Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Welcome Packet - Extras

(0:59) So far I've covered the items that I think are required for a great Welcome Packet. Now let's consider how you can make it truly memorable by going that extra step, maybe even offering the unexpected. It's something I call the Wow Factor.

(0:52) Over the years we have seen all variety of items placed into Welcome Packets. The key is to include things that are useful, interesting, and/or unusual. Consider using some of your promotional/advertising budget to add items if you have it but also explore what nearby businesses might contribute as a way to get in front of the boater.

(0:44) Coupons for discounts at local restaurants and shops, savings on admission to local museums, theaters, and events, promotional offers on services in the area such as haircuts, marine service, exercise classes, massages, etc. are items boaters will appreciate. Businesses may be willing to offer samples to include in your packet. We have received a sample of biscotti from a local bakery, a small handmade soap from a local merchant, and a variety of marine cleaning product samples.

(0:33) Consider your own coupons too. How about helping to create a habit by offering a discount on a return stay or on services you offer?

(0:29) Some Welcome Packets we have received contain an item with the marina name. Who doesn't like to get a gift? But make sure your dollars keep on working by providing something that will be used and not discarded later on. Remember space on a boat is precious and if I don't use it, I'll lose it. Talk to boaters to find out what items they would find most useful. Something I have found very useful are small notepads, a handle for carrying plastic grocery bags, and velcro straps for tying up hoses, etc.

(0:18) By far the most common item we see is a floating key chain. While these are very practical and definitely something every boater uses, it has frankly been overdone. Coffee mugs are another popular item but these are bulky and unless it's something special it is not likely to make the cut. For example, we stayed at one marina that provided stainless travel mugs that we can use for free coffee in their take away shop. That's a very nice gift and a way to get customers into the shop.

(0:07) A good Welcome Packet can be an excellent marketing tool, not only keeping happy boaters coming back but also spreading the word as one boater tells another. That's critical, word-of-mouth marketing.

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