Birthday Bucks

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JBloggs

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Just an idea if you are looking for one - see this article here
Excerpt:
Get $100 in Birthday Bucks from Joie de Vivre[/h1]by Amy Chen (RSS feed) on Jan 31st 2010 at 3:30PM
Joie de Vivre, a chain of 35 boutique hotels in California, is making it a little easier to justify planning a birthday getaway this year. The Birthday Bucks deal knocks $100 off a two-night stay on or within seven days of your birthday. At the Galleria Park Hotel in San Francisco, for example, weekend rates start at $109. With this b-day discount, it's almost like getting the second night free.The credit, which is taken off your total bill when you check out, can also be used to offset room service, dinner at the hotel restaurant, or spa treatments. To sweeten the deal, the hotel staff may also surprise you with a gift, such as a cupcake, dinner appetizer, or glass of wine. Even kids under 18, if accompanied by a parent, can redeem the $100 Birthday Bucks. But there's a catch: the discount is per room per stay, not per birthday per stay. So twins who share a room would have to content themselves with one $100 discount, unless of course they booked separate rooms. Details: Book by Jan. 31, 2011 with the promo code BUCKS. Travel between Feb. 1, 2010 and Jan. 31, 2011. For a list of the 35 properties, check out jdvhotels.com.Looks like it's never too early to start dropping hints about your birthday.
 

Morticia

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Not a bad promo. We get a lot of birthdays here. I'd prefer to give them a b'day cake or something like. $100 off a $109 room is quite steep.
 

JBloggs

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
I don't know, JB. I think some guests might actually book a room because of a birthday cake.
Guests who may be coming to a decision see free birthday cake as a special. They know they're going to want one anyway or that it will add a special celebratory touch to the weekend.
That could definitely cinch the deal for some and it's worth doing since the expense is low, keeping the ADR in place.
I've personally had enormous success with such small incentives. I think folks should try it. IMHO.
 

Samster

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
I think with travel still being down and the hotel promotions for cheaper rooms, people will be looking more and more to save cashola on a stay. A birthday cake or other treat is a nice "added value" but seems like the buzz is all about saving money. Just my 2 cents....
 

Morticia

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
Right, it's an example. And I'd offer a free birthday cake if I did something like this. Sometimes it's more about having something different than $$$ off. I do enough $$$ off and see no bookings on the offer. Except the $10 book online one. That seems to work.
I like presents (me personally). I'd like a cake in my room or a gift. If the choice was 'nothing' or 'cake'.
 

Samster

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
Right, it's an example. And I'd offer a free birthday cake if I did something like this. Sometimes it's more about having something different than $$$ off. I do enough $$$ off and see no bookings on the offer. Except the $10 book online one. That seems to work.
I like presents (me personally). I'd like a cake in my room or a gift. If the choice was 'nothing' or 'cake'.
.
What other kind of money off offers have you done that don't work? I would be curious to know and probably others about what might not be working well.
Frankly, I ALWAYS do something special for birthdays or other special occasions for my guests. Very, very rarely do they mention it. However, they are ALWAYS grateful and thank me for discounts that I offer (military, local university, corporate rates, repeat guest discount).
I still think that this year people will continue to be expecting more for less $$.
 

