Has your summer not been as busy as you’d hoped? Do you still have availability for end August and for September? Don’t panic, there’s still time to get more summer bookings.
To do this:
- You need to take action and you need to take it now.
- You need to be proactive.
- You need to set dedicated time aside to focus on this.
Read on, or here’s Tuesday’s Facebook Live covering this topic:
What dates do you have available and what price are you selling this period for. You may want to run a special offer. This could be a 10% discount or an extra special welcome hamper. Just make the decision now and stick to it. Feel free to tell them that this booking period is £x cheaper than if they came the middle of the summer, yet they get the same great holiday rental to stay in.
Also what events are taking place during this period. Make a note of them together with website links, opening times etc.
Identify your guest
Who will benefit most from a stay in your holiday home during these dates – families, couples or friends. What age will the children be? What age will the couples be?
What will they be looking for in a holiday this time of year? What activities can they do? What are the advantages of a stay with you this time of year?
Write your marketing message
Now you know who you’re attracting and what they are looking for in a holiday, in other words how you can solve their problem, you can write your marketing message. For example:
Have you missed out on getting away this summer? Now’s your chance . Your colleagues’ holidays have been and gone, now its time for them to have holiday envy.
Imagine how quiet the roads are now the schools are heading back and people are returning to work. The sun’s still out and you’ll virtually have the beach to yourselves.
Do any of your listing sites allow you to highlight late availability or special offers? The smaller nicher listing sites may do so – an advantage of these versus the big guys (but that’s the topic of a whole new blog!)
Add this late availability or your special offer to the home page on your website.
Get in touch with your contacts
Firstly with your business contacts to let them know that you have this booking period that’s still available. Ask them to tell their contacts about it. They scratch your back and you’ll scratch theirs!
Email your mailing list and tell them. Offer them a subscriber only deal if you think it will help. Again sell the benefits of a stay with you this time of year.
Send a personal email to guests who stayed with you this time last year. Evoke their emotions. Ask them “can you remember how you felt when you…..”. Use their comments from your visitor’s book or online review to personalise this email.
Review your copy
Revisit all your listings and review your copy. Make it seasonal. Talk about the advantages of going on holiday now eg no more queuing for ice creams/the visitor attractions are still open but you can explore in peace and quiet. Amend the images you use too if necessary.
Take to social media
Prepare some images in Canva (www.canva.com). Add a summer availability stamp like this, to really make this message stand out:
If you’d like to know how to create a collage like this in Canva then click here <<How to create a Canva collage>>
In Canva use their templates to resize your images for all the platforms that you’re active on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+
What you can’t do on social media is talk only about your availability. Your fans will soon become bored and switch off. You need to intersperse your availability with other posts and tweets. The theme of the other posts can still be about what there is to do in your area this time of year. Hopefully, you will have already identified specific events that you can talk about (see the Be Specific section). A good rule of thumb on Facebook for example is to talk about your offer once out of every 5 posts.
So far your efforts to get more summer bookings have only cost you time, not money. If you wish to spend a little on advertising you haven’t got time for a print run or to get an advert in your local free mag. But you have got time to advertise on social media. In Facebook you can boost a post to more of your page likers (and their friends). This gets more eyes on your post. Also you could place a Facebook advert where you send it to a targetted audience. You can choose male or female, age, group type, income, interests etc. These would be the folk you’ve already identified as the guests you want to attract. Facebook owns Instagram so you can also opt for this Facebook advert to appear on Instagram.
On Pinterest you can promote a pin and on Twitter you can promote a Tweet, although advertising on these two platforms is less well tried and tested than on Facebook.
Go for it!
Be proactive and keep going and pushing, mentioning your availability whenever and wherever you can. Even in the supermarket queue! After all time is of the essence and once that week’s gone, it’s gone.
Best of luck