Promotion & Marketing

7 tips to make sure guests return to your B&B; 7 tips to make sure guests return to your B&B

As a B&B owner you probably aim your marketing activities mostly at new guests. An important group of potential guests is often forgotten: the people who have already stayed at your B&B. With some extra attention you can turn them into your biggest fans, so they keep returning to your bed & breakfast. 7 tips to commit guests to you.

Tip 1: Exceed expectations
This goes without saying but we will mention it anyway. Your guests will not return to your bed & breakfast unless they have an exceptionally good time there. Thus you should exceed expectations with a lovely, comfortable accommodation and excellent service.

Of course you can do this by not showing how big or beautiful the room actually is in the pictures of your B&B, but then you might miss out on guests. It’s better to surprise your guests with being a pleasant and involved host/hostess, and of course with a delicious extensive breakfast, small gifts, and an excellent service.

Surprise at B&B

Surprise! At Bed and Breakfast Il-Forn Accommodation in żebbuġ in Malta.

Tip 2: Get to know your guests and make sure they get to know you
But perhaps it’s even more important that your guests get to know you. As soon as they have the idea that they now you a little bit, they will be more likely to book with you again. Because it was so much fun, because they grant you their booking, because it’s easier to talk a second or third time around, or because it feels like coming home.

You do have to put in some effort for this yourself. By inviting your guests for a glass of wine in the evening, or by asking them questions when they arrive. Show sincere interest. Take the time for a talk and to share tips. And don’t be afraid to show yourself, by being honest about who you are and telling about that. You can also do this with your interior, by making the interior of your B&B personal. Guests appreciate it if you show them your unique face!

Tip 3: Let your guests know that you’re happy with them!
Before the arrival of your guests you can already start building the relationship. Send a postcard a few days before their arrival for example. With a beautiful picture of your B&B on it, or a tip about what they can do in the area, that you are looking forward to their arrival.

Do you find this too much hassle then of course you can also add a personal message with a picture in the confirmation email. Your B&B will then start to become real to your guests in advance, they will really start to look forward to their stay. And they will start to get a feeling with you, they will start to get to know you.

Homemade marmelade

Tip 4: Give a present when your guests leave.

Tip 4: Give a present when your guests leave
Your guests leave and how nice would it be if they fondly think back to your B&B in the car or at home. You can enhance this by giving them a personal present when they leave. Think of a box of raspberries from the garden, a jar of that jam they loved so much, a tulip bulb, or a small business gift with the logo of your B&B on it.

Tip 5: Retain close ties after the stay
Your guests have left, hopefully they’ve written a beautiful review on So that was it? Hopefully not! Now you can really start to work on ‘customer loyalty’.

Send them a nice birthday card on their birthday for example, with a picture of your B&B on it. That way you will also get positive attention months after their stay, your guests will like your kind gesture and remember it. You could also email them every once in a while, with a nice offer, or to let them know there’s an event coming up in your area. That way you can keep the contact with your guests warm in a fun way.

Tip 6: Let yourself be heard through social media
Social media are the perfect way to retain close ties with your guests in a casual way. You could place pictures of your B&B on Facebook for example. The first al fresco breakfast after winter, your cat with its kittens, a cup of lovely coffee to start the day with, your B&B in the snow, you name it!


Example of a Facebook status update by B&B Le Mas de Frayère in Le Rouret, France.

Don’t be afraid to post personal messages, those are appreciated even more! Every now and then you can post a promotion, such as an offer, but don’t let this be the majority on social media.

That way, guests keep seeing nice messages about your B&B popping up on their timeline, you stay in the back of their minds, and they keep getting to know you better. By the time they want to spend the night in the area again, hopefully they’ll think of your B&B!  You can send your regular clients excusive news and discounts through Facebook. By the way, don’t forget to ask your guests to ‘like’ your Facebook page!

Surprise at bed & breakfast

Bed & Breakfast Lodge On The Lake and Wellness Spa in Wilderness, South-Africa.

Tip 7: Treat your regular guests as VIPs.
As a customer you like to feel appreciated. Telecom companies and magazines know this and work hard on discount campaigns especially for their loyal subscribers. You can do the same, in your own way.

Send your guests a newsletter with a personal salutation for example, in which you invite them to visit your B&B with a coupon especially for guests who have already been to your B&B. Or compose a package with extras, because they already know your B&B. Send them a card with tips for activities in the area and a discount for dinner at a nearby restaurant for example.

Give your regulars extra attention on social media as well, for example by starting a conversation with them, or after a renovation or when you’ve expanded your service. You could send them an invitation to come and see the results and sleep in a new room. Your guests will feel special and highly appreciated and they will love to revisit your B&B.

About the author

Janneke Scheepers

Janneke Scheepers is web editor at Bed & Breakfast Europe. She writes blogs, articles and newsletters about all aspects of the B&B sector in Europe.

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