Affiliate marketing for hospitality businesses

August 9, 2020
Posted in
August 9, 2020 Jason Hulott

Creating more revenue per guest using affiliate offers

If you are a bed and breakfast owner, run a guest house or you run Airbnb booking business, one way to increase your potential revenue per customer, would be to offer affiliate programs.

This means recommending and promoting other companies products and earning a commission.

Now I’ve seen a lot of posts on this on a number of forums with people struggling to figure out the best way of how to manage that and also the types of deals to put in place.

So one thing I wanted to share with people first was where they can find affiliate programs to promote, which ones would be more suitable, and then how to do this.

So there’s sort of three parts to this article.

Finding affiliate programmes to promote

Firstly is where to find affiliate programs for Hospitality businesses, the best places to find national programs would be to join an affiliate network and the biggest network by far is a network called Awin.

Awin has probably access to most of the brands and the product types that I’m going to recommend that you can add to your websites to basically drive some more income through affiliate marketing.

There are other more local based programs or it may be that you can have some kind of informal arrangement with local resorts or local historical places, places of interest, restaurants, that kind of thing, but for now we’re talking about the bigger brands, the people recognise in terms of the kind of programs that you can be promoting.

Some ideas

  • Attractions
  • Car hire
  • Travel insurance
  • Takeaways / Just Eat

Where to promote

Think of yourself, as much as you hate OTAs and booking engines and those kinds of operations, you need to take a leaf out of their book and you can replicate what they do because it works. Also you can look at things like EasyJet or Ryanair as well.

For example, because a lot of the affiliate links offer happen once they have made the booking, they’re offering out either white labeled affiliate program products or they’re offering other products that they think generate revenue from so that things like travel insurance, car hire, event tickets, park tickets, all that kind of stuff.

And that’s the kind of thing that you guys can be promoting in a way that makes sense to your booking that when they open their booking confirmation and he sees these things, they actually makes sense.

A warning.

We do suggest that people don’t stick these all over their websites with banners and buttons and text links and all that kind of stuff up front. We basically recommend that for Hospitality businesses, especially, you do a lot of this via email, and that kind of booking confirmation email or on the booking confirmation page on the website, when that comes up, that’s when you can be offering affiliate programs and some of them will be different for other people for different people.

So for example, if you have a lot of overseas bookings that come, you may want to offer them the facility to rent a car or you may want to offer them the facility to change currency or any of those kind of things.

And likewise for people that are coming locally so people that may be taking a car to your destination. They’re not going to need to hire a car but they could need tickets to get into local attractions, or they could need some ideas for different things so there’ll be a number of different ways that you can promote different affiliate programs.

Don’t push too much

One thing I would say is don’t try and push too much. You don’t want this looking like a flea market. Basically you want to have maybe three or four different kinds of products that you want to promote in your booking process and on your blog.

I wouldn’t suggest anything more than that, there’s there’s no point creating some kind of flea market of products and services you basically just want to say here’s a hire car service , maybe travel insurance service if you’re if you get that kind of business.

Here’s some tickets to some local attractions. So, places like Chessington or Warwick Castle off the top my head are a couple of places that have an affiliate program with Awin that you can join.

So if you have local bigger attractions those might have their own affiliate programs that you can join so that should help in terms of where and how to place this in your process.

Where to add links

So in your booking process is the main places, write content about these things. So, put it on your blog. Share that you have you know the the the ability to book tickets for people you have the you know the facility for people to just book online through you, all that kind of stuff.

But don’t put that too up front, you know, on your homepage. You don’t want that. There you basically want this at the back end after they’ve made the booking with you because these are additional supplementary sales, you don’t necessarily want them coming to you booking Warwick Castle and not booking your accommodation.

So it is kind of tricky and the best way that we suggest this is that you stick everything on the back end. So basically when they’ve made that booking confirmation, you want to send them to a thank you page will booking confirmation page and on that page, you need to be offering them other things.

And then when they get the confirmation email you also then want to put those other things in that email as well. So if you look at companies on EasyJet, Ryanair like I said before, if you do any kind of bookings with them what you’ve put you on holiday or whatever, you’ll find that you see all these little offers stuck into the emails and things so it doesn’t attract from the website and the work that your website needs to be doing this, then becomes additional revenue streams.

So it is something that you can use quite easily non sleazy it’s not in your face. It’s built into your process. You don’t have to do anything different. Once they’re there.

Summary

Apart from maybe write some content for your blog, like we say I’ll use that to say that these things are there now but the actual physical promotion happens on the backend of your current marketing efforts.

And if you don’t have booking confirmations emails or dedicated thank you pages, this will be a great excuse to get those sorted. They can make you money!

So it’s not that you’re having to do a whole bunch of other stuff. It’s just that you actually now driving more people into the front. Hopefully they make the bookings and then you’re offering these up sales to other additional products and so I hope this has given you some ideas.

There is still a huge amount of things you can do to promote more affiliate offers to drive revenues but get started, build these into your processes. Then you can start to grow your affiliate activity.

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Jason Hulott

Jason is a 20 year veteran of affiliate and digital marketing. Currently runs Speedie Consultants Limited, a Digital agency for finance and insurance companies. This has included running affiliate programmes and promoting affiliate offers for the last 20 years.
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