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26 Main St.
Windsor, VT 05089
USA

802 227 0008

Pure. Fresh. Vermont

That's what we offer at the Snapdragon Inn. Join us for a  relaxing getaway and explore the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. 

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Snapdragon Inn blog

Filtering by Category: "marketing"

This just in...

Innkeeper


Today we were awarded the 2012 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. We are very excited by this recent award since it reflects what YOU think about Snapdragon Inn. Thank you to our staff-- Cindy, Christie, Jeannie, Deb, Eva and Heidi-- for being rockstars and helping keep the Inn clean and ready to greet our guests.  These were notes from Trip Advisor on how they award each year.

The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

Room 9 

Here is another excellent review that came in this week. We love the bit about the bed in Room 9!
We recently stayed here to gel away from a hectic schedule and to celebrate my husband's birthday. Our stay was all we expected and more. Nate the owner made us feel welcome from the moment we arrived. He was friendly, helpful, informative and funny. The Inn was beautiful and very clean and the bed in room 9 was like a giant marshmallow- SOOOO comfortable! The bathroom was spacious and clean and the L'Occitane bath products were delightful. I need to buy more! The grounds and walking path were beautiful and peaceful. We left relaxed and happy and will visit again in the Fall to experience the foliage around the property. Be sure to visit nearby Simon Pearce for the glass blowing and a lovely meal. Thank you Nate for all your hospitality!

Latest VT vows magazine

The Snapdragon Inn




Back in March, we shared this wee feature from the Vermont Vows blog. We have a huge crush on Vermont Vows;  everything they touch is gold (design wise) so we are beyond excited to be included on their vendor list. Their Spring/Summer 2012 magazine is hot off the press with our print ad. You can check out our web listing here and browse their beautiful site while you are there. Did we mention how lovely it is? Oh, we did--several times. The fashion inspiration on their blog today is gorgeous.

Whether you are planning a Vermont wedding or not, this should be your first stop for inspiration & ideas. Oh, and don't Leilani & Rob just make our ad? They were our first wedding at Snapdragon Inn and we look forward to many more.

Happy Weekend!

Jump in and support a worthy cause

The Snapdragon Inn




We have a super deal out there for another 18 hours. If the deal isn't super enough, when you buy, part of your purchase is donated to Green Mountain Kids (a non-profit collaborative that provides an after school program for kids ages 5-12 in the Morrisville, Vermont area).


If you haven't heard of TownPool, check out the sweet deal and the causes they support from a portion of purchase . We wondered about the name until we read that, "We grew up going to the TownPool. It was a place for everyone, regardless of who you were or who you knew." 


Check out their Youtube video about  their  town pool and like them on facebook to get updates on their new deals and causes. They are on twitter here.


Isn't this a smart idea?  Jump In and support a worthy cause. It's win/win!

VT Vows: Vermont Talent Spotlight

The Snapdragon Inn



Have you ever looked through VTvows magazine? They are gorgeous and inspiring to look at even if you aren't getting married. Their website is slick and classy too! We are advertising with them this year and they emailed us today to let us know that we are featured online as their Vermont Talent Spotlight!


The theme at Snapdragon Inn, in quaint Windsor, Vermont, is "comfort, pure & simple". This cozy inn, full of history, is made up of nine freshly designed private rooms that offer inspiration & relaxation.The spa at the Snapdragon Inn offers a variety of massages and will soon be offering facials, body treatments, & signature treatments as well. All products used within the spa are fully organic & natural lines from partners such as Farmaesthetics. The grounds are beautifully maintained & set upon Paradise Park, a nature preserve full of wildlife.This easily accessible, yet supremely private, inn is the perfect wedding venue whether you wish for an intimate affair or a lavish party of 300 guests. Be sure to take a close look at the cozy & elegant Snapdragon Inn.

We'll have an ad in their upcoming Spring/Summer 2012 Magazine and online but if you have a moment, take a peek at their website where you can browse their lovely digital magazine and totally get sucked into the plethora of pretty posts and pictures. We love how they tag their posts so you can search by color palettes like this  or peruse their DIY's , not to mention finding the coolest wedding vendors in Vermont. They also have sites for New York, The Hamptons, Cape Code, and more so it is definitely an amazing wedding/style resource!

Thanks for the lovely mention today!



