Hop Aboard The Money Bus

  • How many times have you heard that radio and the web are powerful partners? Has your station witnessed the power of integrating digital with traditional? Before you finish this article, you’ll have the foundation of creating a powerful money-maker for your station that can be started right away.

    I’d like to introduce you to http://onedaybustrip.com

    What started out as a solution to meet a one-time client challenge, has now turned into an ongoing monthly revenue machine for our radio clients in South Bend, Indiana. A simple concept created for a charter bus company has now grown into a signature promotion for the radio group.

    Welcome to the one-day bus trip. Call them what you like – staycations, daycations, what have you… they are affordable, fun getaways that appeal to the price-conscious consumer that is looking to have some fun on a budget.

    Since launching in 2010, this promotion has gone from one bus, one event per quarter; to two trips per month, two buses per trip. The stations promote various trip destinations within a couple hours driving distance from home, and allow listeners to buy a seat on the bus which includes admission to the featured destination.

    On the day of the trip, listeners meet in the station parking lot (at times the local fairground) for a 9am departure, travel to the featured destination for the day, and return home between 6pm and 10pm the same day. To date, listeners have enjoyed trips to a concert, a major league baseball game, an aquarium, a winery, a water park, and so on.

    With prices ranging from $30 to $50 dollars per seat, the station has had no problem selling out every trip they’ve featured. Once the station backs out the ticket cost (if any), and the cost of the bus – they are left with a tidy little profit, and a whole bunch of goodwill from 50 to 100 happy listeners.

    Additional revenue has been generated from food vendors that have provided lunch or snacks on the bus for longer trips.

    Let’s examine the benefits of this ongoing station event:

    • Generates NTR for the participating radio station.
    • Promotes the charter bus company.
    • Provides listeners with quick, fun day trips that are easy on the wallet.
    • Builds a database of listeners that sign-up for email notices on upcoming trips.

    When the station is unable to negotiate comp admission tickets to a featured destination (ie baseball games, concerts, amusement parks), they often can negotiate a reduced cost per admission by contacting the venue for a group rate. It’s important to note that a lot of venues frown on stations selling “discounted tickets”, so the station is very clear that they are selling a “seat” on the bus, and the ticket is included with the seat purchase to avoid any conflict with venue rules or restrictions.

    By selling your seats through your existing “half-off” vendor program (or even paypal) this promotion becomes easy, and inexpensive to launch, promote, and manage.

    If you decide to take advantage of your own one-day program, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions – and please, please, please be sure to share your success stories and improvements on this fun, profitable station promotion.