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Lodging
If I Were Your Resort, I’d Build My Own Groupon Getaways Tool and List

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
   

I sometimes feel I do too much critiquing and too little suggesting. Like, somehow, I’m the 400 pound, mullet-sporting guy on his 3rd beer at the baseball game yelling at the 2nd baseman to hustle. So, every once in a while on a Wednesday I’ll try to balance the scales a bit and put my own ideas up for display, analysis, and critique. (view all “WID” posts).

The other day, quite out of the blue, I said to my wife, “I hope something like Groupon Getaways exists when we’re empty nesters because some of those deals are super enticing.” The same goes for Hotel Tonight. Even perusing the app the other night tickled turned up a few tempting offers. A combination of the two gets the wheels turning.

While there are many long-term vacations with wide windows, the idea of taking a quick, weekend trip for $200 (which seems to be the average from the offers I get) is awesome to me both as a consumer and a marketer. Low commitment, low cost, and low lead time which means that you can respond to demand based on forecasts with last-minute deals.

The Problem
The problem is that Groupon (and Living Social, et al) is a business. They are a middle man selling their email list. Instead of getting all of your discounted rates, you get half (or so). While these company absolutely provide a massive reach that would otherwise be tough to match, if I were your resort, I’d start building my own list around a sort of Groupon Getaway / Hotel Tonight last-minute travel combination.

So, starting today, I’d put together a simple squeeze page like this one and start gathering emails, playing with the headline, lead time, dates, etc. until I find the right balance of knowing what the weather will be like but not too close that everyone already has plans:

weekendssqueeze

Then, on Wednesday morning I’d hold a quick meeting, decide on three (no more, maybe less) packages and shoot out an email to the list.

weekendsemail

Like I said, all the while keeping an eye on weather, results from split tests on lead times and deals, and past demand so I’m not cannibalizing a weekend that already has a large volume of last-minute bookers.

So, a Groupon Getaway / Hotel Tonight hybrid. That’s what I’d do.


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