Having a successful Cyber Monday/Black Friday campaign is a critical component of many hotels’ marketing strategy. It can give you a booking boost for the upcoming year and also help you fill in the soft periods. Given the current state of the industry and the pent up demand we are optimistic that this year’s Cyber deals can be more effective than ever. This episode discusses the opportunities and provides some guidelines on putting together your own campaign.
Should we even bother with Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals?
- YES! Over the past few years, we have been seeing phenomenal performance for hotels running cyber specials.
- Many stores will not be holding in-store sales like they normally would, but they will certainly be featuring online sales and specials. NOW MORE THAN EVER people will be primed to shop online. We’ve been seeing online Black Friday sales numbers trending upward since 2016 and we’re anticipating a spike this year due to coronavirus concerns.
- People will be looking for deals. While this is always the case around this time of year, we know people have struggled financially more so this year and will be looking to save on large purchases like vacations.
- Getting as many reservations as you can on the books now will allow you to yield rates aggressively in future months when these Black Friday/Cyber Monday bookers are actually staying.
#1 Start Early
- In 2020, major retailers like Macy’s and Target are already stating that their specials will be starting much earlier than they normally would (October)
- These statements and promotions from major national brands will likely encourage people to start looking for black friday/cyber monday specials earlier as well.
- Also, know that OTAs like Expedia have stated that they will be “posting new deals before the big day”
- We don’t have a definite date that is the best day to start your sale, but we’re recommending the sooner the better.
- Pro tip: Be sure your call centers are staffed to handle an influx of calls if you are running a limited time sale.
#2 Convey Significant Savings & Value
- During the beginning of the pandemic we recommended value adds rather than discounting rates, but this strategy should change a bit during Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
- People are expecting discounted rates so your offer should be fairly significant; at least 30% off.
- It is still a great idea to pair your discounted rates with value adds to make this limited-time offer feel like the best deal they can get on a vacation.
- Our latest consumer sentiment study showed that nearly 80% of respondents still want to book a trip within the next year so this is the perfect opportunity to reel them in and book with you.
- Your messaging may include something about how tough 2020 has been and that people need a vacation to look forward to.
- Tell people that this will be the lowest price they’ll be able to get and stick to it
#3 Promote the Deal Across All Platforms
- Once you decide when you will make your special available you need to promote it across all forms of communication; Website, Social Media, Email, Paid Ads
- Ensure you have the creative assets (images, video, images for display ads, etc) before you start your promotion
- Your messaging must be consistent across all platforms
- This basic marketing strategy of repetition will help you stay top of mind
- You should have a page on your site that features your offer. This page should have an email collection field for people who are interested in your offer.
- You can use the email list and cookied visitors to that page for remarketing purposes.
- We also recommend using countdowns in your paid search ads.
- You should have a segment of guest emails who booked your previous Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers and target them with personalized messaging about booking again during this sale.
#4 Create A Sense Of Urgency, FOMO & Social Proof
- We have found that countdown timers work tremendously well in creating urgency in buyers so your page should have that feature.
- On-Site Countdown Timers
- Countdowns Within PPC Ad Copy
- Show that there is a limited number of rooms available.
- Show that a certain number of people have already booked the package.
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In The Newsaroos:
- Expedia says OTA Guests Spend More And Stay Longer
- America’s Hoteliers Launch 10,000 Letter Campaign to Save Hotels
- The campaign, “10,000 Letters, One Purpose,” called on hotel owners and members of the hospitality industry to write to their lawmakers and the White House to implore the two branches to pass a stimulus package that would help ease the unprecedented liquidity crisis gripping the hotel industry.
- authorize a second round of Paycheck Protection Program funding for the hardest hit small businesses; provide more resources for the Economic Injury Disaster Program; extend temporary relief from troubled debt restructurings through Jan. 1, 2023
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