High and low sailing seasons vary from place to place. In the Caribbean for example, winter is considered a high season because many tourists who want to escape the northern cold weather make their way to the Caribbean for a holiday. There is a boost in tourism from mid-December through mid-April but sailing activities slow down during the summer and early fall due to hurricanes. By planning carefully and creating the right strategies, you can keep your customers engaged during the low season and promote year-round profitability. Here are some ways that can help you get the most out of the lean sailing season.
1. Learn to manage cash flow expenses
As a business owner, you must learn to manage your cash flow, especially during the off-season when revenues are coming in slow by allotting sufficient budget to cover for expenses. It also helps to weather the lean months by minimizing unnecessary costs.
2. Come up with special off-season packages
A good way to attract customers is by offering discounted prices during the off-season. There’s nothing more tempting in the eyes of a customer than a limited time offer. With that premise, why not put up a “flash sale” to attract deal seekers and keep the offer period short to encourage quick shopping action? You can highlight the “flash sale” on your website and social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to attract old and new customers. Another good strategy is to send emails to old clients to inform and encourage them to avail of your limited promotion. Flash sale events may be scheduled on different dates during the lean months to bring in more revenue.
3. Offer an early bird promo
Invite customers to book early for the next season by giving them discounted rates as a perk. This early bird promo can be an effective strategy to encourage travelers to schedule a trip with you before the next season starts. You can promote the early bird price on your website and social media channels and don’t forget to indicate the promo period. It’s a win-win situation because the customer can save money by booking early and you spread out the funds for your expenses.
4. Invite old customers to book with you again
Use this opportunity to get in touch with guests who sailed with you in previous seasons and encourage them to book with you again on their next holiday. Refresh their memories about the beautiful destinations that you visit and exciting activities that you do during a trip to make them want to sail with you again.
5. Ask for referrals
Get in touch with old customers and ask them for referrals. As an incentive for every successful referral, you can offer them a discount for their next trip, freebies like company merchandise, or free add-ons (e.g. additional food or drinks on board) for their next booking.
6. Gather reviews from past customers
Did you know that modern customers nowadays spend time reading through reviews before completing a purchase? That’s why online reviews can help your sailing charter company build credibility since visitors are likely to trust the feedback of other customers.
You can utilize your free time during the lean months to build your online reviews. Make it easy for your customers by emailing them a link where they can rate your services and leave their testimonials. Thank your customers for taking the time to send you their reviews, regardless if it’s positive or negative. Never ignore negative feedback; instead, focus on the matter and try to come up with a solution to the problem and turn the disgruntled individual into a satisfied customer. You can share positive experiences on the testimonials page of your website to encourage visitors to book a trip with you.
Remember these strategies on your next off-season to make the most of your downtime. If you want to improve your website so you can promote your special packages and improve bookings, CaptainPanel can build a modern and mobile-friendly website that fits your needs.