Girls Sleepaway Camp Southeast US
A 40+ Year Old Private Girls Sleepaway Camp in the Southeast offers sessions of 1-4 weeks at the top end of the market. They draw girls from affluent communities within about a 400 mile radius, but the Southeast only.
The Google search campaigns we built send ads into these communities based on locales where the camp historically registers girls and by similar areas given the premium price point. Closer to the camp’s location is of course better so we bid higher for paid clicks in those most attractive areas to insure a steady flow of traffic to the website. We also have years of Analytics that has told us which search terms are more and less desirable.
Campaigns run from about Thanksgiving through the start of their last session so about 8 months or until they sell out.
Clicks from paid searches are overwhelmingly the largest form of leads for new campers along with referrals. These two sources combine for 90% of new campers.
During the time paid search campaigns run the traffic to the website from those who click on our paid google ads is the largest single source of website traffic to the camp’s website and most importantly it is highly targeted traffic:
From the correct geographic areas
Arrived via a relevant search query indicating a level of interest in the camp’s offering
Mostly strangers to the camp’s website as the goal is to find new families outside the existing web community
Total Spend on search marketing including management fees is roughly $25,000 per year which while their largest out of pocket marketing cost is under 2% of revenue.
Group Retreat Center & Wedding Facility Upstate NY
An 80-year-old Summer Camp in the Adirondacks houses a beautiful lakefront year-round Wedding & Events Hall and runs a rapidly growing pre and post summer Retreats business. Though the camp is the primary business these two “off-season” businesses are important high margin contributors to leverage the facility when the camp season is done.
Both of these businesses require us to keep the sign illuminated 7 x 24. This means we insure both the Wedding Hall, and the retreats center are readily findable on the web by searchers 365 days a year. Weddings and Retreats can book out anywhere up to 18 months in advance.
Ensuring a steady flow of contacts, calls, leads and ultimately bookings means both businesses have been able to raise their minimums for groups and functions confident that they are assured constant activity to fill available inventory. So we’ve been achieving the goal of being increasingly selective about groups/functions to book confident that if business is turned down something better is sure to arise.
In fact, much of the available inventory post Covid has been able to be filled even though the facility is more remote than many similar facilities that are within just 2 hours of the NY Metro Area.
The wedding facility has some winterized housing and has grown to over 40 weddings per year – an amazing number when you consider the facility sits on the camp and therefore is completely unavailable the entire summer. Despite this growth the Search Marketing costs in both paid clicks and management fees remain under 3% of total revenue. Search Marketing on Google brings in the highest amount of website traffic at 40% of total website traffic and is the greatest source of leads and bookings.
Wedding minimums have risen dramatically the last few years given the reliable flow of web activity that has turned into high quality leads. The facility targets both local families and out of towners interesting in wedding weekend and destination events. So, we promote to a wide geographic area but to keep our costs reasonable we try to take clicks from out of the area that only use very targeted geographic terms indicating interest in our specific region.
The retreats business on the same campus consists of fewer events/groups of larger size that come for longer stays. Over 90% of the website traffic that starts their visits the main facilities rental page in the website comes from paid Google searches. Therefore we know that paid search is the overriding driver of activity in this business.
Total spend on Paid Search is just over 2% of revenue. It was slightly higher post Covid as this business came back from being completely frozen but now recent activity has well surpassed pre Covid levels.
Independent School & Summer Day Camp NY Metro Area
A 60+ Year Old Independent School in the New York Metro Area offers Day Care through Grade 8 and also operates a large summer day camp. Both the camp and the school mostly draw from about a 30 minute driving radius.
Google search campaigns run and are targeted at Day Care, Nursery School, Pre K, Kindergarten, Elementary and Middle School respectively. Camp Campaigns target both campers and increasingly staff.
The surrounding towns vary widely socio-economically so targeting is often down to the zip code level. There are even surrounding towns where prospective families work, but don’t live, and they too get targeted largely during working hours. Remember folks who search do so at home, at work and when they are on the go via their mobile devices.
Competitor camps and school have come and gone somewhat in the area so often we are more and less aggressive in varying locales based on market conditions. When conditions change we quickly accelerate or pull back our efforts/spend.
Campaigns supporting the camp and other programs tend to run year-round since the facility is a 12 month a year operation – even some program alternatives can be found nights and weekends (those programs are also promoted via Google Ads).
Annual Marketing Spend on the Camp – Campers and Staff recruitment - which has over 700 campers for paid clicks and management fees runs about $25,000 or less than 1% of revenue.
Marketing Spend on the School – daycare through 8th grade – which has roughly 500 children most days on site totals about $21,000 also less than 1% or revenue.
Outside of word of mouth the paid search efforts are the largest contributor to new child acquisition at the school and camp.
We do not work with any business that directly compete with one another.
WHEN WE TAKE AN ENGAGEMENT WE ARE EXCLUSIVE.
If you see an overlap above it will be due to special arrangement or limited scope of work.