Online hotel booking through third party carriers is a significant growth sector in the hospitality industry, and is steadily gaining share against other booking options, including traditional travel agents and direct calls to specific hotels. With these online booking services offering a plethora of choices along with detailed reviews and price comparison tools, it’s hardly surprising that consumers are flocking to these sites in droves. How can hotels leverage hospitality e-mail marketing to keep their customers engaged and in the fold?
Leverage Loyalty Programs
The best way to keep your high-value guests in the fold is to reward them for their loyalty. Hotel marketing programs that offer high-value enticements – things like free nights and discount activity packages – can be very impactful, and e-mail campaigns present a cost effective and efficient way to successfully execute these programs.
The key to successful implementation lies in understanding the behavioral patterns of your loyalty program members. For instance, if you have a business traveler member that reliably books a room every Wednesday and Thursday night, you can set up an email trigger whereby if next week’s reservation isn’t booked, an email offer for discounted spa services is automatically issued.
This keeps you top of mind, and shows your guests that you value their business.
Many hotels view their customer segments as two distinct buckets – business travelers and leisure travelers – and construct their hotel marketing programs accordingly. However, if you can track your customers’ behavior patterns and browsing history, you’ll find a treasure trove of nuances that will provide you with valuable insight beyond the surface.
For instance, if you discover that a guest that regularly books single weeknight stays is on your site searching for accommodations for four over a weekend, you can glean from this behavior that the guest fits into both categories – business and leisure – and tailor your email offers accordingly.
Deliver Better, More Targeted Promotions and Offers
A valuable offer is predicated on two key pillars – relevancy and timeliness. Put simply, hospitality providers need to be able to anticipate what their customers need and when they need it. If a customer is browsing your site to book accommodations for Memorial Day weekend, an offer sent in June misses the critical window of opportunity. Similarly, if you’re offering tourism packages to guests who have booked a single weeknight stay – likely business travelers – your offer won’t resonate.
Leveraging email marketing software, hospitality providers can track behavior and detect patterns to construct valuable, highly targeted offers that perform. The secret is the continuous enrichment of customer profiles, because the better you understand them and can predict what they want and need, the better you can serve them. And if you serve them well, they will be loyal.