Online Discount Sales Strategies & Today's Jetsetter Deal

The Snapdragon Inn

We love to travel and many of us have had the fortune of visiting some far away places. In recent years the development of online discount sites, group coupon sites, and expansive travel search engines have made it easy to find the best deal on an Italian Villa or weekend in Las Vegas--or an Italian themed weekend in Las Vegas.

Snapdragon Inn has been testing different sales strategies in the online and discount channel markets trying to buck industry trends and create sales programs that work for our particular property year round.  So you may see us all over the web in the coming weeks as we explore partnerships with highly localized travel partners as well as some of the big players in this travel segment.

Today we launch a five day "flash sale" with our partners at Jetsetter.  Jetsetter is a bit different than some other online sales sites. They send travel editors (actual real live experienced travel writers) to many of their partner properties, perform a lot of due diligence, and of course look for the most exciting mix of deals for their members.  You can search their site by theme or by geographic location and they have plenty of appealing options for all types of travelers. We are happy to work with them and look forward to the next five days as we test another marketing opportunity for our growing brand. Plus you can get a sweet deal on a room at Snapdragon Inn by checking out the current sales event.

Let us know what you think about online travel sites and discount sites by commenting below.  Which ones do you prefer and why? Are you a Groupon groupie, a Jetsetter member, a Living Social user, or do you prefer to find our own adventure without the help of the world wide web?




Lovely shots

The Snapdragon Inn





Wow, it has been an incredibly busy week but look at these lovely shots Kristiiina captured last week at the their lifestyle shoot here at the Inn! It was a pleasure working with these two local talents and thanks so much for the lovely mention here.  Don't forget to check them out on facebook (here and here) and visit Kristiina's blog.

Thanks to everyone who came to the Literary club last night to discuss "Suite Francaise"--what a fascinating, horrifying, and brave book. We will post next month's book on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Will Groupon help to build or destroy your brand?

The Snapdragon Inn





While working on new marketing initiatives for Snapdragon Inn over the last few months, we had the chance to talk to Groupon about a possible deal for their group coupon website. Snapdragon Inn just completed their first Groupon deal this week, offering a two night getaway package for the new small luxury inn.  Before deciding to work with Groupon, the owners of Snapdragon Inn weighed a number of items discussed in this article and thought it might be helpful to review the costs and benefits of participating in a large discount sale program.  Each business will know best if a bulk discount program will hurt or benefit their brand, but our recent experience may help refine some initial impressions.

While Groupon’s recent huge IPO makes them the most visible and newsworthy company in the discount direct sales gift market, there are plenty of competitors offering similar services such as Living Social, Google, Dealtime, Tuango, Amazon, and hundreds if not thousands of other regional services.  Each company has different requirements and pricing models, but their goals are the same--to build a large database of “captured” users, localize the deal-hunting experience, and create enough buzz and demand for discounted products to command large (very large) commissions.

We were well aware of the challenges that come with using any discount site. For example, many bloggers and some reporters have written about the perceived detrimental effect of Groupon to brand value.  The argument basically goes like this: rather than build loyalty to your product, Groupon builds loyalty to the discount itself. In other words, even if people show up and love your product, they wont be back unless it is deeply discounted again.  Some marketing professionals refer to these as “Groupon crackheads” and dismiss them from long range brand building plans. Other business owners feel like a successful Groupon for a product, such as a massage service, can permanently devalue that service in the market. The perceived value is less to the customer after Groupon,  and that perception can be very hard to change.

Additional concerns include the actual “costs” of a partnership with any discount sales service.  Normally a business will retain approximately 50% of the price the customer pays when purchasing a gift voucher from a discount sales outlet. That is 50% retained from a sales price that is already discounted at least 50% off of retail price.  In addition they will pay a 2.5% to 5% or more credit card commission to the discount sales outlet to reimburse them for processing transactions. This varies from site to site and from deal to deal, but it is an easy average to illustrate the point.  So if a customer purchases a two night travel package for $400 which is normally priced at $800, the business is actually going to be paid $200 (minus credit card fees) for the sale.  This means that a room that is normally selling for $400 a night is now being sold for less than $100 a night.  Of course the cost of opening that room (carrying costs, heat, electric, food service, staffing) do not  decrease proportionally. If a hotel has a 20% cost of goods for opening a room, then the cost of that $400 room is $160.  When sold at a discount site for $100, this is a loss of $60 per room night.  An online deal that sells 100 vouchers has just generated a “loss” of $6000. The same formula applies to discounted meals or spa services though each company will have a different cost of goods structure.