Morticia

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
Right, it's an example. And I'd offer a free birthday cake if I did something like this. Sometimes it's more about having something different than $$$ off. I do enough $$$ off and see no bookings on the offer. Except the $10 book online one. That seems to work.
I like presents (me personally). I'd like a cake in my room or a gift. If the choice was 'nothing' or 'cake'.
.
What other kind of money off offers have you done that don't work? I would be curious to know and probably others about what might not be working well.
Frankly, I ALWAYS do something special for birthdays or other special occasions for my guests. Very, very rarely do they mention it. However, they are ALWAYS grateful and thank me for discounts that I offer (military, local university, corporate rates, repeat guest discount).
I still think that this year people will continue to be expecting more for less $$.
.
I've done weekend packages (ala the type that bandb.com does midweek) on slow weekends, offering 25% off. If the weekend is slow, 25% off is not bringing them in, they just don't want to be in town that weekeend! But, everyone wants that discount in the summer.
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
If I know it's a b'day, I give a card & gift. Ditto an anniversary. Comments? Nary a one.
Someone else posted on here that they give 'things' instead of money off. Mugs, t-shirts, basically advertising to the guests as a thank you. I like that better than what I'm doing.
Just the other day I got a call about a pkg I'm doing. No discounts but you get a gift. The person booking never asked about a discount, but she did say, 'And this includes the gift you mentioned, right?' Wait until she finds out she gets TWO of the gift because it's one for each person in the room and I doubt her husband will want it.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
Right, it's an example. And I'd offer a free birthday cake if I did something like this. Sometimes it's more about having something different than $$$ off. I do enough $$$ off and see no bookings on the offer. Except the $10 book online one. That seems to work.
I like presents (me personally). I'd like a cake in my room or a gift. If the choice was 'nothing' or 'cake'.
.
What other kind of money off offers have you done that don't work? I would be curious to know and probably others about what might not be working well.
Frankly, I ALWAYS do something special for birthdays or other special occasions for my guests. Very, very rarely do they mention it. However, they are ALWAYS grateful and thank me for discounts that I offer (military, local university, corporate rates, repeat guest discount).
I still think that this year people will continue to be expecting more for less $$.
.
I've done weekend packages (ala the type that bandb.com does midweek) on slow weekends, offering 25% off. If the weekend is slow, 25% off is not bringing them in, they just don't want to be in town that weekeend! But, everyone wants that discount in the summer.
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
If I know it's a b'day, I give a card & gift. Ditto an anniversary. Comments? Nary a one.
Someone else posted on here that they give 'things' instead of money off. Mugs, t-shirts, basically advertising to the guests as a thank you. I like that better than what I'm doing.
Just the other day I got a call about a pkg I'm doing. No discounts but you get a gift. The person booking never asked about a discount, but she did say, 'And this includes the gift you mentioned, right?' Wait until she finds out she gets TWO of the gift because it's one for each person in the room and I doubt her husband will want it.
.
Morticia said:
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
And your experience is actually typical. Most frequent stay programs focus on freebies or discounts and that's not what most frequent guests are looking for.
So yes, when you're discounting to folks who don't expect it and would come back without the discount, you are giving away money.
What do they want? Ask them. Each inn has such unique offerings, it's difficult to pick any particular thing guests want. But there are some things all frequent guests want: the personal touch. If you know they like a particular wine, have it in the room for them as a surprise. If you know they love a particular restaurant, arrange to pay for the dessert for them when they go.
In other words, frequent guests require a good bit of creativity in choosing some level of appreciation that touches them.
But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
 

Penelope

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
Right, it's an example. And I'd offer a free birthday cake if I did something like this. Sometimes it's more about having something different than $$$ off. I do enough $$$ off and see no bookings on the offer. Except the $10 book online one. That seems to work.
I like presents (me personally). I'd like a cake in my room or a gift. If the choice was 'nothing' or 'cake'.
.
What other kind of money off offers have you done that don't work? I would be curious to know and probably others about what might not be working well.
Frankly, I ALWAYS do something special for birthdays or other special occasions for my guests. Very, very rarely do they mention it. However, they are ALWAYS grateful and thank me for discounts that I offer (military, local university, corporate rates, repeat guest discount).
I still think that this year people will continue to be expecting more for less $$.
.
I've done weekend packages (ala the type that bandb.com does midweek) on slow weekends, offering 25% off. If the weekend is slow, 25% off is not bringing them in, they just don't want to be in town that weekeend! But, everyone wants that discount in the summer.
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
If I know it's a b'day, I give a card & gift. Ditto an anniversary. Comments? Nary a one.
Someone else posted on here that they give 'things' instead of money off. Mugs, t-shirts, basically advertising to the guests as a thank you. I like that better than what I'm doing.
Just the other day I got a call about a pkg I'm doing. No discounts but you get a gift. The person booking never asked about a discount, but she did say, 'And this includes the gift you mentioned, right?' Wait until she finds out she gets TWO of the gift because it's one for each person in the room and I doubt her husband will want it.
.
Morticia said:
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
And your experience is actually typical. Most frequent stay programs focus on freebies or discounts and that's not what most frequent guests are looking for.
So yes, when you're discounting to folks who don't expect it and would come back without the discount, you are giving away money.
What do they want? Ask them. Each inn has such unique offerings, it's difficult to pick any particular thing guests want. But there are some things all frequent guests want: the personal touch. If you know they like a particular wine, have it in the room for them as a surprise. If you know they love a particular restaurant, arrange to pay for the dessert for them when they go.
In other words, frequent guests require a good bit of creativity in choosing some level of appreciation that touches them.
But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
.
What about "either or". You can either take advantage of a certain discount or take the free gift (mugs, t-shirts, whatever)
 

