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Camp Eagle reaches 165 new campers through digital outreach

Camp Eagle
4 min read
Sep 12, 2023






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The Challenge

Once campers or families make their first trek out to Camp Eagle, it’s a pretty sure bet they’ll be back. But the camp’s initial marketing strategy that relied heavily on door-to-door and word of mouth wasn’t reaching far enough. They knew there was room to grow in digital.


With Feathr, Camp Eagle built awareness through Affinity campaigns, then followed up with these audiences through retargeting and email mapping campaigns. Ultimately, they signed up 165 new campers whose lives would be changed by a summer at Camp Eagle.

Camp Eagle is located in the hill country of Texas in Rocksprings — about two hours away from San Antonio. Campers and staff alike consider it to be “the middle of nowhere.” But the middle of nowhere can be a big draw if you’re there with the right people.

Tiffany Spears is the content marketing specialist for the camp. And she explains, “Camp Eagle is an outdoor adventure camp that seeks to inspire Christ-like change through outdoor adventure, authentic relationships, and biblical truth. So we do everything from youth group summer camps to retreats for families and organizations.”

Once campers or families make that first trek out to Camp Eagle, it’s a pretty sure thing they’ll be back. But before Tiffany started, marketing was mostly door-to-door and word-of-mouth. The board ultimately realized they needed to expand in the digital space.

Tiffany says about their past marketing, “We had social media and that was about as far as we went in terms of digital. Everything else was mailers and knocking on doors and word of mouth. And it was actually our board of directors that said, ‘Hey, you guys need to be doing digital marketing and really expand how you talk about camp to draw more people out here.’” 

The team at Camp Eagle decided to go full steam into digital. Tiffany said, “We did a ton of research and we found Feathr and we just haven't looked anywhere else since then.”

Not every camper camps the same

To reach their unique campers through digital channels, Tiffany immediately put herself in her campers’ shoes. She began thinking about how to meaningfully develop relationships with each of these people.

Individual campers are going to need to hear a different message from youth groups or organizational retreats. She was segmenting her audience, or breaking them into smaller groups, so that she could tailor her messages and make the biggest impact.

She said, “For summer camp or individual camp, we definitely are marketing towards parents and grandparents. We very much highlight that we're out in the middle of nowhere, so there’s no cell service. We don't have Wi-Fi for our campers and so a big part of how we talk to that audience is: your kid will be unplugged for a whole week out here and actually be outside and make friends.”

And this group is entirely different from reaching and engaging with a youth group.

Tiffany said, “Here we have to target youth pastors and we get them excited and then trust them with recruiting their group. So we're talking to them about how we have this fully planned out summer camp experience and they don't have to preach and they don't have to cook, and we have counselors for them. It’s a whole different message.”

Having done the hard work of identifying and understanding their community, they then developed the messaging that would resonate with these unique community members. 

And digital marketing allowed the team to deliver the right messaging to the right people at just the right time. Instead of the broad-based word-of-mouth or door-to-door campaigns, they were now following up with website visitors based on what page they landed on. 

There was a lot less hoping the message would stick and more knowing it would stick because they knew the person they were talking to.

Seeing is believing

Now that they knew they were reaching the right people with their message, they were able to see an immediate impact.

Tiffany could jump into her Feathr dashboard to answer if her messaging was connecting with her audience. It wasn’t only guess work anymore.

She would use Feathr to answer the question, “Do we have a program that is exciting to people or do we not?”

And looking at the data, Tiffany could make more informed decisions about where to invest and where to pull funding. She said, “We had a program that wen canceled this summer because we'd been marketing it for a year. 

We did it for one whole summer and people did not seem excited about it, and we tried a whole bunch of different things to market for it, and it just wasn’t connecting.”

And by seeing all the information about her Google Ad campaigns, email mapping campaigns, and retargeting campaigns in one place, she’s able to share the key data from each of her campaigns to better build her additional channels.

She said, “Our ad campaigns really impact our social as well, which is still a huge tool for us to communicate with our community. When we see how people interact with a specific ad, we'll take that information and do something with it in a social post. It’s a little thing, but it’s lifting more than one campaign.”

The work has only begun

Their first campaigns in Feathr went above the team’s expectations. With even more budget allocated toward reaching new campers, Camp Eagle is optimistic about the future.

“We’re going to do a larger budget next year because things are working,” Tiffany said. “And so we want to invest more in Feathr because it's been very effective for us.”

Marketing is about being true to yourself, and so much of Camp Eagle’s success is based on telling the true story of their mission. They want campers to experience the love of Jesus, and their messaging is crystal clear about what they believe in. 

Tiffany said, “As a Christian organization, you guys make sure that our message gets heard and that we present ourselves in a great way. You really care about that, and it shows. And so I think that's the number one thing that I would tell other organizations: that you guys really care and that you’re going to do right by them.”

“We're going to do a larger budget next year because things are really working. And so we want to invest more in Feathr because it's been really effective for us.”
Tiffany Spears

Content Marketing Specialist, Camp Eagle

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Camp Eagle is an outdoor adventure camp that seeks to inspire Christ-like change through outdoor adventure, authentic relationships, and biblical truth. They host a wide range of experiences, including summer camps for individuals and youth groups but also retreats for families and organizations in the non-summer months. Learn more at https://campeagle.org/


Rocksprings, TX


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