Fishing charter marketing is competitive. There are certain areas where charter fishing is popular, and there are dozens of boats to compete against. If this is your daily life, we understand how frustrating it can be. The good news is that fishing charter marketing does not need to be overly difficult. There are a few things you can do today to get you started on the right path and make this process considerably easier.
7 Fishing Charter Marketing Tips
We have put together our top 7 fishing charter marketing tips. Some of these things you may already be doing, but if you are not, start doing them today! Nothing here is rocket science; these are all actionable tips to bring you more business.
Collect All The Emails
You should have an email address for every customer that has come on your boat. However, in addition, you should also start collecting emails from those that are interested in your fishing charters or have considered coming out in the past.
If you have inquiries about a charter, be sure to collect as much information as you can. You never know when you can turn this inquirer into a customer. There are also various apps you can use to help collect emails on your website; we will get to that a bit later on.
Remember that collecting emails on a napkin or scrap paper in your office does not count. Use a system like HookM Charter Management software that will automatically capture customer data and store it for you until you need it.
Once you realize the power of email marketing, you will be really glad you have a group of email addresses collected.
- Use fishing charter management software to automatically collect emails
- Group emails into current customers, prospects, past customers, etc.
- Keep the email addresses organized and setup email campaigns
- Have set follow up emails for customers after a charter
Lay Out Your Year On A Calendar
Organized charter owners and captains have a much easier time handling their marketing. If you have your calendar laid out with all of your trips for the year, it becomes easy to see where you need to market the most.
Most charter captains have no trouble selling out the busy months. However, it is the off season that will separate the winners from the losers. If you are ready to do more business, you have to focus on the tough to sell weeks.
This is where you will pick up your email marketing, run a sale, or simply reach out to be a little salesy to some people that have shown interest in the past. However, until you lay everything out on a calendar, it becomes impossible to know when and where you need to market.
- Know when you need to market and when you don’t
- Keep an eye on slow times and be prepared
- Follow calendars years after year to look for growth opportunities
Stay in Touch (Make Them Jealous)
Many fishing charters think that it only makes sense to reach out to their customers when they are running a sale or looking for business. However, it is a much better strategy to stay in front of your customer all the time. Having a weekly or monthly newsletter or simply sending out a quick email after a great day on the boat will really help increase overall interest in booking another charter.
If you have spent the entire day in the office and you get an email with three large fish, a smiling captain, and customers that look like they had the best day on the boat, chances are you will start thinking about it the next time you can book a trip.
The reason big brands do so well is that they make sure they are in front of people all the time. Of course, this gets expensive, but keeping customers and prospects up to date on how your fishing charter is performing, can be very low cost.
The more you work to stay in front of the customer, the easier it will be to close a deal.
- Share all the positives you can
- Show how successful things have been on the boat
- Keep customers periodically updated with newsletters, plans, changes to equipment or the boat, etc.
One of the biggest mistakes that we see customers make is that they are not consistent with their fishing charter marketing. If you tell customers that they will be getting your monthly newsletter and then you send one once a year, it’s disappointing.
Studies have been done to show that people actually like getting these updates, and they look for them. If you are consistent about sending an update on a Friday afternoon or on the 15th of the month, people will start to look for it.
This is exactly the position that you want the customer in. Have them start looking for you; the next time they have a chance to book a charter, you will be the first boat that comes to mind. If you stay consistent, your fishing charter will appear more professional, and customers like to book with a professional company.
- Set a schedule for sending out marketing updates
- If you participate in social media, do it consistently
- Stay in front of the customer as often as possible
Social Media Presence
A social media presence is essential. We will tell you; it is not everything. There is SEO, email marketing, and plenty of other things that fishing charters need to do to stay on top, but having a strong social media presence is a good thing.
Try to develop some branding on your social media. When you can keep branding consistent, and the tone of the language witty and entertaining, customers like it, and they will share it. Try to think about what you find interesting on social media; chances are there is some level of entertainment to the posts.
Simply putting a picture of a fish with no hashtags or writing is a missed opportunity. Create a presence, run giveaways, be who you really are, and you will notice more and more followers naturally develop. We all know those social media accounts that try too hard; that is simply not necessary with fishing charter marketing.
- Take lots of pictures and use them when you can
- Develop some branding with text and colors that you repeat from one post to the next
- Stay consistent in when and how often you post, so prospects don’t forget about you
Don’t Wait Until It’s Slow
Marketing is something that needs to happen all year long. If you wait until you have three slow days in a row and you aren’t sure if you will even be leaving the dock, it is already too late. The marketing efforts you are making now may not even pay off for a year or more. The key is that you must continually market and establish a presence if you want to keep business consistent.
Waiting until you are slow is a mistake, and your efforts will be forced at this point. When you are really busy, you should still be marketing. Even if you are booked at the moment, people can book for a few months in advance.
You will have much better peace of mind knowing your fishing charter marketing is paying off as you see your calendar fill up month after month. Keep an eye on slow times with your HookM charter management software and run a special a month or two ahead of time to see if you can get something booked.
- Start marketing all year long, not just when it is slow
- Use the calendar to identify the times that may need a sale
- When you are busy, keep up with your marketing efforts, use tools from HookM to automate
A professional website is a key feature of successful fishing charter marketing. If your website is professional, it will make your boat seem more successful. Websites can have a high initial cost and setup, and then they just take slight tweaking from time to time.
Keep relevant and accurate information on your website. Having a blog or a fishing reports section with recent pictures is a great feature. Link all of your social media accounts to your web page to ensure easy navigation for customers.
If you need help with more suggestions on how to make a high converting professional website for your fishing charter, HookM can help.
- Clean graphics
- Don’t be afraid to sell
- Keep it relevant, and update often
Can Fishing Charter Marketing Be Automated?
We are so glad you asked! There are so many tools that fishing charter owners and captains should be used to help make fishing charter marketing considerably easier. Having fishing charter management software like HookM can help you stay organized and up to date with the information you need to succeed.
Automatically collecting customer information at the time of payment and then storing that for you for future emails is a great feature. In addition, HookM can help with email marketing and blog writing to keep your website looking fresh and relevant.
As a fishing charter captain, you don’t have to spend obscene amounts of money on marketing; there are simple steps to take to today that will pay off big in the long run.
We hope you have enjoyed these tips to improve your fishing charter marketing. If you have more questions about the business side of running a fishing charter, fishing charter calendar management, payment solutions, or even blog writing for fishing charters, please don’t hesitate to contact HookM. We have seen some of our most successful customers turn their business around using the proper fishing charter marketing.