Innkeeper To Go

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
Right, it's an example. And I'd offer a free birthday cake if I did something like this. Sometimes it's more about having something different than $$$ off. I do enough $$$ off and see no bookings on the offer. Except the $10 book online one. That seems to work.
I like presents (me personally). I'd like a cake in my room or a gift. If the choice was 'nothing' or 'cake'.
.
What other kind of money off offers have you done that don't work? I would be curious to know and probably others about what might not be working well.
Frankly, I ALWAYS do something special for birthdays or other special occasions for my guests. Very, very rarely do they mention it. However, they are ALWAYS grateful and thank me for discounts that I offer (military, local university, corporate rates, repeat guest discount).
I still think that this year people will continue to be expecting more for less $$.
.
I've done weekend packages (ala the type that bandb.com does midweek) on slow weekends, offering 25% off. If the weekend is slow, 25% off is not bringing them in, they just don't want to be in town that weekeend! But, everyone wants that discount in the summer.
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
If I know it's a b'day, I give a card & gift. Ditto an anniversary. Comments? Nary a one.
Someone else posted on here that they give 'things' instead of money off. Mugs, t-shirts, basically advertising to the guests as a thank you. I like that better than what I'm doing.
Just the other day I got a call about a pkg I'm doing. No discounts but you get a gift. The person booking never asked about a discount, but she did say, 'And this includes the gift you mentioned, right?' Wait until she finds out she gets TWO of the gift because it's one for each person in the room and I doubt her husband will want it.
.
Morticia said:
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
And your experience is actually typical. Most frequent stay programs focus on freebies or discounts and that's not what most frequent guests are looking for.
So yes, when you're discounting to folks who don't expect it and would come back without the discount, you are giving away money.
What do they want? Ask them. Each inn has such unique offerings, it's difficult to pick any particular thing guests want. But there are some things all frequent guests want: the personal touch. If you know they like a particular wine, have it in the room for them as a surprise. If you know they love a particular restaurant, arrange to pay for the dessert for them when they go.
In other words, frequent guests require a good bit of creativity in choosing some level of appreciation that touches them.
But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
.
What about "either or". You can either take advantage of a certain discount or take the free gift (mugs, t-shirts, whatever)
.
You know, I've never been a big fan of the either or school of specials. I know places, for example, that do stay 2-nights-get-3rd-free OR 20% off entire stay.
To me, that just defeats the purpose of a multiple night stay reward.
Rather than offer unnecessary discounts, which have a serious downside if they're not necessary, I always advocate instead focusing on those guests who will come back no matter what but just need a reminder. Or a little incentive.
I'm all for free upgrades, for example, for frequent guests. Always appreciated by the guests. And it's just amazing how often they'll get used to the better room or suite and just start booking it at full rate.
And I'm all for multiple night rewards. Third night free in off-season. Or some incentive, even in season, for booking multiple nights.
To me, it all comes down to thinking about what you really want to reward and where you really get the most bang for your buck.
The free coffee cups, T-shirts, etc are great bang-for-your-buck incentives. I also like free stainless steel sports bottles (really inexpensive to have imprinted at Discount Mugs, BTW) as incentives that will keep your name in front of the guests (and their friends/family) for a long time.
Those kind of incentives always get my vote.
But the thing to be especially mindful of is that once guests get used to discounting, they think of that as the rate. And that's what they expect going forward. Don't fall into the trap. There are other ways.
 

