Hot Tips!

Welcome to the home of the accommodation industry's hottest tips!
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Hot tips

Use email marketing!

Encourage repeat stays by sending twice weekly or monthly marketing emails to past guests. Sending emails is free, is quick to do and gives a good return on your investment of time. Show off upgrades you've made, tell them about upcoming events over the next few months in your area, or draw their attention to new extra products and services you have to offer. To make your email more enticing, include an exclusive discount or promotion linked to the theme of your email. For example, when telling guests about the upcoming carnival a great promotion could be to offer free glowsticks or a free carnival bundle with the code CARNIVAL24. Make sure to include photos to really capture your readers attention!

3rd Apr 2024 - Cait, Freeonlinebooking UK Team

Hot tips

Build a book direct strategy!

Given the high commissions that Online Travel Agents (OTAs) charge, it is essential to build a book direct strategy to maximise your profits. Start with ensuring you have a great looking and well performing website that is optimised for search engine positioning. Next make sure that you are encouraging guests to book direct by rewarding them to do so, either with a slightly reduced rate or some other incentive. Finally, fine-tune your operations so that the book direct message is effectively communicated to your guests eg by giving guests a small discount if they book direct with you next time. If you need help with your book direct strategy then freeonlinebooking is more than happy to help!

20th Mar 2024 - Freeonlinebooking UK Team

Hot tips

Offer a non-refundable option!

Whilst offering non-refundable rates at a small discount may cost you money, it will be money in the bank which you will likely not ever have to refund. Many properties offering non-refundable rates report occupancy rates exceeding 100% in busy periods due to the effect of cancellations. You may wish to recommend to customers to take travel insurance to mitigate the effect of customers being frustrated by not being able to cancel their booking.

12th Mar 2024 - Freeonlinebooking UK Team

Hot tips

Tell your customers about your local area!

Include a local area guide on your website and in folders in your rooms. Tell your guests how wonderful your town and region is, where the best places to eat are (for all budgets), the best activities (for all age groups), what to do on a rainy day etc. For your adventurous guests, include information about local trails, where to mountain bike, where to take their dogs, where to go fishing, best sunrise and sunset spots, the difficulty of each trail and how long the trail takes to walk. If your guests have an amazing time, they will thank you for giving them the ideas, and hopefully will return!

5th Mar 2024 - Nick Hill, Freeonlinebooking Managing Director

Hot tips

Encourage social media bookings!

Add a link to your website and your direct booking engine to Facebook and all of your social media pages. This will encourage guests searching social media for accommodation to book directly with you with ease. If guests can't easily find your website or booking page then they will likely go to a high commission OTA (Online Travel Agent) website, which would prove very costly.

21st Feb 2024 - Cait Buttery, Freeonlinebooking UK team

Hot tips

Manage TripAdvisor intelligently!

Always respond to TripAdvisor reviews good and bad. Always thank guests for taking the time to leave a review and if a review is negative then make sure you appear sympathetic and keen to resolve any problems. Make sure you mention in your reply that your best rates can only be booked direct. A high proportion of guests will check TripAdvisor before booking and using this simple tip can greatly impact your direct bookings.

14th Feb 2024 - Cait Buttery, Freeonlinebooking UK team

Hot tips

Update your photos!

Make sure you have up to date, high quality photos of your property as they are ESSENTIAL when customers are selecting where to stay. Pick a day with no clouds and blue, sunny skies. Include photos of the food and extras you offer, creating an immersive experience the guest simply cannot wait to dive into. Make sure your photos are reflective of your accommodation to build trust and be seen as authentic. Know your limits and hire a photographer if required.

8th Feb 2024 - Cait Buttery, Freeonlinebooking UK team

Hot tips

Making the most of your Wi-Fi!

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2nd Feb 2024 - Cait Buttery, Freeonlinebooking UK team

Hot tips

Partner with local businesses!

Encourage local businesses to provide special discounts exclusively for your guests, creating a unique incentive for them to choose your accommodation. By having partnerships with nearby shops, cafes, restaurants, tourist attractions etc you not only boost the appeal of booking with you but also create a supportive network. This collaboration encourages local businesses to recommend your accommodation to both locals and tourists, thereby creating win-win opportunities for all.

31st Jan 2024 - Cait Buttery, Freeonlinebooking UK team

Hot tips

Test your website!

A website full of glitches, bugs, and pages that won't load will no doubt put guests off booking directly with you. Catch issues early by regularly testing your website. Make sure it works well on a mobile device and check your photos are high quality and up to date. Consider how visible your 'book now' buttons are too. If a guest can't see how to book, they may go somewhere else!

13th Jan 2024 - Cait Buttery, Freeonlinebooking UK team

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