Colorado is known for its majestic landscapes and all-year-round outdoor activities. Alamosa, rooted in the heart of the Majestic San Luis Valley, is a perfect getaway to The Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Since working with Visit Alamosa back in 2008, the Agency has led four rebranding projects for its website.
On our latest rebrand, we wanted to keep in mind Alamosa’s effort to promote all there is to offer at The Great Sand Dunes National Park – Dark Skies at the park.
Rooted in the heart of the Majestic San Luis Valley, Alamosa Colorado offers everything needed to enjoy the quintessential Colorado experience… and then some. Overflowing with natural wonders, outdoor activities, culture, and authentic eats, there’s no shortage of things to add to your “to-do” list.
Alamosa’s close proximity to a multitude of sights and attractions makes it an ideal spot for travelers and weekend warriors alike. All within a few hours, you can summit North America’s tallest sand dunes, wrestle local alligators, go chasing waterfalls, and still make it back to the hot springs by sunset for some unfiltered R&R.
By harnessing e-commerce data for this historical association, we can monitor campaign and channel performance in real time. Through custom tracking capabilities we evaluate campaign-by-campaign contributions to revenue, helping American Heritage Railways make smart investments, validate spend, and identify opportunities for growth.
The future was looking bright for Alamosa CVB—and not just because of their notoriously bluebird skies. Since 2015, Alamosa had been making steady progress in developing its reputation as a diverse drive-to destination located in South-Central Colorado. Centered in the heart of what’s referred to as the “Majestic San Luis Valley”, Alamosa has landed on the radar for many travelers because of its authentic culture, eclectic attractions, and abundance of unworldly views. The decision to expand upon Alamosa’s marketing budget in 2019 was made by Kale Mortensen, Alamosa CVB Marketing Director, after reporting another year of record-setting figures.
“2019 was a year for the record books and we felt our community come together for forward progress. Both Lodging Tax and Marketing District Tax collections broke record figures. The Great Sand Dunes National Park was a majority contributor, seeing a record number of visitors this year.”
-Kale, Alamosa CVB
Setting the Bar
Having been a full-service client of Agency’s for years, we sat down with Kale and his team to discuss ambitious goals for the year ahead. We each understood that there was still opportunity to optimize our current digital marketing efforts further as well as pioneer Alamosa as a leader in sustainable tourism strategies—an overarching goal of the organization. He decided to expand his marketing budget for 2020 to do just that.
“2019 set a high bar but 2020 holds an opportunity to continue smart growth and improve upon our current target markets.”
-Kale, Alamosa CVB
Agency Tourism Marketing founder, Jason Herzog, identified email marketing as a viable tactic. Alamosa had been an active user of Tourism Engine—Agency’s proprietary email software—for years but he felt that they weren’t using it to its full potential. Tourism Engine excels when it has the ability to connect a user between multiple touch-points, which opens the door for us to send highly relevant and personalized messages. After showcasing recent goals achieved through email automation strategies with clients such as Travel Oregon & Visit Seaside, Kale and his team were on board to give it a try.
-Jason Herzog, Agency Tourism Marketing President
Off we went to the drawing board. Our first revelation was the idea that this project could achieve intersecting objectives between generating website traffic, increasing the amount of visitor guide requests, and growing engagement. Next, we drew up automation paths from various event triggers and started building our content and tracking mechanisms. One component of the initial design looked something like this:
At the completion of the project, we had set up three different event triggers relating to Alamosa’s website along with an assortment of carefully curated and conditional content.
Since the project’s launch, we’ve seen a 36% increase in visitor guide requests and a 40% increase in website traffic sourced from email year-over-year. Our email automation efforts have enabled Alamosa to further nurture qualified leads towards their end goal of converting them into new visitors. Furthermore, it has helped inform their audience of what to expect when considering travel during the pandemic.
The Icing on the Cake
If you don’t already know, user-generated content (UGC) is a great strategy for giving your digital communications an extra boost, often increasing engagement and click-through. Since signing on with CrowdRiff, Alamosa has done just that by implementing their web galleries into various locations across their website. To further utilize this technology, we decided to develop a plugin specific to Tourism Engine that allows for the direct sourcing of content through the CrowdRiff app. While it’s still in beta-testing, we used this plugin to source all imagery used for Alamosa’s automation campaign which further boosted engagement across the board.
This is what we at Agency call a win-win-win situation:
- Win #1: The end-user consumes high-quality and engaging content within emails.
- Win #2: Sourcing images for the email is easier than ever.
- Win #3: The original content producer has their handle showcased along with a link to their profile or original post (either or) which supports their creative efforts.
It probably goes without saying, but we really enjoy it when everyone comes out a winner.
We’re not done yet! We plan to optimize Alamosa’s email automation campaigns further by implementing more relatable content for the end-user. As the season’s change and marketing calendars navigate the pandemic, messaging and topics will change as well. We see these changes as opportunities to connect with future visitors and showcase all that this destination has to offer.
Alamosa CVB is located in the heart of the San Luis Valley, offering visitors with an eclectic and authentic outdoor experience. The Great Sand Dunes, Sangre de Cristo mountains, multiple hot springs, Native American heritage and friendly community atmosphere make it an increasingly popular drive-to destination. Although still at the early stage of its destination life cycle, Alamosa and its surrounding area has an immense amount to offer travelers making it feel much like a hidden gem with endless activities to uncover. Currently a full service client of ours, we’ve helped elevate this DMO over the last few years by establishing their adventurous brand and telling the story that is Alamosa.
While Alamosa has a rich history and interesting destination to showcase, it wasn’t meeting it’s potential. We picked up this opportunity and implemented SEO efforts. In 2019’s Q3, we performed a deep dive into SEO work, with much emphasis pertaining to the content about the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the region’s favored attraction. From audit to execution, the results came back showing an increase in pageviews (compared to the same time-frame as the previous year) by 167% and a reduced bounce rate of 3%. Website traffic coming from organic search increased by 56% increase and average time on the Great Sand Dunes page increased by 41%. Today we continue to utilize SEO and inspiring storytelling content to help convert lookers into bookers.