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For many recreational hospitality properties, the time after Thanksgiving weekend until Christmas can be very slow. While waiting for the holidays / deep snow / or the return
of the snow birds, boost your cash flow by selling gift certificates!
Take advantage of all the media hype. Big advertising has trained consumers they must shop the day after Thanksgiving. Purchasing a gift certificate at your hospitality property over the phone or online means no lines or crowds.
Chances are your gift certificate purchasers are loyal customers. Why not reward them by giving them a gift certificate too? Buy a gift certificate of $150 or more and receive a gift certificate for a fixed dollar amount or a % of the full priced certificate.
Use a mail service such as Constant Contact to get your message out. Have your message arrive at 5 am on Black Friday or just after Thanksgiving dinner. Be creative, your guests love you! This is an easy sell.
The confirmation letter is the first communication with a new guest after you’ve made the sale. A good confirmation letter will include the dates and accommodations reserved, clear driving directions and perhaps GPS coordinates, and a warm welcome message. But why stop there?
Letting a future guest know what to expect is always appreciated. Check in and check out
times along with parking information such as valet, location and cost if should be included in the confirmation letter. Include restaurant operating days / hours clues readers in that your property has a restaurant. This also works for your gift shop, horse barn, fly shop, snowmobile rental operation, bar or tavern.
But go a little further. Sell them a bottle of wine that can be waiting in their room. Sell a selection of guide chosen fishing flies that will await them on check in. Sell a trail ride / rafting adventure / guided hunting trip / ski lift ticket during their stay. Offer a BOGO (Buy one, get one) appetizer or cocktail on their first night.
Be sure your new guest knows all about your offerings. Your confirmation letter is the perfect place to promote everything your recreational hospitality property offers.
An image says a 1000 words. Do the images on your vacation destination website say the ‘words’ that will turn a viewer into a guest? What does it take to create awesome images for a hospitality website? Here are the top three things to do when shooting images!
1. The image MUST be inviting. If a potential guest can visualize himself / herself in the image, that will make the reservation lines ring!
2. Stage the Room. When shooting guest accommodations, have them be in perfect
shape! Is the guest room neat and tidy? Curtains straight, shades all at the same height, pillows plumped and even? Is the bedspread neat and even? Hide promotional literature, kleenex boxes, tip envelopes, etc before taking the picture.
3. Image software is our friend. Wouldn’t it be great if we could completely control a photo shoot? Well, we can’t. Not enough sun, too much sun, shadows, light reflection are just some of the challenges. The images I am using for this blog post were plagued with light issues. We use Adobe’s Photoshop software to correct images, light, shadows and more. There are numerous free applications online to help you make a good shot a great one.
Be sure to take lots of shots, extra shots can be used in advertising, in social posts, or used in press releases.
See you at the Montana Economic Development Summit in Butte, MT Sept 16 & 17th!