasons oftentimes differ from attraction to attraction.

They also vary based on what I’m going to call segmented “visitor types.”

The more you can understand the reasons, emotions and expectations of these different visitor types – the better you can begin mapping out your strategy to move guests from one visitor type to another and, ultimately, create visitors for life. A well-conceived strategy can then fuel your marketing efforts to ensure that you’re delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right person.

The Visitor Engagement Journey

By nature of discovering and interacting with your attraction, individuals and organisations will move from one visitor type to the next through the visitor engagement journey. What follows here is a breakdown of these visitor types and which communications oftentimes are used to engage them to move them along the journey.

Anonymous Visitors

When planning what to do – whether it be a couple, family or school organisation – it will often start with research. This research could include Googling random search terms and coming across your website, asking friends what they did last weekend or discovering your attraction on social media. Through this effort, your attraction is identified as a potential place to visit. At this stage, you don’t know who these people are. Hence, we term them anonymous.

Freemium and Transactional Visitors

As people learn more about what your venue offers and their interest piques, they may go online and provide some basic contact information to receive your newsletter or special-offer emails. This stage is coined as freemium. At this point, we can begin interacting with this visitor type and provide different enticements to move them into the next phase called the transactional customer.

A freemium guest moves to this transactional level when they purchase a ticket or book onto an event. Whether through online channels, face-to-face or via a call centre, you now have the opportunity to fill in missing information or ask for new details such as their address or cell phone number.

By having this detailed information, you can communicate with these guests before, during and after their visit through multiple channels. Beforehand, you might want to send an email with things to consider before their arrival such as where to park, what eateries you have (and offer a coupon), or warn them about highway construction they might encounter on their way.

During their visit, you might send them a text message with a special retail offer or notify them when a particular restaurant is opening. And afterwards, you could email a brief survey for them to tell you about their experience.

Also, with their permission, you can keep in touch with them on an ongoing basis, highlighting special events throughout the year or offering a special promotion to return within a specified timeframe.

Committed Visitors

If you are an attraction that offers memberships or annual passes, your next communication might center around moving your transitional visitors to take advantage of these offers by highlighting the additional rewards you offer such as a discount on food & beverage or retail purchases. Or if you’re a non-profit organization, you might send an email soliciting donations.

These types of actions – becoming a member, passholder or donor – signify a deeper level of engagement and move this visitor type to the commited phase.

Marketing messages to supporters will tout the benefits they receive through their elevated status, remind them when its renewal time or encourage their support if a capital or annual campaign is underway.

Creating Advocates aka ‘Visitors for Life’

Moving your supporters to the next level, which is advocate, represents the peak of the visitor engagement journey.

If you are a nonprofit, you might encourage your supporters to deepen their commitment to your venue by becoming a volunteer or considering planned giving. For-profit organizations might incentivize supporters to become more vocal about their affinity for your attraction by writing reviews or posting to your social media channels.

CRM Plus | Powered by Galaxy

We’re currently working with a number of customers who use our new customer relationship management solution, CRM Plus, to map out their visitor engagement journey. In a short time period, these customers have been able to identify and visualise the transactional and long-term engagement journeys that their different visitor types would benefit from. By configuring these journeys within CRM Plus, their marketing departments are become more efficient and developing more engaging marketing pieces to enhance visitor engagement.

Want to talk about the visitor engagement journey and CRM? Contact us today.

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