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(March 8, 2011) -- Go RVing more than doubled its January and February web visits and consumer leads compared to last year, as stepped-up advertising coincided with an improving U.S. economy, the RV Industry Association announced today.

Go RVing response on the rise

RESTON, Va. — Go RVing more than doubled its January and February web visits and consumer leads compared to last year, as stepped-up advertising coincided with an improving U.S. economy, the RV Industry Association announced today.

Go RVing’s first wave of television and magazine ads drove over 60,000 visits to Go RVing.com since Jan. 1, netting 6,200 new consumer leads. Responding to requests from industry users, these leads are now being ranked for likelihood to buy before being posted on the password-protected database for registered dealers, campgrounds, show promoters and their agencies.

Interest in Go RVing’s new “Leads Plus” ranking system is prompting a growing number of dealers to sign up for the $225 tie-in program which includes access to advertising leads, RVIA noted. Thus far, 2011 participation is up 23 percent among U.S. dealers, compared to last year at this time. Though participation is still recovering from the recession, registration for the program is expected to build as the economy continues to improve and the main leads-gathering wave of Go RVing media rolls out this month.

Consumer engagement with Go RVing is rising along with the campaign’s reach. For example, since the 2011 ads launched, almost three times the number of Go RVing Facebook site visitors have clicked on the thumbs-up “like” button allowing them to share Go RVing content with their own Facebook friends.

“This kind of personal involvement is an extremely significant measure of our impact,” said James Ashurst, RVIA vice president of public relations and advertising. “Our Facebook fans become influencers who work with us to bring more prospects into the market. That’s the ultimate goal of Go RVing’s expanding social media outreach.”

Facebook Ad Being Tested

This month, Go RVing introduced a paid Facebook ad to increase “likes” among users aged 25 to 49 with an interest in family travel, road trips and national parks.

“The ability to cost-efficiently target individuals on their own Facebook pages with personally appealing content is a promising plus,” said Ashurst.

In March, Go RVing also launches this year’s direct response TV advertising on some 40 national cable networks as well as 40 websites and the search engines Google, Yahoo and Bing. Print advertising will continue in 30 national and regional magazines.

For more information about registering for the Go RVing industry tie-in program in time to receive spring sales leads, contact Margie Spence, RVIA’s advertising manager, at mspence@rvia.org.

SOURCE: RV Industry Association press release

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About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a freelance writer and podcaster who has been writing about the RV industry since 2000. He is the former editor of RV Daily Report.

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5 comments

  1. Anyone had any experence with the new leads? Are they any better? Or are the customers still lost as to why you are calling them? In my experience Go RVing leads have always been the worst. The customers are often not looking to buy. I just wonder if they have fixed these issues. Remember the vast majority of their leads are simply people(including industry personel) trying to access a video and what have you. They collect info in the wrong way. A way that IMO turns off many potential customers. Remember they has 60k visits yet only 6k were willing to jump the hopes to see the protected content. They don’t understand what their conversion should be at this point. You do not put up a gate like that this early in the process. Clearly the Go RVing team does not have internet marketers on the payroll. At least not good ones or they would be told this.

    I just tested it and yes once again if I click “watch video” they ask me for my contact info. They should be trying to get all 60K visiters to watch the video. And they should be trying to get people to sign up for newsletter. But all they do is get people to navigate away from the page.

    I really wish the Go RVing campaign would get some better marketing staff. It really could grow our industry but instead it breaks the most common rules of internet marketing. And as a whole has forgetable ads that at worst support sterotypes such as “RVs are expensive” by showing so many Motorhomes. And it often runs the ads in places where knowledge of RVing is high.

    Go RVing here are some tips.
    1. You need an ad that will be memorable and hopefully virial (see Flea Market Montgomery)
    2. Your mission is not to collect leads but to educate people and spread RVing. Most leads at this stage will be relatively worthless. But if you create a great website and great ads you can educate these possible.
    3. Do not force people to fill out forms to view videos. This drives people from the website. In our video intense web having only 10% watch your videos is a horrid conversion rate.
    4. Learn what to consider a conversion. Hint: getting a lead is not what you should be aiming for.
    5. Focus on entry level campers (fold downs, Jay Flights/Puma, and etc) in your ads. Showing motorhomes reenforces the idea that camping is out of our price point.
    6. Focus on affordability.
    7. Learn what a customer thinks is affordability. I can’t watch your current ads(you know because I don’t want to sign up to waste a sale person’s time) so maybe you have fixed this but I doubt it.

