4 reasons a hospitality loyalty program should be part of your hotel’s marketing strategy
As the owner of an independent hotel or smaller chain, you may have shelved the idea of starting a hospitality loyalty program in the past. Perhaps it sounded too complicated or too expensive. Maybe you thought it wouldn’t deliver benefits unless you could afford to offer big-ticket rewards such as concerts and trips. Actually, today’s social media marketing strategies make starting a hotel loyalty program easier than you may realize. As we move into 2018, boutique hotels and smaller chains face stiff competition from OTAs and private accommodation aggregators such as Airbnb. Making a hospitality loyalty program part of your hotel’s marketing strategy can help you fight back against these challenges.
Why hospitality loyalty programs should be part of your hotel’s marketing strategy
A hospitality loyalty program is one of the easiest and most valuable hotel marketing ideas you can implement. OTAs are making it harder for small hotels to establish a distinct brand that will attract travelers. With a hospitality loyalty program, you can use points, discounts, and rewards to build loyalty and encourage members to book repeat stays at your hotel. Hotels have been using loyalty programs for decades. While a loyalty program alone won’t guarantee your hotel’s success, these programs can deliver significant benefits for your revenue and marketing reach. These benefits include:
Attracting new guests to your hotel requires a significant investment of time and marketing spend. Retaining current guests and incentivizing them to make future stays is much more cost-effective, since these travelers are already familiar with your brand and everything you offer.
Increased occupancy rates and revenue
Hotels can see a significant increase in revenue and occupancy rates with a hospitality loyalty program. A study by The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at Cornell University found that once a guest joined a hotel loyalty program, their frequency of stay increased by 49%. Independent hotels in the study averaged an incredible 50% increase in revenues because the guests enrolled in the loyalty program booked more rooms more often.
Insight into your guests
Hospitality loyalty programs provide you with valuable information about your guests and their preferences. MCD’s Seeing Returns report on the travel industry found that 74% of travelers are in favor of hotels proactively enhancing their stay to deliver a personalized experience. Using the information gleaned from your loyalty program, you can personalize your guests’ stay by offering them the rewards that mean the most to them. This marketing strategy can significantly increase guest satisfaction and retention.
More direct bookings
Expedia, Travelocity, and the other large OTAs are attracting so many travelers that hotels are essentially competing for their own bookings. The rate parity agreements that your hotel may have signed with the OTAs can damage your ability to encourage direct bookings.
Your hotel loyalty program provides a way around that difficulty. You can incentivize guests with extra nights, points, or other rewards through your loyalty program, effectively increasing your ability to generate direct bookings from returning guests.
How to make a hospitality loyalty program part of your hotel marketing strategies
Thanks to social media, starting a hospitality loyalty program is much easier than you may realize. You can keep guests engaged, offer an easy path to earn rewards, and generate wide interest in your program, all through the social hotel marketing strategies you already use. Through the use of perks, personalization, and other rewards, your hotel loyalty program can help you provide travelers with a better, more responsive experience than they can find anywhere else.
If you would like some assistance adding a hospitality loyalty program to your hotel’s marketing strategy, call Travel Tech Strategies today. Our marketing team can help you use social media marketing to develop a dynamic hotel loyalty program your guests will love. Once your program is established, we can provide you with complete support for your program through hotel email services, monthly social marketing packages, video marketing, and more to help you increase guest loyalty and bookings at your hotel.
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