The direct bookings battle in the hotel industry has been going on for many years now. The rise of Online Travel Agents (OTAs) over the past two decades has meant that hoteliers are often paying bigger and bigger commissions for their bookings. This is unfortunate, as both guests and hotels benefit greatly from direct bookings. Creating strong direct booking benefits and communicating these is one powerful way to encourage guests to book directly. As The Langham, London found, the results can sometimes be even greater than predicted.
What challenge was The Langham, London facing?
In the summer of 2021, The Langham, London eCommerce team wanted to launch a new direct booking benefits campaign with the goal of increasing direct conversion. This was the first time they had created a specific campaign highlighting their direct booking benefits. Therefore, they came up with some attractive offers to create a strong message. This included offering a direct booking discount on top of their best available rate, a free room upgrade (subject to availability) and a discount on dinner at their restaurant. These are incredibly strong examples of direct booking benefits as they have a significantly higher perceived value for the guests than the actual cost to the hotel. Offering the food & beverage discount also encourages guests to enjoy the hotel’s F&B facilities which also generates additional revenue.
How did Hotelchamp help?
To promote these strong The Langham, London used a Hotelchamp Convert interaction. They created a message with the direct booking benefits, the promo code to unlock these and a clear ‘Book Now’ button. The message was set up on their homepage, rooms page and offers page. Regarding targeting, it was set to only appear to first-time website visitors. The Langham, London team also created a “hidden” landing page. This was only accessible by clicking on the ‘Book Now’ button of the direct booking benefits message.
What results did The Langham, London see?
In the space of three months, The Langham, London saw outstanding results. The message had an extremely high click-through rate of 10.18%. This message was only shown to new website visitors, so this result shows that the combination of targeting and messaging created a highly relevant message for these visitors.
Even more amazing was the conversion rate of 3.23%. The Langham, London is a luxurious, 5* property, so this conversion rate was much higher than industry benchmarks. These direct conversions lead to 218 bookings from people who clicked the ‘Book Now’ button on the Hotelchamp message. In 3 months, this resulted in over US$490K of direct revenue.
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