Discount coupons are among the most common strategic tools to attract new clients and obtain sales, which for short term rentals would be reservations.
Through these discounts potential guests will have the feeling of receiving a present, and this present may become a powerful ally for property managers and owners. Nonetheless this win-win situation must be kept under control, it is not sustainable to propose discounts over stays all the time because they still suppose losing part of the revenue. In addition, it gets guests used to booking only when there are discounts, depreciating its own intrinsic sense of opportunity and making it normal. This normalization produces the negative effect that guests don’t take advantage of them anymore, being something normal. When we exaggerate with discounts we therefore obtain the opposite effect and see them lose their attractiveness since they lose their characteristic of speciality.
There are various ways to offer a discount so it is important for the property manager to choose the right type of discount based on the target the promotion wants to be directed to. If the objective is to offer a promotion to anyone, without aiming at a particular target client, then this has to be advertised on the website and on all available channels. On the other hand, if the objective is to offer a discount to a particular target, hence smaller in number, we then need to personalize the message as much as possible to maximize its effectiveness.
In this post we will center on determined situations that suggest using personalized discounts and therefore discount coupons, to our opinion the ideal tool for these situations.
What are discount codes?
Discount codes are a useful tool to give a discount and it can be applied by inserting the secret code during the booking process so that the booking engine recalculates the price and applies the discount to the online product.
In the screenshot below you can see our discount code system within our PMS Channel Manager. Thanks to this feature we can create and configure discount coupons. These codes have many parameters that can be configured: the number of times the code works; the period in which it can be used; the period in which the stay has to be consumed; if it only applies for bookings during the week, during the weekend of both; apply the discount only on the stay or on the total of the reservation.
In the above example the discount code SPRING can be sent to clients who have subscribed to your newsletter or to repetitive guests to push them to book during spring, which is a good season but still less crowded compared to summer.
Another example could be creating the discount coupon WELCOMESWIMMINGPOOL to be available only for a specific property that has the swimming pool closed for works or even newly added. By sending this code to repetitive guests or to a group of potential guests that may share the same interest you could have them inaugurate the pool adding a discount on the stay on top of it.
The most important is always to share the code to the desired target and analyze results afterwards.
Which other situations may fit to discount coupons?
The variety of situations that fit discount coupons are a lot, let’s see some examples:
A discount code can be used during special occasions such as, for example, during bank holidays to try and have guests extend their stay. If some stays are extended the generated revenue should still be greater than the lost revenue caused by the discounts themselves.
Another idea could be to configure discounts that are valid only during specific periods of the year when the occupation is usually lower to stimulate the demand. If occupation could be raised 10% compared to the historical average it would already be a success despite the discounts.
Otherwise a specific discount code can always be created for repetitive guests or for those clients that are particularly interested in booking during a specific period. For example, if we know that a guest comes back every year because of an event we could send them a discount code to push them to book more quickly. This way we would foster fidelity and obtain an extra reservation.
Very soon we will post another article to talk about promotion packages, another very valid tool to offer discounts and obtain more visibility.