Friday Freebie: A Creative Way to Offset Shorter Booking Windows

This Week’s Freebie: Counteract shrinking booking windows with a smart (and simple) reservation recovery campaign.


Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue.

This Week’s Freebie:  Counteract shrinking booking windows with a smart (and simple) reservation recovery campaign. 

Smartphones, deal-hungry consumers, last-minute booking apps and penalty-free reservations.

These are just some of the reasons why people are now booking hotels closer and closer to their check-in date. In fact, according to most experts, booking lead times have shortened dramatically, with last-minute U.S. travel consumers making up 13% of all bookings in their recent study.

If your hotel constantly leans on these last-minute bookings, especially those booked on OTAs, you’re sacrificing revenue and losing even more (fast!) by paying expensive third-party commissions.

Here’s one way to deal with this new reality of the rapidly shrinking booking window:

Put Intelligent Reservation Recovery to Work…

Rather than fretting about shrinking booking windows, focus on converting your best prospects SOONER with a dynamic reservation recovery campaign.

Every day, hotels ignore millions of consumers WITH LONG BOOKING WINDOWS at the very edge of converting to real revenue. Prospects who have already visited your website and searched the booking engine for travel dates that coincide with your traditional periods of weakness.

There is a massive opportunity to re-engage those lost visitors, convert them to bookings and ameliorate the periods that suffer from extremely short booking windows!

Here’s How You Can Use Reservation Recovery to Mitigate the Effects of Short Booking Windows: 

1. Know the Booking Window for Every Day of the Year

Your booking engine, CRS or PMS provider can easily provide you with book-to-arrival data for every day of the year. Armed with this, you can identify the days/weeks that cause internal panic and low ADRs

2. Use Reservation Recovery Tech That Immediately Captures Email Addresses

Once an online visitor searches for their dates and chooses a room type, smart reservation recovery technology will require their email address as the first field in the booking process. That way, you now have the contact info necessary to retarget them if they abandon their booking.

3. Create a Custom Campaign for the Periods with the Shortest Booking Window (and Lowest ADR)

After a visitor abandons a booking that falls in your target low period, your reservation recovery system should send out a specific email with a personalized greeting that thanks them for considering your property and offers a limited-time incentive for booking with you directly. Sure, these incentives eat into net room revenue, but they are still far less than the commissions on OTA bookings or other sources of last minute bookings.

By Incentivizing the Visitors Who Have Already:

  1. Demonstrated their willingness to book farther out
  2. Nearly completed a booking in a target period

You can close more bookings sooner… alleviating “short-booking window anxiety” for everyone on the revenue management and marketing teams! Studies have proven that reservation recovery systems can recapture millions of dollars in lost revenue… in some cases, up to 30% of abandoned bookings were reactivated!

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:

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