Review of our BOGO special for Feb

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This is a review of our BOGO special.

For you innkeepers I will say it brought up the bottom line for the month and paid the bills. We also had those who added on stuff, which I had hoped for, like breakfast delivery to the room, cheese fruit and cracker plate, etc.  Not most, some. Next year IF I do this again, I will send out a secondary email with those choices to add on...

and as mentioned, MAJORITY used this as a romantic escape, and used the robes and enjoyed the inn, vers being out and about most of the time.

 

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That's wonderful! Glad to hear some great ideas actually work out! "The best laid schemes of Mice and Men oft go awry," and that's so oft the case with marketing.

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 Eric I was worried about that. But again, it may have been the first timers thing. Plus, of course it is off season, so not those IN season looking to be cheapskates, somehow it worked well.  I did have a couple rooms add on a night, I was hoping for that. I ad one couple come all the way back from CT to stay a second time (they were looking at land in the area).  

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

 Eric I was worried about that. But again, it may have been the first timers thing. Plus, of course it is off season, so not those IN season looking to be cheapskates, somehow it worked well.  I did have a couple rooms add on a night, I was hoping for that. I ad one couple come all the way back from CT to stay a second time (they were looking at land in the area).  

Winter being my low season I sometimes run some lower price specials. One of them this year was specific to December, January, February, where they could prepay for a cheaper rate but there was no cancellation. That worked for the most part. When we matched the previous year's bookings, we closed the special and went back to regular low-season price. But I can tell you that generally those who booked that special were more "colourful" than our usual guests, including Mr. BP. Smiling

But really, around here, you get too low and you get the wack jobs. The people who want to know if you will make them lunch and dinner as well. The ones that use 5 towels per day. The ones that argue with you because they can't find a free spot on the street to park, or think you should pay their parking ticket. I'm just so glad that it worked for you.

Maybe we should try different variations of the special to see how they work, for example, stay the weekend and get a free extra night in the summer (which they might never redeem.) Stay three nights and get treated to breakfast in bed. Stay midweek and get a free bottle of wine, robe, etc. Or maybe in the doldrums of November and December, a free Gift Certificate that they can give someone for let's say $25 that might never be redeemed, can have an expiration date because it was given free and looks to have an intrinsic value.

In the winter my problems are mostly midweek. I might lower midweek prices next year or I might lower my weekly prices, so that I get people staying longer. Those who stay longer aren't as "colourful" they are often here for work or they really want to get to know the city. Of course if they are a PITA, they are also going to be a PITA for longer... have to think of that.

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 I try to never lower my prices but I do offer a complimentary upgrade to the next most spacious, more expensive accommodation (subjuct to availabioity at check-in)  for a 2-night stay during Jan, Feb, March.   I don't think anyone actually stays here because of the complimentary upgrade, but some do stay 2 nights instead of just 1 because they are getting a break on a nicer room.  

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 The difference is that yours are tourists, mine weren't. I have tried different variations, as discussed on here many times, the ADDED VALUE approach, but that doesn't get us on the state tourism promotions and specials page, really. I was hoping to be used as FEATURED somewhere for valentines day or something. Which didn't happen.  The value added is the last thing that works at our inn and location. Last year I did the free bouquet of flowers, had no takers on it. So this year I wanted ONE FULL ROOM RATE, then the second is less costly to maintain (second night).

If I were in a tourist destination, not sure what I would offer in the non peak season...

Now the BOGO Iloveinns and STASH are not our best guests in the world, which is why we are not on those...I concur as they think STASH or ILOVEINNS is GIVING them the free night, and that just made me mad!  They were not grateful for the INN giving them a free night stay. !!

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I don't think flowers are that big a deal for people. It's a nice "have" but not really something that will make them take notice. We've tried a few things ourselves and I have to say that most of them don't draw. The only one that did was the free bicycle rental for the day, because it let them tour town on their own.

Stupidly, I tried a flat rate promotion for single night orphans, last June and each and every one that managed to get my best room tried (unsuccessfully) to get extra nights at the same price. But they were orphan nights in the first place. And almost every single one of them was a PITA! So we swore not to do that again. But... that did leave me with the idea in my head that maybe if I ran that special in the winter, it would get my best rooms filled sooner, because if they wait, they don't get the best room available at that time for that price. Essentially the deal is best for the people who book the earliest.

The problem with value-added is that you need to find something that they want. We have contemplated offering a grab bag of gift cards. Sort of a lottery of gift cards, they all have a value, but you don't know how much or to which store. You put them all in a fishbowl and they have to pull one out, without looking. Since you use gift cards with no amount of them (or buy them secondhand from someone like cardpool, so you get them at a discount and it may simply be residual value on the card) they don't know until they get to the store how much they are getting. It's a lottery of sorts. The problem I have with trying this is that gift card don't work over the border, so a GC from here isn't cashable in the US and vice versa. Does you state have the lottery? How about every stay gets 5 chance to will $1M dollars and you give them 5 lottery tickets. Smiling (Don't do this! I can just imagine that negative feedback on TA for that one!)

Generic's picture
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Congrats. If I did that, it would be PITA chips all around. It seems to bring them out of the woodwork if I drop too low.

Generic's picture
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Congrats. If I did that, it would be PITA chips all around. It seems to bring them out of the woodwork if I drop too low.

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The funny part tho is that guests acted like we were raking it in, and I said "Now if we could just have everyone pay for BOTH nights we would be doing pretty well!" Then they would chuckle, oh yeah, as they forgot.

But I wanted to say to the innmates, we had (other than one room that was not the perfect guest, not a pita really either) we actually had great guests. Perhaps the FIRST TIMERS are the best B&B Guests? Perhaps, just perhaps this is the market I want! I mean I have so many...as I know y'all do too.  They are always so delighted by everything, "We don't have to pay for these sodas?" Nawww help yourself!

None were needy or clingy. I liked that!

So it was a nice experience. 

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