So… how was it for you?
Before the chocolate and Easter Bunny madness completely draws to a close, I would ask you to ask yourself this question: How was it for you?
As hoteliers we often complain about the strangle-hold that the OTA’s have on our business and I am not for one moment dismissing that, but what I think we often forget is the power of information given to us by our very own customer. Over this Easter holiday you have had a plethora of visitors – some new and some returning but are we actually using the information that these guests readily provide us with? We all strive for our customers to Book Direct but we can’t expect them to make that shift all by themselves, we as hoteliers need to use all the information our guests give us and learn from it.
So here are my Top Easter Tips:
1. How many Easter packages did you sell?
2. What was the breakdown i.e. 1 night, 2 night or multi-night stays?
3. Which packages worked and which did your customers actually want to buy?
4. Did you get the mix right? For example, there is no point marketing a Family Friendly Easter Break if you are a hotel that normally shies away from that market – perhaps with rooms that don’t easily accommodate extra beds or perhaps a luxury spa environment that isn’t child friendly. Did you get your marketing right?
5. If something didn’t work then don’t repeat it. Learn
6. Which packages or rates actually made you money?
7. Did your guests spend incrementally when in your property?
8. Which channel delivered your bookings? Hopefully not an OTA but if you used a Pay Per Click campaign or traditional offline advertising, make sure you factor this into the cost of sale. To do this, take the total cost of the campaign or advertising and average it over the number of rooms sold.
As an example:
Package cost: £120.00 for two people sharing
Less: VAT: £24.00 (UK-20%) / Breakfast Allocation for two people £12.00 / Easter cocktail £8.00 total / Room Cost £42.00 / Average cost of booking delivered via your Pay Per Click Campaign £8.00 per booking
Gives a nett profit of £26.00
9. Did you promote via Social Media? Did that work? Did you pay to promote your post (and if you did then factor this into the cost of sale)?
10. Measure your social media engagement by the number of bookings you actually converted – everything else is just ‘fluff’ when it comes to pounds and pence. If you don’t have tracking on your social media posts then ask your booking engine provider to do this for you asap.
11. Did you ask your guests to be actively engaged on social media while they were in the hotel? Having rewards or competitions to encourage guests to promote around a ‘theme’ is a great way to increase social media interaction.
12.What type of guests did you actually host? Out-of-towners? Local’s taking a well-deserved break? Do you understand your market mix?
13. When did they book? What was their lead time? What can you learn from that? Even if it as simple as ensuring that next year you have your packages written, live on your website and promoted at the right time will help
14. And finally the golden egg – literally! Did you collect email addresses? Have you segmented them? Do you understand just how powerful this data is? You can use it for future ‘family themed packages’ or even to promote next years Easter packages. For goodness, use the data and information that you have right in front of you to promote that Book Direct message.
And one final tip – if you have been clever enough to collect email addresses, why don’t you take the time to thank everyone that stayed? Run a mail shot (use even free software such as MailChimp) and say thank you. Imagine you were a guest at a hotel and the hotel actually took time to say thank you for spending your precious time off with us… now that should have the Easter Bunny jumping for joy!
(and for all things revenue just firstname.lastname@example.org)