Customer stories

Cragun’s Resort

HOTEL TYPE: Independent

SOLUTIONS USED: Reservation Sales

REGION: North America


Gain more insight into guests to drive reservations


Add automated emails and deeper call and attributed booking insights


35% average open rate across email campaigns, $400K in revenue from one personalized email

Meet the customer

“The revenue generated through LifeCycle emails is phenomenal.”

Nancy Krasean
Director of Marketing

The brand

For over 80 years, Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake has been Minnesota’s leading four seasons resort and recreation destination.

Nestled against Pillsbury State Forest and just two hours from the Twin Cities, Cragun’s takes recreation seriously. Named a Top-Ten Resort by Midwest Living, it’s an idyllic getaway for waterskiers, golfers, boaters, and vacationers of all types.

The challenges

Nancy Krasean, Director of Marketing at Cragun’s, didn’t have enough hours in the day. Every morning, she would listen to recordings of the previous day’s sales calls. For hours she’d tune in – figuring out which campaign drove a lead. Any scraped together detail was added to Visual One, her PMS. Three hundred calls per week left little time for other marketing. But intelligence was important: 80% of reservations came via the voice channel. “Directional insight was all I got, but it was better than nothing.” Nancy shares. “It was how I made budget decisions.”

She tried popular marketing solutions, but ran into various technical problems with each. “I always ended up listening to recordings,” Nancy said.

Attributing a booking weeks or months later? Forget about it. “I would listen to calls for a day or two after a promotion, but couldn’t keep up.” Cragun’s gauged campaign success—like for a 30,000 golf brochure mailing—based on early call volume. Even basic email segmentation, like a Spring Break promotion, was a tall task. “I’d download everyone that came for spring break last year. Then run a manual lookup to see if they rebooked this year. Not a clean process.”

The recordings exposed another issue: lost sales from poor rep performance. “I would run down to vacation sales and say, ‘Call this person back right now!'”

“It was really frustrating,” she admits.

“I had our General Manager listening to phone calls too. He agreed: something had to change. We were losing business every single day.”

— Nancy Krasean, Dir. of Marketing, Cragun’s Resort

The solution

Cragun’s Resort has world-class recreation and scenery. Prospective guests needed to know this in a faster, simpler, and more compelling way.

Adding automated emails like stay communications, upsell, anniversary, and time-of-year promotions with Revinate Marketing Suite was the first step.

“We had an email marketing program in place, but with Revinate, we have much deeper call and attributed booking insights. The revenue generated through LifeCycle emails is phenomenal.”

Cragun’s also partnered with GCommerce, a hotel and hospitality marketing firm, to add revenue tracking into Google Analytics. By understanding where traffic originated, Cragun’s targeted designated market areas (DMAs) more effectively. GCommerce also optimized paid media based on call revenue traced in Revinate to specific campaigns. With this, Cragun’s online revenue increased 28% year-over-year in 2018.

Revinate improved sales reps’ call performance with phone training and scoring too. Reps understood what stay and contact information to ask for. And structured call flows simplified new agent training.

Today, voice channel dashboards give reservation and revenue managers insight into conversions, follow up and other performance metrics. It also validates Cragun’s sales process. “We can go to underperformers and say, ‘You’re converting at 15% and everyone else is at 30%. It’s time to get on board with our approach’,” said Nancy.

The result

With Revinate’s Marketing Suite and Performance Education live sales training, Cragun’s voice conversion rates doubled. Defined monitoring, scoring, and training processes are in place—taking the guesswork out of managing reps.

Additionally, Cragun’s generated $800,000 in incremental revenue from personalized LifeCycle emails. The resort produced $165,000 and $143,000 from “Not Booked Leads” and “Booking Anniversary” campaigns, respectively.

In 2019, a “24-Hour Pre-Departure” email promotion produced a 42% open rate and generated over $400,000 – at nearly $2,000 per booking! All this without spending more on marketing.

Today, Nancy can take on new marketing initiatives, like planning a PGA Tournament in the near future.

“There’s no more, ‘oops’, we missed that opportunity anymore.”

— Nancy Krasean, Dir. of Marketing, Cragun’s Resort

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