Generating revenue from your hotel´s FREE WIFI will be key in 2017

Generating revenue from your hotel´s FREE WIFI will be key in 2017

For hotels and resorts over the last few years have always been faced with the same issue, which is the urgent need to improve their WIFI infrastructure so their guests can enjoy their favourite series on Netflix, upload and download photos or videos without waiting an age for the task to be completed.  Hotels, in general, have been extremely lax in providing quality of service, as the cost to improve the infrastructure could never be offset by the revenue it could generate.   Some hotels charge for the service which is not desirable, as according to Hotels.com who released a survey which stated that free WiFi was the most desired in-room amenity.  Also, from the moment of check-in, either you are giving a small piece of paper with a password on it, or written on your key card folder, or you are provided access without the need to introduce a password.  As we move forward into an era in which a guest will be able to check in, open their room door and pay their bill from their smartphone, interaction with your reception staff will become less and less especially in business hotels.

Bearing this all in mind then, how can a hotel generate revenue from their hotel’s FREE WIFI service?

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The answer is using Social WIFI technology.  So how does it work, let’s take it in 3 easy steps:-

Access

Providing simple and easy access to your FREE WIFI service is key.  By allowing your guest to sign in one time only to your service using their favourite social media channel which in the majority of cases will Facebook or just completing a simple form, whether a guest speaks with your reception staff of not, they will able to gain access quickly to your WIFI.  Clients will be encouraged as well to connect to your social media pages, which automatically increases your fan base and also provides increased visibility.  Guests will also be accustomed to connecting to WIFI using this method especially in Travel where this technology exists in the majority of airports across the world

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Analyse

Now, while your guest is enjoying your high-speed internet access, you are gaining an insight into your guests.  Demographics, guests interests, how long do your clients spend online and email addresses to name a few.  The statistics gleaned from your guests connecting to your WIFI service will allow you to be more targeted with marketing campaigns as well as design offers and services that suit more your guest requirements.  However data collection is only one part, you will also be able to see where in your hotel or resort guests are connecting to your service, how they move around your hotel which will allow you to correctly position marketing for promotions or events that will be taking place at your hotel or improve signage or layouts.  You will also be able to identify and collect data from conference attendees, Diners at your restaurant or spa users even if they are non-residents.  Again sourcing this information will allow you personalise your marketing campaigns.

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Action

So your guests are connected to your WIFI and you an understanding better your guest’s interests and requirements.  Now, it’s time to take action.  Here´s how.  Firstly, right from the sign-up page, you can promote any events or special promotions that your are currently offering.  By knowing at what time of day the majority of your guests are connected, you can also send via email and SMS personalised messages.   You can make them aware of what is going on at your hotel or just simply ask them to provide feedback on their stay which you can encourage them to share on Google, Facebook or Tripadvisor.  Another avenue to generate revenue is to allow companies that have products displays within your resort the ability to promote their offers via your WIFI.

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In summary, by using Social WIFI technology, not only are you making easier for your guests to connect, you are gaining a data capture & marketing tool that will allow you to understand your clients better as well improve your TrevPar revenue and direct bookings.  There is clear data to suggest that we are in the final days of rate parity across Europe, so it is imperative that any hotel or resort is wishing to build an extensive database of users to encourage them to book direct, Social WIFI should be an essential part of this.

If you would like to discuss with us how Social Wifi and generate revenue for your hotel, email info@hotelient.net.

 

 

Why hotels should be focusing on improving their online user experience to increase direct reservations

Why hotels should be focusing on improving their online user experience to increase direct reservations

The recent announcement that Booking.com was integrating with Tripadvisor’s Instant Booking has been filling our industry news for the last week.  This news though should be another wake-up call for hotels to start taking seriously the user experience on their website and online booking process.

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The likes of booking.com are continually investing in improving their user experience across all devices. This is especially critical when considering 47% of all last minute hotel bookings are done from a smartphone which apps like Hoteltonight and Booking Now from booking.com, with their slogan that you can reserve within 4 clicks, are focusing on.

For far too long, independent hotels have not invested in improving the user experience on their website.  More users are booking online than ever before across all devices and as this recent study suggests, more business travellers are booking their hotel and flights by themselves which also is backed up by booking.com and Airbnb´s focus in this area.