  2. I checked out the affordability section and had a few comments.

    Under Buying
    1. Customers know in this economy they will get great deals on new and used.
    2. They know you can finance them.
    3. They may not know that there are new RVs from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand. Or that terms are great that you can own a new RV for as low as $100 to $150 a month.
    4. The terms you gave(18 years) are once again for Motorhomes. Honestly do you undertsnad that most of your potential customers will not start in a motor home? Why not tell them that many RV terms are 10 to 20 years based on the price of the camper? BTW where did you get the 18 years number from?
    5. A compliment: Way to go on mentioning the tax deduction.
    6. Fuel prices are rising do not remind people of this. You are giving people who visit the site an objection that they may not have had. Now I wonder if you even have RV sales people working for you. Every sales person knows you don’t give your customers a reason to object.
    7. Up to 1/3rd less for a used? Wow didn’t know they held their value that well. Seriously you can find a used towable RV without major issues for a few thousand($4k to $6k) and similar new units sell for a lot more than $6k to $9k(your math here). Way to make them fear it is expensive again. So even if they know they can get a trailer for $15k now they fear they can’t buy a used on for under $10k(your math again).

    Renting
    My only issue here is that to promote renting you promoted the “it’s too expensive” sterotype on RVs. And honestly the cost of some RV rentals will scare a lot of cheap customers away. We would be much better pushing them into buying cheap used units instead of renting. Talk to them about how a low priced RV is something they can easily resell if it is not for them. Or can be used as a trade for something more expensive once they are ready.

  3. I agree whole-heartedly with Aaron on everything except one point: some people will never buy, and only rent a few weekends in their lifetime, or fly across the country for a week’s vacation in an RV (I know this because I sell and rent). They sometimes own but rent to see an area of the country they haven’t seen, and only have a few days off, or because 1/2 of the family is not yet sure if they like to camp at all (or haven’t been in a trailer or motorhome for 30 years) and want to see if it’s now for them.

    There are lots of other reasons, but mainly, because it is a good chunk of my revenue, and I need to get some nice newer (but used) units instead of the usual shrapnel (rough trade ins) that I really don’t want to sell because they may hamper my chance to get the guy to upgrade to another, even nicer unit in a few years. Shrapnel buyers almost never come back.

    Oh yeah, and the leads from Go RV’ing still suck, but I call ’em all anyway in the hope that we might get some “conversions” – most are stale, and the majority of leads “just wanted to enter the contest for a free RV” or for the cd.

    I always said, make it easy to do a deal. The same goes for the GoRving web site. Please make it easy for people to get there, easy to navigate and get real info (how about dealer feedback before a revision gets launched?) Tough call about the target market – do we need to preach to the choire or to the unconverted who may ignore your sermon? Maybe you gotta do a bit of both. Hit the target market with ads to keep them in the game, but try to get the uninitiated to see what they may be missing, and to overcome the stereotypical images of the old trailer parks…

  4. I agree that some people will never buy and will always rent and for some people it is best. Sorry if what I said came off wrong. My issue was with them enforcing the “it’s expensive” sterotype. And we’ve had fairly good luck with people buying the cheap units and upgrading. The shrapnel units are the exception but we actually do get repeat buyers for those as well. But they seem to always buy that same level of camper.

    And I agree that a true advertising mix would be both aimed those who know camping and those who don’t.

    I love your idea of some feedback when they change things. Given how the feedback has been on here I assume they must just have yes men. Or people who only care about how many names they generate.

  5. Ah yes. Thanks Aaron. I agree with the “it’s expensive” comment. Why raise it on the Go RV’ing site?…and then if the committee feels compelled to raise it (as they did), focus on all of the positives, and address the objections like price by re-publishing online a few of the articles that show RV trips are among the most cost effective.

    I like the sites that show that they cater to a wide range of budgets (inexpensive, entry level models for those on a tight budget, to brand new state-of-the-art luxury coaches without ever mentioning the cost until you look at a specific unit, or give a budget, and then get a list of the units with sales prices or financing payments in that range if they qualify).

    Oh well, back to work for me…enough of my marketing rant.