Morticia

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
Right, it's an example. And I'd offer a free birthday cake if I did something like this. Sometimes it's more about having something different than $$$ off. I do enough $$$ off and see no bookings on the offer. Except the $10 book online one. That seems to work.
I like presents (me personally). I'd like a cake in my room or a gift. If the choice was 'nothing' or 'cake'.
.
What other kind of money off offers have you done that don't work? I would be curious to know and probably others about what might not be working well.
Frankly, I ALWAYS do something special for birthdays or other special occasions for my guests. Very, very rarely do they mention it. However, they are ALWAYS grateful and thank me for discounts that I offer (military, local university, corporate rates, repeat guest discount).
I still think that this year people will continue to be expecting more for less $$.
.
I've done weekend packages (ala the type that bandb.com does midweek) on slow weekends, offering 25% off. If the weekend is slow, 25% off is not bringing them in, they just don't want to be in town that weekeend! But, everyone wants that discount in the summer.
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
If I know it's a b'day, I give a card & gift. Ditto an anniversary. Comments? Nary a one.
Someone else posted on here that they give 'things' instead of money off. Mugs, t-shirts, basically advertising to the guests as a thank you. I like that better than what I'm doing.
Just the other day I got a call about a pkg I'm doing. No discounts but you get a gift. The person booking never asked about a discount, but she did say, 'And this includes the gift you mentioned, right?' Wait until she finds out she gets TWO of the gift because it's one for each person in the room and I doubt her husband will want it.
.
Morticia said:
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
And your experience is actually typical. Most frequent stay programs focus on freebies or discounts and that's not what most frequent guests are looking for.
So yes, when you're discounting to folks who don't expect it and would come back without the discount, you are giving away money.
What do they want? Ask them. Each inn has such unique offerings, it's difficult to pick any particular thing guests want. But there are some things all frequent guests want: the personal touch. If you know they like a particular wine, have it in the room for them as a surprise. If you know they love a particular restaurant, arrange to pay for the dessert for them when they go.
In other words, frequent guests require a good bit of creativity in choosing some level of appreciation that touches them.
But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
.
It was more a cautionary tale as I don't think I can take it away now. Just won't be making it any better in the future. And may curtail who gets it. As in, if you don't get it already, probably not getting it down the line.
I've done the special treats in the rooms, the mugs, wine (before I found out I couldn't do that), chocolates, etc. I make sure if a guest has mentioned loving something or needing something, that it is in the room when they arrive. (One guest needs a fan, another wants cottage cheese for brekkie, another likes a certain tea, that sort of thing.)
What happened was looking at the wrong marketing points for a biz of this size. Discounts probably bring them in the first time, but it would be the gifties that keep them coming back. Which is why it can be a mistake to use 'big boy' marketing when you're not in that category. It's better to focus on what boutique hotels used to do very well...know their clientele and cater to them on a guest-by-guest basis.
However, discounts are far, far easier than having to go out and find something new everytime a guest returns. They only need so many mugs (by far the best giveaway I ever did) and there's a limited number of things I can do for them. Especially as they're used to the discounts now. Very hard for me to justify a $10-$20 giftie when they are already paying much lower rates than anyone else.
Food for thought for anyone planning a repeat guest campaign.
 