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So with OTA´s investing heavily in user experience across multi-platforms along with their huge budgets in online advertising spend, how can an independent hotel compete with this?

Here´s some helpful pointers to get you going in the right direction:-

  • Booking Engine – This is where the OTA´s have invested heavily in the user experience and hotels just have not improved in this area.  There is a reason that the OTA´s do not offer extras or added value like roses or champagne during the booking process, users want the final price in the fewest clicks.  You will have plenty time once you receive the reservation to promote these automatically and the client will be much more receptive too!  It is also critically important that your booking engine is visually great and easy to use for your guests. Sounds obvious I know, but there are many engines out in the market that have been designed for revenue managers, not users!  View your hotel in booking.com from a client’s perspective and see how they sell to you and make it easy to complete a reservation, then look for a supplier that best replicates this.  Also, you need to make sure that your booking engine backend can provide you with good analytical data, how many visitors and from which countries are coming to your booking engine, what dates are they searching for, how many days in advance are they looking to book and from which websites are they visiting you from.  With this, you will be able to determine the right promotions at the right time to optimize your online conversions.

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  • Cart Abandonment –  A re-engagement strategy can be what makes the difference. An email campaign shouldn’t bombard or annoy customers; it should be treated as an extension of your customer service.  It is perfectly legitimate when users have left your booking engine to send them an e-mail (even without completing a reservation) with a personalised follow-up message. This demonstrates an appreciation of their interest, shows users that you value their custom and that yours is a hotel worth booking.  Some hotels offer promo codes or incentives to stimulate impulse buying, however, this is not always necessary, as the email itself demonstrates that you value their business. It can also serve as a helpful reminder and quick route back to a room they had seen earlier and liked.
  • Website – We all know that users tend to visit around 20 websites before making a hotel reservation, so by being the first website is not necessarily the best.  What is important though is creating a bigger marketing database in which to target and to convert into potential future business booking directly.  A) Invest to get them to visit your website, B) Gain their contact information and C) Target them afterwards.  An average mid-size hotel has around 15,000 visits per month to their website.  How great would it be that even a mere 10% of those visitors is leaving their details with you. That´s 1500 more people per month that you are connecting with, which is 18,000 more people in a year than you are gaining today.  By asking potential clients to provide you with their email address, will allow you to reconnect with them automatically, making the investment you are doing in online advertising offer better value for your hotel and increase your online conversions. As Google is evolving to become the new OTA online, not only is it important to understand what you need to do to maximize your visibility, you also have to capture the clients once they get to your website

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  • Reputation Marketing – In 2015, just monitoring your reviews by Tripadvisor and other review sites is not enough with management products largely becoming redundant.  Users seek out independent reviews before making a reservation, with 95% claiming to read reviews before booking.  OTA´s understand this, so they make customer ratings and feedback a prominent part of the hotel research process, offering millions of reviews directly on the site, so it is incredibly important that you are actively asking for feedback from your guests whilst helping them to promote them on your website as well as other key sites that will aid your visibility such as google, facebook and of course Tripadvisor. Here are some good practices:-
    • Website – Showing good reviews from a variety of places show you care about your reputation on your brand website will help increase your direct bookings and show to your users that you value feedback.
    • Stop giving Tripadvisor a free lunch and remove their widget from your website.  Yes, promote your reviews, just don´t make it easy for you guest to click off to Tripadvisor.
    • Proactively seek guest feedback – Ask your guest for feedback, understand better what you do well and what you can do better.

Book Now

Now doing the above is going to help your direct bookings but a good percentage of your guests will still come from OTA´s no matter how good your digital marketing strategy is, so here are a few more cost-effective ideas that will help you connect with your guests and allow you to understand their requirements to further personalise your marketing message to attract more guests to book directly.

  • Social Wifi – Allow your guests to connect to your free Wifi using their social media channels.  This is a great way for you to connect with everyone coming through your door (Conference Delegates, Wedding guests, Non-residents in your bar) not just one guest per room.  You will also increase your Social media fan base as well as your marketing database!
  • Upselling – This is a great way not only increase your revenue but also learn what kind of experience your guests want from your hotel, which will help you personalize even further.  Having a PMS (Property Management System) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software that records the buying habits will allow you also to customise your marketing messaging.
  • Concierge APP – Make it easy for your guest to interact with you.  Apart from promoting your services, apps can offer loyalty programs that provide your guests value and provide you with a great new marketing technique – Push Notifications & GPS Marketing.  Read more here on how apps are beneficial for hotels.

