Are You Wasting Money on Marketing?

Don’t Waste Money on Old School Marketing

None of us are rocking mile-high-bangs or a hockey haircut, but some businesses are still advertising like it’s 1992 – Yikes! Marketing tactics, like underwear, get old and have to be thrown away.

The ambiguous, “our yellow book reaches more than 250,000 people in your area,” – that doesn’t cut it anymore. In this day and age, you should be able to point at each and every customer and know what brought them in your door.

With 2012 on the horizon, why not throw away your least-effective marketing effort and try a new one?

If you’re not sure where students come from, you can easily send out a free survey using surveymonkey.com (or a similar service) to your current database. For future customers, make up a “how did you hear about us” card and put it in your OW student kit.

New Year, New Ideas

Referral Program: Bring a Friend to the Pool
What if you certified 20% more divers in 2012 than you did in 2011?

When Open Water students invite a friend to try scuba, 20% of those friends end up registering for an open water class. Does the cost for an extra hour of pool time pay for itself if you get a 20% return in investment?

Gather Positive Testimonials and Online Reviews

Online reviews are critical to attracting new customers. So let’s talk about a few ways you can beef them up.

  • Ask loyal customers to post a review to Google or Yelp. Offer a prize for the most colorful review (determined by popular vote).
  • Invite new customers to review your business on Google or Yelp:  “bring in a print out of your review and receive 10% off your next class.” To promote the idea, attach the offer to the student’s cert card, or send in a follow up email.

Planning to buy Facebook Ads? Increase Your Likes

sample facebook ad for scuba diving

Facebook  users are more likely to click on an ad from a business their friend already Likes. Makes sense, a personal endorsement means a lot.

Before you invest in Facebook ads, build up a solid user base and make your page a place with fun and engaging content. How to go about this? I’m glad you asked…

Recently I worked with a dive center to increase their Facebook likes from 187 to over 700 in about eight months – without spending a dime. Here are some of the more effective things we tried:

Worst Underwater Photo Contest
(Offerpop’s contest app is free if you have fewer than 500 Likes
Visitors must Like the page to enter or vote)

scuba facebook contest
Discussion Contests
(click image below for an example)
sample facebook ad for scuba diving
Guess the Mystery Fish
This one works well for boosting impressions
Pasted below is a chart showing which activities brought in the most new Likes and how many times we ran a particular promotion.
scuba diving facebook stats


The Facebook Ads referenced above were from free coupons received in the mail / torn out of magazines.

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