In an age where disruptors are forcing traditional brands in the hospitality industry to re-think how they attract and retain business, hoteliers must be innovative in engaging their guests. Gone are the days when hotels could attract guests simply by being the best in the neighborhood. Gone are the days when they could get guests in the door simply by having a presence on an OTA website. Today, hotels are competing not just with the other half-dozen hotels in their area, but also with dozens of listings on Airbnb and HomeAway.
Besides price, one of the primary reasons travelers use services such as Airbnb and HomeAway is because they are mobile-based and allow users to not just research and book travel, but also communicate with their hosts effortlessly through their smartphone . This is a dynamic that hotels must embrace. There are a few reasons for doing so:
- It enables the hotel to initiate a conversation with the guest before their stay begins;
- The hotel can then communicate with the guest throughout their stay; and
- The hotel can also follow up with the guest after they have left the property.
In this post, we will look at how brands can encourage more on-site spending and brand loyalty before the guest has even set foot on the property with pre-arrival messaging.
How Pre-Stay Communication Boosts Revenue
Getting guests to book at your hotel is only half the battle. Once they’re on site, you’ll want them to buy your products and services — perhaps by spending an evening at the hotel bar or an afternoon in the spa. Sending special, personalized offers via pre-arrival messaging to their mobile devices is one sure way to get them interested.
As Digital Alchemy’s Senior Vice President and Founding Partner Shannon Bedard said in an interview with us: “The return on investment is huge, but I think what we really do…is engage guests so they’ll spend more while they’re on the property. This is done both through pre-arrival messaging and after check-in. It’s about getting them to have a drink on the property rather than at the bar across the street. When the guest already has a conversation going with you, then it’s really easy for them to continue that conversation throughout their stay.”
In today’s digitally-connected world, many people — particularly Millennials — prefer to text than call or speak with a customer service agent face to face. Taking the initiative and starting the conversation with pre-arrival messaging makes it easy for the guest to communicate with the hotel later on, and sending them offers before they check in gets them excited about what the hotel has to offer and, ideally, pre-purchasing services they can use when they arrive.
How Digital Alchemy Helps Hotels Reach Out
Hoteliers may be reluctant to send pre-arrival messaging, whether because they’re unsure how to go about it or they don’t want to bombard the guest with too many messages. With Digital Alchemy’s email marketing solution, hotels can send out just the right number of pre-arrival messaging for maximum impact. Their solution:
- Personalizes offers according to the guests’ interests and preferences;
- Sends the emails at times when guests will be most likely to take advantage of offers;
- Features tracking software that determines exactly how many conversions each campaign generates; and
- Manages communications across the entire guest journey, ensuring a consistent brand image and feel.
Where Loop Comes In
While Digital Alchemy’s email marketing solution deals with pre-arrival messages, its integration with Loop enables guests to continue their communication with the hotel throughout their stay. Hotels can use pre-arrival messaging to let guests know about Loop, all while putting a link to the web app directly on their smartphones for easy access.
- Acquired guest data can be stored in Digital Alchemy’s CRM platform for future use.
- This allows for personalization of offers delivered through Digital Alchemy’s email marketing solution.
- Loop provides a mobile concierge solution that fits seamlessly into the guest journey.
Visit digital-alchemy.com to learn how pre-arrival messaging campaigns can help your hotel earn long-term loyalty from guests and increase profits! Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to join the discussion on hospitality tech.