None of the above are going to break your budget and will help set you on the path to increasing one of your most profitable reservations channels.  OTA´s are constantly improving their user experience, it is about time that independent hotels focus on this too.

Simple handy guide to help you prepare your hotel´s online marketing strategy for 2016

Simple handy guide to help you prepare your hotel´s online marketing strategy for 2016

About this time of year, most Director of Sales & General Managers are sitting down to finalize their Sales & Marketing budgets and plan for 2016………..Best time of the year,  right before the RFP season begins!

So to help you all, here is a handy guide for you to plan your online marketing strategy.

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Website – The most important part of any online strategy is your own website.  Key things to take in consideration or at least be asking your providers or technical team.

  • Is my website mobile optimized? –  Google now penalizes non-responsive websites on searches from a mobile phone
  • Do I promote Guest reviews? – Showing off your great guest reviews increases your online conversions.
  • Are my photos up to date – Photos are key for hotels.  If they are more than 3 years old, update them.
  • Have I got any videos to show?- Videos are key in the selling process, a great video about your hotel on your homepage is a great selling point……..and google loves it too!
  • Can my content be updated quickly –  If you are relying on 3rd parties to update your content, this is not the best idea when we are living in an era where content is king.  Updating your website should be a question of minutes.
  • Is my website in my guests language? – Numerous studies have shown that when a hotel´s website is in your guests local language, they are more likely to buy directly from you.
  • Can my website add Landing pages and pop-up windows? – These are great for data capture and client retention.

Booking engine

  • Is my booking engine easy to use from a client´s perspective?  Many booking engines are great for revenue managers but a minefield for clients.  Compare yours with booking.com and see how it stacks up
  • Add-ons or extras to be shown after initial reservation? – This is proven to increase your revenue against showing them during the initial process.  Does booking.com show extras or Add-Ons?  So why do you let your guest choose one, when they are more likely to be  looking to compare your prices with an OTA?
  • Create separate booking engines for unique offers – Putting your booking engine in more on more pages with only some of your great promotions is key to driving revenue.  Ask your provider whether they can create this for you

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Connectivity

  • Can my channel manager connect to Google/Tripadvisor /Trivago and other meta search agencies? –  If they cannot, look for alternative solutions.
  • Should my Channel Manager & Booking engine be separate? –  The success of your booking engine will depend on how much your provider is investing to keep up with the industry trends, so by separating them, will allow you to move between providers more freely without the hassle.

Advertising/SEO

  • If your hotel already investing in Adwords but not connected to Google HPA? If the answer is no then you need to get this sorted.  Also, Google RLSA has a better rate of conversion and could be a smarter investment.  Talk to your provider about RLSA or read this recent article.
  • Retargeting Ads are a worthwhile investment, as studies have shown clients visit about 20 web pages before deciding on where they are going to book.
  • Ensure your website has up to date Keywords, SEO Description and Titles on every page.
  • SEO is now not just about backlinks, Google users over 200 algorithms now so just doing one thing is not enough

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Reputation

  • Your reputation is key, not only from a point of monitoring but also to incentivise direct reservations.
  • Generate online feedback for your guests to complete and promote it across your social media, website and Videos.

Social Media

  • Is your Community manager or Social media manager just promoting offers and showing pictures and videos of your hotel?  If they are, tell them to stop or look to replace them.
  • Social media is all about telling stories, interaction, and conversation.  One golden rule, only 20% of your content should be your promotions, the rest should be about your destination, events, interesting stories, interviews etc.  Read this article on how to get the best out of your social media.
  • Building your youtube channel with videos of your hotel, interviews, guest reviews is also a great tool.  40% of all global searches are for videos which are set to rise to nearly 70% by 2018.

Other Technologies

  • Social WIFI – By getting you guests to connect to your FREE WIFI through their social media accounts should be a no brainer for hotels.  No only do they get more followers, you also get their email address, that can be added to your marketing database.
  • APPs- Concierge Apps should be a must by providing your guests information about your hotel including offers, events and much more.  According to recent surveys, 85% of smartphone users prefer apps to mobile websites.  They also reduce your printing cost on flyers and new guest directories!.

