With summer rapidly approaching, millions of people are making travel arrangements and booking hotels. With that in mind, how is your property making the most out of the summer season? After researching some of the busiest summer destinations, we thought we’d bring you some of the top summer campaign tips to kick your property into high gear this summer season.
Let’s first look at the best time to start opening those campaign promotions to your guests. Statistics show that properties process the most bookings in the months of February, March, April, May, June and July. The highest bookings are in February and June, probably due to spring break and the start of summer break for school aged children. However, it’s important to recognize the frequency of the promotional campaigns being sent as well. Typically, if your property is sending between six and twelve summer promotional campaigns per year, your bookings will show the most return with an average of 1500 bookings. That’s a lot of visitors, and a lot of opportunities to reach other potential guests.
Additionally, hotels that send campaigns throughout the year have a better return on bookings than hotels that are focusing on sending summer promotions closer to summer months only. While this may seem like an ineffective strategy, you’re really increasing your opportunities for reaching additional guests if you begin your promotions earlier in the year. A study by Revinate indicated that the properties who were putting together summer promotions earlier in the year showed a steady increase in reservations, between 28 and 30 reservations per summer promotion. So, how do you get the best return from your summer promotional campaigns?
When you’re planning for your property to market for the summer season, don’t wait until January. Start your pre-planning in October or November of the year prior. You don’t have to “go big” here, but for your loyal guests, perhaps try offering a significant discount to entice them to stay with you again next year and book several months in advance.
At the end of winter and early pre-Spring, set the tone of your campaign by letting your guests know that they need a break from the wintery weather. Tell them that before they know it, summer will be here, and they should start planning. Your promotional discount should still be enticing during this Spring planning time period, not quite as high as it was during the winter pre-booking era, but still significant in the grand scheme of things. Remember, the goal is to gain as many pre-bookings during this timeframe as you can.
Late Spring / Early Summer:
As April winds down and Memorial Day approaches, here is where you kick your promotional efforts into high gear. Your last-minute travelers will be looking for a deal but understand that they are looking for last-minute deals. So, you’ll have an advantage here in that you won’t need to offer such a large discount to entice them to your property. Typically, a 10-30% discount is acceptable this time of year since other properties are offering the same types of promotions.
End of Summer:
Using a promotional campaign at the end of summer can benefit your property too. As parents are looking for the last family get together before school is back in session, and millennials are planning on taking that last break before they start their new jobs, you can still entice your guests with an end of summer promotion wherein guests can get a room for 20 to 35% off the regular room rate. This is the “Summer is Ending” special, and guests respond well to this type of deal, especially when an actual dollar amount is used as opposed to a percentage advertisement.
Wrapping up: As a hotelier, you could really brighten up your summer season with a little pre-planning and some well thought out campaigns. By starting your summer season marketing campaigns a little earlier in the year, you could increase your bookings, and provide your guests with not only a fantastic deal, but a fantastic place to spend their summer vacations.