Ways To Increase Direct Bookings
In this article, I’m going to share six really easy ways to increase direct bookings that won’t cost you anything more than time.
That’s right – ways of substantially increasing direct bookings without spending money on advertising and marketing!
#1 – Position your business in the right place
Positioning really is the best way to increase direct bookings and profits, it’s as simple as that.
First, you need to make sure you know how others perceive your business and what you stand for.
Then, when you have clarified that, you need to make it clear to everyone exactly what you are known for and that you are different to your competitors.
Make sure you always use the right words to convey the right message to the right audience. It can seriously affect demand, price, bookings and profits.
Do you need to seriously think about whether your business needs re-positioning?
#2 – Make your database work for you
It’s your job to remind previous guests to stay with you again, not their job to remember you.
It’s so much easier to secure another booking from a previous guest .
It’s more expensive to find a new guest.
It’s not rocket science is it?
We all know the statements above are true, yet so many accommodation providers ignore the information and spend most of their marketing budget and time on trying to get new guests!
Keeping in touch with your previous guests is another of the great ways to increase direct bookings. And the more relevant you make your communications the more successful they will be.
If you don’t have a database then you need to start building one now and if you do, you need to make sure it is always up to date.
#3 – Really communicate with potential guests too
Communicating with your potential guests, people who make an enquiry with you, is another of the easy ways to increase direct bookings.
The more you communicate, the more bookings you’ll secure.
But there are a few things you need to remember:
– Everything you send to your potential guests must be relevant and useful!
– You can communicate through a variety of media – not just email! Using the telephone, direct mail and even an occasional text are just some other options.
– Don’t just ‘sell,’ instead build and strengthen relationships with your potential guests.
If you know you have a great follow up process in place to keep in touch with people who have made an enquiry, then great. If you’re not then make plan and stick to it!
#4 – Have a clear pricing strategy
When you’ve fixed your POSITIONING and you’ve got a high quality LIST of guests that like and value what you offer and you COMMUNICATE frequently with both them and potential guests, then it becomes fairly easy to charge higher prices and to increase your bookings.
Most accommodation providers are afraid to raise prices or offer premium priced options, so they end up selling less rooms or holiday properties than they need to at much lower prices than they need to.
If you don’t have a clear Pricing Strategy in place then you need to implement one now. At the same time consider introducing premium priced offerings and an upselling strategy within your business.
#5 – Have an effective marketing strategy
Many accommodation providers let big opportunities pass them by because they are either afraid of, or have never learned how to do marketing properly.
When you know how to respond to enquiries in the correct manner it will help you to secure the booking every time.
Take the time to create an effective marketing strategy and update your marketing knowledge and skills by investing in further training. When you do, you will see such an amazing return on that investment.
#6 – Always review and revise
Evaluating everything you do within your business and quickly making required improvements is such an important step to continued success.
You need to set targets and measure the success of those targets. You need to regularly evaluate your success and if something isn’t working then fix it swiftly.
When you seriously focus on increasing bookings and put clearly defined plans in place to take your business to the next level, it will happen.
And remember, what gets measured gets done!
Set yourself some clear targets and then break them down to a monthly level. Make them achievable and important and of course, always track your progress.
Until next time, remember …
It’s not about the amount you spend on marketing but how effective that marketing is that’s really important.