Archive for August 2010

Timeshare Owner Referral Program Delivers Profitable Results

August 10, 2010

The practice of generating leads in the timeshare world has evolved into a well-oiled machine. From creative direct mail campaigns and the Internet to savvy telemarketing techniques, the marketing mavens of this industry have honed in on what works and what doesn’t; effectively maneuvering loopholes when faced with obstacles such as the National Do Not Call Registry (DNC). However, as campaigns become more intricate, vacation ownership marketers are facing a new set of challenges when it comes to validating leads and managing their communications programs.

An effective and widely used technique for garnering leads is simply to request owners and prospects to refer their family members, friends and co-workers. Vacation owners and prospects are typically offered an incentive for providing referrals, which can amount to one or more names with their contact data.  Unfortunately in more cases than not, the referrals are incomplete; lacking a valid address. In fact, most referrals supplied include only a name and phone number. This significantly impacts the follow-up percentage due to DNC limitations; thereby reducing the lead potential.

Nordis Direct, a leading provider of resort owner communications and direct marketing programs, recognized the challenge this presented to resort developer marketing teams who needed to improve the marketability of their “deficient” referrals and formulated a program for reaching out to those referrals.

Program Overview

Step 1:  Maximize the Referral Database Marketability

  • Sort referral records to isolate those with only a name and home phone number (no address).
  • Check isolated records with phone numbers against DNC criteria. Records meeting the specified DNC criteria are marked for further processing.
  • Submit DNC phone numbers for reverse appending; a process by which home phone numbers are cross-referenced with a national database to determine a phone–address association.
  • Update referral database with the revised records now containing addresses.

Step 2:  Develop the Communications Campaign

  • Weekly communications to owners/prospects – thank you & referral acknowledgement.
    • Create and mail letters to owners/prospects thanking them for their referral and acknowledging names of referred individuals.
    • Inform the owner/prospect of any referrals on the DNC list; suggesting that they have these referrals call the resort developer using the toll free number provided.
  • Weekly communications to the referral database utilizing a multi-channel strategy that incorporates personalized direct mail with an interactive personalized web site.
    • Create and mail a personalized, customized (variable by destination) postcard to introduce referral-prospect to the vacation destination, referencing the name of their friend or family member (owner/prospect) who referred them.
    • Invite the referral-prospect to visit their personalized web site, accessed via their Personalized URL (PURL) printed on the postcard. The PURL not only lifts response rates, it provides continuity with the mail piece, gives the prospect an alternative response method, and provides information about the vacation offer; while gathering additional contact information about the referral-prospect, i.e. email address, for future follow-up.

The Solution: Nordis Direct’s Expresso – a web-based platform that automates the process of creating and managing personalized mail and email communications.

By dynamically merging content (text, images, logos, etc.), business rules (simple to complex), and data, Expresso enables its users to automatically create unique, personalized correspondence for printing and mailing or email distribution. External services, such as reverse-append, are also automated, requiring no user intervention. The Expresso platform provides the ability to easily make changes, approvals, and track the progress of a communications program, each step of the way.

Expresso workflow engine pulls together each component, procedure, variable, and rule to formulate a logical sequence of business processes. The ensuing workflow can automatically manage the Owner Referral Program from start to finish; transforming thousands of unmarketable leads into highly-profitable referral results.

From receipt of the data file and multiple-step processes, to final output, Expresso effectively reduces communications  implementation time, from what typically takes weeks, to a few days – minimizing resources, time, and cost.

Advertisements