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I am sure there are many more ways you can all think of, however by doing the above is a great start.

According to a recent survey we conducted, over 70% of hotels receive less than 35% of their total online reservations directly.  Every point that I have written above, I have implemented and was able to achieve 60% of my online reservations directly in my previous roles within hotels.  It can be done and it also does not need to break your marketing budget in doing so.

Talk to your providers or your team today and see how you can implement these during 2016, or alternatively, allow Hotelient to provide you with a free review on your general online positioning to ensure you are checking all the boxes.  Email us for further information info@hotelient.net

I am passionate about direct sales for hotels and I have put into practice what I believe. We cannot live without OTA´s, but we can take advantage of the many great technologies to ensure the hotel that we work for is getting a fair share of direct reservations.

How Hotels increase RevPar with online guest surveys

How Hotels increase RevPar with online guest surveys

Most hotels spend hundreds and in some cases thousands of euros every month on ensuring that they promote their website either with google AdWords campaigns, SEO optimisation, and general online marketing techniques.  This is good practice, but Google has been saying over the last few years that REVIEWS to them matter and have been making it key that Hotels focus in this area.

So how can online guests surveys increase RevPar?  

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Reviews Matter

Google invites anyone who cares to post a review of any business that they have used. Who cares most? People who have had a bad experience. We estimate that a dissatisfied guest is up to twenty times more likely to post a review.

Studies too numerous to mention, as well as massive amounts of anecdotal evidence, show the effect reviews have on guest behavior. Great reviews drive RevPar, bad reviews drive guests away.

Combine those two factors alone and it rapidly becomes apparent how important it is for all businesses to engage where reviews are concerned.

Google – the major player

This has been (and continues) a major subject for debate. Google has not made life easy for any of us: constantly moving the goal posts. But what is now called Google My Business is well on its way to becoming the dominant force in reviews, for a host of reasons, here are just some which stand out…

  • Verification: since Google introduced mandatory registration all Google reviews are attached to a verified account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail etc.).
  • Coverage: Google provides a ‘one stop shop’ for reviews – of any business or service. Guests will soon tire of looking up different specialist sites depending on what kind of reviews they need.
  • Ease: once registered, writing subsequent reviews is simple.
    Google is the gatekeeper: their reviews will always be shown before any others
    The new Google layout: providing much more information about each individual business, by default this drives other review sites down below the fold (or onto page two – the graveyard)

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So if Google is focusing on Reviews, are they enhancing the visibility of those hotels in their searches who have great reviews, which leads to a higher level of reservations and increase in RevPar?……..You Bet!

1). More reviews = better Search Engine Rankings

Hotels using online surveys have significantly more reviews, and the search engines eat this up. Search engine algorithms are fine tuned to pick up nuances in score and number of reviews. In search world dominated by OTAs, this can make the difference in whether a hotel appears for its own brand.

2). More reviews = increased confidence with travelers

The volume of reviews influences the level of trust a traveler has in the feedback. The difference between a hotel that has 300 reviews and a hotel that has 3,000 reviews is noticeable unless scores are the highest of the high.

3). Higher rankings (Enough said!)

Anything that pushes up rankings is pure gold for hotels in this day and age when 95% of travelers use reviews to make a booking decision. Hotelient surveys easily integrate with your website and can be pushed out to third-party travel sites to help drive higher rankings exactly where you need them.

4). Surveys = guiding the conversation

On review sites, the traveler controls the conversation; in a survey scenario, the hotel guides the conversation. Choosing which questions to ask and how they are asked can influence the way travelers recall their experiences and how they respond. Actionable feedback is still the goal, but framing a survey so that it taps into a traveler’s positive experiences at the very beginning makes sense.  Once completed, the guest will view a short video either in response to a positive review or a negative one.

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Now many hoteliers express resistance regarding post-stay guest surveys; they say it risks the hotel becoming a nuisance. Hotelient suggests that hotels reconsider surveys as a guest service rather than a request—and they really can be, when presented the right way.

