Before we get into the specifics of how to promote hotel direct reservations, we want to make sure you understand "the Why” of Direct Bookings. If not, take a look at our blog post on the benefits of having an approach for direct bookings for your hotel.
Now, let's get down to business: how do you implement a "book direct" strategy?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for dramatically increasing lead generation at your hotel.
Many joint efforts will result in increased direct bookings.
The most critical thing now is to establish a fine balance between your direct booking strategies and OTA. Because many potential visitors find your name on an OTA platform, it's a good idea to direct them to your website.
Use the potential of a well-optimized webpage to your advantage.
When it comes to increasing direct bookings, your hotel brand's website is critical. To attract the most visitors, it must have a powerful digital identity.
The webpage for your hotel should be –
Keep in mind that your website should not take too long to load.
Integrate a Web Booking Engine to transform your company's website into a direct booking source.
When you integrate an online booking service into your brand website, your website visitors can see real-time room availability. It is one of the simplest methods for increasing direct hotel reservations. Guests may even receive immediate confirmation of their reservations directly from your hotel's PMS. This increases a guest's assurance that the hotel will honour the reservation.
Check to see if the booking engine could assist you with -
Allow visitors to make reservations straight through your company's Facebook page.
Leading platforms like Facebook, amid today's 'social media frenzy,' play a critical role in expanding your hotel's brand visibility and presence around the world. Guests are not only using Facebook to share their hotel stay experiences and images, but they are also using it to book their accommodations.
Make use of a booking engine that could be linked to your company's Facebook profile. It would be beneficial for guests to be able to book directly with you through your hotel's Facebook page. Additionally, in order to attract potential bookers, you must promote positive reviews.
Here's how Facebook comes into play -
Improve the online reputation of your hotel
Before making a final reservation, over 98% of travellers read hotel reviews, with 80% considering them extremely significant. Positive reviews can have a significant impact on a traveller's decision to book.
Additionally, a one-point rise in a hotel's average user ratings on a 5-point scale (e.g., 3.8 to 4.8) increases the likelihood of potential consumers booking that hotel by 13.5%.
As a result, properly positioning and promoting positive ratings and reviews on your site is critical. It should be displayed on all pages until the visitor has completed the entire booking procedure.
Offer direct booking discounts to your website visitors.
When people arrive on your site, you can persuade them to book directly with you. Let them understand that if they book directly with you, they will get a better deal. Make it clear what kind of benefits they are accredited to.
Here are some examples: 'Book with us directly and receive a 10% discount on your F&B bill,' 'Book with us directly and receive an easy room upgrade,' and so on. Nobody is satisfied with what they have, and hotel customers are no exception. According to Skift, almost 45% of travellers value freebies and bonuses when making a reservation.
Create a difference with different Loyalty programs
Take a look at these figures —
Once it comes to rebooking, your previous visitors are a gold mine. Use an email marketing strategy to re-engage past consumers with attractive discounts and offers. Consider starting a loyalty programme if you don't already have one. These programmes are widely received by travellers, and you'll learn a lot further about your top guest profiles as a result.
Customer satisfaction is not a fiction! It's a revolution that's quickly sweeping through all types of businesses and industries. In today's world, providing an exceptional hotel visitor experience is critical. Guest loyalty programmes are an excellent method to demonstrate to your customers that you are reliable and concerned about their needs.
Encourage your guests to book directly with you by offering loyalty programmes. Tell them how they can score points that could be spent at any POS (Point Of Sales) outlet of their choice, not just at your hotel. It is not only a terrific direct booking technique for hotels, but it will also help you establish a long-term relationship with your customers. To put it another way, you acquire their loyalty in order to get repeat customers.
Handle Booking Abandonment with Care
Are your potential customers abandoning your website during the search stage? They type in their email address and phone number all through to the booking page, but they don't click the 'Book Now' or 'Pay' button? If you want to increase direct bookings at your hotel, this is not a good thing to do.
Gather information from their visit to your website. Tailor your booking engine so that you may collect the potential booker's name, email address, and, if possible, phone number. Before they leave your website, take a thorough look at the types of rooms they checked.
If they show concern about the room's price, mail them or phone them and try to assist them. Put forward the best possible cost and explain how reserving directly with you allows them to take advantage of privileges and savings on other facilities. This form of personalization will entice customers to return to your house.
Personalise the Guest Experience
Special requests, anniversaries, birthdays can all be included in the guest profiles inside your PMS. You may utilise this information to develop relationships with your guests and provide personalised services, exclusive discounts, and promotions while they are staying with you.
Let's imagine one of your visitors came to your resort for a birthday trip and informed you that they have gluten intolerance. Consider the guest's reaction if you send them a note notifying them that your eatery has recently increased its gluten-free menu and offered them a hotel discount for their upcoming birthday the next year. Customer loyalty is built over time with personalised service, which encourages return visits and direct reservations.
Reducing your property's reliance on OTAs and boosting direct booking revenue will help you boost your bottom line. Keep in mind that the optimal reservation is one that pays the hotel the most money (Total RevPAR) and was obtained with the least amount of money and effort (Cost of Acquisition or CaC). The commissions paid to OTAs are sometimes less than the costs invested on a single marketing campaign.
Keep track of these expenditures as you experiment with different approaches to increase direct bookings. Boosting hotel direct bookings necessitates ingenuity and originality, but the effort will be well worth it once you start generating increased direct bookings and generating more revenue than ever before!
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