When you created your accommodation’s OTA listing, you will have chosen room rates based on a number of factors. For example, the type of room will have had a bearing, so too would whether there are extras included such as breakfast, free off-road parking and/or Wi-Fi Internet.
But when was the last time you reviewed the rates you’re offering on the OTAs and actually changed them? For some accommodation owners, the answer will be ‘never’. If you’re one of them, you could be missing a trick and we’re about to explain why.
Starting in today’s post (the first of a three-part mini-series), we are going to explain the impact promotional rates can have on click-throughs; how you can take advantage of them; and finish with a real-life case study (success story).
Why lead-in rates are so powerful
Search for accommodation in a particular area on an OTA and you will be presented with a list of suitable options. One of the most prominent pieces of information you’ll see for each property listed is, of course, the price.
In the example above, the price is clearly stated as £62. This is what’s known as the lead-in price i.e. the price people searching on OTAs see on the face of a particular listing.
The lead-in price shown is the lowest price for the particular hotel based on the dates and occupancy levels someone has searched for.
Now the reason why this rate is so powerful is because it has the ability to lure potential guests in and encourage them to click on your listing by displaying attractive prices.
You can manipulate your accommodation’s OTA lead-in price in a number of ways, but one of the simplest (and most effective) is to never use round numbers. So, instead of £80 opt for £79. The latter looks so much more attractive and just that £1 difference can impact your click-through rates. It’s the same as when you see a piece of clothing being offered for £9.99 and not £10. Psychologically, £9.99 seems a much better deal than £10 – even though there’s only actually one penny in it.
Providing your OTA listing is optimised and highlights your accommodation’s best features, it stand to reason that the more potential guests that click your OTA listing, the more conversions you’re going to enjoy. Your lead-in price can play a pivotal role in achieving this.
In the next part of this three-part mini-series on promotional rates, we are going to look more in-depth at why, when and how you would choose to change your prices and how you can easily recoup some of the discounts you offer.