Hotelient has touted the benefits of surveys, knowing there’s a reward to hotels reaching out proactively for guest feedback. Just the act of sending a survey lets guests know you care, and when surveys are sent within 48 hours of departure which can also be done automatically saving your team time, guests are still fresh on the experience, making them better able and, perhaps, more willing to give feedback.

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But what about Tripadvisor, is there any correlation between reviews and their ranking on their site? 

In the table that follows, hotels that rank across the spectrum, calculated the number of reviews each has and then divided that by the number of rooms. This gives a figure that enables you to fairly compare any hotel with another.

Ranking Reviews per room per year

Top 10 –  7.4

Top 25 –  4.3

Top 50 –  2.2

75 –  1.4

100  – 1.1

250  – 0.7

500  – 0.5

750 –  0.3

The key question is: can we draw any conclusions from these numbers?

Yes. The more reviews you can get the better your ranking on Tripadvisor & Google will be.

For every hotel? Yes. in one of two ways:

  • You can invest in better facilities and staff training and invite reviews, or…
  • You can invest a fraction of that amount in a professional review management system and invite reviews

Hotelient Reputation Surveys will:

  • Get you more positive reviews to TripAdvisor, Google & Facebook (at least 25% more – based on results for our clients)
  • Enable you to manage at least 75% of the negative reviews you are currently receiving before they are ever posted to TripAdvisor, Google & Facebook
  • Without any radical restructuring in-hotel, you begin to get more positive reviews per year per room, and your ranking begins to climb which leads to increase in RevPar

Hotelient is also offering the following Summer offer:-

If you contract our reputation package before the 31st October 2015, we will design, configure and host for your hotel  a fully customizable App ready for Iphone and Android Smartphones completely FREE and with no hidden charges or obligations.

If you would like to find out more call +44 (0)203 287 1276 or email info@hotelient.net

Move over ReviewPro, Reputation Marketing is new hot topic for hotels in 2015

Move over ReviewPro, Reputation Marketing is new hot topic for hotels in 2015

Managing guests feedback has always been key for hotels.  Having been a senior manager within hotels & resort for several years, I understand how hotels usually deal with guest comments both positive and negative.  Recently, managing your reputation has been made easier with the introduction of providers such as ReviewPro.  As hoteliers, we all strive hard to ensure that our guest comments we receive are great, so that when they are published on Tripadvisor, it encourages other guests to stay at your hotel.  This has been common practice for a number of years now.

There is though a major change which puts in doubt that only managing your reputation is enough.  Tripadvisor over the last couple of years has not only been a review site, they promote your competitors and they show your best available pricing (if your hotel is connected via your channel manager) as well as the leading OTA´s.  Guests also tend to use a variety of ways to connect with your hotel, whether via social media, Web, google or otas, so just using third party review sites is not the best way to promote your clients reviews.  Most hotels also promote Tripadvisor on their own website whether by their certificate of excellence or their review widget, so your investment to gain web visitors to your website is nullified, as they click off and visit your review page which looks like this where they encounter a host of options:-

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So how can hotels promote their great reviews and increase direct bookings?

By converting your hotel from one that manages reputation to one that promotes your reputation – Reputation Marketing

This is achieved in two ways 1) By making easier for guests to leave feedback and 2) By promoting your positive guest reviews across all your media platforms including videos.

How does it work?

Firstly, Hotelient will create an online questionnaire for your hotel, like the one shown below.  It is totally customizable to meet your hotel requirements and branding.

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This questionnaire allows your guests to leave feedback about their stay at your hotel.  If your guest gives a 4 or 5-star rating, then they will be taken to the page shown below, which will also show a video thanking them for their feedback from the Hotel Manager or Guest Relations as well as allowing them to post directly to one of 3 review sites of their choice

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Now if your guest gave your hotel less than a 4 star rating, then they will go to this page, where they will see a video of the hotel manager or guest relations apologising for the poor service and some further questions to understand further their particular issue

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We have ready to go videos for you, to get you off and running.

We provide your hotel with the technology that will allow you to promote your best reviews from around the web straight to your website, so there is no need for your clients to click off, which improves your online conversions.  As recent studies have shown,  hotels that proactively promote their reviews are 33% more likely to convert website lookers into bookers!

