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Marked increase in direct bookings
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rosebud



Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 543
Location: Steyning, West Sussex

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:14 am    Post subject: Marked increase in direct bookings Reply with quote

I am pleased to say that more & more guests are contacting me directly...

Roughly 25% Apr 14- Apr 15
Around 33% Apr 15 - 16
Just over 50% from Apr this year

I try to find out how people discovered me - often they don't remember...

This is a good trend given what is happening with OD....

Have others had this experience?
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had exactly the opposite and now have way over 50% choosing to book via listing sites using Book Now or online payments. These people seem less willing to communicate and even my guest book has been getting less comments over the years. I feel I just have to go with the flow to survive and accept both direct and anonymous guests.

There again my OD bookings are several times higher this year than any other year. I've no idea why and it's a shame as I was hoping to drop them and save on advertising costs. Now it's my other sites, which have performed well in the past that are falling behind.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2803
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, my direct bookings are well over 50% now and rising. Today I asked someone how they found me and they said they were looking at photos of our village and I came up there. They also found an agency cottage with roughly the same standard of accommodation (although she said mine looked better) up the road from me which was a staggering 390 more per week and told me that as she thought I ought to know! They are with an agency so I can only suppose the agency is taking a huge cut.
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bornintheuk



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 449
Location: Southern Charente

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would imagine that for UK residents looking to rent in the UK then the direct route would come to the front as they would be more comfortable with there being no language issues (possibly).
Also they would be more familiar with the area they wanted to stay and could search through local sites by county etc.
For those searching for properties in another country with other languages (possibly) they would feel more at ease going through a "trusted name" (discuss !) to find their holiday property.
Who really knows !
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Ben McNevis



Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 837
Location: Scotland (for) The Brave

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I track these things fairly religiously and in 2015 the percentage of booked nights from my own web pages was 7% but so far in 2016 it is 20%. So things are looking up. I did do a bit of Adwords advertising to try to boost it but the evidence that I have points to most of these bookings finding my pages by searching in Google.

I'm pleased with the progress but there's an awfully long way to go yet.

Thinking about this, the statistics can be pretty meaningless because if I was to suspend all my listing site entries, then 100% of my bookings would be from my own web pages and returnees, but things would be looking down, not up. So I need to be a little bit careful what I wish for.
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rosebud



Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 543
Location: Steyning, West Sussex

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting ...

What you say keysboredagain also applies to me. All non direct bookings have come via OD or HA since April this year. I list on 7 other sites and though OD has always done well for me I also had bookings from most of the other sites previously . In many ways this is the most surprising change.

And your comments BornintheUK may also apply as I have far more UK bookings recently than a couple of years ago.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2803
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben McNevis wrote:


Thinking about this, the statistics can be pretty meaningless because if I was to suspend all my listing site entries, then 100% of my bookings would be from my own web pages and returnees, but things would be looking down, not up. So I need to be a little bit careful what I wish for.


Therein lies the rub. I am pretty convinced a great chunk of my website enquires arise because of my subscriptions to listings on the two big sites.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 345
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FelicityA wrote:
because of my subscriptions to listings


Are you referring to 'subscriptions' in terms of paid subscriptions?

I'm seeing more direct enquiries, probably as a result of my commission listings. = Guests are becoming more sensitive to, and pushing back against, the booking fees.
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Isy



Joined: 19 Jul 2011
Posts: 431
Location: France

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FelicityA wrote:
Yes, my direct bookings are well over 50% now and rising.


I am the same and this is a first for us. Travellers find us on listings and contact us through our website. The last booking was 2 days ago. She found us on OD and rang me up while surfing on our website.
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LaderaCottage



Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Posts: 48
Location: Kyrenia N Cyprus

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good job, well hopefully this will help if property owners spread the word. Many are sharing such posts.

Had a few calls from people recently who have seen listing on OD, we just need more of these savvy guests. So the more that spread the word the more this will assist all, except of course the sites. But this one particular grates me, as not what we signed up for when paying a subscription.

https://www.facebook.com/1591148397882561/photos/a.1591826037814797.1073741828.1591148397882561/1614726612191406/?type=3&theater
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Lets Go To Puglia



Joined: 14 Apr 2016
Posts: 156
Location: Puglia, Italy

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Direct bookings are starting to go up, but as others have said, I think most are generated by being on the rental sites and savvy guests then contacting direct.

We are still working on increasing position in Google search results which is almost a full time job in itself. We have just added on line chat to the website which has had an interesting add-on benefit of giving immediate visibility when a visitor lands on our site, where they are, which pages they visit etc.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2803
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

russellt wrote:
FelicityA wrote:
because of my subscriptions to listings


Are you referring to 'subscriptions' in terms of paid subscriptions?

I'm seeing more direct enquiries, probably as a result of my commission listings. = Guests are becoming more sensitive to, and pushing back against, the booking fees.


Paid subscriptions. I found when I was on commission on FlipKey, the price quoted ( I surmise) was putting people off as they didn't realise they could get it cheaper and I had to be careful what I said in replies. I am happier paying a sub and regard it much as a Google ad words cost would be.
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TravelGirl



Joined: 21 Jul 2016
Posts: 19
Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:50 pm    Post subject: Direct Bookings are the way forwards! Reply with quote

We have taken our website off of all of the listing sites and have listed it with a marketing channel instead. It saves money and I don't pay anything unless I get bookings!

I also have a personal website as customers wondered why I didn't! Since launching this site and blogging, it has become more and more popular and I receive most of my bookings directly from previous customers and recommendations.

I am not paying 1000 a year to subscribe to a service that customers try and bypass anyway and this way, I manage it all in one place and its really easy.

Personal approach is best. I now feel like I am providing the service again rather than relying on others! Happy Tuesday all.
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TravelGirl



Joined: 21 Jul 2016
Posts: 19
Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:51 pm    Post subject: Direct Bookings are the way forwards! Reply with quote

We have taken our website off of all of the listing sites and have listed it with a marketing channel instead. It saves money and I don't pay anything unless I get bookings!

I also have personal website as customers wondered why I didn't! Since launching this site and blogging, it has become more and more popular and I receive most of my bookings directly from previous customers and recommendations.

I am not paying 1000 a year to subscribe to a service that customers try and bypass anyway and this way, I manage it all in one place and its really easy.

Personal approach is best. I now feel like I am providing the service again rather than relying on others! Happy Tuesday all.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1291
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:48 am    Post subject: Re: Direct Bookings are the way forwards! Reply with quote

TravelGirl wrote:
We have taken our website off of all of the listing sites and have listed it with a marketing channel instead. It saves money and I don't pay anything unless I get bookings ...

Welcome to this site, TravelGirl. Please forgive my obvious ignorance, but what is a marketing channel? It sounds interesting.
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