Thinking about your season pass strategy for next season? Take a few tips from Kari Tjader.
Season pass sales struggled this season as Memorial Day approached and most attractions still did not have an opening date approved. Once parks and attractions were able to open, pass holder perks that were sold in the last half of 2019 (before COVID-19 was even on the radar!), may have been altered, updated, or even cancelled to support new capacity constraints, physical distancing guidelines, or state requirements for opening.
You may be asking yourself, how do I keep my returning annual pass holders as excited to be first in line for the 2021 season with so much still unknown for what the future holds?
Here are five tools and resources we suggest to implement for your season pass sales program for 2021.
Quantity Driven Promotional Sale Pricing
You are probably most familiar with the age old dated rate hike strategy (e.g. get a certain price until a certain date, and then the price goes up). Ever look at the analytics or even just revenue finally rolling in when those last few hours of your scheduled price hike sale is nearing? Sending out countless ‘sale extended’ emails to keep the momentum going? That may not provide enough incentive for your pass holders to purchase early this year even if they see the next date may cost them more. We would suggest trying quantity based tiers for your season pass sale. The earliest bird gets the worm, or season pass best price in this scenario. Instead of telling your customers that “prices go up at midnight,” the message is “buy now to guarantee the lowest prices before inventory sells out”. There is so much more incentive for guests to buy right now rather than wait until 11:59pm the night your sale ends, since they don’t know when the last few passes at that price will get snatched up by someone else. You can always add more passes to each tier as time goes on when/if sales start to slow down or you want to hit a marketing push at a certain price point. You can also add incentives and pass perks later or create an upgrade product when you have more clarity on what pass holder perks you can issue for 2021 – generating even more revenue as the new season nears.
Take Advantage of Payment Plans
In a time of fiscal uncertainty, payment plans can make it easier for your customers to commit to a season pass. Payment plans through Cloud Store are easy for you and your guests; installments are charged automatically and our team handles product set-up. Imagine how much time you can get back if your payment plans, expired credit cards, declined installments, etc. were not something you had to manage.
Passholder Photo Uploads and Pre-season Fulfillment
Chances are, even if next season “returns to normal”, guests still may have concerns about waiting in long, crowded lines to get their picture taken and get in the park as soon as possible. This is especially true if they purchased at the end of this season, or during a Black Friday promotional sale. Let them upload their photo, our team will approve it, and you can add to their pass right away. We can even collect mailing addresses and you can send out paid in full passes in the spring when your opening date nears. Not interested in direct mailing or going digital? You can always hold a special date for pre-fulfilled pick ups only or add a photo to their digital pass. Long gone are the hour long lines for your most important guests to enter on their first visit of the season.
Using our new Stripe Connect feature, you can get paid faster. Need access to cash faster in the off season? Get daily payments with all online sales with our new option for payment processing. A double bonus if you shift revenue to the beginning of your pass sale rather than the majority of revenue rolling in at the end of a date based price increase.
Trip Insurance for Season Passes
Give your guests the peace of mind knowing if something changes next year outside of their control, they are covered. By allowing guests to add insurance coverage to their season pass while purchasing, similar to travel insurance on a big trip, they simply deal with the insurance company for refunds, rather than you losing out on their purchase. You keep the pass revenue, and get a percentage of the trip insurance revenue – that’s what we call a win-win!
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