Recently an all-inclusive fishing lodge in Alaska who was considering signing up for a Premium Listing asked us “How do I know that the yearly price is a good value? How many bookings should I expect?” The following is a summary of the conversation that resulted from that question.
We actually have no visibility into a lodge’s bookings, as we’re only paid on leads. However, here are our top 10 lodge stats based on the past 12 months:
- Total number of Lodge Details Page views: 6,189
- Total number of direct inquires (visitor sends the lodge an inquiry directly from fishlodges.com): 114
- Total number of website clickthroughs: 1,056
- Once a visitor clicks through to a lodge’s website, we don’t have visibility into whether they then contact the lodge from there. But assuming a reasonable 25% of visitors do this, that’s 264.
- Total number of email conversions (visitor clicks the button to send the lodge an email): 66.
- Total number of phone number conversions (visitor clicks the button to display the lodges phone number or call the lodge directly if on a smartphone): 142.
Total number of leads generated in past 12 months: 586.
Here’s a visual representation of that data:
It’s safe to assume that all of these leads are “highly qualified” leads—that is, they are researching lodges and are ready to book (the remainder of the 6,189 people who don’t click anything on a lodge’s details page are the “tire-kickers”). So the top 10 lodges are seeing 58.6 highly-qualified leads on average per year. What would it cost to acquire that many highly-qualified leads with other methods (like magazine advertisements, Google Adwords, etc.)? Much more than our US$255/year Premium Listing fee. That’s the first reason fishlodges.com is a good value.
Because we don’t know how many of those qualified leads the lodges actually turned into bookings, we don’t know the lead-to-close rate. A typical rate in the travel industry according to HubSpot is 16% (measuring website visitors who become customers). It is quite likely higher than that given this is a very niche segment (all-inclusive Pacific Northwest fishing vacations), and you will probably know your own lead-to-close ratio, but for simplicity if we just stick to 16%, that’s 94 bookings generated, or an average of 9.4 bookings per lodge for those top 10 lodges.
It’s important to note that many times a lodge doesn’t know that a booking was a result of their exposure on fishlodges.com. When a website visitor sends a Trip Request we always request that they mention us if they contact the lodge, but even if they do that’s a minority of the leads. If your lodge is on fishlodges.com it’s quite likely that someone you booked who contacted you via email or via phone or your website’s contact form first learned about you via fishlodges.com, and you had no idea.
If we were paid on bookings instead of leads, those lodges would have to pay about $3,600 per year (based on a 10% booking fee and an average $4,000 cost per booking), rather than the $255 cost for a Premium Listing. Even these are the top lodge stats we’re talking about and that number will be much lower for the worst performing lodges, only a single booking more than pays the entire year’s cost for a Premium Listing. And that’s the second reason a Premium Listing is a good value.
fishlodges.com is now generating a lot of traffic (21,203 unique visitors over past 12 months) and is popular with those in the research phase of their search and those ready to book. Lodges with a Premium Listing typically receive 6 times as much traffic as lodges with a free listing, and only Premium Listings will generate leads. So your competitors who do have a Premium listing are likely receiving a lot of leads that should be coming to you.