It’s that time of year again! Summer is around the corner and there’s an almost unlimited supply of hotel deals to be found, so your standard 10-15 percent off summer promo isn’t going to draw much attention when every hotel on the block is offering the same deal.
The solution? Win at the summer rate game by not playing at all. Here are three creative promo ideas that will set you apart from your neighbors this summer without slashing your rates:
1. Minimum Stay Promotions – Version 2.0
Tiered minimum stay discounts are a tried and true revenue strategy for any hotelier looking to increase length of stay, but how low are you willing to go for the extra night?
Why not experiment instead with a tiered value-add promotion? You can start off small with a no cost add-on (free late checkouts are easy) and increase your offering based on length of stay. Evaluate your hotel amenities and get creative with your freebies. Think upgrades, F&B credits, local attraction tickets, etc. The best aspect of value-adds is that unlike straight price discounts, they can be used strategically to help drive incremental revenue. A small money voucher towards your spa or restaurant can entice a guest who might not normally do so to book a massage treatment or dine on-site.
(Side note: we all know that guests will not hesitate to leave a dreaded bad review on a service, regardless of whether or not they had to pay for it. Make sure that your free Wifi offering can stand up to House of Cards streaming, your free breakfast toast isn’t stale, and your free shuttle driver can suppress his road rage.)
Lastly, there’s no sense in only advertising a 4-night offer to guests who are specifically looking to book four nights. Make sure that the full promotional details are visible not only throughout your website, but also within the booking engine environment for guests searching any length of stay. “Add one more night to your stay and we’ll throw in a free oceanfront upgrade!”
2. Customize Your Offer to Your Specific Audience
The key to conversion is simple: offer the right price to the right guest at the right time. In other words, your summer promotions shouldn’t be one size fits all!
Dynamically customizing your offers based on customer behavior, demographic and location will not only improve your quality of traffic but will also enhance the guest experience. Think about your target summer audience. Is it your local drive market? Consider reaching out to guests in neighboring cities with a free valet offer, or even a gas card. Targeting families? Create a unique landing page that highlights your kiddie pool or your suites with kitchens. Consider loosening up your cancellation policy on an advanced purchase international offer since that guest is basing their trip around finding flights. A little personalization goes a long way, so put some thought into who you’re advertising to this summer, when they’re booking and what would specifically appeal to them.
3. Enter to Win More Bookings!
Contests are a fun way to significantly broaden your audience through social sharing and word-of-mouth marketing. With a little strategy involved, a summer contest can result in both an increased engagement ROI as well as actual revenue generation.
How? Put together a prize package compelling enough to drive business to your biggest need periods. For example, any hotelier in Miami Beach can tell you that they’ve considered standing on the corner and begging for weekday business in July. If your target audience suddenly had the opportunity to win a penthouse suite upgrade and a $200 resort credit just by shifting their 3-night vacation to start on a Sunday rather than a Friday, that Miami hotelier might also see a nice shift in their summer weekday occupancy.
Work in a corresponding ad campaign across social channels to boost excitement and entries, and follow up with killer content around the prize winner on property and voila! You’ve reached a whole new base of guests who are eager to see what you’ll come up with next. Don’t forget to email all non-winners with a unique offer as a consolation prize, like a free welcome amenity if they can refer a friend to book over the same period. (There’s that customization that we keep mentioning!)
Read more ideas for driving hotel revenue this Summer.
Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com