Experiment: Using my web design skills to get a discount at a hotel

by mookinman 13 replies
I need to travel to London in 2 weeks' time, and stay at a hotel. I found an ok-looking hotel on one of those hotel booking websites.... I then looked for the hotel's own website, found it, and was amazed at how bad it was! Really really awful, amateurish job, which really lets the hotel down... the photos were pretty bad too.

So I've e-mailed the hotel, politely offering to build them a very nice website complete with an booking enquiry form, along with a search engine-friendly design. I said I'd do this for FREE, but would they be able to offer a discount on my booking in return... The website will take about an hour and a half of my time, and I know they'll be happy with it.

So now I'm waiting for their reply.

Has anybody else out there had success with a similar situation? I was thinking of seeking out as many hotels as possible with bad websites, re-making the site, emailing them with a link to their "new site", asking if they want it for £50.... I wonder how many would take up the offer? I could turn the sites around very quickly, just by finding existing info on the hotel & surrounding area. I could probably do 2-3 per hour, and each would be unique and look smart & professional. I know these seems possibly too fast but once I get working and comfortable I'm like a machine!

Anyone tried this?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #design #discount #experiment #hotel #skills #web
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  • Profile picture of the author Chiayee
    wow moonkinman: I had this idea in mind but never go on to implement it.

    Look forward to your progress!
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    Nothing to see here

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    • Profile picture of the author mookinman
      I actually emailed the hotel last night, and I'm still waiting for a response... I wonder if they're this slow at getting back to all of their customers? The main point of my email was to enquire about booking.... so they're going to be making money off me whatever happens.... but they're in no rush to get back to me - I guess they're just busy....?

      Maybe they don't check their spam/junk folder?
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      • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
        Don't forget that they have to get breakfast out of the way first...

        I used to sell insurance to hotels - getting hold of them in the morning was impossible.

        Kindest regards,
        Karl.
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        eCoverNinja - Sales Page Graphics & Layout Specialist
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      • Profile picture of the author Anthony Hull
        Originally Posted by mookinman View Post

        I actually emailed the hotel last night, and I'm still waiting for a response... I wonder if they're this slow at getting back to all of their customers? The main point of my email was to enquire about booking.... so they're going to be making money off me whatever happens.... but they're in no rush to get back to me - I guess they're just busy....?

        Maybe they don't check their spam/junk folder?
        I would take a guess that usually this kind of decision would come from the head of the hotel or head of marketing for a larger hotel etc... so those guys are probably quite busy usually.

        I actually did something similar this:

        I did a website for a hairdresser in exchange for free haircuts for myself and my fiance/son anytime we wanted

        I also did a simple website for a local plasterer in exchange for 3 days plastering work on my house

        A friend of mine did a site for a Pizza shop in exchange for (you guessed it) free pizza once a week forever.

        Cheers,

        Anthony
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  • Profile picture of the author Glenn Newsome
    Redoing their website for only a discount? I would think free at the very least. If they got a company to do it or even many individuals, they would be charged thousands. Well, some will do it for maybe $1500 or so usually. Anything less is a steal.

    They have no idea how long this is gonna take you. More power to you for cranking out one in an hour and a half.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
      Originally Posted by Glenn Newsome View Post

      Redoing their website for only a discount? I would think free at the very least. If they got a company to do it or even many individuals, they would be charged thousands. Well, some will do it for maybe $1500 or so usually. Anything less is a steal.

      They have no idea how long this is gonna take you. More power to you for cranking out one in an hour and a half.
      yeah free at least!

      And redoing for 50 quid, you're robbing yourself man. Charge much more than that

      Be warned tho, when you start charging for stuff like this, peopple think they own you body and soul

      lol I've done the same sort of thing as Anthony, (in fact I probably nicked the idea off him)!

      Kim
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave777
    Stay on top of the industry...

    Study things well...

    You just might Learn a few new tricks and Find some nice little untapped specialized niches within to go after...

    Hotel Internet Marketing News and Know-How
    Hotel Industry News :: Hotel News Resource

    Dave
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Corke
      I've given away free seminar seats in exchange for a weekend at a bush lodge in the Kruger Park in South Africa.

      I ended up spending another hour with the owner going through some stuff on the Sunday morning, but we were both very happy with the deal.

      Whether he was at the seminar or not was the cost of some biscuits and a cup of coffee.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheNightOwl
    Further to Anthony's point: ya gotta reach the decision maker. The person answering email is highly unlikely to be that person, right? (You know that).

    I'm not exactly sure how I'd do this, but you need to pitch your offer so that it doesn't get binned by the well-meaning, but possibly inept, gatekeeper. Inept, that is, in the sense that s/he may not realise the ridiculous savings they're going to make (because they'll likely have vacant rooms on the nights you want to stay anyway (short of, like, New Year's Eve or some other special occasion) and even if they don't, they've still saved a truckload).

    Wonky suggestion: Phrase your initial inquiry to the effect of finding out who--within the hotel--is responsible for the website, without actually making your pitch. Simply offer your reason for your wanting to know who this is: Because you can see ways that could easily and painlessly be changed, very likely resulting in more inquiries and bookings from the web. You'd like to discuss these with the person responsible because you're sure that they'd be very interested to know how they can not only save money but make more bookings. If you're authorised to comment, please do so; I look forward to hearing from you. Otherwise, please forward it to the relevant member of staff.

    Or something like that. More tact may need to be employed there! LOL!

    Where the vague read between the lines message is "If you're not sure, don't make the decision at your level and get your arse kicked later for having dismissed it, just pass it along to the person who can make such decisions."

    A bit loose, sorry, but that's the best i can offer for now. Gotta get some zzzzz. Hope it helps and good luck with your future free accommodation spree!
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  • Profile picture of the author mookinman
    Thanks for all the tips, guys! Still waiting for a reply from the hotel though :S
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    • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
      Originally Posted by mookinman View Post

      Thanks for all the tips, guys! Still waiting for a reply from the hotel though :S
      From one salesguy to another...

      pick up the phone... you're less likely to sell them on the idea from an email.

      Kindest regards,
      Karl.
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      eCoverNinja - Sales Page Graphics & Layout Specialist
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      • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
        Originally Posted by KarlWarren View Post

        From one salesguy to another...

        pick up the phone... you're less likely to sell them on the idea from an email.

        Kindest regards,
        Karl.
        Gotta say I agree with Karl. At least you might get a name so you know who to chase up that can make a decision.

        Rich
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