Switching your booking system can be a lot easier than you think with our switch team.
Reliability, trust and cost savings can all make a big difference to your business and your happiness!
1. No Monthly standing charges
As a family business we believe all customers should pay for what they want and that nothing is hidden. Our pricing is optional, clear and openly listed on our website, it has always been this way. Prices and what you get for free
(other companies don’t show prices on their website because they want to charge you more or pay oily sales people high commissions to get the sale!)
2. No Minimum contract terms.
At freetobook we guarantee you will love our service, but just in case you don’t you’re not locked in, you can leave whenever you wish; we will never make it difficult, our customers stay because they want to.
(other companies tie you in to make it difficult to leave without penalty, that’s a trick we would never play – it just would not be trust worthy)
3. UK based support system
Customer service at freetobook is second to none – give us a ring and you will be connected straight to our expert support team in Glasgow.
4. Free online booking system
Unlike other booking systems we provide a high quality booking system free of charge so you get to fully use our system before you decide to opt in for any of the paid services which are completely optional and include a brilliant channel manager (Bookingcom reliability score 99.97% on 13 Jun 19) or a great low cost payment system.
5. You’re in control
Your business, your decisions. With freetobook you have control over all aspects of your online booking. You can decide to sell lower prices on your own website or have better availability on your direct booking channels…plus so much more.
” Wow this is amazing!! We have just reached 100 bookings in the last 30 days on the freetobook system. Thanks for starting it all off, and can you thank the ladies in the office for help setting up. I wish we had moved years ago!! ” (Adrian at Seed Hill)
Using freetobook packages you can now offer your customers extra value added inclusions and change the board basis for any specific package you wish to create.
Types of Package:
Added Meals – for example you may have a standard rate with Bed and Breakfast and want to offer a “Dinner Bed & Breakfast” rate, or a rate which includes a packed lunch.
You can also remove meals in a package, so if your standard rate is including breakfast you might want to have a package that does not include breakfast.
Value Added Service – Alternatively you might create a package which incudes bike hire or some other value added service special to your business. For example, you may collaborate with other local businesses and offer a golf or spa package, cookery or photography class, or tickets to a local attraction such as a theme park.
How you setup your packages is very flexible; you can change the board basis and add extra services -it’s completely up to you.
Packages are a fixed rate and can be restricted by:
dates of stay
minimum stay duration and
nights of the week.
If a package is available for a customer to book during their search they will see a new tab with the package title you have created. They can then easily switch between your package and your standard availability.
Packages are exclusive for your direct bookers so they also potentially give a great way to offer more value to your direct customers where you pay zero commission.
To start creating your own unique packages, head to the ‘Specials’ tab on your freetbook diary and select ‘Packages’. Click ‘Create Package’ and start filling in all your package details – simple!
More and more bookings are being made on TripAdvisor, we have some information and friendly advice to help ensure you are not losing out. In the last week we have seen a 400% increase in TripAdvisor Instant Bookings. If you use the freetobook direct connection these are now available at 12% commission.
All across the world Instant Booking is becoming more widely available, you will have noticed a change to your TripAdvisor page. Now visitors to your page are asked for their dates of stay and your availability only shows if you’re connected, if not, TripAdvisor lists availability of nearby properties.
Getting a direct connection to Instant Booking is easy and will save you commission. To take part you just need a freetobook account and a TripAdvisor account.
Login to your TripAdvisor account and switch on the connection to freetobook, it’s as simple as that.
Six advantages of a direct TripAdvisor connection:
1) Lower commission, you can pay as little as 12% 2) You only pay commission on completed bookings 3) No upfront costs, no signup costs, no fees from freetobook 4) You receive all of the customer’s direct details, including email address 5) Simple to do, just login to TripAdvisor and connect 6) You don’t need a Business Listing to get these TripAdvisor bookings
The connection simple, just activate it in your TripAdvisor account to enable direct bookings on your TripAdvisor page.
Freetobook has always believed in great technology for direct bookings as well as offering the highest quality connections to world’s biggest sources of bookings. We all know some providers are not universally popular with accommodation owners but it remains a fact that they have access to the world’s online bookers. We try to advantage our customers (property owners) by offering these connections at better value. It is certainly better to get a booking through TripAdvisor at 12% than one through another big source at higher commission!
This year a freetobook customer was awarded TripAdvisor’s “Best B&B in the World,” yes, number 1 out of 300,ooo or more listed on their site. The Millgate in Masham is certainly a fantastic B&B and for us what stands out is their great attitude to using new technology to maximise sales and free up time to get on with taking care of customers. See what the Millgate has to say about getting to the top on TripAdvisor.
To become the best B&B in the world you certainly need to be fabulous but you also need to have fantastic reviews and as many of them as possible. Here again freetobook can help you rise up on the TripAdvisor rankings. A Review Express connection on your freetobook account can automate review requests for your customers and dramatically increase the number of reviews you receive. Find out more about Review Express.
Most of freetobook’s benefits are free with a few optional charged services, find a complete list of our charges on our pricing page, what does freetobook cost ?
