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Sunshine

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A local visitor and convention bureau has agreed to print over 1,000 coupon books that will include businesses along popular spots. They will be distributed by communities participating visitor and convention bureaus.
It is FREE, and the coupons will be 3.883 X 2.365 and in black and white. the coupons can have print on both sides.
I think it would be a great way to get my business out there for free! So how much or what kind of coupon should I offer?? BOGO?? % discount? What would you do? I have never done this before as we are sorta new (8 mos) and so value your input. Should I describe the B&B on the back?
 

Morticia

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I would say you definitely need to explain why the guest wants to pick you vs anyone else in that coupon book. If the books will be distributed widely, then you also need to let the guest know where you are in relation to whatever 'sights' they may be seeing.
There are a number of things you can do...% off, free gift (something local), free admission to a local 'sight' with their stay. (In that case, contact the local 'sight' and ask if they will discount the purchase of the tix to you.) BOGO seems extreme given these are always handed out in season. But, you know best what your season was like last year.
Usually, hotels do 50% in these booklets but it's a finite number of rooms. (And, yes, that's a BOGO if you think about it!) They won't do every room at that rate. To me, even tho I understand that, it's always a question in the back of my mind- did they really use up all those rooms or are they just saying that?
 

gillumhouse

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I am inpressed with your revenue and congratulate you. You are obviously doing it right.
I say yes to the coupon book. I have done them with my CVB. Did I get response? Only one but it was early on when I was 3 with shared. What it did do for me - at no cost to me, was get my name out there.
I agree with Bree, you can offer a "just for you" discount or and I think this really is best, offer an extra perk - a service, an admission, or a "gift" from the area or a combo of those things, especially if there are a lot of lodging choices in your area. Remember the recipe cards we were discussing thnks to Copperhead? Get some index card stock from the office supply. Save your logo as a watermark and print that on the index cards. Then print your recipes on them with your web site and phone number in BOLD at the bottom of the cards (yes, each one) and put them together with pretty ribbon or yarn. Make that your "gift" - won't coat much and is special and unique to you. The watermark and contact info will remind them every time they are used as to where they came from. Just an idea to throw out to you.
 

Morticia

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Oh, golly, I didn't mean you should post how you did, just that you should think about it! That does sound pretty good, tho, for mostly weekends in 6 months!
That said, how much more biz do you want/need because you are working FT outside the B&B? If you don't want a lot more, but still want to participate in this coupon book, then offer a smaller 'perk'. If you want more biz, offer a bigger perk.
 

Sunshine

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I would say you definitely need to explain why the guest wants to pick you vs anyone else in that coupon book. If the books will be distributed widely, then you also need to let the guest know where you are in relation to whatever 'sights' they may be seeing.
There are a number of things you can do...% off, free gift (something local), free admission to a local 'sight' with their stay. (In that case, contact the local 'sight' and ask if they will discount the purchase of the tix to you.) BOGO seems extreme given these are always handed out in season. But, you know best what your season was like last year.
Usually, hotels do 50% in these booklets but it's a finite number of rooms. (And, yes, that's a BOGO if you think about it!) They won't do every room at that rate. To me, even tho I understand that, it's always a question in the back of my mind- did they really use up all those rooms or are they just saying that?.
Thanks, I didn't think about offering a free gift,or admission to a local 'sight'. good things to think about.
as far as how i did last year: I think we did better than we ever expected to do. we both work outside the B&B so figured we wouldn't be very busy. but with just two rooms available and doing mostly weekends we cleared $#### more than we thought. (edited) in 6 months. I totally was not expecting that.
 

Sunshine

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Oh, golly, I didn't mean you should post how you did, just that you should think about it! That does sound pretty good, tho, for mostly weekends in 6 months!
That said, how much more biz do you want/need because you are working FT outside the B&B? If you don't want a lot more, but still want to participate in this coupon book, then offer a smaller 'perk'. If you want more biz, offer a bigger perk..
good things to think about. I'd like to be able to eventually quit my day job and only do the B&B and part time work. I have been doing some research to see what kind of perks i can offer for my area.
Thanks!
 

Sunshine

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I am inpressed with your revenue and congratulate you. You are obviously doing it right.
I say yes to the coupon book. I have done them with my CVB. Did I get response? Only one but it was early on when I was 3 with shared. What it did do for me - at no cost to me, was get my name out there.
I agree with Bree, you can offer a "just for you" discount or and I think this really is best, offer an extra perk - a service, an admission, or a "gift" from the area or a combo of those things, especially if there are a lot of lodging choices in your area. Remember the recipe cards we were discussing thnks to Copperhead? Get some index card stock from the office supply. Save your logo as a watermark and print that on the index cards. Then print your recipes on them with your web site and phone number in BOLD at the bottom of the cards (yes, each one) and put them together with pretty ribbon or yarn. Make that your "gift" - won't coat much and is special and unique to you. The watermark and contact info will remind them every time they are used as to where they came from. Just an idea to throw out to you..
Thank you so much. I appreciate yours and Bree's compliments coming from two good and established innkeepers! Thank you!
I do remember the recipe ideas and will implement that. I appreciate all your thoughts.
Thanks so much for the help and ideas!
 

Copperhead

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Hi Sunshine,
I have also done these with our CVB. I am still unsure how they will be distributed... Are they going to be mailed to potential visitors (those that email or phone for materials about your area? Are they going to primarily be for those coming through town and stoping at the CVB? Are locals able to pick them up and use them? Are they going to be offered during your peak season, off season or any time?
If you do not know these questions be sure to ask.
If it is distributed only locally, I would tell you that usually those are going to be more enticed with a discount over a free gift. But, since you do work outside the B&B, you may have to put something on the coupon about check in after X o'clock.
Always put an expiration date on it. And 'subject to availability'!
 

NW BB

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Hi Sunshine,
I have also done these with our CVB. I am still unsure how they will be distributed... Are they going to be mailed to potential visitors (those that email or phone for materials about your area? Are they going to primarily be for those coming through town and stoping at the CVB? Are locals able to pick them up and use them? Are they going to be offered during your peak season, off season or any time?
If you do not know these questions be sure to ask.
If it is distributed only locally, I would tell you that usually those are going to be more enticed with a discount over a free gift. But, since you do work outside the B&B, you may have to put something on the coupon about check in after X o'clock.
Always put an expiration date on it. And 'subject to availability'!.
I agree with Copperhead. ALWAYS put an expiration date on them! You don't want those coupons out there for years to come.
I'm one to rarely discount my rooms, but I add on free 'gifts' or extras. An inexpensive bottle of champagne or sparkling cider with some local gourmet chocolates can be billed as a romantic package you can offer free with the coupon.
 

seashanty

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free?
jump in!
i participated in one ... $25 off one night's stay.
yes, don't forget the expiration date. this is a coupon. and you make the rules. i think a year is good.
 

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