Morticia

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
Right, it's an example. And I'd offer a free birthday cake if I did something like this. Sometimes it's more about having something different than $$$ off. I do enough $$$ off and see no bookings on the offer. Except the $10 book online one. That seems to work.
I like presents (me personally). I'd like a cake in my room or a gift. If the choice was 'nothing' or 'cake'.
.
What other kind of money off offers have you done that don't work? I would be curious to know and probably others about what might not be working well.
Frankly, I ALWAYS do something special for birthdays or other special occasions for my guests. Very, very rarely do they mention it. However, they are ALWAYS grateful and thank me for discounts that I offer (military, local university, corporate rates, repeat guest discount).
I still think that this year people will continue to be expecting more for less $$.
.
I've done weekend packages (ala the type that bandb.com does midweek) on slow weekends, offering 25% off. If the weekend is slow, 25% off is not bringing them in, they just don't want to be in town that weekeend! But, everyone wants that discount in the summer.
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
If I know it's a b'day, I give a card & gift. Ditto an anniversary. Comments? Nary a one.
Someone else posted on here that they give 'things' instead of money off. Mugs, t-shirts, basically advertising to the guests as a thank you. I like that better than what I'm doing.
Just the other day I got a call about a pkg I'm doing. No discounts but you get a gift. The person booking never asked about a discount, but she did say, 'And this includes the gift you mentioned, right?' Wait until she finds out she gets TWO of the gift because it's one for each person in the room and I doubt her husband will want it.
.
Morticia said:
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
And your experience is actually typical. Most frequent stay programs focus on freebies or discounts and that's not what most frequent guests are looking for.
So yes, when you're discounting to folks who don't expect it and would come back without the discount, you are giving away money.
What do they want? Ask them. Each inn has such unique offerings, it's difficult to pick any particular thing guests want. But there are some things all frequent guests want: the personal touch. If you know they like a particular wine, have it in the room for them as a surprise. If you know they love a particular restaurant, arrange to pay for the dessert for them when they go.
In other words, frequent guests require a good bit of creativity in choosing some level of appreciation that touches them.
But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
.
What about "either or". You can either take advantage of a certain discount or take the free gift (mugs, t-shirts, whatever)
.
You know, I've never been a big fan of the either or school of specials. I know places, for example, that do stay 2-nights-get-3rd-free OR 20% off entire stay.
To me, that just defeats the purpose of a multiple night stay reward.
Rather than offer unnecessary discounts, which have a serious downside if they're not necessary, I always advocate instead focusing on those guests who will come back no matter what but just need a reminder. Or a little incentive.
I'm all for free upgrades, for example, for frequent guests. Always appreciated by the guests. And it's just amazing how often they'll get used to the better room or suite and just start booking it at full rate.
And I'm all for multiple night rewards. Third night free in off-season. Or some incentive, even in season, for booking multiple nights.
To me, it all comes down to thinking about what you really want to reward and where you really get the most bang for your buck.
The free coffee cups, T-shirts, etc are great bang-for-your-buck incentives. I also like free stainless steel sports bottles (really inexpensive to have imprinted at Discount Mugs, BTW) as incentives that will keep your name in front of the guests (and their friends/family) for a long time.
Those kind of incentives always get my vote.
But the thing to be especially mindful of is that once guests get used to discounting, they think of that as the rate. And that's what they expect going forward. Don't fall into the trap. There are other ways.
.
Innkeeper To Go said:
But the thing to be especially mindful of is that once guests get used to discounting, they think of that as the rate. And that's what they expect going forward. Don't fall into the trap. There are other ways.
Pretty much the mistake I made. And it is a very expensive mistake if it was unnecessary.
 

JBloggs

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But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
I obv have the wrong concept, and all the discount coupons in every place I have ever looked on every vacation every place must be getting it wrong as well. DH just ordered Pop Mechanics mag using a discount - they fall out of the magazines all over the floor, he really didn't want the discount, he wanted to pay cover price after all.
I know, I am being cynical. I think the whole title of this thread needs to be changed to "We charge you more bucks on your birthday."
I am to the point no matter what I post on this forum the instant replies are negative and oppositional. Not the 4th or 5th after #1, #2 and #3 reply, but the first and then down the line. I AM NOT INVENTING THIS STUFF PEOPLE! THEY ARE IN THE NEWS online, magazines, newspapers, etc. If you don't want to read it, IGNORE. If you don't have something constructive to add IGNORE. If you want to knock back every single post - go ahead, your choice to be negative and oppositional. <BANG HEAD HERE>
 

