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Posted

29/07/2015

Running a hotel can be tough at the best of times. There are 101 problems collectively yelling for your attention, often leaving you feeling stretched thin in every direction. But out of all the problems and worries a hotelier faces, there’s one that casts a looming shadow over them all… BOOKINGS! 

Bookings are the lifeblood of any hotel and you can’t survive without them. Which raises the question; how do you not only maintain, but snag more bookings to explode your hotel revenue? Two answers; targeted marketing and special offers. Are they the only way to get more hotel bookings? Nope. But they are proven strategies that any hotelier can use to get more customers through the door. 

If you want to ramp up your hotel bookings and conversions, keep reading. 

 

Entice Guests With Special Offers

 

Repeating the same offers can make your hotel marketing stale. Switch things up a little. Create new offers and packages to attract more customers. If you’re stuck for ideas, here’s a list of packages you could do... 

 

Adventure packages 

Make a captivating list of adventurous activities that guests could do during their stay. Do your homework and make sure the activities are great. Then, combine those activities into a package and give it an attractive name like: 

  • The ruthless pirate package
  • The daredevils package
  • The thrillseekers paradise package

 This will help grab the attention of more adventurous guests. 

 

Meditation and Yoga Packages  

This will be great for your laid-back, “chilled” customers. Get in touch with local yoga studios and see if they’re doing sunrise/sunset classes on the beach, or get them to visit your hotel. 

On your offer you can discuss how stress has a negative impact on people's lives; and don’t be afraid to throw in some light research and facts. Then, close by talking about how relaxation and meditation are health boosters and introduce your package. 

 

Wedding Packages  

Partner up with wedding planners and event organizers and offer them discounts and deals at your hotel. 

 
 

Create Events 

 
 

Host local contests and events to give you more exposure. There’s a ton of options for you to choose from. You can host fitness contests, social media contests, or introductory classes.  Look at what’s available around you and what appeals to your visitors the most. Then take things from there.

 

 

Reward Guests With Loyalty Offers  

 

You appreciate return business and loyalty, right? So why not show guests your appreciation by rewarding them? You could give a free stay for every 5 days stayed, give discounts on food and items, even treat them to a free massage. One hotel chain used a reward based strategy to increase enrollments by 78%. Huge companies like Sony have also experienced 300% conversion boosts with a simple reward based strategy. Which goes to show, a little appreciation can go a long (and very profitable) way.

 
 

Use A Compelling Call to Action

 

If you want to squeeze the maximum ROI out of the packages, offers, emails and landing pagesthat you’ve worked hard to create (or paid money for), you need to have an effective call to action that people want to click. To craft an effective call to action: 

  • Tell your potential guest exactly what to do. Should he book now, click to learn more, or plan a trip? Don’t be shy. Tell him what needs to be done.

  • Urgency is an extremely powerful psychological trigger. Use trigger words like, “hurry”, “act now” and “book now” to create a sense of urgency.

  • Keep it simple. It doesn’t need to be cute or clever.

  • Too many options can damage conversions. Stick to one call to action.

 
 

Take Advantage of Segmented Marketing 

 

In September2014, a case study on market segmentation revealed that over 70% of hotels agreed that market segmentation positively influenced hotel revenue.

 

So What Exactly is Market Segmentation? 

 

According to the segmentation study guide: “Market segmentation is the first step in defining and selecting a target market to pursue. Basically, market segmentation is the process of splitting an overall market into two or more groups of consumers. Each group (or market segment) should be similar in terms of certain characteristics or product needs.” 

 

Segmenting your marketing can have a meteor-like impact on your revenue. Just ask online retailer Totes Isotoner. They noticed when shoppers visited their site, they visited one category more than others. So they reached out to those shoppers with targeted email marketing pitches about their favourite/most viewed category. The results? Their revenue skyrocketed by a shocking 7000% (nope, that’s not a typo). 

 

When hotel Jamaica Inn increased their revenue by 52%, guess what played a huge role in their success? Yup, segmented marketing... “In designing and writing each email, the team used copy tailored to the three distinct audiences — past guests, travel agents and new prospects.” 

 

Make an effort to avoid generic hotel marketing. Instead, focus on a specific, segmented approach. You can segment your marketing by: 

  • Past purchase behaviour

  • Gender

  • Family size

  • Occupation

  • Income

  • Marital Status

 

Segmented marketing means that you’re sending offers and messages that are more relevant to your potential guests. This increases your conversion rates for more bookings.

 
 

Conclusion

 

Landing more bookings doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It just takes a little marketing know-how and some understanding of your guests. By using targeted marketing and special offers you can ramp up your bookings too! What’s the best ROI you’ve got from a special offer you’ve given to guests? Share it with us. 

 

To check out the rest of our Book Direct series, designed to optimise your hotel's direct bookings, go here.


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