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Guest Acquisition vs. Retention: Is the Balance Right at Your B&B?

Posted in Strategies

In all likelihood, your hotel marketing strategy is largely catered to attracting new guests — but does it place enough emphasis on guest retention?

You invest a significant amount of resources into your marketing strategy, so you will want to make sure that it allows you to not only acquire new guests in a variety of market segments, but also retain the guests that book rooms at your property. As you improve your guest retention rates, you won’t have to focus as heavily on guest acquisition.

The good news is, it’s actually easier to retain guests than it is to acquire new ones.

According to Invesp, guests who have booked a room at your property previously are 60-70% more likely to purchase another room, whereas a new guest is only 20% likely to book with you.

If you’re looking to improve your marketing strategy, these tactics can help you strike the right balance between guest acquisition and guest retention:

Reward your previous customers with a B&B loyalty program

B&B loyalty programs play an important role in the travel industry, as travelers are highly motivated by these types of initiatives. Millennial travelers, in particular, appreciate a loyalty program that provides them with discounts, added benefits and exclusive deals. With an effective loyalty program in place, you will encourage your guests to book a room at your small property again. It is a low-cost measure that will produce worthwhile results for your small hotel, particularly as you focus your efforts on guest retention.

Offer experiences that allow your property to stand out from the competition in the area.

Guests are often looking for more than an affordable room when they book a stay at a B&B. If you offer premier and authentic experiences, your guests are more likely to remember your property and ultimately book a room there in the future. Cooking lessons, photography tours of the grounds, historical tours, and yoga lessons are just a few offerings you might consider for your property.

Prioritize customer service and offer personalized service that can’t be found anywhere else.

This is a simple effort that doesn’t require a significant investment. Call your guests by name. Remember little tidbits about them. For instance, if a customer comes in with a camera strapped around their neck, offer them information about picture-perfect spots in the area. When guests feel like a welcomed friend rather than just another customer, they will crave more time at your hotel.

When you recognize the importance of guest retention, you can improve the marketing strategy at your small hotel. Not only should it focus on guest acquisition through a variety of distribution channels, but it also should reach out to previous customers to improve guest retention rates.

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