Samster

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
Right, it's an example. And I'd offer a free birthday cake if I did something like this. Sometimes it's more about having something different than $$$ off. I do enough $$$ off and see no bookings on the offer. Except the $10 book online one. That seems to work.
I like presents (me personally). I'd like a cake in my room or a gift. If the choice was 'nothing' or 'cake'.
.
What other kind of money off offers have you done that don't work? I would be curious to know and probably others about what might not be working well.
Frankly, I ALWAYS do something special for birthdays or other special occasions for my guests. Very, very rarely do they mention it. However, they are ALWAYS grateful and thank me for discounts that I offer (military, local university, corporate rates, repeat guest discount).
I still think that this year people will continue to be expecting more for less $$.
.
I've done weekend packages (ala the type that bandb.com does midweek) on slow weekends, offering 25% off. If the weekend is slow, 25% off is not bringing them in, they just don't want to be in town that weekeend! But, everyone wants that discount in the summer.
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
If I know it's a b'day, I give a card & gift. Ditto an anniversary. Comments? Nary a one.
Someone else posted on here that they give 'things' instead of money off. Mugs, t-shirts, basically advertising to the guests as a thank you. I like that better than what I'm doing.
Just the other day I got a call about a pkg I'm doing. No discounts but you get a gift. The person booking never asked about a discount, but she did say, 'And this includes the gift you mentioned, right?' Wait until she finds out she gets TWO of the gift because it's one for each person in the room and I doubt her husband will want it.
.
Morticia said:
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
And your experience is actually typical. Most frequent stay programs focus on freebies or discounts and that's not what most frequent guests are looking for.
So yes, when you're discounting to folks who don't expect it and would come back without the discount, you are giving away money.
What do they want? Ask them. Each inn has such unique offerings, it's difficult to pick any particular thing guests want. But there are some things all frequent guests want: the personal touch. If you know they like a particular wine, have it in the room for them as a surprise. If you know they love a particular restaurant, arrange to pay for the dessert for them when they go.
In other words, frequent guests require a good bit of creativity in choosing some level of appreciation that touches them.
But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
.
It was more a cautionary tale as I don't think I can take it away now. Just won't be making it any better in the future. And may curtail who gets it. As in, if you don't get it already, probably not getting it down the line.
I've done the special treats in the rooms, the mugs, wine (before I found out I couldn't do that), chocolates, etc. I make sure if a guest has mentioned loving something or needing something, that it is in the room when they arrive. (One guest needs a fan, another wants cottage cheese for brekkie, another likes a certain tea, that sort of thing.)
What happened was looking at the wrong marketing points for a biz of this size. Discounts probably bring them in the first time, but it would be the gifties that keep them coming back. Which is why it can be a mistake to use 'big boy' marketing when you're not in that category. It's better to focus on what boutique hotels used to do very well...know their clientele and cater to them on a guest-by-guest basis.
However, discounts are far, far easier than having to go out and find something new everytime a guest returns. They only need so many mugs (by far the best giveaway I ever did) and there's a limited number of things I can do for them. Especially as they're used to the discounts now. Very hard for me to justify a $10-$20 giftie when they are already paying much lower rates than anyone else.
Food for thought for anyone planning a repeat guest campaign.
.
Personally, I can not use another giveaway around here... a mug, sports bottle, luggage tag, and so on. I have given away loads of that kind of stuff from various promotions to the Goodwill or other charities. To me that is not "added value" to a B&B stay. Give me a small discount for booking online and I'll remember and be grateful. Thanks for making it easy to book with you. Give me a discount for staying 3 nights or more and I will sing your praises to everyone who asks about how you reward your longer stay customers. Cook me a delicious breakfast that I won't find in a hotel, and I will write about it on TripAdvisor. Give me excellent concierge service about dining in the area and slip me a coupon to a restaurant and that shows you care. I do appreciate special touches for special events (and I do them here). But let's get real. We are in tough competition now for lodging dollars and we may have to re-think how to market our room cost so that people get our perceived value.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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It is an example. No one is saying give them $100 off a room. :)
No one is going to book a room because you give them a bday cake. The point is a promotion - to save "bucks" therefore entice someone to book a room..
Right, it's an example. And I'd offer a free birthday cake if I did something like this. Sometimes it's more about having something different than $$$ off. I do enough $$$ off and see no bookings on the offer. Except the $10 book online one. That seems to work.
I like presents (me personally). I'd like a cake in my room or a gift. If the choice was 'nothing' or 'cake'.
