Whether you call them special offers, packages, promotions, deals, offers or breaks, everybody is hunting for that ‘special’ online. You have heard people say, ''I got it cheaper online''; consumers want to feel like they are getting a deal and are saving money, and you want to sell rooms directly on your own website at a lower commission rate.
As the OTAs require rate parity, creating extra added value special offers on your own website can assist in increased direct online revenue. The consumer is also delighted with the extras and the feeling that they are getting that ‘’special offer’’. Compete with the OTAs and offer ‘room only’ and ‘advance purchase’ packages. We have seen hotels’ conversion increase greatly with these types of simple offers. It’s a win-win!
Why Should You Make the Effort?
One hotel increased their special offer revenue by 94% in a four-month period when compared year on year, simply by improving their special offer content and directing users to special offers on key areas of the website, combined with some SEO support.
Special offers give you a chance to push specific dates with packages that you need to fill in the hotel at certain times of the year, such as midterm breaks, targeting families, midweek, weekend and activities. You can do that very easily online using many mediums: your website with promotional panels, pop ups, special offers pages, specific landing pages, blogs, social media and email marketing campaigns.
Special Offers can generate over 50% of your overall online revenue and can be promoted very easily from your website. One 5 Star London Hotel, that wanted to be associated with London Fashion Week, created a package, followed by a content specific landing page and a blog post. They cross linked these pages and shared it widely on social media. There was an increase in bookings and organic positions improved from the 4th page to the 1st page on Google in only a few days.
How Can You Improve Your Special Offers?
- Be bold and quirky and use relevant imagery that tell a story.
- Add all the frills! Sell the experience in your hotel and everything else you have to offer, other than just rooms. People want to be excited about where they are visiting and the hotel is only a portion of that. You can also enhance your offer by pairing up with local attractions to include an additional experience in the package.
- Use enticing headlines to attract people to read more or check availability. Avoid terms like 2BB1D as people may not understand these terms.
- Use prominent call-to-action buttons. The user needs to know where to click to book the package.
- Clearly identify the unique selling points. These could include dinner, a bottle of wine, a reduction on spa treatments, a voucher for use in the hotel.
- Always add price points that are accurate. Don’t mislead your user.
- Your website home page is the most valuable page of your website so always make sure you have a special offer presented above the fold on your home page, with price points and clear call-to-actions.
- Present your best performing special offers first on the page or those you really want to push at a certain time.
- Create special offers that can be exclusively booked online.
- If you have a lot to offer in your hotel, from spa, to golf, to dining options, you can try presenting your offers in the form of groups. It does add an extra click to the journey, but you are targeting the consumer with their specific interests.
You Have a Great Special Offer. What Do You Do Now?
- Target consumers with what is relevant to them and seasonal at the time, based on their profile and interests. Facebook and Email Marketing are great mediums for targeting very specific audiences and interests at key times of the year.
- Consider adding price points to any social media posts or email marketing campaigns that you create. Price points are eye-catching and can encourage that click through to the website, especially if it’s very competitive. Promote your special offers and price points with paid advertising, especially using the site links in Google Adwords or Bing.
- Match the image on your special offer to wherever else you promote it. It will signal to the user that they have clicked through to the right page when they interact with your ad, email campaign or social media post.
- Create content specific landing pages for your staple offerings, these pages will be useful for SEO, PPC landing pages, blog cross linking and social links and shares.
Why not try implementing a content calendar that includes seasonal special offers? Read how to Create a Content Calendar in 5 Steps.