In 2022, 68% of travel and tourism sales were made online. As travel purchasing happens predominantly online, there is also more information readily available. As a result, the variety of choices for travel consumers has increased significantly. Particularly for booking accommodation, online travel agents continue to attract guests with aggressive discounting. This is why travellers have become used to seeking the best prices. In fact, 26% of people did not make a booking because they thought the price was too high.
To maintain high conversion rates, it’s crucial to give potential guests a reason to choose you over competitors. And this should be regardless of their position in the customer journey. To stay competitive and get direct bookings, a hotel created a special winter discount on their direct channel. We look at how they communicated it at every step of the journey through a 360-degree campaign.
What was our customer’s goal?
Generally, the months between November and March are off-peak for the hospitality industry. With increasing operating costs and continuing challenges, it’s essential that hoteliers maintain high occupancy rates even during off-peak periods. Ready to offer a discount for guests looking to book between November and March, our customer wanted to increase their occupancy rates with a 15% off special winter deal.
Knowing the importance of giving potential guests a reason to stay during all stages of their buyer journey, they aimed to communicate their offer holistically.
How did Hotelchamp help?
Step 1: Create a strong offer
With the help of Hotelchamp Convert, our customer created a website message for their winter deal. Personalised with the hotel’s unique branding, the message conveyed the 15% off deal for travellers booking between November and March. On top of that, it also included more details about the offer, to further incentivise guests to take advantage of it: free cancellation, modern and cosy rooms and a reassurance that the direct price is the best. Lastly, the message had a call-to-action (CTA) button which encouraged guests to “Book now with discount”. By clicking the button, guests would be redirected to the booking engine, where a discount code was applied.
This offer acted as a basis for all of the website messages in this campaign. We then adapted it accordingly for each goal that our customer wanted to achieve.
Step 2: Mobile website messages to help with guests’ research
By the end of 2022, over 60% of web traffic came from mobile devices. Already pre-pandemic the number of travellers that had completed a booking after researching on their smartphone had reached 79% and was still increasing. Over 63% of US consumers find it extremely important to be able to research and book their trips on mobile. Plus, 48% of US smartphone users are happy to plan, research and book their trip just using their phone.
Consequently, hoteliers must make sure their hotel is present at every step of the journey—particularly during guests’ research. This is why our customer decided to create a mobile welcome message. Like the base message, it included all of the offer’s details, their branding and the CTA button. To ensure a smooth browsing experience for the mobile user, it appeared only once per session, after 15 seconds of browsing time.
Step 3: Desktop messages to help in decision-making
On the home page
More people are indeed starting their research on mobile. However, for some, the first touchpoint with the hotel is still the desktop version of the website. This is why we also created a version of the message for the main page of our customer’s website.
As guests explore your amenities, you must help them choose you. To help with this decision, we created a floating message on the home page of our customer’s website. Sporting a similar look to the mobile version, the desktop message also included an additional sentence encouraging guests to “Discover Amsterdam in the winter”. To allow for a smooth browsing experience, this message was dismissable and did not overlap any existing text.
On the ‘Rooms’ page
To give additional help in the decision-making process, we created one more message for our customer’s ‘Rooms’ page. Aiming to inform visitors in a more subtle way, the message we chose was inline. This type of message is particularly non-intruding, as it seamlessly integrates with the rest of the website. Titled “Enjoy our special 15% discount winter deal”, the message included more details about the hotel and the stay, such as “top location”, “best service”, “spacious rooms” and “design interior”.
Step 4: A final reminder during the checkout process
The last step in finishing our customer’s 360-degree campaign was to take care of the final step in the booking process: the checkout. To seal the deal with guests, we created a message in the booking engine that unfolded in two ways. Based on the URL, the message appeared for both guests who had already applied the discount voucher, and guests who did not.
The campaign message appeared again for those who had not yet applied the discount. Guests were then able to click on it and book with a discount. However, if the guests had already applied the code, a follow-up interaction would come up, congratulating them on using the discount and giving them instructions on how to proceed.
Having these follow-up interactions ensures that guests feel taken care of until the very end of the booking journey, and also provides a more personalised experience. In addition, they eliminate confusion regarding whether or not the voucher code was active.
What results did our customer see?
In the span of two months, this campaign succeeded in informing guests about our customer’s winter deal and helped to convert guests at every step of the way.
Showing the increasing usage of mobile devices in the accommodation booking process, the website message for the mobile version resulted in the second-highest click-through rates (CTR) out of the 4 messages. Seen nearly 1,900 times, it prompted 16.43% of the visitors who saw the message to click on it. On top of that, over 2.9% of those converted into paying guests. This confirms guests’ willingness to book on mobile, showing the importance of having additional touchpoints for guests looking to research and book on mobile.
For the desktop version of the messages, nearly 4,000 website users saw the floating tab. Achieving its goal of aiding in potential guests’ decision-making process, it resulted in a CTR of 12.2% and converted over 6% of the visitors that have clicked on the message.
The second message, which had the main aim of informing guests about the offer while browsing the rooms page, was seen over 800 times and was clicked on by 3.7% of the visitors. These two messages continued to provide support for guests browsing the desktop version of the website and successfully instilled trust within guests as they proceeded through the booking journey.
Lastly, over 17.500 people saw the message in the booking engine, out of which 17.25% clicked on it. It achieved its goal of letting guests know whether the discount was active. Additionally, it converted 0.9% of those that did not already have the voucher active.
If you want to learn more about how you can also create a cross-device campaign all along the customer journey, contact us through live chat or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.