5 ways to keep theme park visitors engaged via email before (re)opening day

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While many consumer sectors have been able to keep some of their business going through ecommerce and delivery services, theme parks and other entertainment venues have to search for other ways to stay top of mind with their customers.

It’s tempting to cut off email communications until you have an opening date to announce, as a number of parks and destinations have done. But, now is a critical time to keep communication flowing! Clever and innovative uses of content that engage and entertain your visitors (many of whom might welcome a distraction right now) helps you build up anticipation for the moment you can reveal your opening day.


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The best part of this plan is that you probably have much of the content you already need. You just need to present it again in unexpected and intriguing ways—and preferably in a manner that saves you time and effort. Try these theme park marketing tips for your email campaign:

1. Hit pause briefly to retool. Use the time to think about what you want to say to your visitors, to gather material and think through your strategy for using email to keep connected. This will be helpful if your company needs to wait a bit to see how conditions develop.

2. Check up on your community. Use polls to find out how visitors are doing and encourage them to interact with your email. A couple of ideas: What are they doing now to stay entertained? What park features are they most excited about visiting when they can come back? 

If you use a live poll, your email readers will get instant feedback and see how they compare with your other respondents. Plus, polls give you great data to use in creating an even better experience when the parks open again.

3. Build engagement with content. Your customers might not be in the frame of mind to respond to purchase-based offers right now. So, find content that helps to take them out of the present situation and reminds them of the good times they enjoyed or tells them interesting things about your locations:

  • Embed videos giving visitors behind-the-scenes tours of areas not usually open to the public,  virtual trips on rides and tours through exhibits and highlights of past events at the parks. 
  • Add live newsfeeds that sweep in up-to-date social content and blog posts and refresh automatically every time your recipients open the email. This gives them your latest news and frees your marketing team from having to rush out new campaigns.
  • Create a custom playlist that captures the essence of a visit to the park or takes them to exotic locations when they can’t leave the house. Or take suggestions from visitors to build a list full of customer favorites!

Check out this simple but inspiring example from the Oregon Zoo. When their attendees aren’t able to visit the zoo grounds, they’re “bringing the zoo to you!” through the inbox.

4. Give your loyal members the VIP treatment with personalized content. Warm them up with individualized messages that use their membership or rewards data, such as recaps of their past visits. When appropriate, offer special perks, such as advance ticket purchases, discounted season passes, membership tier upgrade and other incentives that would get your best customers excited about coming back.

5. Focus on opening day. Once you know when you’ll be able to reopen, add a countdown timer to your emails and start adding photos, videos and copy that show how the park is being refreshed and readied for visitors. The countdown timer is a graphic element that refreshes every time your recipients open your emails. It adds an element of urgency and excitement and lets customers watch how time is ticking down until they can stream through the turnstiles again. 

Engage now, reap the benefits later

This is a tough time for theme parks and other in-person experience destinations, especially those that are open all year long. Even if you can’t sell tickets now, personalized and engaging content can give your visitors a little break from day-to-day stress and look forward to the day when your park teams can welcome them back.

More actionable email marketing tips for destination brands

With advanced personalization, marketers can offer customers support through difficult times and set themselves up for success as normalcy returns. Get a complete breakdown of messaging priorities and learn how to make advanced personalization accessible and easy in this ebook for theme park marketers! Click here to get it now.

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Maria Braune is a Senior Product Strategist with Liveclicker. Within this role, Maria provides strategy and guidance internally for the Sales and Account Management team. Her background in client management has made her successful in being a strong client advocate when it comes to Product direction and release.

Maria Braune
Author

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