As well as hosting your questionnaire and providing instant notification on all reviews you receive from across the web, we also promote your best guest reviews across social media allowing future clients to view and engage with the excellent customer service you are offering, written by other guests.

We provide online training for your staff and advise on the best ways to gain maximum reviews, as well as helping you reconnect with guests who have recently stayed with you in order to get their great feedback too.

So, in a nutshell, we make it easier for your guests to leave feedback and we promote your great reviews across all online platforms.  On our premier package, we even create a 1 min video per month,  promoting a great guest review and improving your video SEO at the same time.  Since 40% of all searches on the web are for videos, this is ideal for your hotel to gain a competitive advantage.

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How much does it cost?

The Reputation package costs less than 9€ a day, with only a small setup fee and takes about 2-3 weeks to get your hotel up and running.

If you would like to find out more call +44 (0)203 287 1276 or email info@hotelient.net

Cart abandonment marketing can double or triple bookings through your website. So why aren’t you doing it?

Cart abandonment marketing can double or triple bookings through your website. So why aren’t you doing it?

Most hotels & resorts have for a number of years been investing into generating traffic to their website through PPC and SEO strategies, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that when you ask hotels about their website’s performance, bounce rate is usually singled out as the tell-all figure. While this is relevant, typically 67-80% of hotel site visitors still abandon at the booking stage – after selecting date, room type etc.

Given how high this figure is, it is surprising the number of hotels who are not reacting to what’s happening further down the purchase funnel – measuring booking abandonment levels and developing a strategy to re-engage with visitors who drop off.

Browser’s Market.

The hotel industry is a browser’s market. Increasingly visitors will research your facilities and engage with your website, only to drop out at the booking stage and to do the same with other hotels as they try to find the best deal. That’s the bad news. The good news is that almost everyone who has made the effort to interact with your website is keen and ready to make a purchase.

To ignore this group is to ignore the lowest hanging fruit, and a golden opportunity to secure quick bookings. So how can you start to improve your online conversions?

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Booking Engine

It is critically important that your booking engine is visually great and easy to use for your guests. Sounds obvious I know, but there are many engines out in the market that have been designed for revenue managers, not customers! Also, you need to make sure that your booking engine backend can provide you with good analytical data, how many visitors and from which countries are coming to your booking engine, what dates are they searching for, how many days in advance are they looking to book and from which websites are they visiting you from. With this you will be able to determine the right promotions at the right time to optimize your online conversions.

Customer Service

As we all know, a hotel lives and dies on its reputation, so there can be a certain hesitancy about taking a more proactive approach to engaging with potential guests. However, your re-engagement strategy can be what you make it. An email campaign shouldn’t bombard or annoy customers; it should be treated as an extension of your customer service.

It is perfectly legitimate when visitors have left to send an e-mail (even without completing a booking) with a personalised follow up message. This demonstrates an appreciation of their interest, shows visitors that you value their custom and that yours is a hotel worth booking.

Some hotels offer promo codes or incentives to stimulate impulse buying, however this is not always necessary, as the email itself demonstrates that you value their business. It can also serve as a helpful reminder and quick route back to a room they had seen earlier and liked.

cart

It is a challenge to continually attract new guests, yet hotels can see immediate returns by engaging with site visitors known to have genuinely considered making a booking. Most visitors to your site expect this level of engagement and communication, which will in turn lead to increased bookings.

If you require a booking engine proven to get results, get in touch with us. Our current booking engine is producing for our clients up to 200% growth on online direct business simply by applying common sense practices and proven technology. Email us for further info info@hotelient.net

Cart Abandonment Marketing, a simple way to improve your hotels RevPar

Cart Abandonment Marketing, a simple way to improve your hotels RevPar

Most hotels & resorts have for a number of years been investing into generating traffic to their website through PPC and SEO strategies, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that when you ask hotels about their website’s performance, bounce rate is usually singled out as the tell-all figure. While this is relevant, typically 67-80% of hotel site visitors still abandon at the booking stage – after selecting date, room type etc.

Given how high this figure is, it is surprising the number of hotels who are not reacting to what’s happening further down the purchase funnel – measuring booking abandonment levels and developing a strategy to re-engage with visitors who drop off.

Browser’s Market.

