How to keep your campers coming back

Keep your campers coming back with these quick tips.

Get your campers to rebook year-over-year: Keep your campers coming back. 

In a previous post, we talked about your Campground Personas, or customer personas, that you need to know and understand in order to determine your ideal customer. Hopefully by now, you and your campground/RV Park team know who is the most likely to book at your campground, and in fact, they have booked and are looking forward to an upcoming stay. But the real challenge is, how do you make sure that they have a good experience before they arrive, once they get there, and once they leave so that you can be more likely to get them to come back year over year? Or, in some cases, depending on your campground, book for long term or seasonal stays. 

We talk about this a lot, but in 2023, the experience for vacation travel begins before the customer even arrives. This begins with their ability to find you quickly and easily in their search (SEO and Google Listing updates), the pagespeed and user friendliness of your site or booking app (CMS, SEO, and Campground Reservation Systems), your marketing automation and updates to them once they book, and leading up to their stay (emails, text messages, video, and social engagement), their experience once they arrive (check in process, campsite location and cleanliness, amenities and activities on site, proximity to local attractions, etc) and their experience after they leave (follow up with discounts for future stays, ability to leave reviews and request them) and adding them to your email list, newsletter, and having them follow you on social media so you continue to stay top of mind for them when they are considering their trips the next season. 


Make sure they can find you: 

  • Obviously, a person cannot rebook at your campsite if they can’t find you in the first place. Make sure that you have updated your SEO and keywords on your site so that when users are typing in these things into their Search engine, they can find you. We talk about SEO and if your campground needs it (Spoiler alert- YES) in our blog post HERE
  • Update your Google Listings and make sure that your website information is universal in all places. If you have an outdated phone number, website link, or address on Google or in other places around the web, this could make the difference of customers being able to find you or understand where you are located when they are considering booking. 

Make their experience online positive 

  • It’s 2023. So making sure your website is mobile friendly should be a given, but you would be surprised at how many campgrounds and RV parks are behind the times. A recent study showed that over 148 million travel bookings are made online annually, that 83% of US adults want to book their trips online and that 72%of mobile bookings happen within 48 hours of last minute Google searches that include the words ‘tonight’ and ‘today’ ( . This makes it all the more important to make sure that your website is easily navigable and especially user friendly on a smartphone. 
  • Whether you allow users to book their reservation natively on your site or you use an external reservation book system (read more about this in our blog post here), make sure they are user-friendly, up to date, and syncing properly. You don’t want to deal with the issue of double booking sites, showing (or not showing) availability that you do and do not have. Also, being able to book add-ons or extras at the time of check out is a growing expectation from consumers to avoid multiple purchase experiences and credit card fees. Do you offer golf cart rentals, firewood sales, and bags of ice? Making these options to add to the cart when booking only increases user satisfaction and makes planning their stay that much easier. 

Keep in touch before they arrive

  • Whether they booked last minute or months in advance, make sure they get an automated email with all of the important details that they need before they arrive onsite, including if they have paid in full or if they need to pay the remainder upon arrival, check in times, important information for onsite (site number or gate codes, etc), and if there are any events or things to be aware of. 
  • If you have a longer lead time to when they arrive onsite, you can send multiple connection points leading up to their stay. Things like important tips before you arrive, events or activities that are happening onsite the weekend they are there, directions or information about local attractions, videos of your campground and personal stories from individuals that have stayed there, etc. You can also implement things like text message, or campground apps for activities like campersAPP for users to easily navigate what is happening before and while they are there. 

Create (positive) memories  while they are there

  • It might seem obvious, but once they arrive, it’s up to you and your campground to make sure they are happy and have what they need. Make sure that whatever you advertised on your site and in your confirmation messages is actually what is going to happen while they are there. 
  • If you have onsite events or activities that are happening, ensure those are communicated to the campers in a timely fashion so they have the option to (or not) participate. Great examples of this are what we talked about above – onsite text messaging or in-app messages from your partner app, along with old-school reminders like bell ringing, signage, and postings on bulletin boards throughout the campground. 
  • Remember that little things go a long way – clean bathrooms, complimentary services like firewood, ice, and even pizza delivery for extra purchases in the campground store, discounts on purchases with memberships or being able to charge to the campsite make it really easy for your customers to not sweat the small stuff and enjoy their time while their there. There’s nothing worse than having a far-away campsite and having to haul giant ice bags and firewood bundles back yourself for those of us who don’t have our own golf carts. 

Follow up and stay in touch: Keep your campers coming back

  • Making sure your customers enjoyed their stay is important for long-term success and to build your reputation as a leading campground in your area. Create a way to solicit feedback once they check out, whether that is through marketing automation like an automatic survey or review request with their check-out email or a follow up afterwards. Using Google Reviews, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot or another similar service is helpful. You can also have customers rate you on your organic social media channels like Facebook. 
  • However, as we talk about in our white paper, make sure that you are responding to these reviews and taking the feedback to heart. Always remain professional and do whatever you can to thank the customers for their review and for their business, while addressing reasonable requests from those that are less than stellar. People really read these and take them into consideration when they are considering booking with you for the first time. This will also boost the campers’ consideration to rebook with you again the next time they are looking to camp or even become a long-term RV park customer or camper if your location offers this type of booking. 
  • Do you have a monthly newsletter or are you a regular poster on social media channels? Invite your customers to sign up or follow you on these channels so you can continue to communicate with them long term so you stay top of mind and keep them updated on all of the events and activities that are coming up at your location. 

In general, your retention plan for your campground customers begins with acquiring them in the first place and is a year-round process that should not get neglected. If you follow these easy steps you can guarantee that you will create positive memories for your campground or RV customers so that they keep you top of mind each camping season when they are booking their travel plans. 

Want more information like this, or interested in talking to our team for a more personalized plan for your campground or RV park? Get in touch. We can’t wait to hear from you. 

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