Knowsley Safari Park has started off it’s 40th season with a good February half term break. Half term this year has been a little spread out with the three local boroughs taking a week off from Valentine’s day and the rest of the country appearing to take the following week. This meant that the figures for the first week, which matched dates for last year’s half term, didn’t look so good but the second week more than compensated for this and we enjoyed hearing the noise of the rides being busy once again.
The park had a strong offer on for half term with half price entry for anyone with a voucher. In the past this offer has been placed in local papers only and relied on the readers to cut them out to get the discount at the park. In 2011 we decided to really go for it and push this voucher out to whoever wanted it, the mindset was that this voucher should be so available that we would be surprised if somebody turned up without one. As well as the 80+ printed press titles that took up this offer for their readers we also pushed it out on Facebook, Twitter, Google maps, Moneysupermarket and any other web source we had access to and then sat back and hoped they would come in.
On the first day of use it was very clear which voucher source was the most used, Facebook and it stayed that way throughout the two weeks of the promotion. Moneysupermarket.com had their own version of the voucher and this was also well used but we also saw printouts of the Facebook voucher that had come from other voucher sites and I think this demonstrated not only the value of these sites in getting your promotional message out there but also gave an insight into the mind of the leisure consumer, they are out there looking for offers and the presence of one may be the deciding factor in visiting or not. The online vouchers were also spread by the visitors themselves, emailed to friends, shared on their own Facebook pages and retweeted all over the place, much cheaper than leaflet distribution and getting to all the right places and people too.
Printed media shouldn’t be dismissed just yet though, it is still a good way to get your message out especially if you can get it into the right paper and is often a prompt to look for more information online. Printed and online media should definitely be used to complement each other, invite the reader to the website and then offer them the vouchers and sharing links to spread the word.
Out of all the vouchers returned over the two weeks of the half term holiday 48% came from online sources.