Special Offers are a great way to increase bookings as long as they’re targeted and well thought out. You only need to visit one of the large online agencies to see the hundreds of offers across the hotels. They are there because everyone likes a bargain, but remember offers are meant to increase your revenues and profits not lower them. Here are some tips:
- Make them stand out. Create a strong perception of value. Consider adding something extra rather than simply lowering your rates i.e. a free box of chocolates and bottle of wine, free afternoon tea, kids eat free etc.
- Book now. Try to give your offer the scarcity factor. This encourages customers to take advantage there and then. If you have 4 rooms that are same, you could attach an offer to only one of them.
- Use wisely and sparingly. Switch the offers on only when you know it’s going to be difficult to sell your rooms at your normal rate. This could be in low season or a particular night (Sunday) when business is slow.
- Mix them up. Don’t train your customers to wait for or expect an offer over certain dates. Use different offer types at different times and see what works best for you.
- Easy access. Put them where your customers will find them, right on your home page. Add the offers to your email signature or create a Special Offer email campaign, but make sure there’s a direct link to your website’s booking engine.
- Best behaviour. Use your offer to encourage the right kind of bookings. For some properties that may mean long stay discounts, because longs stays allow you to take revenue on extras like food and beverages. For others it might mean enticing guests to stay over low season dates.
There are wide range of offer options available and each property or set of customers will respond differently, so be prepared to give a few of them a go and measure the results.
You can read Part 2 of this blog here.