View our helpful TripAdvisor Instant Booking video for a quick recap of how to increase bookings on your TripAdvisor page, click play below.
Many accommodation businesses are confused about TripAdvisor’s direct bookings, are you one them? Let’s try to explain, so find a nice quiet spot to sit down with a glass or mug of your favourite drink.
In the last year TripAdvisor has changed its business model a number of times leaving many potential customers confused and even locked out. We have created a couple of videos to help you understand these changes (skip to these at the foot of the article…if you like) but it’s probably worthwhile seeing some of the basic facts first. Like them or not, here they are;
TripAdvisor is a booking website used to book accommodation online.
Accommodation businesses can receive bookings directly from the TripAdvisor website using a booking engine i.e. Freetobook.
If you are already working with an OTA (Online Travel Agent) like Expedia or Booking.com you may find that the OTAs advertise your availability on TripAdvisor. These bookings will come through the OTA (not directly from TripAdvisor) and look like any other OTA booking and you pay your agreed commission to the OTA, as usual.
The OTA pays to advertise on the TripAdvisor website, each OTA decides if they want to advertise your availability. You have no control over this.
TripAdvisor lists availability and prices prominently so properties that don’t have online rates will be more difficult to find and if they are found they’ll be surrounded by images and popups directing customers to nearby available properties.
Available to accommodation owners worldwide except if you have a holiday rental on HolidayLettings or FlipKey
In short, if you don’t have online rates you will receive less traffic and fewer bookings than in previous years.
If you do want bookings this way then you choose your route, direct with TripAdvisor or through an OTA – either way there is no requirement for any fixed upfront costs, no subscriptions or annual fees.
To get bookings direct you will need an account with TripAdvisor and an approved booking engine (or connectivity partner i.e. freetobook). Simply login to your TripAdvisor account and setup your direct advertising via their TripConnect service. Most approved booking engines charge for this service but with us it is completely free.
To advertise directly on their website you will need to pay TripAdvisor. In their wisdom they have created two models for payment (hence our two videos mentioned earlier).
Model One: Pay Per Click
Here you pay TripAdvisor a click fee each time a customer clicks on your advert, on a Cost Per Click (CPC) basis. However, you DON’T pay for a search, you only pay when the customer searches AND then clicks on your available price. If you are not available on the dates the customer searches or they don’t click the price then you don’t pay.
Cost Per Click model facts:
You pay when a customer clicks on your available price.
TripAdvisor sets the click costs and from feedback they are generally quite low (but we can’t see or know the cost, they are only visible in TripAdvisor).
You can vary what you pay per click (your bid). If you bid too low then TripAdvisor will remove the advert and you would have to increase your bid to show again.
If you work with an OTA they might also advertise alongside your CPC advert.
You set the budget and pay TripAdvisor and can switch it on/off as you please.
In this model you pay for the advertising and you measure the bookings that come from the clicks. Bidding higher for clicks will make you show at the top of any adverts on your property and bidding too low will mean you don’t show. You make the judgement as to the cost effectiveness of your advertising by totalling up the bookings versus the click costs. Ideally that return has to better than any other booking options i.e. OTA commissions.
Enjoy the youtube video on the Cost Per Click model.
Model Two: Pay Per Booking model (Instant Booking)
In this model you only pay TripAdvisor for bookings. There is no cost for each click, instead you pay a commission amount on realised bookings. You set this up by logging into TripAdvisor account and activating an Instant Booking campaign. You pay TripAdvisor a commission fee only after the customer has completed their stay. At the time of this blog Instant Booking is not available to all properties. Use the Instant booking link below to check.
Pay Per Booking model facts:
You pay either 12% or 15% commission after the customer has stayed.
If you bid 12% then TripAdvisor will show your advert 25% of the time.
If you bid 15% then TripAdvisor will show your advert 50% of the time.
No other OTAs will show if your advert is showing.
There is no payment/commission due on bookings that cancel.
Enjoy the youtube video on the Pay Per Booking model
By now you are either asleep or completely up to speed on direct bookings from TripAdvisor….. that is before it changes (only joking!) As always, please share your experience of this service or any other relevant news, let us know how it has or hasn’t worked for you.
Freetobook is TripConnect Instant Booking’s First Approved Partner – Worldwide first in technology.
Press release (September 15 2014 – Glasgow)
Freetobook, one of the UK’s leading travel technology companies, announced today that it is the first Internet Booking Engine to be a fully approved and certified partner for the upcoming TripConnect instant booking feature from TripAdvisor.
TripConnect instant booking is being developed to increase direct bookings for independent hotels and scheduled to launch officially later this year. This instant booking will enable accommodation owners worldwide to leverage approved connectivity partners, such as Freetobook, to update rates and availability and take bookings directly into their online diary.
The TripConnect instant booking API has been approved and tested and Freetobook will enrol a select few customers in a live beta test ahead of the full launch when the feature will be available to the global independent hotel sector.
“Its exciting to be at the forefront of this new development. We are looking forward to getting our customers’ feedback in the first instance before TripConnect instant booking is rolled out globally,” says freetobook’s Director Iain Stewart. “
Other blogs and links about freetobook TripAdvisor connection