Recently, the marketing department at Norefjell Skisenter used a pure e-mail marketing system. It worked okay – the tool served its purpose, but not much more. Instead, when the ski business came into contact with MarketHype, they realized the huge profits the combined marketing system and customer data platform could bring.

Cut to today. Yes, today Norefjell Skisenter proudly can tell you about the clear customer overview, the automations with an opening rate of 85% and how the flexible all-in-one solution with newsletter tools streamlines the everyday life of the marketing department. It's time to step inside the dizzying, snow-covered ski resort: Norefjell Skisenter.

Photo: Norefjell Skisenter.

Norefjell Skisenter – a magical ski resort for all ages and abilities

Norefjell Skisenter is the grand ski resort just outside Oslo, surrounded by vast mountains and beautiful nature. The ski slopes attract both old and young, experienced and beginners, and national and international guests. In short, there is something for all ages, tastes and abilities. The ski resort is under the same corporate umbrella as Norefjell Ski & Spa, but unlike the spa hotel, Norefjell Skisenter offers ski in/ski out apartments – under the name Norefjellstua – with the ski slope right outside the front door. Doesn’t it sound magical?

The ski resort also offers a ski school, ski rental and restaurants. Day tourists from Norway who buy lift tickets for a day come here, but also Swedish, Danish and English families with children come to enjoy a week's holiday. In total, Norefjell Skisenter has around 170,000 guests during a season – phenomenal! – and one of those working to reach out to these many visitors is Vebjørn Skaseth Ørpen.

– We are two people who work in Norefjell Skisenter's marketing department. I am the department's Marketing Manager and am responsible for the website, social media, newsletters and signage in the facility among other things, says Vebjørn.

Vebjørn has an office with the ski slopes right outside the window. During the season, he can easily catch the camera or the drone out and jump on his skis to capture the slopes, the skiers and snowboarders, as well as the children's favorite mascot Nore Rein. Being able to deliver fresh images and videos from the ski resort and keep various channels up to date is important to Norefjell Skisenter. When the ski season is over and one doesn't receive any visitors, follow-ups, text creation and planning for the next season are more on the agenda.

Photo: Norefjell Skisenter.

5 quick facts about Norefjell Skisenter

Geographical location: Noresund, just outside Oslo, Norway.
Offers: Ski slopes, ski school, ski rental, apartment rental in Norefjellstua and restaurants.
Number of visitors per season: Approximately 170,000.
Booking system: Citybreak.
The marketing department: Consists of 2 people, where Vebjørn Skaseth Ørpen is the Marketing Manager with responsibility for the website, social media, newsletter and signage.

Photo: Norefjell Skisenter.

The customer data platform with connection to the booking system gives Norefjell a clear customer overview

Understanding which people choose to visit the business is today of the utmost importance to Norefjell Skisenter. Where are the guests from? What do they buy? How long do they stay and do they book their trips through tour operators or the website? Vebjørn had no idea of the answers to questions like these before. It was only in January 2023 that he began to learn more about the customers and who they are. He explains:

– Following a recommendation from our booking system Citybreak, we chose to connect the booking system with the customer data platform MarketHype. With the connection, all customer data from Citybreak enters the system automatically, which is then presented in an easy-to-understand manner. The customer insights have become many since the collaboration started!

With MarketHype, Vebjørn can, for example, filter out who has booked overnight stays at Norefjell Skisenter, see which countries the visitors come from and get information about which customers also buy some type of activity or option. Based on the filtering, Norefjell Skisenter can create different customer segments. Segment is a group of people who share similar characteristics, interests or behaviours, which are then used for more targeted communication, marketing and product development. At the ski operator, they work with segments related to geography, types of accommodation that customers usually book and other purchasing behaviour.

Vebjørn also sends newsletters from MarketHype, where the filters and segments are in the same system as the email tool. It is thus possible to create different types of targeted e-mails and then – without having to retrieve recipient lists from another system – send them directly to selected segments, subscribers or filtered customer groups. Of course, every mailing is followed by statistics.

– We are very satisfied! The connection to Citybreak is worth its weight in gold and so is the overview of the customers, where the data that is retrieved can be used for very, very much. The platform is user-friendly and not more complicated than it needs to be, says Vebjørn.

Photo: Norefjell Skisenter.

Automations with an opening frequency of 85% make work more efficient

In addition to the 10-15 newsletters that Vebjørn creates per season, Norefjell Skisenter currently has an automation running. The automation includes an email with a link to a customer survey and is sent one day after the customer's departure. It goes to everyone who has stayed in one of Norefjellstua's apartments, where they want to investigate how the booking itself was experienced, how the visitor felt there, if anything was missing during the stay and if the guest can recommend Norefjell Skisenter as a destination.

– About 60 percent click on the link in the mailings, and the response rate to the customer survey is also very high. We always follow up on the answers and go through everything at the end of the season, but should something negative be mentioned several times in the middle of the season, we will of course take care of it then and there, explains Vebjørn.

The automation thus rolls on by itself and saves Vebjørn time as he doesn’t have to send out the surveys manually. All he has to do is monitor the automation, which means he gets to occasionally go in and review its outcome. Figures such as opening rate – which at Norefjell Skisenter is a whopping 85 percent – and click rate are readily available in MarketHype, which serve as a good support in the analysis work.

Nore Rein. Photo: Norefjell Skisenter.

Personal support and quick follow-ups with a locally based supplier

Vebjørn is the one at Norefjell Skisenter who uses MarketHype the most and also the one who was part of the onboarding. This is what he says about the start-up phase:

– The onboarding worked very well. I had a close dialogue with the Customer Success team, received training through two different meetings and was provided with all the help I needed – and then we were up and running! Even now that we are up and running, I get really good support.

When asked what the biggest advantage of MarketHype as a supplier is, Vebjørn answers the connection to the booking system Citybreak. It forms an enormous part of how Norefjell Skisenter works with marketing today. In second place, Vebjørn specifically mentions the support.

– With MarketHype, we get personal support and quick answers. Our previous provider of email tools was a large system where the personal response was missing, so it feels good to now have a provider that is locally rooted. We are in Norway, MarketHype in Sweden, and there are various kinds of follow-ups happening continuously, says Vebjørn.

At the time of writing, Norefjell Skisenter has only been using the system for a few months – not even a full season – but Vebjørn is already looking forward to the next season and the development of the marketing efforts:

– So far it has been very interesting to take part in all customer data, all sales and all customer insights that come with the connection between MarketHype and Citybreak. We have a much better control and overview now than before. Before next season, we want to create more segments for more personal communication, and with the abundant amount of customer information we will be able to do that.

Photo: Norefjell Skisenter.

More information about Norefjell Skisenter

Wanna check out Norefjell Skisenter's homepage? You find it here.

To read the customer story in Norwegian, go here.
To read the customer story in Swedish, go here.