Maximise Midweek Bookings at Your B&b –
Mark Ellis, Managing Director at Welcome Systems shows us four ways to
It’s a perennial problem for B&B owners – how do you ensure the property isn’t a ghost town during the week?
Clearly, an empty B&B isn’t sustainable – but the good news it is entirely avoidable. All you need is some time and the following strategies:
- Use email marketing to segment and target the right audience
Assuming your booking system provides the right data, you should be able to export your customer database, upload it into a tool such as MailChimp (they offer free accounts!) and begin creating lists of previous guests based on the following:
- Their number of previous visits (the more previous stays they have, the more likely you are to tempt them back for a midweek special deal)
- Their last booking date (those who haven’t stayed with you for more than twelve months could possibly be ‘awoken’ with a great midweek deal)
- Their previous favoured rates (if you’ve run midweek packages in the past, sniffing out the customers who booked them previously should offer some very low-hanging fruit)
Email is powerful – use it to your advantage to raise midweek bookings.
- Create ‘sleepy Sunday’ packages with optional extensions
Everyone likes a long weekend, and while traditional ’sleepy Sunday’ packages don’t address the need for increased midweek bookings, if you offer an extension to stay for one or two days extra, you’ll have suddenly filled a fair few beds with little effort or changeover.
- Reach out to the building contractors of new developments
Building contractors and road workers make up a good portion of midweek B&B bookings, but you shouldn’t expect them to land on your booking chart automatically if there’s a development nearby.
You need to be more proactive to win such bookings, so reach out and speak to the contractors behind local developments and highlight the benefits of staying at your B&B. Introduce a lower rate for such guests and offer additional incentives (earlier breakfasts, and lunch pack-ups, for example); you may just score a customer who will raise your midweek occupancy for the foreseeable future.
- Get word out on social media
I talk about this a lot, but can’t emphasise strongly enough how important social media is for a B&B’s marketing effort.
When it comes to filling the property during midweek, try using Facebook advertising to target specific groups of customers with deals that speak directly to them. You can do this by using Facebook’s excellent tool to select a demographic that is most likely to stay midweek (see point 1), ensuring that your adverts only end up on the news feeds of the most relevant people.
Don’t fear midweeks if you’re a B&B owner – they can be conquered. What’s more, if you work hard on the strategies listed above, you’ll eventually discover a domino effect that enables you to take your foot off the gas a little.
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