End Abandoned Bookings
If a potential guest has found their way to your site, seen a property that they are interested in then you may think that the work is done. But, there is still a big leap to be made. Getting your guests to then crystallize their enquiries into bookings is a difficult form of alchemy. It seems that a rate of just one booking for every five enquiries is currently quite a respectable ratio. Guests like your site and your property enough to contact you, but most times, there is a barrier that prevents them from actually booking.
If you see this happening on your site a lot, you can at least take some comfort in the fact that you are not alone. The average rate of booking abandonment in the online travel industry is 75%, which compares with a national retail average of 71% shopping cart abandonment.
You have a finite amount of time to make sure that guests enquiring about properties are given every opportunity to convert these questions into bookings. Their interest burns brightest when the initial enquiries are sent, and diminishes from there on in. In this blog, we are going to outline how you can convert more of the enquiries with just one email.
Have a set response time, and stick to it.
In researching this blog I attempted to find the average response time for vacation rental enquiries, this information didn’t seem to exist. People don’t know how long they can expect to wait to receive a response. This means that very few of your guests will wait this undetermined amount of time, they will continue looking for properties on other sites and see which one gets back to them first.
The Harvard Business Review conducted a study that demonstrated that enquiries answered within an hour were seven times more likely to get results than those who waited two, and 60 times more than those waiting more than 24 hours. These numbers speak for themselves; the longer you wait to respond, the likelihood of the booking being abandoned raises exponentially.
With Kigo, you can automate custom response emails that confirm that the property is available, and if you have on-line booking, your guests can book then and there. If you don’t have on-line bookings, you can send links to gateways such as Paypal so your guests can confirm their bookings. Already, within a minute you have given your guests confirmation of availability and the link to book the property. If the property is already booked, you can also automatically send links to other available properties. This is the most effective way to bridge the gap between enquiries and bookings.
The next step is to make sure that your email contains the right responses to make this option as appealing as possible.
Links to Reviews
Include links to a range of reviews. As well as giving your guests the information they require, you are feeding their excitement for your property with stories from other, happy guests. Reviews can capitalise on anticipation and expectation of your guests and give people the confidence to book.
Full List of Features
Provide a full list of the amenities in your property, the amount of people it can sleep, the features you can provide and everything your guests need to know about your property.
Local Features and Sights
This is another way to tap into the anticipation of booking a holiday and give potential guests the desire to transform an enquiry into a booking. Feature the close by sights with links to their websites
This is a great way to get all of your information across in a quick, easy and engaging way. You can tour your property, show off the views and the local area as well as demonstrating a little of your personality. A barrier in on-line booking is a lack of a human connection. If your guests are able to see the people behind your business it is reassuring and inspires confidence. It also forges a connection and establishes your business as something tangible and real. All of this means each guest is more likely to choose your business for their eventual booking.
Exact Prices Including all Taxes and Charges
Price is going to be one of the main concerns from enquiries. If you can provide the final, complete price for the dates they requested in your first email then your guests should now have all the information they require to be able to book your property. It is not that bookings are abandoned because of problems with the property itself, but due to the amount of back and forth that is involved to find out if everything is suitable.
Include Offers and Promote Your Other Services
This is a great opportunity to promote other services that you provide. If you receive a booking for two days why not try include an offer for that shows the exact price of three nights? You could structure it so that this option seems to be the best value or comes with an added perk. Not only are you converting more bookings but you are also generating more revenue while you do it.
A Call To Action
Finally, the last thing you should include is a link to convert these enquiries into bookings. This should be a link back to your page where guests can confirm their booking and make payment.
The goal is to include all the information potential guests could require in a professional and clear way so your guests can decide to book right there and then, avoiding the need to wait and look at other sites.