Christmas is a busy time in hotels with guests enjoying the festive season and it provides a welcome revenue boost to hotelier. This can be starkly juxtaposed with the early New Year which brings low occupancies. As January is a bumper booking month when people start book ahead for Spring and Summer breaks, it is also an ideal time to hold a time-limited Winter Sale focussed on driving business into need periods.
In this article we share our top tips and advice for how your hotel should market a January sale and increase your January and early spring occupancy and revenue; filling bedrooms and covers that will otherwise go unsold.
1. Decide on a compelling offer(s) and set it up on the booking engine.
2. Create your sale messaging and visuals including Google Display/Meta Ads/Linked In Ads/Social Posts (a combination of video and static ads can be tested to see which are most effective)/Homepage Banner or Video/Email Signatures/Facebook Cover/Linked In Banner & Print Ads for tried & tested publications
3. Create a dedicated and optimised landing page and set up an offer group on your offers page. Landing pages are where your offers live and come to life. Highlight everything your guests should know about your offers on this page and focus on the benefits to your prospective guests while also leading them towards conversion. Place relevant and attractive calls to action which help them book your offers and ideally link directly to the offer on your website booking engine.
4. Create an email marketing campaign targeting your past guest database with exclusive early access- consider launching on December 27th when people have time and vouchers to spend! Don't forget to inform your spa, golf, health club members and F&B databases also as many people prefer to stay locally to celebrate special occasions or for short breaks in the winter months to avoid travel delays by road and air.
5. Add an element of scarcity to encourage quick conversions such as time limited offer with clear end date or limited availability messaging.
So now you're ready to sell. Remember to keep reminding your target audience in different ways your sale throughout on social and via email.
Below are a few more suggestions to make your January Sale a success:
A. Stand out from the competition
Increasingly, as with Black Friday Sales, many hoteliers are now taking advantage of consumer demand during the traditionally retail sales period of January. With a growing focus on sustainable living and as many shoppers can be fatigued with consumables following the excesses of the festive season, hotels have the opportunity to offer unique experiences to luxury consumers looking enjoy their limited and precious free time with family and friends. Hotels are selling the making of memories and not rooms.
Offer something unique to differentiate from your competitors. Imagine what will make your offer stand out above the others? What will be attractive to your target guests? Clearly deliver not only the features, but also highlight the benefits to the guest of staying at your property.
B. Offer a unique experiences & target special interests
Luxury travelers are searching for unique, memorable experiences. Boutique hotels and resorts which offer such experiences as part of their portfolio resonate with prospective guests and will reap the benefits. Being and portraying your hotel as the leader in a segment which excites your guests is not only the best way of capturing their attention but is also something that your competitors cannot claim or copy.
With excess availability this is an ideal time to get creative with some special interest packages and events to attract new audiences. Ensure that you allow plenty of time for promotions for new events such as Wellness Retreats, Active Retired Events etc.
Include access to sporting facilities, hire of equipment, joint participation classes, personal tuition or coaching.
C. Offer added value rather than focus on price
What is important for luxury consumers? The answer is maintaining your values and your service proposition. They are looking for an exclusive experience not just for hotel accommodation.
If you would like to maintain your luxury niche, you need to ensure you deliver an authentically rich guest experience. Even for seasonal specials and promotions it is better to offer added benefits not lower prices.
A great way of offering value is by packaging a number of your services or products together.
D. Use influencer strategy
The effectiveness of influencers in hotel and resort marketing is increased during the festive season as they will create new content based on exciting times ahead in the New Year. Coupled with the fact that more users will be on social media during the holiday period, having effective influencers to endorse your brand has the potential to drive great traffic to your website.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are the best channels for brand interaction during the holidays. When creating your holiday influencer marketing plans, ensure you're clearly incentivising guests to book direct your hotel.
At Aró Digital Strategy we work with our clients to ensure that all areas of their marketing strategy are covered to ensure they achieve the highest possible occupancies, revenue and profit. Should you wish to discuss your requirements and how we can assist, please feel free to Contact Us