Seasonal offers are a great opportunity to bring in direct bookings by making your direct channel stand out. However, one size does not fit all when communicating messages to website visitors. As you pursue different marketing goals throughout each stage of the customer journey, your strategy also needs to adapt in terms of website messaging. For instance, displaying your USPs on your homepage is a great way to raise awareness. However, displaying them on your booking engine page is better at increasing conversion. To ensure your campaigns achieve all your marketing goals, it’s crucial that you have a holistic messaging approach. We look at Amrâth Hotels' summer campaign, and how it successfully used a multi-message strategy to convert their visitors across various touchpoints.
The Summer Campaign that Incentivises Direct Bookings
Aiming to make their direct channel stand out, Amrâth Hotels put together an attractive direct booking offer. This was valid for 8 of their properties. For specified dates during the Summer of 2022, visitors could enjoy 22% off and free breakfast. A mix of both price and non-price direct booking benefits like the one in this campaign is beneficial for both hoteliers and guests. Price benefits such as discounts positively influence occupancy rates and help hotels compete with the reduced rates offered by OTA loyalty programs. Moreover, non-price benefits such as the included breakfast improve the perceived guest experience and satisfaction. Overall, these benefits provide a powerful incentive for guests to book direct.
Using Hotelchamp Convert, we helped our client create a campaign made up of 3 messages on their website, targeted at different moments of the guest journey. Though highlighting the same offer, the messages ensured coverage on different devices and helped accomplish different goals. They all contained an action button which applied the promo code directly in the booking engine. This streamlines the process and enhances the user experience. We will go into further detail about how each individual message helped make the campaign successful.
1. Countdown exit message to create urgency
The first message was a flash sale message which was only displayed on the website for 14 days. Yet, it rendered amazing results. Displaying a countdown, it created a sense of urgency that contributed to the effectiveness of the message. Moreover, it was triggered when users are leaving the browser tab. This diminished the opportunities for the visitor to drop off and gives them one last nudge to make the booking.
Results: In just 14 days, this message was seen over 9,300 times and had a high CTR of 12.66%. It also proved to be an effective nudge, having had a conversion rate of 4.91%.
2. Inline messages for a seamless experience
The second website interaction was an inline message visible on the homepage and the ‘Rooms and Suites’ page. Aiming to be more subtle, the message used inline technology which keeps the browsing experience seamless for the user and poses no distraction from the main content of the page. This positioning kept the offer present at all times so that visitors can go back to it. As a result, it had a higher view count than the exit message, with nearly 36,000 views in 2 months.
Results: Aside from having a high view count, the inline interaction also achieved a click-through rate of 5.22%. In addition, it had a higher conversion rate of nearly 6.1%, bringing in more bookings, and thus higher direct revenue.
3. Mobile campaigns for increased visibility
It’s very important to be available on all channels—especially given the increased demand for both mobile payments and mobile support and availability in the eCommerce space. In terms of travel, the user journey is complex and spans multiple devices. As a result, this campaign’s third website interaction came in the form of a floating tab on mobile. People mainly use mobile for travel research and to look for discounts and offers. As such, it is still common that people will switch devices to finish their bookings. Hence, the main goal of this mobile interaction was to accommodate these website visitors in their research journey and increase visibility and awareness of the campaign.
In order to not intrude on the browsing experience, this message was initially minimised—prompting interested guests to check the offer at will. After opening the message, the tab covers most of the screen. This directs full attention to the offer, before being minimised again to continue browsing.
Results: The mobile version of the message had a view count of over 87,000 in 2 months, achieving its goal of bringing awareness and aiding in cross-device research.
It’s crucial to keep the customer journey in mind when creating campaigns, especially considering the complexity of a traveller’s customer journey. Think of all the touchpoints along the journey and minimise the change of drop-off by making information always available. When your guests are researching, make sure you display your offers on any page they might be visiting, like the ‘Rooms’ page and on mobile. When they are ready to book, keep your offer present and make it easy for them to apply it. All in all, making your offer present across multiple touchpoints will result in a successful conversion campaign.
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