The Effective Marketing System

  • A personal letter from the camp director. And I mean personal. Computers make changing names on a form letter easy. For each request, fill in the name of the person who requested the information. And make the letter sound personal, like you’re really talking to just one person. Express appreciation for contacting the camp, explain the camp’s history, etc., but don’t make it sound like a corporate website. Again, make it about the campers–about what they’ll find and what they’ll enjoy.


  • A professional-looking DVD. There are two roads to take here:

1.) Hire a professional video team to scout and shoot the video. You won’t regret it.

2.) Buy some simple digital video cameras, give them to the campers, and let them document their own experiences. Then, hire a professional video editor to compile the footage into an exciting DVD. I know of one camp that did this, and the result was sensational!

  • A schedule of sessions for the upcoming summer.
  • A list of activities offered at the camp.
  • A simple one-page newsletter. Mock it up on the computer to look like a real newspaper, with exciting headlines and short articles about the latest news or features for the season (“Blob Attacks Camp Tango!”).

Step Three: Keep Track Of Each Step

Always know who received what information and when, as well as the person to follow up with next.

Step Four: Follow Up

Go into the files, pull out the phone numbers of everyone who’s been in contact with the camp, and call them. Choose a block of time each day for calls, and work from a phone script. It doesn’t have to be read verbatim, just keep it nearby in case you get lost in your spiel.

And keep it simple. Introduce yourself, ask to whom you’re speaking, and whether he or she has any questions.

It might go something like this: “Hi, this is Bob Smith. I’m the camp director here at CampTango. Is this Peter? [Remember, you have this info from the online form.] Hi, Peter. The reason I’m calling is that we sent out some information about our camp awhile back, and I

Whether it's a brochure, a personal letter, DVD, or newsletter, the intent is to stand out from the crowd.  © Can Stock Photo Inc. / michaeljung

Whether it’s a brochure, a personal letter, DVD, or newsletter, the intent is to stand out from the crowd.

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / michaeljung

wanted to make sure you received everything, and to see if you have any questions. Did you receive our Camper Info Kit? Great. Did you have any questions about what you saw? Well, that’s great. I won’t keep you any longer. We’re looking forward to having another great summer here at CampTango, and I hope your son Jimmy will be able to join us. Take care, and thanks for your time.”

Really simple. Really effective.

And keep in mind–because he or she freely requested information and gave a contact number, it’s not a violation of the Do Not Call laws.

Of course, if he or she opted not to give a phone number, you won’t be able to call, but you can send a letter with the same friendly, helpful tone. Each response will remind them of your camp, which is what you want.

Step Five: Final Contact

Send each person a simple postcard with a fun, exciting picture of the camp and a short message on the back: “Hi, Peter, just wanted to drop you a quick line about summer at CampTango. Spaces are filling up quickly, and I noticed I didn’t see Jimmy’s name on our roster yet. It’s going to be a great time this year… and I’d hate to think of Jimmy missing out. Hope to hear from you soon.  Bob Smith, Director, CampTango.”

Step Six: Turning The Screw       

At the end of the season, when everyone’s gone home, send out another postcard to those who requested info but didn’t register. Tell them about all the fun they missed, and that you hope they can make it next year.

The exact same steps that big companies have employed for years are now yours. Each step breaks down the barrier between inquiry and decision to show that there is a real flesh-and-blood person on the other end, someone who is genuinely concerned about the prospect of hosting their child for a summer of fun and excitement.

Thank you again for your time.

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