Some of our advertisers manage to convert 50-80% of the inquiries we send into bookings. Wow, 50-80%, what an incredible conversion rate – very impressive! Sadly, there are some advertisers who complain that they haven’t gotten a single booking from any of the dozens (or hundreds) of inquiries from RealAdventures.
Group A, the happy group, tell us that inquiries from our visitors convert better than most of the other sites they advertise on. I’m really happy we can provide a valued service to these advertisers.
But I spend most of my time addressing the concerns of Group B, the dissatisified advertisers. I look at their listings, at the category they have selected, the region, the pictures, the prices and the map. I look for reasons why a visitor would send an inquiry but not book if the property or service is available.
But most of the time, the listings for Group A & Group B advertisers were comparable. They had pictures, were rich in descriptive text, had competitive rates and so on. There didn’t seem to be any reason why one group got 50-80% conversion rates while the other claimed 0% conversion.
Baffled by the difference Group A & Group B experienced, I started looking at inquiries & advertisers’ replies to those inquiries.
Ah ha!!!! The reason quickly became apparent.
Consistently, Group A replies ‘closed the sale’, while Group B replies left the customer hanging or made it harder to book.
Group A replies always:
* answered the customer’s questions
* confirmed availablity on the travel dates the customer requested
* provided rates and the total
* specified any restrictions
* AND asked for a payment to hold the room or spot.
Essentially, they ‘closed the sale’. Here are two real responses from Group A advertisers:
Thanks for the interest in Skydive Adventure…
1. At this time we have room on Saturday 12 July 2008
2. 10 Adults – 18 years of age or older – 210 lbs (if over 210 lbs there is an additional fee)
3. A $20.00/per person NON-Refundable deposit is needed to hold the reservation… The balance is due when you arrive…
Let us know as soon as possible if you would like this date by e-mail email@example.com call (123) 456-7890… We look forward to having you and your friends here at Skydive Adventure…
DonnaMarie & Bill Hasenfus
Dear mrs. Lenka,
We can offer you our trip sea kayaking around city walls, and visiting island Lokrum. It is very interesting trip; you paddle and in same time having beatiful city sight, from another perspective. You will discover unreachable caves and hidden beaches, and visit impressive island Lokrum.
It cost 35 eur per person, it start every day at 09 am, and 3 pm., durations is about 3,5 hours. On island Lokrun we offer light lunch, 10 eur per person, and it is additional.
Start point, as also meeting point is in port, about 2 minutes walking distance from Old town. Trip star with short introduction with equipment and kayaks,and than we depart from the harbor towards western side to make sea side sight seeing – you meet city walls, fortresses Sv John, Bokar an Lovrijenac.
After that we proceed to the east towards the mystical island of Lokrum around the Island, visit the lake inside called Death sea or botanical garden, or take a bath.. On our way we will also visit some caves very interesting to enter in.
Trip is guided, by local guide. If you have any further question, do not hesitate to contact me.
Best Regards, Nora LAURA ADVENTURE firstname.lastname@example.org
In sharp contrast, Group B replies typically:
* were standard responses that failed to answer questions
* told the customer to check their website
* failed to provide rates or the total
* failed to confirm availability
* failed to provide a phone number or contact information
* AND NEVER asked for a payment.
Here are two responses from Group B advertisers (names have been changed):
I was surprised an advertiser trying to book his property would send this reply. No greeting, no rates, no contact information, no confirmation of dates available, no closing
This one is warmer, but doesn’t answer the inquiry, makes customer go to a website. Don’t send them to yet another website – even if it is yours and you are proud of it. They are interested, book them. Yes that is more work for you, but you’ll get the booking!
Thank you for contacting us regarding “Resort Cabin Rentals”. We do have availability for your travel dates. You can view all our cabins, availability and rates by going to www.ourwebsite.com.
I want all of our advertisers to succeed. I want you to be fully booked and I want you to make money. I will help you in every way that I can by continuously working to improve the site, grow our traffic and get you more inquiries.
But I need you to think & act like a sales person – “close the sale”. Look at Group A replies again and consider that the next you reply to an inquiry. “Close The Sale”