.
What other kind of money off offers have you done that don't work? I would be curious to know and probably others about what might not be working well.
Frankly, I ALWAYS do something special for birthdays or other special occasions for my guests. Very, very rarely do they mention it. However, they are ALWAYS grateful and thank me for discounts that I offer (military, local university, corporate rates, repeat guest discount).
I still think that this year people will continue to be expecting more for less $$.
.
I've done weekend packages (ala the type that bandb.com does midweek) on slow weekends, offering 25% off. If the weekend is slow, 25% off is not bringing them in, they just don't want to be in town that weekeend! But, everyone wants that discount in the summer.
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
If I know it's a b'day, I give a card & gift. Ditto an anniversary. Comments? Nary a one.
Someone else posted on here that they give 'things' instead of money off. Mugs, t-shirts, basically advertising to the guests as a thank you. I like that better than what I'm doing.
Just the other day I got a call about a pkg I'm doing. No discounts but you get a gift. The person booking never asked about a discount, but she did say, 'And this includes the gift you mentioned, right?' Wait until she finds out she gets TWO of the gift because it's one for each person in the room and I doubt her husband will want it.
.
Morticia said:
I would say that in 5 years, maybe 3 guests have thanked me for the repeat guest discount. And I DO point it out to them so they know they're getting it. Not a peep out of most of them. Last year, I did a free night for my very best guests. It was on their confirmation and every last one of them was surprised by it at check in (no one reads) and most said, 'That wasn't necessary,' so I stopped doing it. Why give away the money?
And your experience is actually typical. Most frequent stay programs focus on freebies or discounts and that's not what most frequent guests are looking for.
So yes, when you're discounting to folks who don't expect it and would come back without the discount, you are giving away money.
What do they want? Ask them. Each inn has such unique offerings, it's difficult to pick any particular thing guests want. But there are some things all frequent guests want: the personal touch. If you know they like a particular wine, have it in the room for them as a surprise. If you know they love a particular restaurant, arrange to pay for the dessert for them when they go.
In other words, frequent guests require a good bit of creativity in choosing some level of appreciation that touches them.
But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
.
It was more a cautionary tale as I don't think I can take it away now. Just won't be making it any better in the future. And may curtail who gets it. As in, if you don't get it already, probably not getting it down the line.
I've done the special treats in the rooms, the mugs, wine (before I found out I couldn't do that), chocolates, etc. I make sure if a guest has mentioned loving something or needing something, that it is in the room when they arrive. (One guest needs a fan, another wants cottage cheese for brekkie, another likes a certain tea, that sort of thing.)
What happened was looking at the wrong marketing points for a biz of this size. Discounts probably bring them in the first time, but it would be the gifties that keep them coming back. Which is why it can be a mistake to use 'big boy' marketing when you're not in that category. It's better to focus on what boutique hotels used to do very well...know their clientele and cater to them on a guest-by-guest basis.
However, discounts are far, far easier than having to go out and find something new everytime a guest returns. They only need so many mugs (by far the best giveaway I ever did) and there's a limited number of things I can do for them. Especially as they're used to the discounts now. Very hard for me to justify a $10-$20 giftie when they are already paying much lower rates than anyone else.
Food for thought for anyone planning a repeat guest campaign.
.
Morticia said:
What happened was looking at the wrong marketing points for a biz of this size. Discounts probably bring them in the first time, but it would be the gifties that keep them coming back. Which is why it can be a mistake to use 'big boy' marketing when you're not in that category. It's better to focus on what boutique hotels used to do very well...know their clientele and cater to them on a guest-by-guest basis.
Bingo.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
I obv have the wrong concept, and all the discount coupons in every place I have ever looked on every vacation every place must be getting it wrong as well. DH just ordered Pop Mechanics mag using a discount - they fall out of the magazines all over the floor, he really didn't want the discount, he wanted to pay cover price after all.
I know, I am being cynical. I think the whole title of this thread needs to be changed to "We charge you more bucks on your birthday."
I am to the point no matter what I post on this forum the instant replies are negative and oppositional. Not the 4th or 5th after #1, #2 and #3 reply, but the first and then down the line. I AM NOT INVENTING THIS STUFF PEOPLE! THEY ARE IN THE NEWS online, magazines, newspapers, etc. If you don't want to read it, IGNORE. If you don't have something constructive to add IGNORE. If you want to knock back every single post - go ahead, your choice to be negative and oppositional. <BANG HEAD HERE>.
Hmmm. This seems like a rather negative and oppositional post to me.
Hello kettle, please meet pot.
Just saying.
As for whether I should not say anything, thanks for the advice.
You'll excuse me if I think I might have something to offer here and ignore it.
 

