Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Welcome Packet

(0:54) I've touched on the concept of the Welcome Packet in previous Minutes. It's a grossly underutilized marketing tool that is so important I decided to dedicate a few Minutes solely to them.

(0:48) After visiting hundreds of marinas over the years, I have found that 75% do not provide a Welcome Packet at all. Most of the other 25% provide something that's inadequate, outdated, or both. That means the vast majority of marinas are missing out on an incredible opportunity.

(0:41) You may be wondering how it could impact your marketing given the boater is already at your facility. It's basic. What you offer boaters is a service and any service industry is all about the customer experience. Providing a great experience will bring boaters back again and again. We all know it's far easier to keep an existing customer than to win a new one. The best way to keep boaters coming back and increase your word of mouth marketing is to offer the best customer experience possible.

(0:30) The typical transient boater coming into your marina knows little to nothing about the features available in and around your marina. Yet we are all looking for a variety of services, amenities, and activities while we are there. Who better to inform us than you? After all, this is your home port. It's not enough to grab the lines and point to the marina office. As one fellow cruiser told us recently, "What peeves me is that they don't tell you everything."

(0:19) Boaters are then forced to seek out what they need (trash, showers, laundry) and are likely to miss the great unexpected things, such as a boaters' potluck, a Tuesday night special at a local restaurant, a hot tub, exercise facilities, or an exceptional local ice cream shop. And let's face it, it's the great experiences that we all remember and talk about.

(0:10) Don't treat your Welcome Packet like a checkoff item. Make it something boaters will find appealing. Make sure the content is relevant and up to date. And even offer something unexpected. Do it well and you will be rewarded many times over with repeat business and new referrals.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.