The hotel industry is a browser’s market. Increasingly visitors will research your facilities and engage with your website, only to drop out at the booking stage and to do the same with other hotels as they try to find the best deal. That’s the bad news. The good news is that almost everyone who has made the effort to interact with your website is keen and ready to make a purchase.

To ignore this group is to ignore the lowest hanging fruit, and a golden opportunity to secure quick bookings. So how can you start to improve your online conversions?

2014-Travel-Infographic1-1280x706

Booking Engine

It is critically important that your booking engine is visually great and easy to use for your guests. Sounds obvious I know, but there are many engines out in the market that have been designed for revenue managers, not customers!  Also, you need to make sure that your booking engine backend can provide you with good analytical data, how many visitors and from which countries are coming to your booking engine, what dates are they searching for, how many days in advance are they looking to book and from which websites are they visiting you from.  With this you will be able to determine the right promotions at the right time to optimize your online conversions.

Customer Service

As we all know, a hotel lives and dies on its reputation, so there can be a certain hesitancy about taking a more proactive approach to engaging with potential guests. However, your re-engagement strategy can be what you make it. An email campaign shouldn’t bombard or annoy customers; it should be treated as an extension of your customer service.

It is perfectly legitimate when visitors have left to send an e-mail (even without completing a booking) with a personalised follow up message. This demonstrates an appreciation of their interest, shows visitors that you value their custom and that yours is a hotel worth booking.

Some hotels offer promo codes or incentives to stimulate impulse buying, however this is not always necessary, as the email itself demonstrates that you value their business. It can also serve as a helpful reminder and quick route back to a room they had seen earlier and liked.

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It is a challenge to continually attract new guests, yet hotels can see immediate returns by engaging with site visitors known to have genuinely considered making a booking. Most visitors to your site expect this level of engagement and communication, which will in turn lead to increased bookings.

If you require a booking engine proven to get results, get in touch with us.  Our current booking engine is producing for our clients up to 200% growth on online direct business simply by applying common sense practices and proven technology.  Email us for further info info@hotelient.net

Hotels are wasting 99% of their Marketing Budgets!

Hotels are wasting 99% of their Marketing Budgets!

Bold statement isn´t it, but how do we know it is true?

Just imagine this scenario in your hotel or Resort:

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You announce an open day where you are going to show off your hotel or resort for a wedding fair, you publize the day through newspapers & radios ads as well as bill boards to gain maximum visibility.  The day arrives, you have a registration desk in your lobby area with the incentive of being a winner in a competition you have created especially for the event, so that they leave you their email address in order for you to target them later.  Sound familiar?  So why are hotels not doing the same online!

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As part of your online strategy you invest in SEO as well as retargeting and adword campaigns, have an mobile optimized website with user friendly booking engine.   Most likely, you will have a community manager publishing content across your social media connections.  You are increasing the amount of visits to your website and increasing Facebook & twitter fans,  you are also seeing a gentle upward curve in your online conversions.  This is all great, but what if you could get even better value for your investment in digital marketing.

We all know that travelers tend to visit around 20 websites before making a hotel reservation, so by being the first website is not necessarily the best.  What is important though is that by applying the same theory as in the scenario above with the wedding fair, you are creating a bigger database in which to target and to convert into potential future business.  A) Invest to get them to visit your website, B)Gain their contact information and C)Target them afterwards.

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An average mid size hotel has around 15,000 visits per month to their website.  How great would it be that even a mere 10% of those visitors is leaving their details with you. That´s 1500 more people per month that you are connecting with, which is 18,000 more people in a year than you are gaining today.  By asking potential clients to provide you with their email address, will allow you to reconnect with them automatically, making the investment you are doing in online advertising offer better value for your hotel and increase your online conversions. As Google is evolving to become the new OTA online, not only is it important to understand what you need to do to maximize your visibility, you also have to capture the clients once they get to your website. By doing this, you will not be wasting 99% of your marketing budget!

Hotelient is a company which understands that the majority of independent hotels do not have the major budgets or infrastructure to compete with the major chains, but we also know that by working smarter online, you can position your hotel to compete with their online conversions levels.  We have over 15 years in Hotel & Digital Marketing Sales and can provide your business with the techniques and technologies to maximize your online conversions.  Call us for further information.