So what are the benefits?

-Cash Flow
One of the main benefits you hear from participants in these programs is cash flow.  Online services normally pay their business partners when the online deal closes or in some installment plan that the business can project. Therefore, the cash flow is not tied to actual redemptions and a business collects the entire amount due from their discount sales offer in the current operational quarter of business.  Of course, these are gift cards, so there is a liability to provide that same dollar amount of service to customers, and depending on local laws, the gift cards may not be allowed to expire.

-Marketing Exposure & Value
While estimates vary wildly, it is safe to say Groupon is now representing access to hundreds of millions of users.  Their relationship with their users is a strong and a closed system.  If this is understood then a business can plan on the best practices and deals to build their own relationship with  Groupon’s users to make them their own.  Groupon’s direct email campaigns, affiliate programs (pushing even more traffic to their site), main website promotion, and overall brand recognition all translate to the opportunity for thousands if not millions of users to see any given deal, even if they do not purchase. 

-Enhanced Sales & Customer Building
These are the most debated benefits and success rates seem to vary wildly when reading online experiences from businesses who have used discount sites.  Some find it easy to enhance sales with additional items once the customer is onsite-most notably in a restaurant setting or in a full service resort setting where amenities are not included in the deal.  Other businesses find that customers are there for the deal, the end.  This also applies to repeat customers as some businesses have success in retaining discount users while others find them to be deal hunters and even begin to resent them.

Summary
 In general, we found our recent experience with Groupon to be extremely positive and the marketing exposure is perhaps the main reason we chose to work with a discount site. For this project, the exposure and increase in brand awareness were seen as high value when compared to advertising costs to reach similar audiences. We can also confirm Groupon’s claim  that they do indeed hand select their partners--at least for Getaways.  We worked with an account manager who researched our property thoroughly--including everything from online reviews to articles and recent marketing surveys.  We also discussed a long term strategy with Groupon that was beyond just the initial deal.  We wanted to introduce our brand to a larger market and keep options open to expand even further with future deals based on the performance of our first offer.

Groupon’s marketing led directly to thousands of new unique visitors to our website as well as hundreds of calls  and emails to our reservations center.  Each of those contacts already meets our goal of creating brand awareness--which was our high value goal.  Those contacts know our name and more about us now and they called and contacted us, we did not cold call them.  In addition, our own customer database (both from opt-ins on our email lists and from actual reservations) greatly expanded allowing for future in-house direct marketing.

We planned our initial deal as a advertising and marketing expense rather than an income generator.  We took budget that would have gone to print and online advertising and placed it into the cost of operating a Groupon deal.  We felt it to be an excellent return on investment for an advertising expenditure since it allowed direct contact to customers who booked and contacts for potential customers.  It also provided some cash flow though it remains to be seen if we will see repeat customers or any true brand advocates come out of our Groupon users.

In the end, every business has to weigh the cost of their operation and keep in mind that a successful Groupon deal has the potential to create a lot of real operational costs.  However, if those costs are planned and accounted for then the marketing exposure, planned cash flow, and potential long term sales opportunities seem well worth it.

Sneak Peak: We have a sign!

The Snapdragon Inn


Since we opened last year, people have asked us about why we don't have a sign out front. Well, oh happy day...it has arrived and it is beautiful. Here is a little sneak peak until we have a sign raising and post some proper pictures of it and all its glory. Mike and Jim carried it out front on Saturday so we could get a feel of how it would look. 


Here are some more pictures from our work morning on Saturday as we try to clean up and prepare for winter. Our little snappers probably don't know what a Saturday is that doesn't involve working at the Inn. Sometimes they get involved but mostly they are good at entertaining and watching out for each other. Remember when this is how they entertained themselves?






The best deal offered yet!

The Snapdragon Inn


We have a current deal up on Groupon that is our best deal offered yet for a stay at Snapdragon Inn. There have been over 100 bought  the offer has been extended for 2 more days so if you are looking for a two-night getaway to wintery Vermont or have friends that have been wanting to come up or you have wanted to come up for a visit to the Inn, check this out today!


 As a side note, here is a map showing the concentration of people purchasing the groupon deal. It isn't surprising but an interesting marketing tid bit.