Essential Hotel Sales Strategies
There are various sales strategies you can employ to market and sell your hotel rooms. Here are some of the most common strategies and step-by-step guides for successful implementation:
Direct Booking Strategy
Promote direct bookings on your own website by offering special deals, discounts, or exclusive benefits such as complimentary breakfast, or an upgrade to a higher-category room. This allows you to maintain full control over the booking process and also saves costs on commissions to third-party booking platforms. Below are the steps and aspects to consider for a successful direct booking strategy:
1. Create an appealing hotel website: Your property's website should be user-friendly and feature attractive design, clear information about rooms, amenities, location, services, and reviews. The website should also provide an easy and intuitive booking function.
2. Offers and incentives: To encourage guests to book directly on the hotel website, you can provide special offers, discounts, or exclusive benefits. These can include lower prices, complimentary extras such as free Wi-Fi, breakfast, or a complimentary room upgrade.
3. Search engine optimization (SEO): To ensure that the hotel website is prominently displayed in search engine results, it is important to perform effective search engine optimization. This includes using relevant keywords, optimizing website structure, and creating high-quality content.
4. Online booking system: The implemented online booking system should be user-friendly and reliable, allowing guests to reserve rooms directly through the website. The system should be easy to use, provide secure payment processing, and display real-time availability.
5. Social media and email marketing: Utilize social media channels such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote your direct booking offers and attract the attention of potential guests. Email marketing is also effective for regularly sending offers, updates, and news to subscribed guests.
6. Customer service and guest retention: Good customer service is crucial to satisfy guests and encourage them to book directly with the hotel again. Personalized and tailored assistance should be provided, guest reviews should be taken into account, and a loyalty program may be introduced to enhance guest retention.
7. Tracking and analytics: It is important to continuously track and analyze the performance of the direct booking strategy. This includes monitoring website traffic, conversion rates, bookings, traffic sources, and other relevant metrics. Based on this information, adjustments and improvements can be made.
Special rates and conditions can also be offered for group bookings, whether for business travelers, wedding parties, conferences, or other events. By collaborating with event planners or companies, hotels can sell a larger number of rooms in one go. Read our article specifically focused on group inquiries to learn what to consider in this regard.
Hotels reward returning guests through loyalty programs, where they can accumulate points that can be redeemed for free stays, upgrades, or other benefits. This promotes guest loyalty and can help increase occupancy during specific periods. Here are some steps to successfully implement a loyalty program strategy in your hotel:
1. Goal setting: Define clear goals for your loyalty program, such as increasing guest loyalty, promoting repeat bookings, and increasing the number of guests. Also, determine the type of rewards and benefits you want to offer to your loyal guests.
2. Customer segmentation: Segment your guests into different categories based on their booking behavior, spending patterns, or other relevant criteria. This allows you to offer personalized offers and rewards tailored to the needs and preferences of each segment.
3. Loyalty program structure: Design a clear and attractive structure for your loyalty program. Consider how guests can earn points or rewards, how they can redeem their points, and what types of rewards you want to offer (e.g., free stays, upgrades, complimentary access to facilities, exclusive offers, etc.).
4. Communication and Promotion: Communicate your loyalty program clearly and effectively to your guests. Utilize various channels such as your website, email marketing, social media, and hotel communication to promote your program and highlight the benefits of participation. Ensure that potential guests are made aware of your program during the booking process.
5. Data Management and Analysis: Track the activities and transactions of your loyal guests to gather valuable data and analyze it. Utilize this data to gain insights into guest behavior and enable personalized offers and communication.
6. Staff Training: Ensure that your hotel staff is informed about the loyalty program and able to assist guests with any questions or concerns. Train your team on the benefits of the program and how to offer and explain it to guests.
7. Continuous Improvement: Monitor the performance of your loyalty program and make regular adjustments to keep it attractive and relevant. Analyze results, listen to guest feedback, and continuously improve your program to increase guest satisfaction and loyalty.
Upselling refers to offering guests an upgrade or enhancement to their booking by switching to a higher-value room or suite or adding additional services. Here are some key aspects of this strategy:
- Room Upgrades: The hotel offers guests the opportunity to choose a room with a better view, more space, or a higher category for an additional fee.
- Suite Upgrades: Guests are offered the opportunity to upgrade from a standard room to a luxurious suite that provides additional comfort and amenities.
Cross-selling involves offering guests additional products or services related to their stay that can complement their experience. Here are some examples of how you can implement cross-selling:
- Restaurant and bar services.
- Spa and wellness offerings.
- Excursions and tours.
Both cross-selling and upselling can be done during the booking process, at check-in, or during the stay through targeted recommendations and offers. It allows the hotel to generate additional revenue and provide guests with a holistic experience. Both strategies require a good understanding of guest needs and targeted communication. By implementing these strategies, you can increase your revenue and offer personalized and enhanced offerings to guests.
A re-marketing strategy in the hotel industry refers to targeting potential guests who have shown interest in your hotel but have not made a booking yet. This strategy aims to re-engage these potential guests to motivate them to book. By using personalized content and targeted advertising, you can improve your conversion rate and encourage guests to make a reservation. In the following section, we will outline step-by-step how to build a re-marketing strategy in your hotel:
1. Identify potential re-marketing candidates: Implement tracking tools such as cookies or pixels on your website to gather information about visitors who have visited your hotel's website but have not made a booking. This will allow you to identify and re-engage these potential guests.
2. Create personalized content: Based on the data collected, create personalized content to engage the potential guests. This can include creating personalized emails, ads, or special offers tailored to their specific interests and preferences.
3. Implement email marketing: Utilize the collected email addresses to launch a targeted email marketing campaign. Send personalized emails containing special offers, discounts, or information about your hotel to pique the interest of potential guests and encourage them to book.
4. Display and search engine advertising: Use display ads and search engine advertising to present your message to potential guests who have previously visited your website. Place ads on websites and in search results that they are likely to revisit to bring your hotel back to their attention.
5. Dynamic re-marketing: Implement dynamic re-marketing to create personalized ads showcasing specific rooms or offers that align with the interests of potential guests. This can help capture their attention and motivate them to make a booking.
6. Social media re-marketing: Utilize social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to run targeted ads to potential guests who have visited your website. Use data from Facebook Pixel or LinkedIn Insight Tag to reach specific target audiences and engage them with tailored content.
7. Monitor results and optimize: Track and analyze the performance of your re-marketing campaigns. Measure metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate, and bookings to evaluate the success of your strategy. Continuously optimize your campaigns by testing different messages, offers, or target audiences to maximize effectiveness.
These strategies can be used individually or in combination, depending on the goals, market segment, and positioning of the hotel. It's important for hotels to regularly review and adapt their sales strategies to stay competitive and maximize occupancy.
If you would like to learn more about sales strategies and how they fit in with the topic of revenue management, we would be happy to offer you a meeting: