Browsing Tag

email marketing

Do Hotel Sales Teams Have a New Secret Weapon?

May 16, 2017 • By

Smart hotel marketers are using new, affordable marketing automation tools to close more group and meetings business.

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Marketing automation technology is one of the biggest advancements in the marketing world over the last ten years.

And hotel marketers were among the early adopters.

The vast majority of hotels use basic forms of marketing automation to improve relationships with leisure segment guests: automatic booking confirms, post stay surveys and reservation recovery emails have been deployed by hotel marketing departments for many years.

But now, thanks to new, more affordable and simplified software, marketing automation could very well be your group sales department’s new best friend and the catalyst for driving more meetings and events to your property. 

Marketing automation can send the right message at the right time to the right meeting planner or group lead. And keep your sales team informed as your target prospects engage with your website and marketing materials!

First, here’s a simple explanation of how marketing automation works for hotel sales and marketing departments:

1. A small piece of code from your marketing automation vendor or agency is embedded in your hotel website’s code. This code allows your marketing automation platform to monitor every visitor who comes to your direct hotel website.

2.  Each visitor’s behavior, actions and referral source is now tracked, collected and viewable via your marketing automationplatform.

3. You can trigger automatic actions to occur when a visitor or lead meets a specific condition. This can be anything from an emailbeing sent, a retargeting ad being delivered or an alert being sent to a salesperson.

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Now, let’s take a quick look at a few of the specific things marketing automation can do to accelerate group revenue:

1. Engage New Group Prospects

Once you get a meeting planner’s email address (usually submitted via an RFP form), marketing automation can ensure that every new lead receives an instant personalized response. Surveys have shown that a surprising number of inbound leads are often ignored… simple marketing automation eliminates this risk by sending these new leads a welcome email that summarizes your hotel’s entire group experience, gives them easy links to see venue photos and images of past events, contact information and bios of sales managers, sample group itineraries, virtual venue tours, etc.

The purpose of this email is to give the meeting planner a reason to interact with your website. From there, marketing automation tools can track their behavior on your website and collect data to refine future campaigns.

2. Create a Steady Drumbeat of Awesomeness

Meeting planners love to book venues they trust. And one way to build trust is by communicating consistently in a selfless, helpful way. Hotel marketers can use marketing automation tools to establish a steady “drip” of stories, photos and content that helps prospects understand the destination better and do their job more effectively. But under no circumstances should the content be self-serving!

Your content “stream” does not have to be restricted to email or digital content. Direct mailing personal notes and helpful material often breaks through the clutter and differentiates you from the thousands of emails your prospects receive each week!

Creating this cadence of content will establish you and your property as a trusted resource and position you as THE leader in your destination!

3. Segment Messages By Group/Event Type

Based on where meeting planners are located and/or what they click on in your onboard/welcome email (and subsequent visits to your hotel website), marketing automation software can determine if they are planning a family reunion, a corporate retreat or a large customer conference. Were they looking at a virtual tour of the largest ballroom? Or, spending a lot of time on the activities pages?

Marketing automation can separate each prospect into smaller buckets and send more customized marketing campaigns with relevant images and copy that match their interests.

4. Perfect Timing…

Meetings and events often follow a pattern throughout the year. For example, many associations generally hold annual conferences in the fall or winter. Meanwhile, the more price-sensitive SMERF market (social, military, educational, religious, fraternal) tend to meet off-season (usually holiday months or summer) when there are more discounts to leverage. Marketing automation can schedule campaigns to be released at the right time, with season-specific images and copy, to target group planners way in advance leading up to their site selection.

Even better, marketing automation enables hotel marketers to send increasingly specific messages as each prospect's behavior intensifies. For example: if one of your meeting planner leads spends 20 minutes on your website two days in a row, she probably should receive different (and more urgent) calls-to-action than the planner who has not visited in months!

5.  Retarget

Retargeting is another form of marketing automation used by many hotels to drive leisure business from consumers who have visited the hotel website before. Similarly, if a meeting planner’s visit to your hotel website doesn’t result in an RFP, you can set up retargeting advertising campaigns (typically through display ads) to follow them and remind them what makes your venue a viable option for their group. The idea is to stay top of mind and get them back onto your site, so that you’ll have a second chance of converting them. You can make your retargeting efforts even more effective by personalizing each with the information you have already collected, for example: dynamically populating your retargeting ads with the actual event dates provided by the prospect.

Have questions about using marketing automation for your hotel sales department? Ask us… we love to talk about this stuff!


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

Business, Direct Bookings, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

20 Surprising Digital Marketing Stats Every Hotel Marketer Should Know

April 11, 2017 • By

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We dug up these 20 digital marketing nuggets (across all industries) to help you benchmark your efforts and determine which efforts are worth while.

Hotel Email Marketing

Despite all the attention given to social media marketing and mobile marketing, email marketing still holds a place as one of the most successful online marketing platforms.

  1. Targeted emails sent to segmented lists generate 58% of all digital revenue (The Direct Marketing Association, 2015).
  2. 86% of consumers prefer companies that send promotional emails monthly, while only 15% would like to receive them daily (Statista, 2015).
  3. 48% of emails are opened using a smartphone (Movable Ink, 2015).

Learn More: 3 Quick Ways to Drive More Bookings from Hotel Email Campaigns

Hotel Digital Display Advertising

Display ads are one of the oldest forms of online hotel advertising. However, today’s audiences have a much different opinion and level of patience with certain digital ads. Here’s what you should know before putting together a plan for online advertising.

  1. 91% of consumers believe ads are more intrusive today than a couple of years ago (HubSpot, 2016).
  2. The average CTR of display ads is 0.06% (HubSpot).
  3. Retargeting campaigns can result in a high ROI (Retargeter). People subject to retargeting are 70% more likely to convert (Digital Information World).
  4. WPP's GroupM, a huge international ad buyer, forecasted that digital will likely account for 77% of total spend in 2017.
  5. Asked to name their number-one challenge, 15% of digital marketers said “meeting the expectations of the always-connected customer,” 14% chose “executing consistent campaigns that drive desired business outcomes” (i.e. leads or revenue) and 13% cited the proliferation of channels across paid, owned and earned media (B2B Marketing Insider).

Learn More: How Smart Are Your Hotel Ads? Hotels Squander Millions by Ignoring Their Best Prospects

Hotel Social Media Marketing

According to Hootsuite, 83% of Americans have a social media account. Social media has drastically changed how hotel brands interact and get in front of their target audiences. Here are some stats to keep in mind when putting together your hotel's social media strategy:

  1. When social media is part of their buyer’s journey, customers tend to convert at a 129% higher rate. They are also four times as likely to spend significantly more than those without a social component (Deloitte).
  2. 61% of companies that invested at least six hours each week in social media marketing saw an increase in their search engine rankings (Social Media Examiner, 2015).
  3. 59% of Instagram’s 500 million monthly users visit the app each day, including 35% who visit their accounts multiple times (Pew Research Center, 2015).

Learn More: How Guests’ Social Media Can Amplify Your Hotel Marketing Budget

Hotel Mobile Marketing

Consumers’ reliance on mobile devices increases each day, with smart phones seeping into almost each moment of their lives. So, optimizing your hotel marketing efforts for mobile should be one of your hotel’s top priorities.

  1. One-third of people say their smartphone is the primary device to access the internet (HubSpot, 2016).
  2. 61% of people are unlikely to return to a brand’s mobile site if they experienced a problem accessing it. On top of that, 40% will visit a competitor instead (McKinsey & Company).
  3. 31% of people say they open and read half of their emails on their mobile device (2015 State of Marketing Report). Meanwhile, about 80% of the time spent on social media sites happen on mobile devices (Marketing Land).
  4.   48% of people start any mobile research with a search engine, instead of an online app (Smart Insights, 2016).
  5.   More Google searches are made on mobile devices than on desktop computers in 10 countries, including the US and Japan (Google, 2015).

Learn More: Is the iPhone Killing Your Hotel Revenue? Hotel SEO

As the rules for search engine optimization continue to morph each year, it’s more important than ever for hotels to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and techniques to increase their placement in an online search.

  1. According to 72% of marketers, the most effective SEO tactic is creating relevant content (Ascend2, 2015).

Learn More: The Painful Truth About Hotel Website SEO The Painful Truth About Hotel Website SEO Part 2

Hotel Content Marketing

Creating compelling destination and hotel content (blogs, videos, fun visitor guides, etc.) has the power to attract, engage and inform travelers and meeting planners, while also establishing your property as a unique experience provider.

  1. B2C companies that published more than 11 blog posts a month receive 4 times more leads than companies that only blogged 4-5 times a month (HubSpot, 2015).
  2. 43% of people say they skim, not thoroughly read, blog posts (HubSpot, 2016).
  3. Infographics are liked and shared on social media 3 times more than any other type of content (Mass Planner, 2015). (Source: HubSpot)

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

Business, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

Friday Freebie: Remember The 4Ps Every Day

March 31, 2017 • By

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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: Stay on top of your hotel’s success each day by reviewing your hotel’s four marketing pillars: price, product, promotion and placement (distribution).

It’s easy to forget what marketing is really all about.

With all the new hotel marketing technology, apps, social networks and fancy lingo we deal with, it’s inevitable that you will be pulled away from the big picture to focus on all the minor details.

If you don’t make an effort to clear that clutter from your mind each day, you’ll lose sight of the CORE FOUR marketing pillars that drive the success of every successful company’s marketing:

1. Price

This is a critical component of hotel marketing. Does your room rate make sense for the value of your guest experience? How do you compare to your comp set? Are you implementing the rules of hotel pricing psychology to reach guests? Are you allowing OTAs to price your hotel too cheaply?

2. Product

The most important of the 4Ps! Consider both the hotel’s physical product (rooms, meeting space, restaurant, spa, amenities, etc.), as well as the service experience. What truly differentiates your guest experience compared to your comp set? Are your hotel’s USPs still relevant to today’s travelers? What needs improvement?

3. Promotion (i.e. Advertising)

This translates to hotel advertising. Are you synchronizing your limited budget to correlate to your targeted business mix? Are you being smart about retargeting abandoned reservations? Have you invested some ad dollars into reaching audiences on social media platforms?

4. Placement

This refers to your distribution channels. Are you allocating too much inventory and relying too heavily on OTAs? Or, are you thoughtfully optimizing your own hotel website and booking engine to attract more profitable, direct bookings?

Each day commit an hour to review each of these pillars. Determine the areas that need more attention and where your team is currently succeeding. Pivot and finesse as needed. Staying on top of these four major areas will assure that you’re headed towards success each and every day.

Get more: April Fools – 8 Ways Hotel Marketers Can Avoid Looking Foolish


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

Direct Bookings, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, OTA, Uncategorized

5 Things Hotel Marketers Are Loving This Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2017 • By

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There is so much to love about the lodging industry.

Meeting people from around the world. Creating remarkable experiences for our guests. And, using our creativity to grow brand awareness, engage guests and grow our properties’ revenue.

This year, we asked our clients what was making them warm and fuzzy on Valentine’s Day and here’s what they had to say:

1) A Robust Economy RevPar and ADR are still running at a healthy pace, despite growing hotel supply and Airbnb’s rapid growth in driving leisure and corporate travel. STR predicts demand to stay strong throughout 2017, based on a solid labor market, stronger consumer spending and low inflation rates. Corporate travel also appears to be on the rebound, following a rocky 2016 when corporations tightened their travel budgets in response to a high-profile election, massive corporate mergers, and international issues such as Brexit and the spread of the Zika virus. It appears that corporate travel is poised for its comeback in 2017, with all-time high stock market rates and President Trump’s commitment to slashing corporate tax rates, loosening up regulations, and building more transportation infrastructure. 2) Robust Career Opportunities The industry is ripe for innovation and continuous improvement. That’s why, with new hotel openings and the growth of new hospitality start-ups, we’re seeing more opportunities for marketers in the lodging industry than in many other sectors. This growth has drawn in a lot of millennial talent, bringing in even more fresh ideas and perspectives.  The excitement of the industry and the fast-tracked promotional opportunities make hotel/technology/digital jobs some of the most coveted in the country.

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3) Elevated Consumer Awareness of Direct Booking Benefits Thanks to the massive media outreach by Hilton and Marriott’s direct booking campaigns, we’re seeing heightened public recognition of the benefits of booking direct. The idea is to educate travelers and chip away at the myth that OTAs save guests money. With the stage set, more and more hotels are following in Hilton and Marriott’s footsteps with their own hotel marketing campaigns enticing audiences to book direct.

Plus, hotel marketers at properties of all sizes are now armed with new digital hotel marketing tools and previously unaffordable technology that can help them drive direct room revenue, instead of settling for costly OTA bookings. The momentum of the “book direct movement” is growing and we’re excited to see where this is headed. 4) The Free Evangelist Army of Social Media Advocates Here’s a not-so-secret secret: You have thousands of unpaid hotel social media and marketing staff. They are your guests who Tweet from their hotel balcony, Instagram their room service breakfast, and Facebook Live their rides on the hotel’s complimentary bikes. Then, even after checking out, they post photo albums of their dream vacation online. When guests gush about their travel adventures, they’re taking you along for the ride. This user-generated content is pure gold for a hotel marketer. Now, smart hotels can even seamlessly collect these authentic photos and videos and leverage them as marketing assets using affordable social capture tools.

5) New Simplified Analytics Tools As you know, even small hotels can be buried in a mountain of customer data and need the right tools to help make sense of it all, make better financial decisions for the future and reshape or pivot their hotel marketing strategies. Now, simple analytics tools, like cloud-based SnapShot allows you to see exactly how your hotel is running, aggregating data from your PMS system, TripAdvisor, Google Analytics and social media. This type of data puts you in the best position to craft hotel marketing campaigns tailored with the right message, for the right audience at the right time.


 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

Business, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

The Hidden Chasm: Why Your Bookings Keep Falling into the Abyss

February 7, 2017 • By

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The guest’s road from your hotel marketing campaigns, to your website and finally to online booking is a delicate, razors’ edge journey filled with several opportunities for the customer to bounce, turn back, and never return.

However, many hoteliers assume a booking is guaranteed once a visitor is on the website and ready to buy. But, beware. There is a dangerous “chasm” between your hotel website and your booking engine, where potential guests can likely ‘fall off”  if you’re not cautious.

Here are the most common ways to lose potential guests transitioning from your Website to your booking engine:

1. Lack of Personalization

Personalization is a big industry buzz word right now. But cutting through all the hype, the one place where personalization can truly make an immediate impact is on your direct website.

How?

When your hotel website and booking engine are integrated by one provider, personalized web experiences can be created instantly and dynamically. You can show gated and loyalty rates to recognized members of any ‘closed group’ your hotel wants to create.

Here are a few more examples:

• When a guest from Argentina visits your website and moves into the booking engine, your website can automatically pass the user’s location and localize room rates in the booking engine to the guest’s native currency.

• A past guest (“Alex” in this case) revisits your website after checking dates a week before. You can now present dynamic rate promos only available to loyal past guests.  Check out this example from our client, Cassa Times Square NYC:

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• Your website tracks user behavior and auto-configures the booking engine with images and messages relevant to that demographic (family vs business traveler).

2. A Slow Loading Booking Engine

It takes mere seconds to kill a booking. Research shows that 25% of consumers will leave a website if it takes more than four seconds to load. That figure jumps beyond 50% if your booking engine takes up to 10 seconds to load.

In a world of instant gratification and lightening-fast internet speed, guests expect every part of your hotel’s online experience to load immediately. Every moment of delay gives the customer more and more reason to abandon you in search of something better and faster.

Slow page loads and annoying delays are common when a customer plugs in their dates or a discount rate code into the booking engine. Don’t lose a hard-earned booking because of something as simple as speed.

Test your load times on different browsers and from mobile devices, which is especially important since many guests are now relying on their own cellular connections (non high-speed wifi) to make online purchases.

3. Inconsistent Experiences Between Website to Booking Engine

The best booking engines are the ones that go unnoticed by the guest. Being transferred someplace that looks and feels different to complete a transaction can cause guests to feel uneasy. This is why user experience (UX) is vital for online transactions.

Even the smallest of changes, like different fonts or different colors, can be jarring to your guests and chip away at the delicate trust and reliability that you worked so hard to establish. So, keep guest confidence high with a seamless transition and a consistent appearance.

A continuous, seamless customer experience is one of the major benefits of using one company for both your website and your booking engine. Customers will move smoothly from examining your guestrooms, looking at property photos and reading up on your amenities, to taking out their credit card and making a reservation.


 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


Booking Engine, Direct Booking, Direct Bookings, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing

What Do Meeting Planners Actually Want? Here’s the Surprising Survey Results…

January 17, 2017 • By

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Looking for the ultimate tip to booking more group business this year?

Get inside the planner’s mind to find out what marketing they prefer, respond to, and act upon.

So, we decided to do just that. 

To help hotel sales managers win at various phases of the sourcing process, we partnered with EproDirect to collect insights from more than 83,000 meeting planners to find out what promos and incentives peak their interest, what marketing strategies actually influence them and what impacts their booking decisions.

After analyzing the data, we discovered some things you might expect along with some surprises. Use this data to shape your sales efforts, bring more value to your planner relationships and invest in the right marketing strategies to drive group business.

Click here to view the full report:

Survey Participants Profile:

31% - 3rd Party/Independent 29% - Association 25% - Corporate 5% - Government 10% - Other

Key Findings

What to Improve in 2017?

Meeting planners want to see quicker response times from hotels, an improvement in the quality of facilities and stronger customer service in 2017. While last year, planners said hotels could improve by offering better onsite technology, more competitive packages, along with quicker response times and stronger customer service.

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Double Down on Email Marketing

Despite all the attention given to social media today, 59% of the meeting planners surveyed said email marketing is still their preferred method of receiving information, special offers or updates. Trade shows/events trailed at 15% , while only 2% of planners surveyed preferred social media. One planner noted, “FAM tour opportunities and new hotels/venues and destinations are able to catch my eye.” While another planner said that he/she values emails that include unique ideas and articles.

Email still reigns as a meeting planner’s favorite method of contact. An overwhelming majority surveyed prefer to be solicited via email (87%), over phone calls (7%) and LinkedIn messages (2%).

Offer Relevant Venue Videos

Videos allow planners (especially part-time or non-traditional meeting planners, who carry out other responsibilities besides organizing events) to inspect a venue right from their office. When viewing videos, meeting planners consider facility views (72%) and self-guided virtual tours (69%) as being most helpful to their sourcing journey. Last year, planners also saw endorsements and ideas from meeting peers as most helpful (63%).

Provide the Right Tools on Your Website

Meeting planners rely on hotels to provide all the relevant sourcing tools directly on their website. The top five items that planners find the most valuable on your hotel’s meetings site include capacity charts, floor diagrams, room measurements, virtual/video venue tours and photos of actual events.

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Enhance Your Presence on eRFP Sites

When submitting RFPs, 33% of meeting planners preferred using RFP portals such as Cvent and Elite Meetings. A second preferred method, contacting the hotel sales rep directly, was liked by 29% of the meeting planners we surveyed.

Make an even bigger effort to make your proposals remarkable and compelling when receiving an RFP from a site like Cvent, since it is likely the planner sent the RFP to several properties. Plus, make your hotel sales reps’ direct contact information (extra points for also including a headshot) easy to access on your website, instead of simply providing a generic 1-800 number that’s routed to a sales coordinator. Don’t make the meeting planner dig around to find out how to contact the proper person on your team.

Offer the Right Meeting Incentives and Promo Offers

While meeting incentives and promotional offers only moderately impact a meeting planner’s site selection, food and beverage discounts (53%) and complimentary meeting space promos (71%) are considered the most attractive types of promo offers. Last year, incentives and promo offers had more impact, with 57% of planner participants saying that these could largely influence their site decisions.

Mingle With the Right Social Channels

Out of all the social media platforms used regularly for planning meetings, 42% of planners use Facebook and 60% say they prefer LinkedIn. Provide value on both channels by sharing unique event-related ideas and resources, answering planner's questions and participating in groups.


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

Business, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

5 Hotel Sales Tactics to Jumpstart 2017

January 10, 2017 • By

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A fresh New Year brings a new opportunity to delight ownership with big results in group/event sales…but only if you start off with velocity.

Here are five proven tactics for jumpstarting your hotel sales performance in 2017 and establishing momentum for the next 12 months:

1. Have a Kick-Ass Kick-Off! Seize this moment to fire up your group sales team and send them off hustling, motivated and inspired to hit their revenue goals each month. An epic sales kick-off is your one chance to launch with real velocity and energize your team on a grand scale. The key is to get your team pumped and primed to kill it in the year ahead. So, avoid a boring presentation of last year’s numbers (snore). Book an exciting outside speaker, hold interactive education sessions addressing the challenges they faced last year, get the team up and moving during breakouts, and sprinkle in some high-energy team building activities. And remember, all of this initial enthusiasm and education can wear off by the following month, so reinforce the main ideas throughout the year in your regular weekly meetings. 2. Have a Simple Roadmap. Booking group business without a sensible business plan is like playing darts with a blindfold on and crossing your fingers that you’ll hit the bullseye.                                                                                                     image2 3. Hope is Not a Strategy. Don’t leave your revenues to chance or expect your sales team to make up for your lack of organization. You should map out the primary underlying drivers that justify the sales targets you are projecting for ownership. How many trade shows, sales visits, planner events, marketing and sales campaigns are required? What are the main threats to achieving your sales goals? Your plan doesn’t need to be long and formal, but it should convey all the main waypoints on your road to sales success. It should also be a living tool, so don’t stick it up on a shelf to gather dust. Instead, review it every month to make sure you’re on track. And allow yourself the flexibility to adjust throughout the year if something isn’t working or if you want to try a clever new tactic. 4. Who’s Driving Leads? This is one of the most significant components of your sales plan. It’s vital that your sales team sprints out in Q1 and pounds the pavement to build their sales pipeline, as that will set the pace for the rest of the year. Outline specific prospecting activities and lead generation quotas for each sales person. Make sure the proper folks have access to your prospecting tools, or invest in tools such as Knowland or Groups360 to capture business intelligence and identify new prospects. 5. Go Big…Early! Shore up your pipeline and boost the year with a strong foundation by taking inventory of key group accounts. Which accounts brought in the most business last year? Which planners have the potential to add incremental business and multi-year contracts? Call on these planners early on, remind them of the benefits of partnering with your hotel as their venue and offer even more value by incentivizing them to book early. Creating this foundation leaves room for better forecasting and revenue management yield strategies. Then, continue to nurture these existing clients throughout the year, recognize them for their loyalty and show a genuine interest in their success to strengthen the relationship. 6. Rethink Your Sales Materials. The needs of modern meeting planners are constantly changing. Review your sales and marketing materials to make sure they are speaking to the concerns of today’s planners, not just generically touting your venue space. Meeting planners have challenges…so make sure you're marketing messages crafted to offer event “solutions.” Do you need separate materials and messaging for corporate planners vs associations? Does your value proposition resonate with current customers? (You might be surprised if you simply ask a few of your best customers their opinion of what makes your property unique.)When meeting planners source venues, they often collect sales and marketing collateral from several venues, then review later. Make sure your marketing materials stand out from your comp set.A lot can happen in a year. So, if you are re-using sales materials from last year, it’s already time for a second look. Planners today appreciate authenticity, so update your materials with guest-sourced photos, videos and testimonials. No matter how inspiring or charismatic your sales team is, they must be armed with stunning sales materials to make an impression on planners and to help differentiate your property.

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

Business, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Hotel Revenue, Marketing Advice, Uncategorized

3 Quick Ways To Drive More Bookings From Hotel Email Campaigns

November 9, 2016 • By

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Even with all of the attention and focus given to Facebook, Google Hotel Ads, metasearch and other tools du jour… let’s not forget the tried and true workhorse of hotel marketing – email!

Smart hospitality marketers know that email marketing is still an essential method for driving bookings. However, it’s just as easy to be complacent with email marketing, using “spray and pray”techniques that only result in fatiguing your list and encouraging people to opt out. Here are three essential components that every hotel marketing email must have to drive conversions:

ESSENTIAL 1: Be Mobile Friendly

Statement of the obvious right?

Think about it: What is the first thing you do when you wake up? If you’re like most people, you grab your phone to sift through your email inbox. In fact, more than 65 percent of emails are now opened on a smartphone or a tablet. Hotels that don’t optimize marketing emails for mobile devices face a steep penalty. Research shows that 71 percent of people will immediately delete an email if it’s not displayed correctly for their mobile device. Ignore the needs of  mobile readers and you’ll likely lose them for good.

Not only should the email design be mobile-optimized, your content should also be created with the mobile audience in mind from the very beginning. Think short copy, bold headlines and images, large call to action buttons and plenty of white space for easy scanning.

ESSENTIAL 2: Craft an Irresistible Subject Line

Your guests’ email inboxes are overcrowded places these days. While it may seem like a small part of your hotel email campaign, your subject line has the biggest impact on that email’s success. You either win or lose with your subject line, there is no "good enough." Afterall, an email is worthless if it sits unopened, and the best email is the one that actually gets opened.

Studies prove that 35 percent of email recipients will open email solely based on the subject line. Not only does your subject line have to be compelling enough to grab attention, it has to be relevant and worthy enough to be opened. Keep them simple and clear, convey urgency and resist the urge to be too creative and ambiguous. Instead, you have to hint at what is waiting for the guest inside. If you’re promoting a "3rd night free" special, then your email should say just that. Use a subject line such as, “Limited Time: 3rd Night Free,” instead of a confusing “3 Times the Fun!”

Also, subject lines are most effective when you segment your email list. You should already have a separate email list for travel trade, transient and group business, however it’s best if you keep drilling down. So, build niche lists by geography, travel type (romantic, family, business, etc), or even meeting type. This way, you’ll be able to tailor your subject lines to match these audiences.

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ESSENTIAL 3: Have a Compelling Call to Action

A common failure of unsuccessful emails is the lack of an obvious and meaningful call to action (CTA). A CTA is a no-nonsense, clear message that tells your audience what you want them to do. Think about what you want your guests to do, then tell them that explicitly. This can include, "Book now," "Explore our suites" or “Start your adventure.” Otherwise, the email will sit there, languish or be immediately deleted. Never assume your audience will know, want, or feel propelled to take the next step on their own.

Further, make sure your CTA is correlated to the recipients level of interest: if you are blindly emailing people who have never heard of your property before… its doubtful they will respond to a “Book Now” CTA. Instead, gently invite them to “explore the property” or “check rates.”

It’s also important to make the CTA stand out from all other text and graphics in the email. Many people scan their emails on-the-go. So, place the CTA prominently, with a compelling graphic or button.


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

Direct Bookings, Email Marketing, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Marketing Blog

Friday Freebie: The First Step In Converting OTA Guests Into Direct Bookings

November 4, 2016 • By

FridayFreebie-Tambourine

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: Convert OTA guests into future direct bookings by capturing their email address.

We can understand the frustration hoteliers have with business booked through an OTA. Not only do you pay hefty prices for one reservation, but OTAs don’t share the customer’s email address when it arrives in your PMS, barring you from digitally remarketing to these customers later.

But, there’s an extremely easy solution to this. Smart hotels simply ask the guests directly for their email address and give them a good reason to do so.

Here are a couple of ideas. Ask for the guest’s email address to:

  • Receive an email receipt of their stay.
  • As a log-in for Wifi.
  • To send them exclusive deals for future stays.

The bottom line: Don’t let an OTA guest walk away without collecting their email address. That is the only way you can market to them in the future and stay on their radar for other travels.

Get More: How Hotels Make Their OTA Addiction Worse


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

Direct Bookings, Email Marketing, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, OTA, Past Guest Database

Friday Freebie: Up Your Visual Appeal To Get More Bookings

August 26, 2016 • By

FridayFreebie-Tambourine

Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more direct bookings.

This week’s freebie: Attract more bookings by appealing to people’s sense of sight.

Contrary to what many believe, people make purchase decisions based on emotions and how something makes them feel -- not on facts or figures. Luckily for hotel marketers, evoking powerful emotions from your target audience is as easy as a few simple tweaks to your existing materials.

Out of the five senses, it’s the sense of sight that remains the most important way for hotels to gain recognition, convey the guest experience, and most importantly, impact booking decisions. Here’s one easy way to maximize your hotel marketing’s visual appeal to encourage more bookings: 

Replace all Ugly or Ho-Hum Photography With Stunning Property Images

This may seem like an obvious move to some, but we have seen hundreds of hotels that still use outdated and bland photos in their marketing assets! Remember, images have the power to repel or entice guests, so don’t take photography lightly. Audit every image on your website, sales kits, marketing emails and ads. If they’re old, dark, grainy, pixilated, or fail to convey your property’s core message, then be ruthless and replace or delete them.

Even if you’re a gorgeous beachside resort, all it takes is ONE ugly property photo to convince someone not to stay with you. If you don’t have any beautiful images to replace them with, than it’s time to invest in an experienced hotel or real estate photographer.

Finally, make sure your images are consistent across the entire digital landscape. If consumers see different photos on OTAs than the ones they see on your site, they will be uncomfortable and surf off to your compset.

Learn how to appeal to more senses to increase bookings: The Five Senses of Hotel Marketing


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

Brand Story, Content Publishing, Digital Marketing, Direct Booking, Email Marketing, Guest Experience, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice