Marketing First Aid: 6 Things To Do When September Tourism Business Drops Off a Cliff

by Joanne Steele on September 8, 2009

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In many areas September is one of the most beautiful months of the year. But it is often an economic black hole for tourism businesses, with school starting, and fall colors and winter fun still many weeks away.

Here are six things you can do right now to improve your bottom line this September. Tomorrow we’ll talk about some things you need to tackle this month to ensure a better September in 2010.

1. Create a September discount coupon.

Make the deal big enough to capture people’s attention and lead them to take action. For instance, two for one discounts, or at least 20% off, or free item when you buy something. Make sure the coupon has an expiration date. It should be a graphically pleasing representation of your business, large enough to be seen, but small enough for other businesses to be willing to display it.

2. Send an email post card to your email list.

“September is beautiful, wish you were here.” Don’t have an email list yet? Start one now! See “A Guestbook! The Best Small Business Customer Survey Tool Ever.” It’s also the best marketing tool ever. Put your coupon on the back of the post card.

NOTE: Post cards are cheap to have produced and turnaround is quick. Go online and Google “post card printing” and you’ll have dozens of choices of companies to work with. Print only as many as you can distribute this fall.

3. Become an advertiser/sponsor on your regional public radio station.

Public radio attracts older, more affluent listeners many of whom are still traveling.

4. Get your discount coupon to the first place in your area where visitors stop who are still traveling.

It might be a business close to the highway like The Cheese Factory in Armstrong, B.C., or your local Welcome Center in California or Oregon. You may have to join your regional marketing association or set up a cross marketing partnership with the business, but this makes long-term marketing sense anyway.

5. Reintroduce yourself to your local customers.

Put discount coupons in places where locals shop and gather. Make a special “locals” coupon, thanking them for their continuing support.

6. Place your information in businesses that do a strong September business.

Look for adventure companies that offer fall trips, retreat businesses, repertory theater groups, or wineries and cross-market – you put their info in your business in order to have your info in theirs.

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