We’ve been saying it for awhile, but it truly feels as though we’re in the height of summer now! Check out those blue skies… bliss! As temperatures across Europe increase, we’re noticing room bookings aren’t necessarily following suit, they seem to be slower than usual to pick up this year. To help combat this issue, we’re continuing on, full (piping hot) steam ahead with our summer series of revenue tips & tricks from the best in the biz (we don’t like to toot our own horn, but… ;)) aimed at helping to develop your seasonal marketing strategy and reach your revenue goals.
Whether you’re finding rooms slow to sell so far this season or not, it’s still a helpful exercise to revisit your activity, check in, and ensure everything is optimised for sizzling success! Here are some pointers across the board that should help tip those that are on the fence over, and into your hotel rooms!
Once you’ve nailed down who you’re targeting with your offer, the next thing to consider is price. Given the fact that Sundays are one of the hardest nights a week to fill, try offering a lower price:
‘Extend your summer stay this weekend and get 30% off Sunday night!’
Similarly, try incentivising midweek stays, when your property is most likely quieter than weekends:
‘Avoid the crowds! Visit us between Sunday & Thursday and get up to 30% off!’
As it is the busiest time of year for family breaks, we tend to focus on families since that’s where the majority of your revenue is likely to come from. So it’ll help if you add bits & pieces to your offer that busy, time-poor parents will appreciate; remember, they’re looking for a place to stay that will provide them with financial value, but that’ll also take some thought, prepping, and effort out of their break for them. Consider the following:
- Add children rates to all rooms (not just family ones)
- Offer discounts for local attractions (museums, leisure centres, restaurants)
- Include a ‘book direct and receive 10% off the hotel restaurant / bar’ offer
- Provide a welcome drink for everyone in the family upon arrival
- Offer free breakfast
- Offer kids to stay or eat for free
As the summer goes on, regularly review your price points vs your available room stock. It seems intuitive, but if there’s still lots of availability left on certain dates, soften the rate now, and build it back up closer to the time. Keeping the rate too high at this stage and slashing last minute won’t help to maximise your bookings, so be mindful of this.
Another more engaging way to fill rooms is through promotions. Like our latest device trends report will tell you, 62% of direct bookers browse on mobile. In fact, the average person uses their phone for 4 hours per day! So there’s no harm in considering a little competition on one or more of your social channels. This will help generate reach, interest and engagement. Win-win!
It’s not all about the shiny new guests, either. Use your database of previous visitors to launch a ‘We miss you!’ email campaign. Particularly ideal for people who stayed with you last summer.
We’re all partial to a last minute getaway, especially if there’s a good offer going. Send last minute ‘secret offers’ to regular guests that might encourage them to book. Remember, little free add-ons like early/late check-in make such a difference. Even if they don’t end up booking, it will help make them feel valued and they’ll consider you again down the line.
Make sure people know it’s not too late to book! This can be communicated through your phrasing: ‘Spacious family rooms still available!’
By making sure your remarketing lists are set up on your website, you can also ensure that guests don’t forget about you until the bitter end of these brighter days.
Your guests consume media anywhere and everywhere, so a clear, consistent message across multiple platforms needs to be your focus! Make sure all links are directing people to the right offer landing page. Your campaign message and imagery needs to be strong and complementary, both on and offline.
When it comes to your website, don’t just focus on your offer’s landing page – recently, we wrote about why it’s useful to write and maintain a blog. Think content on local attractions, ‘secret’ spots, the best pubs, restaurants, etc. It transforms you from just a room in a property, to a source of inspiration. To magnify this, use your social media channels.
Back to our earlier point on how often we use our phones, remember that we are all habitually present on a variety of platforms and different people will check different mediums to get a feel for who you are. Keep a weekly focus on social and use it to magnify blog content, your offer’s USPs, and even unique facts about your property that will grab attention. And, remember the importance of social proof! Customer feedback and reviews are the key to continued prosperity. As humans, we have a tendency to be influenced, and far from just being influenced by multi-millionaires like the Kardashians, we actually tend trust those around us – the ‘micro-influencers’. So never underestimate the power of a great guest review!
This is no-one’s favourite part, but it’s also important to keep investing in your summer campaign. Without investment, your campaign just won’t gain the traction you need to fill rooms. Don’t let those OTAs overpower your message. Need a chat or more info on any of this? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!