Browsing Tag

how to get direct bookings

Want An Instant Revenue Spike? Recapture Abandoned Bookings

June 29, 2015 • By

Abandonedbookings

It’s a dismal and frustrating fact for all hoteliers – from luxury, to mid-market, to budget properties.

After all the money spent in online hotel marketing just to bring people to our property websites, a tiny percentage actually end up booking a room. In fact, studies have shown that the actual conversion rate on hospitality websites is a measly two percent.

Yes, TWO percent.

Why such a low number? Because the rate of people abandoning your site before booking is extremely high.

Here’s what happens: A visitor will go far enough into your booking engine to see what your rates are. Afterwards, they are driven out by a number of reasons including an overcomplicated booking process, not enough incentive to continue with the purchase or an urge to head to TripAdvisor to read reviews.

Read: 10 Ways Your Booking Engine is Pushing People Out The Door – Part 1

         10 Ways your Booking Engine is Pushing People Out of the Door – Part 2

While these figures are alarming, this now means there is a massive opportunity to regain those lost visitors and reservations. After all, it’s always easier to win business from a previous visitor who has made it halfway to purchase, rather than from a traveler who has never heard of you before. Hotels investing in recovery technology are transforming abandoned reservations into big revenue opportunities.

Reservation Recovery Strategies

The good news is that hotel reservation recovery systems are powerful and readily available to improve your conversions. With these technologies and smart marketing techniques, hoteliers can now re-engage the guests who abandoned their reservation and lead them back to the hotel booking engine by incentivizing and reminding them to finalize their transaction.

Four ways you can win back those abandoned bookings:

  1. An Immediate Capture of Email Addresses.
    Once an online visitor searches for their dates and chooses a room type, require their email address as the first field in the booking process. That way, you now have the data necessary to retarget them if they abandon.
  2. Automated Emails Customized With Their Dates and Room Preferences.
    After a visitor abandons your hotel’s booking engine, your booking engine should send out a specific email with a personalized greeting that thanks them for visiting your website and a reminder to book. This is where you can offer a limited-time incentive and sell them even more on the experience of staying with you and booking with you directly.
  3. A Reservation Preservation System That Takes Visitors Back to Where They Left Off.
    Most importantly, your automated email must have a link that will take guests exactly where they abandoned the booking process. This will alleviate any irritations with having to fill in their information again and makes it easier for the visitor to follow-thru with the room reservation.
  4. Banner Ads That Follow Booking Engine Deserters on the Web for 24 – 72 Hours.
    Remarketing ads give you a chance to keep your property top of mind and in front of the eyes of indecisive guests. Tailor your ad with stunning photography that sells your experience and with an offer that correlates with what they saw on your site originally. If they spent time on your spa page, use spa images to rekindle their interest.

Studies have proven that reservation recovery systems can recapture millions of dollars in lost revenue… in some cases, up to 30 percent of abandoned booking were reactivated!

What are you doing to recover abandoned bookings?

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Three Reasons This New Report is Scaring the ?#@*! Out of Hotel Owners

September 9, 2014 • By

Tambourine: hotel marketing technologyHoteliers have always felt the pinch of paying third-party fees to attract and retain guests. Now – with the just released results of a multi-year hotel revenue study – that pinch has turned into a full-blown punch.

The study, conducted by Hospitality Asset Managers Association and its resulting whitepaper, The Rising Costs of Customer Acquisition, sums it up:

Costs associated with acquiring new hotel customers through distribution channels and marketing rose 2-3 times faster than hotel revenue growth.

Here’s what the terrifying details uncovered:

PROBLEMS

 More Players, Less Profits

In addition to OTAs, meeting planners and brand flags that collect from hotels, there are now hundreds of new players that are specializing in the hotel digital space. This massive dependence on third-party tools (and their associated costs) has resulted in hotels’ having direct control of less than 46% of their marketing spend.

 Costs Continue to Skyrocket

During the four years of the study (2009-2012), the costs associated with brand/flag rights, which include major promotions, advertising, marketing, loyalty programs, and national and global sales offices, grew by 37%. Meanwhile, other third-party commissions went up by 34% in that same period.

Franchised hotels had it even worse. They endured a 48% increase in commissions and 36% in brand allocations. In contrast, they saw only a 22% increase in room revenue. Independent hoteliers undoubtedly fared even worse… as they lack the volume negotiating power of the brands/franchisors!

 Hotel Management Isn’t Incentivized to Alleviate The Problem

Instead of working to slow the trajectory of those rising costs, hotel managers have been charging ahead and simply doing what it takes to fill rooms, even if those methods include using channels demanding the highest commissions.

While management teams have excelled at managing labor and operation costs, they haven’t yet taken a ruthless and systematic approach to cutting and managing customer-acquisition costs.

One reason for this is that most hoteliers only look at their sales and marketing line item, which may not have escalated dramatically. In reality, the exploding cost of guest acquisition is spread through multiple lines on profit-and-loss sheets.

WHERE DO HOTELIERS GO FROM HERE?

Quantify The Value of Each Channel

Examine each channels’ real ROI, dump the ones that aren’t producing and focus your time on those that are. Optimize your channel mix, regain control of your inventory and be judicious who you pay fees to so you won’t be vulnerable to every new hotel booking tool that comes along.

Explore, Test, and Measure Less Expensive Direct Booking Methods

Dedicate more efforts to direct marketing channels that require slimmer amounts of spending, such as your hotel’s direct website, SEO strategies, social media, email marketing and a direct sales forces that will build undiluted, personal relationships between your hotel brand and potential group or corporate guests.

Incentivize Management to Look at ROI, not just Volume

Hold your managers accountable to properly scrutinize all channel partners based on overall margin and ROI, instead of simplistic top-line revenue or total room nights.

From now on, by keeping an eagle eye zoomed in on your margins, the tides will turn and your dependency on third-parties as a costly, primary source of revenue will wane.