With Cyber Weekend behind us, now’s the time to shift your focus ahead to the rest of winter, and beyond Christmas, to your January sales.
NB: This is an article from Net Affinity
This week, the Republic of Ireland has come out of lockdown in to Level 3, and we advised that as part of your hotel’s recovery plan, you should be planning ahead of Christmas – this piece of advice applies to your hotel wherever you’re based!
January has typically been one of the strongest hotel booking months of the year. This is one reason why it’s important not to wait until after Christmas to plan – don’t limit yourself. Give yourself the best chance!
Here’s how to create your January campaign
Simplicity is key
The clearer the offer, the less room for confusion. The less room for confusion, the more room for bookings!
Sale offers should not be pre-pay offer and they should not need a deposit. These factors will heavily influence your customers one way or another as they consider making a booking.
The more flexible you are with your cancellation policy, too – the more likely a customer is to return.
We’ve noticed that the best performing campaigns have usually been the ones with larger discounts. If you’re not in a position to offer 25% or more off, we recommend you avoid supporting the sale with campaign budget. This is a really competitive space and time, so to have a shot at making sales and attracting more customers, the offer needs to deliver.
Remember: you can add terms into your offers that will restrict high demand dates so you’re not losing revenue by selling out at heavily discounted rates.
Highlight the ‘Limited Time!’ message
If you can, run your sale for two weeks instead of running it for a month or longer. The shorter time period helps create a sense of urgency, which should help the campaign perform better in the end.
Flash sales are another clever way of creating a sense of urgency. One easy and effective tool you can use to highlight your offer is an action bar. Our own action bars have a built in timer which counts down the hours left on your sale.
Countdown ads are also effective. You can create these on Google within your January brand campaign. When someone searches for your hotel, the ad copy that will appear should then include your countdown message and timer.
Consistency is important because it harks back to what we mentioned earlier about avoiding confusion. When someone sees the same message across all the digital platforms you’re reaching them on, they are more likely to follow through.
The best way of being consistent is designing your visuals and accompanying messaging specifically for each channel. There might not be huge changes between them – but there will be slight differences. If you’re a Net Affinity client, chat to your account contact about a creating a design bundle for your needs. For the whole month of December, we’re offering a 20% discount on our marketing design bundles. Grabbing one might help you to look polished everywhere your customers see you – on your website, social channels, through email, paid search and display.
Have a specific landing page
Landing pages are so important. Give your offer a home!
Your offer’s landing page should highlight everything your customers need to know about the offer. It should have all relevant information they need to decide to click and book. Unlike web pages, which are trying to encourage interest in many different areas, your landing page should be designed with one single focus in mind, and should drive to just one place with your call to action.
A thought on your 2021 budget
For 2021, it will be important for you to be flexible with your hotel budgets, keeping in mind changing demand patterns and potential variation in strategy based on what happens with the pandemic and how it continues to shape the industry.
US business is unlikely to return until at least Q2. The focus for the first part of the year will most likely remain on the domestic business. We know however, that this could change in the blink of an eye. As we all continue learning more about the progressing situation, we’ll advise on our ongoing recommendations.