Samster

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But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
I obv have the wrong concept, and all the discount coupons in every place I have ever looked on every vacation every place must be getting it wrong as well. DH just ordered Pop Mechanics mag using a discount - they fall out of the magazines all over the floor, he really didn't want the discount, he wanted to pay cover price after all.
I know, I am being cynical. I think the whole title of this thread needs to be changed to "We charge you more bucks on your birthday."
I am to the point no matter what I post on this forum the instant replies are negative and oppositional. Not the 4th or 5th after #1, #2 and #3 reply, but the first and then down the line. I AM NOT INVENTING THIS STUFF PEOPLE! THEY ARE IN THE NEWS online, magazines, newspapers, etc. If you don't want to read it, IGNORE. If you don't have something constructive to add IGNORE. If you want to knock back every single post - go ahead, your choice to be negative and oppositional. <BANG HEAD HERE>.
We can't ignore the marketing gorilla in the room. You are right! We have to be creative with discounts and other things in these times where there is stiff competition for lodging dollars.
 

gillumhouse

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But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
I obv have the wrong concept, and all the discount coupons in every place I have ever looked on every vacation every place must be getting it wrong as well. DH just ordered Pop Mechanics mag using a discount - they fall out of the magazines all over the floor, he really didn't want the discount, he wanted to pay cover price after all.
I know, I am being cynical. I think the whole title of this thread needs to be changed to "We charge you more bucks on your birthday."
I am to the point no matter what I post on this forum the instant replies are negative and oppositional. Not the 4th or 5th after #1, #2 and #3 reply, but the first and then down the line. I AM NOT INVENTING THIS STUFF PEOPLE! THEY ARE IN THE NEWS online, magazines, newspapers, etc. If you don't want to read it, IGNORE. If you don't have something constructive to add IGNORE. If you want to knock back every single post - go ahead, your choice to be negative and oppositional. <BANG HEAD HERE>.
I had a $10 coupon in my Bike & Winery ads 2 years ago and several made sure I knew when they booked that I knew they had the coupon!
I really think a special amount off if a criteria is met (birthday, anniversary, etc) or a $$ off if you bring this ad are much better than a discount. This one is if it is your birthday - OK it gets people in on or around their birthday.
There was a restaurant in the Chicago burbs called October 5 so we went there on my birthday thinking Oh, maybe a free dessert or something because of the birthday. NOPE! They named it that to see if they could get more reservations on that date than on Mother's Day. EVERYONE in the restaurant that night had a birthday or anniversary on Oct 5. I was told they achieved their goal.
So there is another thought for a Special. Make it a special for a certain weekend and call it by that Date.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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But the vast majority of them do not react as well to discounts as folks would assume they do.
I obv have the wrong concept, and all the discount coupons in every place I have ever looked on every vacation every place must be getting it wrong as well. DH just ordered Pop Mechanics mag using a discount - they fall out of the magazines all over the floor, he really didn't want the discount, he wanted to pay cover price after all.
I know, I am being cynical. I think the whole title of this thread needs to be changed to "We charge you more bucks on your birthday."
I am to the point no matter what I post on this forum the instant replies are negative and oppositional. Not the 4th or 5th after #1, #2 and #3 reply, but the first and then down the line. I AM NOT INVENTING THIS STUFF PEOPLE! THEY ARE IN THE NEWS online, magazines, newspapers, etc. If you don't want to read it, IGNORE. If you don't have something constructive to add IGNORE. If you want to knock back every single post - go ahead, your choice to be negative and oppositional. <BANG HEAD HERE>.
I had a $10 coupon in my Bike & Winery ads 2 years ago and several made sure I knew when they booked that I knew they had the coupon!
I really think a special amount off if a criteria is met (birthday, anniversary, etc) or a $$ off if you bring this ad are much better than a discount. This one is if it is your birthday - OK it gets people in on or around their birthday.
There was a restaurant in the Chicago burbs called October 5 so we went there on my birthday thinking Oh, maybe a free dessert or something because of the birthday. NOPE! They named it that to see if they could get more reservations on that date than on Mother's Day. EVERYONE in the restaurant that night had a birthday or anniversary on Oct 5. I was told they achieved their goal.
So there is another thought for a Special. Make it a special for a certain weekend and call it by that Date.
.
gillumhouse said:
I really think a special amount off if a criteria is met (birthday, anniversary, etc) or a $$ off if you bring this ad are much better than a discount. This one is if it is your birthday - OK it gets people in on or around their birthday.
The thing about JDV (who by the way are just lovely lovely properties with great personal touches) is that they are offering a discount but are enticing folks to pay full price on the room rate. They're very smart marketers. They will get that money back easily in a weekend stay where guests are paying for parking and other added costs.
B&Bs don't have that luxury. So as Morticia says, it's often a case of trying to mimic the big guys when it's not the best way for us.
Remember that the big guys are all in a push right now to copy B&Bs. More personal touches. More amenities. And that's because they spend the money to study what works. B&Bs who haven't spent that money on the research and are operating often by their gut are at a disadvantage in designing specials comparatively. Often they fall into the trap of just discounting or copying the big guys when they can't possibly recoup the lost revenue in the same way.
And what I'm saying is that means it's necessary to be creative, know how to hold your own while attracting new revenue streams, and not discount if you don't have to.
 
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