Ann Handley, author of Everybody Writes: Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, offers tips for writing email and much more. This can be applied to bed and breakfast marketing as well.
Writing For Email:
- Use short subject lines (Vacation in "Your Location")
- Let your free flag fly ("your third night is free")
- Use the recipient's first name (to personalize it)
- Keep the email copy short (remember WHY you are writing it)
- Be a real person and communicate with a real voice (write like a friend)
- Show enormous empathy ("we understand your need to get away")
- Use real images (show inviting pictures of your B&B)
- Have a specific call to action (ex: click here to subscribe to our blog posts)
- Make sure you are aware of CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (spam = legal trouble)
Writing For Landing Pages:
- Match the message to the promise
- Avoid sharing too much information (keep it to the point)
- Keep your headline benefit-driven (what is in it for them?)
- Be brief in subheads (most of the time)
- Use second person with action verbs (a lot of "you" and "your")
- Be blindingly obvious as to what the person should do next ("book now")
- Use buttons that are big, bright, and bold
- Show, don't tell
- Keep things simple
- Use trust indicators and social proof to reduce anxiety (ex: TRUST-e, BBB)
- Create a curiosity gap, but with moderation
- Promise what you are going to deliver
- Place your reader directly into the headline
- Use numbers (helps people know what to expect before they read it)
- Use lively words: ultimate, brilliant, awesome, intense, hilarious, smart, critical, surprising, etc.
Ann Handley, author of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide To Creating Ridiculously Good Content, gives practical tips for writing your "Home" page and your "About Us" page.
Writing A Home Page:
- Speak to your audience
- Tell people what is in it for them
- Know what motivates your audience
- Keep it simple
- Use words your audience uses
- Communicate clear value
- Convey trust
- Social proof
Ann Handley recommends that your home page leave the reader feeling like, "We get you. And what's more, you belong here. We understand your challenges, your fears, your pain, your hopes, your needs..."
Writing The About Us Page:
- The best "About Us" pages are not really about the company
- Those pages focus on relaying who they are in relation to the reader
- Talk about what you do for customers (your B&B guests)
- Show a human, accessible side
- Show your people as real people
- Bring your customers into your story (real stories from your guests)
- Why do customers care about what you do?
- How have you helped them?
- Put customer testimonials on video (with guests permission, do video testimonials)
Getting To Know The Staff:
- Favorite quotes
- What they eat for breakfast (may be a signature dish from your inn)
- Music preferences
- Travel experiences
- What they do in their spare time (may be leisure activities near your inn)
With any kind of writing these valuable suggestions from Ann Handley (from her Everybody Writes... book) can be implemented. Then bed and breakfasts will likely attract more business. If you are too busy as an innkeeper (or have no desire to do marketing), contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging for a free consultation.
Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography