While the summer can bring lines of customers to the dock, keeping the calendar full during the slow season can be a challenge for boat rental operators. Read on for helpful tips on how to keep your inventory out of the boathouse and on the water, no matter the time of year.
1. Make It A Two-fer With A Captain & A First Mate
Offering discounted pricing for pairs can be a great way to get more people renting. They get the benefit of hanging out on the water with a buddy (or two) and you increase revenue by enticing renters with lower rates. With strategic pricing that ensures you’re still making money, it’ll be smooth sailing for both you and your customers.
2. Use Email To Send Exclusive Discounts
According to a 2015 Marketing Sherpa study, 72 percent of consumers prefer to receive marketing communications via email. Take a few extra moments to ask customers for their email addresses during the high season and you’ll have everything you need to send special offers to returning guests during slower months. Bonus: 40% of consumers share email deals with their friends, so you can get even greater reach by making the promo code reusable during a specific period.
3. Put A Bow On That Group Package
As TravelPulse.com reports, people want customized packages—and they’re extra effective for attracting large groups. From corporate team-building events to family reunions to birthday celebrations, high-value, low-overhead add-on options like lunch or a quick intro session that lets customers get their feet wet before leaving the dock can make a regular rental into something special.
4. Set Low Season Pricing In Advance
While it’s convenient to price your rentals the same all year long, consistent pricing isn’t likely to lure in customers. If operating expenses are lower because you need less staff, adjust the cost to customers accordingly, knowing that your bottom line won’t suffer.
5. Start Socializing
If you’re like a lot of boat rental businesses, you barely have time to post social media updates during the summer. Take advantage of a little downtime by spending some time on your social platforms, getting to know your customers online—and telling them about those low season discounts or deals. Ask them for stories about their fun on the water, and don’t forget to take advantage of good interactions by requesting reviews!
6. Most Importantly: Make Things Easy On Yourself
Whether you’re riding the high season wave or resting during a low season trough, no increase in revenue is worth a decrease in your sanity. Seasonal pricing models, group discounts and promo codes are great ways to make some money, but they can be tricky to track...unless you have a system in place that handles it all.
With an online booking system like ZOZI Advance, you can set up tiered pricing for groups, promotional codes and sophisticated seasonal costs with just a few clicks. Once you’re done, the system tracks promo codes, charges customers the right amount and applies seasonal pricing, all without you having to lift a finger, crack open a spreadsheet or dig around for that tattered post-it.
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