Last week I told you about our mad scientist plan to see how our marketing was working. After a busy day on Saturday, the results are in.
First, a recap. Two weeks ago, on a holiday weekend, we had free tours with our traditional schedule. Spork gave one on one tours and I gave one on one tours. Both ran concurrently. This gave us 15 spots in the schedule for tours. We had 3 cancellations so we did a total of 12 tours. We had 40 total transactions in the store. For dollar volume, we totaled what would be a traditionally good Saturday. Not off the charts but on the upper end. That was sample one.
Last weekend, it was not a holiday weekend. Rather than two concurrent tours for 15 total per day, we ran three spots at once for 24 total per day. We also had the tours for free as well for a direct comparison. We advertised the weekend exactly as we had prior. To the same demographic, for the same dollar amount of advertising.
We had about 4 no shows (grr! I hate those) but one walk in unscheduled tour which took the spot of a cancelled tour. We also had a couple of notified cancellations so we probably did about 18-19 groups total vs. the 12 of the previous weekend. We had 54 transactions in the store vs the 40 of the previous weekend. The average ticket was less than the previous weekend but overall we did better than upper end dollar volume. In other words, we set a new top of the chart Saturday dollar volume (for a non-barn day, special event, etc.)
So what worked with our test?
- Free tours and relatively inexpensive targeted Facebook advertising works.
- Group tours worked very well. People didn’t mind touring together and often quickly began interacting with one another.
- Even with three combined groups, our group sizes were by and large manageable. Most people are 4-5 per group so we stayed below our normal cap of 20 people per group.
- No shows were not as much of a problem. When you book a normal one of one tour at 10am, and then no show/don’t answer your phone/blow us off (RUDE!) I generally wait till 10:15 to see if you’ll show. Then I call and probably get your voice mail. I give it five more minutes to see if you will call back. That’s 10:20. Then I figure you aren’t coming. I try to be available 10 minutes before the next tour, which would be 10:50. That means I have 30 minutes wasted, and 30 minutes to do something. That’s generally not enough time to really do anything meaningful so I end up doing next to nothing. The end result is I waste an entire hour for a no show, when I have a million things I could be doing. With multiple tours at once, I wait till 5 after, then whoever is here gets a tour. If you show, catch up. If you don’t, whatever. My time is utilized. Multiple tours mitigates the no shows.
- People seemed to be just fine with group tours. They didn’t mind taking the tour with others and some even seemed to interact and connect. It worked better than I would have thought.
More on what worked, and what didn’t, in our next post.