During a recession, response rates in general go down for most products and services. That was the case in the last recession as people cut back dramatically on spending money.

And, when there is a lot of competition … and your prospect doesn’t know you, it is worse.

So, how do you cut through the clutter and skepticism to get out your message?

That was the problem Colorado River Adventures, a members-only vacation destination designed for RV enthusiasts, faced.

Located in the Southwest United States, it boasts 7 resort destinations.

The company had been sending out traditional lead-generation mailing pieces and online ads, but had noticed a recession response drop off in the previous two years.

They enlisted my team at Creative Direct Marketing Group to create a powerful new lead-generation campaign that would increase their quality leads and pre-sell them on the benefits of a members-only resort.

We had to overcome two difficult hurdles to make this campaign successful …

Hurdle #1: Fierce Competition

The competition in RV resorts is fierce in the United States. Thousands of RV resorts compete, each touting their unique appeal.

CDMG had to show that Colorado River Adventures was different enough from the competition to warrant a visit.

Hurdle #2: Membership

The second hurdle was more difficult. Since Colorado River Adventure resorts were for members only, CDMG had to convince prospects that it was worth the significant cost and commitment to join, rather than paying for RV vacations separately or, in some cases, not at all.

To accomplish our goal, I created a 5-step process for success.

Step 1 – Positioning

The first step was to fashion a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) around the members-only aspect of the resorts:

A private, spacious oasis totally unlike crowded public parks. A place where members-only means friendship, familiar faces and a sense of security that could only come from a supportive community.

The campaign also promoted the value of Colorado River Adventures’ network of different locations.

Now instead of a single campground, prospects have access to a backwoods hideaway, an exciting Colorado River gambling getaway or an active golf and water sport vacation.

Colorado River Adventures has prospects’ every vacation mood covered.

With this new positioning, Colorado River Adventures became more than an RV campsite.

It became a unique destination for the discerning RV enthusiast.

Step 2 – Create a Campaign That Stands Out

To showcase these dynamics, we designed a magalog with the title RV Vacationer.

A magalog looks and feels like a magazine, but it’s a powerful direct response sales piece. An infomercial in print.

This dynamic direct mail piece would be able to cut through the clutter and disrupt any complacency.

Instead of a traditional envelope mailing, the mailing now looked like an informative RV magazine for RV buffs.

We tested two RV Vacationer front covers were tested.

Both were built around the idea that the prospect was receiving the “The Best RV Resorts in the Southwest” issue.

Once inside the magalog, the main article detailed “editors picks” for amenities that the discerning RVer needs in a quality resort: Spaciousness, privacy and loads of nearby activities, among other qualities.

These resort features were then promoted using Colorado River Adventures resorts.

Sidebars broke up the main copy, spotlighting all there was to do at Colorado River Adventures resorts, as well as enjoyment for the kids, RV safety tips, off-beat activities and so on.

It was value added marketing (you can read more about how important V.I.V.A. is here).

Step 3 – Create a Powerful Offer

Prospects were told as RV Vacationer readers that they were eligible for a free 3-night stay along with a package of gifts like a deluxe dinner for two and a free gas card.

The more attractive the offer, the harder it is for them to refuse.

Step 4 – An Effective Landing Page

You never want prospects to go to your corporate website. Rather, you want them to go to a landing page tracking with the magalog.

For prospects who needed a bit more research, a powerful landing page was created to continue the “story” of Colorado River Adventures.

The site had easy-to-use maps, loads of customer testimonials and an additional spotlight on the valuable invitation to visit.

We also created a fun newsletter sign-up to boost lead-generation efforts.

Step 5 – Direct Response Video

An engaging direct response video with large pictures and unique rollover graphics added to the experience on the landing page. The exciting video made the location and experience come alive.

Step 6 – Direct Response Copy

The unifying secret to higher response is direct response copy. Our trained copywriters used the time-tested, friendly persuasion copy that maximizes response.

Thanks to CDMG’s 6-step process, the campaign exceeded the client’s expectations and significantly boosted the resort’s leads and sales conversions.

If you’re having trouble cutting through the clutter and standing out from your competition, I would love to talk to you.

Let’s discuss what might be the best way to create a breakthrough campaign. Call me at 615-814-6633 or write me at craig@cdmginc.com.

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