How to Promote Rates To Get More Direct Bookings?

Promoting Lower Rates To Get More Direct Bookings

Just like the tides come in and go out, the rates of your properties are always changing.

If you’re leveraging dynamic pricing to maximize your rates, then it’s inevitable that there will be a time and place to discount and lower rates on your short-term rental or vacation properties. 

Typically, lowering your rates is the most logical way to maximize the yield of revenue on each and every vacation rental property that you own or manage. 

Lowering the rates and then doing nothing else may not yield a significant amount of interest from guests to book the property. 

Why not? Surely guests want to get a great deal/rate? 

My observations have led me to believe that it’s not that the guest doesn’t care about lower rates. 

It’s simply that the guest isn’t even aware of lower rates! 

If a rate falls in the forest, but no guest knows about it, does it make a booking? 

The answer, too commonly, is no. 

In this blog post, we’ll share tips and tricks you can use to get the word out about your property’s rate reductions. We’ll also provide a few ideas for marketing your “deals” without making your brand seem cheap or discount-heavy. So, whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been in the vacation rental business for a while, read on for some helpful advice.

Create a Promotional Campaign Quickly

One major mistake some Airbnb hosts and property managers make is waiting too long to share their promotional discounts. By leveraging dynamic pricing, you can adjust rates quickly, so every single rate change isn’t worthy of a marketing campaign. 

However, it is critical to share your deals quickly during times of way-too-low occupancy rates or when the discount is quite large (over 20% off). 

Waiting several days or weeks to share a discount may mean you miss the logical and common “booking window” for that discount or deal. Imagine you have a discount starting on June 25th for July 4th properties; this might be less likely to succeed as you have less time to market it.

Speed is your ally when it comes to effective marketing. 

Decide on the Discount You Want to Offer

What kind of a discount you will offer your guests is something you need to consider. The most common discount is a fixed percentage offer – 10% off for a stay between day X and day Y.

That’s a good way to show a discount, but in our testing, we’ve actually found that showing or leading with a fixed dollar amount works better. 

For example, $50 off any booking, $100 off any 3+ night booking, and $250 off any 6+ night booking.

This proves to convert better in our testing, even when the fixed dollar amount discount is far less than a modest percentage discount (like 10%).

Ultimately, the goal is to strike a balance between attracting guests and maximizing your yield on each property. You can develop a discount marketing strategy that meets your revenue goals by testing both approaches in your specific market and with your properties.

Make Sure Your Website Is Up-to-Date

It’s important to make sure your vacation rental website is up to date with your best rates!

Refer to your website development team to confirm that rate changes from your property management software system are linked to your Pricelabs account and then synced back to your website. 

Managing your vacation rental website seamlessly is an important step in your vacation rental marketing strategy. There’s no worse “conversion killer” than having lower rates on Airbnb & Vrbo and not confirming the best rates are on your own website! 

The guest should always see your website’s best rate when accounting for all platform charges, fees, and commissions.

Share Your Promotion on Social Media Channels 

Another great way to generate interest in your vacation rental deals is to share discounts and special offers on social media channels. 

Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are great platforms for reaching potential guests and letting them know about a special deal offer. Be sure to include attractive photos, a video walk-through of the property, and details on the discount or offer. 

Your social media channels will already have potential guests that already know you or like and maybe also trust you. They might have also maybe stayed with you in the past. This audience will likely convert, so you can focus on promoting special or discounted rates. 

When sharing any discount or deal on social media, strikethrough pricing is a great way to illustrate and show the guest how great of a deal you’re offering! This is where you list the regular price of the rental, followed by the discounted price. For example, if your rental normally costs $200 per night, you would list it as $200/night with the $200 crossed out and the new, discounted price of $175/night. 

This makes it very clear how much money the guest will save by booking your rental, which can be a powerful incentive. Additionally, it helps to create a sense of urgency by making it clear that the discount won’t last forever. So if you’re looking to rent out your vacation home, use strikethrough pricing to help convert more guests.

You can also leverage the paid platforms of each channel – Meta Ads for Facebook + Instagram and TikTok Ads to take your promotional post and get more reach on it. Even a modest budget of $100 can reach hundreds to thousands of potential guests. 

Marketing to Past Guests With Email Marketing

By staying in touch with your past guests, you can show them that you care about providing the best guest experience for them. You can showcase your special offers in your newsletters, talk about new additions to your property, events you conduct on your property, etc. 

If you have collected details about your guest, like their birthdays, anniversaries, etc., you can tailor custom deals for them during their special. This would be an extra incentive for them to spend their special days at your property. 

It is important to stay in touch with your guest after their stay. You never know when they will need to book your property again. Email is one of the best ways to direct relationships with your guests.

Clearly Define the Parameters of the Discount & Lower Rates

When marketing vacation rental properties, it’s important to clear the offer of a discount! Few things will “kill” conversions, like a confused guest who doesn’t understand the exact deal that you are offering.

Potential guests are always looking for ways to maximize the value of their budget while traveling. One way to do this is to prominently display the discount on your property detail page and a specials page. 

For instance, you could include it in the headline or write a special section highlighting savings (see the above section about strikethrough pricing). You’ll likely attract more guests and fill your rental properties by making the discount offer clear. 

Make a Landing Page for the Special Discount

A landing page is a great way to showcase deals and discounts on your vacation rental website. Prominently displaying special offers can encourage potential guests to book a stay at your rental property. 

To create an effective landing page:

  1. Select a powerful headline that will grab attention. 
  2. Use compelling images and copy/content to highlight the benefits of booking a stay at your rental. 
  3. Be sure to include a call-to-action (CTA) so that visitors know how to take advantage of your deals. 

With a little effort, you can create a landing page that will help boost bookings at your vacation rental.

Leveraging Marketing Along With Dynamic Pricing = More Bookings 

If you’re looking for ways to promote lower rates and get more direct bookings, we hope the tips in this blog post have been helpful. 

For more information on how our team at BuildUp Bookings can help you drive more business through your vacation rental or Airbnb management company, visit our website, and we’ll be happy to schedule a strategy call. 

This article is a guest post by Conrad O’Connell from BuildUpBookings.

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