The hotel industry is fast paced and highly competitive. As a business owner you have many priorities and attracting and retaining customers is key. SMS marketing can help you to:
- Create a simple campaign to acquire new guests
- Target offers to retain your existing client base and grow sales during quiet periods in the business
- Provide better service by text messaging reservations to your customers
- Provide a substantial return on investment compared to traditional forms of marketing – email, newspaper ads or radio.
SMS marketing is great for busy business owners to target their busy customers. A short and ‘to the point’ message takes seconds to read and can generate a response just as quickly, whereas traditional means of marketing communications; emails and newspaper advertising, even a telephone campaign, take a great deal of time to organise and can be costly too.
From around 4p per message, texting is also by far the cheapest means of communicating with your new or old guests. Take email for example. It will take someone time to create a great email marketing campaign. Unfortunately, less than 10% of acquisition emails are read compared 97% of text messages.
As well as generating more people into your hotel, you can also use some mobile messaging systems to manage your reservations. The benefits of this are that it looks very professional, and you can reduce the number of costly no-shows to your business.
Is texting right for my business?
The simple answer is that SMS/text marketing can be beneficial to any hotel. The real advantage of SMS marketing is that it’s cheap and scalable; anyone can do it and to any number of contacts so it really doesn’t matter how big or small your hotel is, texting can benefit you.
Acquire more business
- SMS your current database, offering 10% discount this weekend only off the price of a room
- Offer extra incentives to fill up your rooms, such as free bottle of house wine in the room
- 10% off all bookings for Mondays
- Send birthday messages to lost clients offering a free spa treatment with their stay
- Take advantage of cancelled reservations by texting your database offering a 20% reduction off room bill if booked within 24 hours
- Run a competition asking clients for referrals. Send out a discount text message and tell your clients they can pass it on to friends and family
Improve your customer service
- SMS reservation reminders to give that extra service and reduce no-shows
- Generate feedback and measure service – give your customer the opportunity to fill out a feedback card and leave their mobile number. This will help you measure service and you could then offer 10% off the next visit for customers who may have experienced poor service.
- Partner up with local attractions and offer your guests a discount with them when they book
It’s important to keep the style of your messages friendly and chatty but at the same time, your message is clear and concise. Here are a few examples;
Example reservation reminder:
Hi Jenny, you have a reservation with us for a double room for
tomorrow 9th Dec. If you wish to dine in our Restaurant book today and get 10% off your bill
Call 01234 567 890 to make a booking
Old Cottage Hotel
Example attraction promotion:
We look forward to welcoming you at the Swan Hotel. Why not visit the Old Castle during
your stay. Get 50% off entry by showing this text. For more info visit http://www.oldcastle.org.uk
Example lost clients promotion:
Hi Laura, we miss you! Book 1 night with us and get the 2nd free! Call 01234 567 890 to book
Offer ends 11th Dec. Mansion Hotel
Once you have decided on how you want to use texting in your hotel marketing strategy and the content of your texts, you can determine how often you will need to contact clients and what your average usage of text messaging will be.
Protecting your client data
Because texting is very personal, it’s important to gain permission before running a campaign. As a guide, if you keep your clients personal details on file you should ask them to sign the file and you could insert a small paragraph asking for permission to send SMS messages there.
The final thing to consider before you embark on an SMS marketing campaign is: who should manage your SMS marketing? Who in your hotel should be given the responsibility of maintaining your client database and ensuring the right messages are sent to the right people?
In truth, there is only really one answer to this question. Your client contact database, in particular the mobile numbers it contains should be be highly protected. Only the hotel manager should be able to access this and they should have the final say on the content of messages and when and who will receive them.
For more information on how to get started using Mobile visit our website http://www.crowd-connect.co.uk and lets talk!