Today we are going to be going over several tips for how to build a successful fall marketing strategy! We will touch on a few different areas including event marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and how to drive gift certificate sales. Now let’s dive into how you can drive revenue this fall!
Partner With Events In Your Area
Events in your are a great way to drive revenue and should absolutely be part of your fall marketing strategy. The best way to drive revenue from events is to partner with an event near your destination; this could be you offering a discount for event attendees or hosting parts of the event at your destination. If there is a yearly event that happens in your area, maybe it’s a big football game or a fall festival, this is the perfect opportunity to create a campaign to re-engage guests who had previously stayed at your destination.
If there aren’t any events in your area, a great option is to create an event at your destination. For example, you could host a yoga retreat at your property, or if you have a vineyard, you could host a wine tasting!
If you’re looking to take a deeper dive into how events can drive revenue for you this fall, we did a 20-Minute Takeaway on how to maximize revenue from local events; you can request a recording of it below:
Planning a Seasonal Budget
This section will go over how you should be integrating paid search into your fall marketing plan. If you do not already have a paid search strategy, you are missing out on a lot of revenue. Industry average Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) is 3 to 5x. However, Q4Launch’s average ROAS is 7 to 10x. These benchmarks are essential to keep in mind as you evaluate your paid search strategy; it’s incredibly easy to waste money if you aren’t monitoring it closely. To manage your ad spend, you should be regularly monitoring your ROAS and your pace report. If you would like to learn more about paid search strategy, we hosted a 20-Minute Takeaway on paid search; you can request a recording of it below:
As we head into the fall season, many people often cut back on their ad spend. However, best practice is actually to get more targeted with your ad spend. For example, if you are fully booked for the fall, you should start bidding on keywords for the holidays or even the spring. If you have some availability for the fall, you should specifically target those dates in your paid search strategy.
Utilize Marketing Automation
There are a variety of marketing automation techniques to help you drive bookings. One of them is to create an automated email sequence directed at past guests. For this campaign, you can create booking anniversary reminders, birthday emails, and holiday booking reminders. Another opportunity you have here is to automate touchpoints throughout the guest lifecycle. For example, Q4Launch’s Guest Lifecycle Automation has 14 touchpoints with guests once they’ve booked to offer add-ons, upgrades, stay extensions, and more!
Drive Gift Certificate Sales
Gift certificates are a great way to drive revenue, mainly because they tend only to have a 70% redemption rate; the other 30% is straight profit! Our team recommends doing (depending on local regulations) to drive urgency by having the promotional value expire when you are trying to fill vacancies and then convert it to the face value so that the consumer is still encouraged to stay at a later date.
A great way to drive gift card sales is through a flash sale, especially with the holidays coming up. However, it is critical that if you want to run a flash sale this holiday season, you start planning for it now: flash sales are not something that can be thrown together at the last minute. For your flash sale to be successful, you’ll need to create an email, social media campaign, a landing page to drive conversions around it with compelling messaging to drive sales. We don’t recommend hosting your flash sale on a site such as Groupon or Living Social; they have very high commissions and drive traffic away from your website. Q4Launch offers Q4Flash, which is a system to host and market your flash sale.
Take a Closer Look At Your Revenue Management Strategy
Our final tip for a successful fall marketing plan is to evaluate your revenue management strategy. First, you’ll need to look at how your summer went: how you were priced and how many vacancies you had. If you were fully booked, your pricing was probably right on point, but if you weren’t, then you should look at your competitors to see if you’re priced significantly higher than them or see if they’re offering a service you aren’t. You can then use these insights to adjust your pricing or services offered.
Our team has noticed that booking windows have shrunk drastically since the start of the pandemic. This trend is mostly because guests are unsure of changing regulations and positivity rates, so they want to book as close to their travel date as possible. What does this mean for you? It means if you are noticing that you still have vacancies, don’t cut rates right away; instead, take a look at how far in advance guests have been booking first and then evaluate rates. When looking at rates, something else to note is never to make a blanket adjustment; all of your rate adjustments should be targeted at least to weekend versus weekday. Our last note on revenue management is don’t base your strategy on 2020; we are in a completely different landscape than last year. If you have questions about any of these strategies or need help implementing them, please don’t hesitate to reach out.