Signpost Local Marketing Software Case Study | Activities: Boating In DC

Boating in DC Builds Long-Term Customer Relationships By Engaging Local Consumers Through Their Online Presence and Email Marketing

Signpost works with thousands of small and medium sized local businesses across the country that each have their own story. We will share them here on our blog. This post reviews the story of Boating In Boston and Boating in DC on the East Coast.

Tell us a little bit about your business.

Boating in DC is a seasonal boat rental business founded in 2002. It all started at a small reservoir in Hopkinton, Massachusetts – famous for the start of the Boston Marathon. While founded in New England, we are now located in both in the Massachusetts (under Boating In Boston) and Washington, DC area. Our 7 Massachusetts locations and 3 Washington, DC locations offer canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddle board rentals, as well as 3 locations that also offer sailing. Our primary business is hourly rentals, but we also have memberships, classes and Boating is Fun summer camps that continue to grow each year.

Our business operation is seasonal, opening part-time in the Spring/Fall and full time in the summer, closing all of our locations in the Wintertime.

How do you promote your services?

Most of our marketing comes internally. We focus on email marketing to a list that we have grown throughout the years, and get great inbound traffic to our fantastic website that we continuously change to maintain excellent SEO. We have a dynamic landing page that continually offers new things. We work closely with the DCR, where we operate the majority of our boathouse locations from as a concessionaire. For summer camps, we advertise through local Parks & Rec organizations.

Other marketing includes some print ads in local papers/magazines – which we are moving away from – as well as visitor on Boston and DC maps. We have ads running in Boston’s MBTA Red Line. We also participate in numerous social deals programs.

As we attract customers from all these marketing efforts, we make sure to collect their email information. This way we continuously grow our customer list and continue to market programs such as camps, classes and tours.

How does Signpost fit your marketing strategy?

Through our marketing initiatives and happy customer base, we generate valuable exposure and word of mouth. To capitalize on this awareness and activity of potential customers trying to find us, it is important that our online presence is optimal. Accurate business information across the most important websites is an essential first step. And especially since we constantly change our hours of operation due to the seasonality of our business, Signpost’s automated, one-stop-shop approach is a good fit for keeping our online listings up-to-date. Because we operate in places without exact street addresses (in the middle of parks, along waterfronts, etc.), having our location accurately reflected in search engines and maps is often difficult to achieve.

Another reason why working with Signpost is beneficial to us, is the ways we can capture email information from interested customers and convert them to new customers. We’ve been able to add hundreds of new email addresses to our email list. By re-engaging these customers we’re able to build long-term customer relationships.

At Signpost, one of our core values is “Signpost fights for small businesses”. How have you experienced this so far?

Signpost has been a great help to us. As you constantly continue to grow yourself and add new capabilities, we’ve been fortunate to be part of new beta testing and taking advantage of advanced features that we are looking for. We really needed help with our Google+ and Facebook presence, and Signpost went out of their way to accommodate us and take care of that for us as soon as it became available. We appreciate the way Signpost extended a hand to help us out with these essential business profiles to optimize our online presence.