Create scarcity and urgency

You might now be planning ahead to January and thinking about how you are going to bring in business in your quiet months. But this is probably the last thing on your customers’ minds at the moment. So what can you do to prompt a booking now rather than them leaving things to the last minute?

You can increase the likelihood of an immediate booking by creating a sense of scarcity or urgency in your messages.

For example:

To create scarcity:

  • Limit an offer to the first 10 customers who book
  • State the maximum number of people you can accommodate for a particular event
  • Let people know when you only have three rooms left for a popular date.

To create a sense of urgency:

  • Introduce bonuses for early bookings (opposed to discounts)
  • Impose a deadline and stick to it. The shorter the time frames, the better to prompt action. (But do ensure that you’re confident about the timing; you’ll shoot yourself in the foot if your offer goes out after the deadline has passed.)
  • Make sure all offers that have expired are no longer available on your website or to book. However, you can show the offer on your website but as ‘no longer available’ or ‘fully booked’. This reminds people to be quick next time an offer like this comes along! That way the offer carries on working even after it’s expired.

Adopt a mentality that your customers should be rewarded for booking early, (in the same way the airlines do), rather than rewarding those who leave things till the last minute with late deals.

Get more help and step by step tutorials for planning promotions with the 21 lessons in Running a Profitable Hotel Promotion.

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