- Use the website to more accurately convey the Maine Huts & Trails experience to those new to the huts and trail system
- Improve customer satisfaction among first-time guests
- Give prospective guests a better picture of the many different activities and offerings at Maine Huts & Trails
- Position Maine Huts & Trails as an attraction that offers something for everyone, from those new to the outdoors to hard-core adventurers
With its four huts providing access to more than 80 miles of trails, wildlife, four seasons of outdoor adventure, and natural treasures like the Bigelow Preserve, Flagstaff Lake and the Appalachian Trail, Maine Huts & Trails has been successful in establishing an impressive following among outdoor enthusiasts in Maine and beyond. However, its website was not accurately conveying the hut experience to those new to the huts concept and, as a result, people were coming with expectations that were very different than what they found upon arrival. In addition, the huts leadership determined that if they could accurately (and quickly) educate first-time guests about what a huts stay is really like, they could convert more website visits to bookings.
Marshall Communications created a custom, web-based quiz to help potential visitors figure out what type of adventurer they were. The “What’s your adventure style?” quiz asks guests to select their preferred season, activities and adventure style — relaxed, enthusiastic or trailblazer — and offers trip suggestions best suited to their desires and comfort levels. The quiz is a great way for guests to not only educate themselves about self- and full-service seasons and but also the numerous activities that are available through the huts and its partners to meet virtually every interest, from birding to biking and paddling to fishing and hiking. NMC also upgraded the static trail system maps so they are more interactive and give guests a better idea of trail distances, terrain, points of interest, and more. The five maps NMC designed include an overview map of the entire trails system and zoomed-in maps of the environments surrounding Flagstaff, Stratton Brook, Grand Falls, and Poplar huts. NMC designed them in a simplified style to meet the needs of recreational users (not intended to be topographic guides) with select visual features to convey the general relations of the huts, trails, trailheads, lakes, rivers, and mountains. Work was completed in December 2015 as Phase II of a complete website redesign. The quiz was included in the cost of the overall website fee.
Staff have reported a system-wide increase in positive first visits and fewer misunderstandings about what the hut experience is all about. In addition, the “What’s your adventure style?” quiz produced 7,270 page views between December 18, 2015, the day it was launched, and September 5, 2016. Approximately 76 percent of those who used the quiz then continued on to the “Trip Results” page to view recommended trips, indicating that the quiz did, indeed, help further pique the interest of the great majority of quiz takers. From the Trip Results page, people have a number of navigation options, including calling 207-265-2400 to reserve and, for a select number of trip types, they can “book now” by going to reservations.mainehuts.org. Analytics data indicates 193 sessions came to the reservations page from “Trip Search Results.”