Last Updated on May 27, 2015 by Mark Lavington
When someone stays at your holiday home and has a great time you want them to return again and again, but with potentially up to a year before they enjoy their next trip, how do you drive repeat holiday let bookings and make sure you’re in their mind when they come to decide whether to return or seek new experiences?
We take a look at how you can encourage and drive repeat bookings for your holiday home.
Gaining contact to drive repeat holiday let bookings
You need to turn your visitor’s romantic weekend or week away into a longer-term relationship and dialogue. If they never hear from you again it’s far less likely they’ll come back.
In order to do that you need to build contact between now and when they next decide to take a holiday. Think of the ways in which you can communicate with visitors once they’ve left; do you send them an email for their arrival home? Do you ask them to leave feedback online or in a guest book? Do you thank them?
There are many ways to gain contact with your visitors once they’ve left; let’s take a look at a few others you can use.
Email Marketing to drive repeat holiday let bookings
Email marketing is a fantastic way of keeping in touch with previous guests.
Do you tell them about the changes you’ve made to your holiday home? Upcoming events in the area? Potential discounts you can offer on local attractions they may be keen to visit?
A monthly newsletter packed full of information that may trigger and encourage a return to your holiday cottage can be worth its weight in gold.
Create Great Content to drive repeat holiday let bookings
You may have heard the words ‘content marketing’ a lot in recent years.
What makes content great? Relevance. The more relevant the content to your visitor the more they’ll engage with it, and the more it’ll encourage them to return to your cottage.
They’ve already visited your holiday home, so what is it that makes your guests tick? Before sending any information to them always think, “Would they be interested in this and would it encourage them to come again?”
Remember, content doesn’t have to be reams and reams of text; many holiday cottages are in areas of natural outstanding beauty so that beautiful photograph of the sun setting over the coast may just be enough to tempt them back (particularly in the darker winter months!)
Keep your site up to date to drive repeat holiday let bookings
It’s unlikely your visitors will want to experience exactly the same holiday as they did last time so your site should be up to date and ready to dazzle.
We’ve already discussed the importance of content above; the site filled regularly to the brim with great content will have far more repeat visitors, and as a consequence, repeat trade.
You’re giving them a reason to return.
Engage with guests on social media to drive repeat holiday let bookings
More and more guests will mention their holiday destination on social media; whether that’s Facebook or Twitter; do you follow and like people that mention you on social media?
These social networks are great tools from where you can continue dialogue.
Remember, social media is supposed to be social, so make sure not all of your tweets or posts are outbound and promotional.
Create dialogue, generate conversation, and encourage engagement.
You’ll then be at the forefront of their mind and in a positive position when it’s time to book.
Make returning as easy as possible to drive repeat holiday let bookings
We all like things to be as easy as possible. Is this the case with booking a stay at your holiday cottage for returning visitors?
Do you have a fast track booking system as you already have their details?
92% of travelers want the option to book online; do you offer this functionality to your guests?
Remember, we’ve said your site should be up to date; is your booking availability calendar too?
Ultimately, if you’re able to combine your great holiday experience with a longer term relationship and regular contact, you’ll find your visitors begin to come back time and again.
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to holiday letting owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.