Hotel loyalty 3:40 Min read
Marketing actions to earn your guest’s loyalty
We know that although marketing represents a significant investment, the return you obtain is well worth the initial effort.
However, if you analyse the cost per new customer and the cost per repeat guest, you will see the difference of resources needed. The truth is that acquiring a new customer is more complicated than trying to turn an already existent one into a loyal customer.
On the one hand, you have scarce information to start working on direct marketing techniques. On the other, attraction strategies such as optimising booking engines, creating content and online advertising are not only expensive but also involve a greater investment in terms of time and employees.
We do not mean that you need to stop working on this kind of strategies, but we want you to pay special attention to those marketing techniques that will help you to improve your loyalty strategy and, as a result, to boost your direct sales.
Which loyalty marketing techniques will help you to boost your hotel’s sales?
1. The quality of contacts
Most likely, you already know that the quality of your contact details is key to the different marketing techniques, and the loyalty strategy is equally important. To entice your guests, first you need to know which are their preferences, what they like, their needs… In other words, you need to collect valuable contact details that enable you to implement loyalty marketing campaigns that are suitable for each time.
On the one hand, there are several methods for a hotel to get qualitative guest data that are good enough. Tools such as the PMS, the booking engine (although for direct sales only) can collect details, although they usually are basic block information. Afterwards, during the check-in or check-out your front desk associates may be able to obtain more details although, in this case, the information is crucial as we will see.
On the other, details obtained like this may not be qualitative and useful enough to proceed with the strategies we need to foster their loyalty. Therefore, how can we proceed? There are several techniques that could help you when the contact details you have in your database or CRM are insufficient or basic:
- Satisfaction surveys. Whether while in-house, thanks to a person trained on public relations and communication techniques that may be able to perform this type of surveys at the right time or, after departure, by sending email surveys. Techniques that do not guarantee that all guests take part.
- Sending promotions. In rough outlines, with the information obtained in the basic block and depending on the type of customer and the market they belong to, it would be possible to perform an early segmentation and send more generic promotions in order to identify which are the interests that suit each customer profile. This technique involves discarding and creating multiple lists that would be cleaned. However, sending these emails does not guarantee that all contacts on the database participate.
- Wifi connection. While in-house, when the guest accesses the property’s wifi for the first time and logs in (through social media). In this case, it would be possible to gather enough qualitative information to classify your guests and implement direct marketing strategies that help you earn the loyalty of a guest.
As you can see, this qualification of contacts would enable you to get to know your guests and their motivations better in addition to segmenting by preference hence improving your email marketing strategy as you will see next.
2. Sending personalised emails.
With qualitative contact details it is possible to optimise the delivery of email to segmented lists. Remember that personalisation goes beyond changing a name in the subject line or the email greeting. In this case, when we talk about personalisation, we mean sending the right email at the right time.
The truth is that fostering your guest’s loyalty can start any time during their purchasing cycle, even before they book a room in your hotel. Personalisation at all times will depend on the details that we have obtained from the contact or guest, but all communications made must aim at fostering their loyalty, whether as a main or secondary goal.
Fostering loyalty is one of the most important strategies to encourage direct sales.
For this, it is necessary to determine at which stage during the purchasing cycle certain contents or promotions must be sent. This is why segmentation is crucial. The same may be based on the interests of the person but also on when the booking is made or a specific information is checked, a birthday, a download or a request, for which automations will be needed.
3. Lead nurturing automations.
Keeping your brand interesting and exposed is not an easy task. You do not want to hassle your contacts with unnecessary emails but you do not want them to forget about you once you have their contact details either. In these cases, lead nurturing is the right strategy.
Basically, lead nurturing is about keeping your contacts interested (whether they are just leads or customers) through a series of automations that lead to communications depending on certain details or times during the purchasing cycle.
What do you have to do when a user downloads any of your destination guides? When they request information about secondary services? What sort of answers are right to collect information when they make special requests? What sort of emails do you need to send them after the stay? Remember that all your emails do not need to be sales-oriented. Your contacts will appreciate the value of emails providing information at the right time.
Remember that to foster loyalty it is crucial to generate engagement, a bond with your contact through useful communications.
For example, you can create a bond directly between your hotel’s brand and your guests with automated communications that enable you to strengthen than bond both during and after the stay. Emails to learn about the degree of satisfaction of your guests or that offer them a small gift for their birthday, will enable you to learn more about your guest and launch actions that help you to foster their loyalty.