Still recording your customer information with pencil and paper? Are you still using filing cabinets to store all of your files? Running your campground the old-fashioned way is time-consuming and inefficient. There’s no safety or security, and you have no way to streamline your customer tracking processes or alert customers to deals and specials. Without using certain RV park software and online tools, you may be losing money hand over fist.
New technologies — some designed specifically for the RV travel industry — are the most valuable assets to your business. Over the past few years, tech companies have been developing a variety of products and services that help campground owners run their businesses more quickly, safely, and with your bottom line in mind.
By going digital, you can do things you were never able to do before: from making and tracking online reservations to web analytics, automated email marketing, social media marketing, and more. Take a peek at some of these RV Park software options below!
If you’re that campground or RV park owner who still books guests over the phone, spending 20 minutes or more collecting information and recording it on paper, rejoice! There’s a better way. Today, campers prefer booking reservations online and expect to have that option.
There’s a free and easy way for RVers to make campground and RV park reservations online by using the RoverPass portal. Chances are, your campground is already in the database. Search for your page at on RoverPass right now.
Every park owner can opt-in to a user-friendly online registration page. This is where customers book reservations and get more information about your campground. Be sure you set up your RoverPass Checkout Page. There are no upfront fees or contracts. It’s a simple process that you manage from your online admin portal. Learn more.
Automated Email Marketing
If you’re not using an automated email marketing platform, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities for optimizing your newsletters, campaigns, and coupons. These programs are designed to automatically collect and categorize your customers’ email addresses and helps you send out promotions targeted toward certain groups. You can organize customer contact lists by age, their geographic location, and an endless number of unique characteristics that you can assign manually, such as adventurers and families.
This email service helps small businesses run efficient direct-marketing campaigns. You can track who opens and reads your emails and also whether your customers actually poke around your website after linking directly from your email blast.
When you’re developing a customer following, it helps to know if one campaign is more appealing than another and you can easily track these metrics with MailChimp. One of the program’s most useful features is its analytics platform. Find out who opens your emails, when they read it, or if they simply toss it in the trash. You can also see which web pages your customers like most, how long they stay on your site, and what types of websites they come from. You can use all of this information to create even more targeted marketing blasts.
You know by now that you can’t have a business in the twenty-teens without having a website. You have two roads to go down: you can build your own website or hire a designer to do it for you. If you have the talent for design and technology, Weebly has been named a top free website builder for small companies and has an easy drag-and-drop model. There are also more sophisticated website builders out there that give you the option of designing your own site or paying a fee for them to build one for you. A few you can check out are DudaOne, which is a responsive website builder (you need this) and Wix. Both of these site builders have a free and fee-based option. They offer limited free hosting and domain services; anywhere from 100 to over 500 unique themes, SEO, and easy integration with tools like PayPal, Authorize.net, and MailChimp.
Once you have your website up and running, be sure there’s a page to post original content, like a blog, announcements, or calendar page. It’s one of the best ways for a search engine to find your website and put it in front of RVers and campers. If you’re wondering how or where you’re going to get this so called “unique content,” don’t fret. There’s an online business model for that.
A content-creation service, like Textbroker.com, allows business to purchase professionally written articles. For a few dollars, you post an article title, (for example, Best RV Parks in Lake Tahoe) and a skilled writer will create content based on the title, using keywords that you indicate. You also determine the length of the article. Once you pay for your content, you own the rights and can repurpose that post any way you want to create even more unique content. So your entire blogging budget for a month can cost anywhere from $25 for three or four articles, to $100 or more.
Web Strategy and Design
If you don’t have the skills to build your own website — and face it, most of us don’t — there are lots of companies out there that offer full web-development services, from web design to customer acquisition and finally, converting them to paying customers. They’ll also work with you to develop strategies for search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and social media marketing. When you partner with a strategy and design professional, it won’t take long for your website to shoot to the top of search engine rankings.
Big Rig Media will build a website for you and also develop a branding and public relations strategy. Their goal is to help increase your web traffic. They also provide print and logo design services and create brochures.
Online Navigation Tool
If your campground is located close to a lot of tourist sites, it’s a good idea to communicate that to customers and use it as a selling point.
CoPilot GPS is a navigation app specifically designed for RVers. The offline system it uses is perfect for remote campgrounds where reception and signals are poor. One unique way to use their service is to design routes for customers who want to see the sites outside of your property. You can design a single mega trip with up to 50 stops, or several mini day or half day trips. Design a family outing that escorts mom, dad, and kids to a nearby diner for breakfast, a waterpark for the afternoon, and a family-friendly grill or pizza shop on the way back to camp. For curious travelers, you can design a day of ghost town and museum hopping and for your thrifters, design a map that has all of the areas best antique shops and consignment boutiques. You can make these maps available online as a download and that would count as original content!
Laptop Bookkeeping Tool
Keeping track of your finances without the help of an online financial tool can result in accounting errors and possibly even some stiff penalties with the IRS.
QuickBooks has created accounting software that’s easy to use and has bank-level security. You’ll always know how much money you have because it automatically keeps track of funds flowing in and out of your business. QuickBooks integrates your data from different financial apps, as well as thousands of separate financial institutions, and then automatically categorizes your business transactions.
Are you ready to start accepting online reservations? Claim your listing, update your park info and start taking reservations the easy way!