Innovation in technology has dramatically changed the hospitality industry in terms of providing people with access to great service and resources. However, while new technology has found a large audience in the customer service realm, it is often neglected when it comes to marketing. Send out the right message—that your hospitality business is forward thinking and innovative—by marketing in a way that catches the attention of prospective customers and shows off the great services you offer.
Email is the most traditional method of communication for most hospitality businesses, and for a good reason. Email is a time-tested means of sending wide-reaching, content-rich messages to your databases. This is ideal for a marketing campaign that is aimed at the widest audience possible, which is great for purposes such as sending a long-form sales message, update, or a newsletter.
Additionally, if your business is currently utilizing an email campaign, it will serve as a great backbone for developing other communication channels such as SMS. While email’s capabilities are not limitless, combining other channels with it can create a solid marketing strategy.
SMS’s short, targeted messages enable your business to reach a large audience quickly and engage in two-way communication. This allows your business to communicate with customers in a way that is relevant to them, mobile in nature and immediate in response.
However, many hospitality businesses do not currently possess an SMS database that is capable of reaching their target audiences. If this is the case, one way to create an SMS database is by encouraging users to opt in via the emails that are already being sent out. Additionally, if you already have an email opt-in form on your website, it is simple to add SMS opt-in to the same form to reach new customers. Another way to convince customers to opt-in to your SMS list is by offering an incentive that is relevant and worthwhile to them. This is extremely useful when developing an SMS list because consumers are often less willing to provide their phone number than their email address.
Additionally, the very nature of the hospitality business makes it easy to grow an SMS database. Since most of the time you will have your customers stepping foot inside your facility, placing opt-in offers on ads within and around your facility can generate huge opt-ins and huge results. Since your business provides a quality service, the customers who are happy with what they have received will be incentivized to opt in and will be willing to respond to additional offers you send out after they have left. This dramatically increases the likelihood of return business and of the success of your organization.
Integrating Communication Techniques
While both email and SMS are useful to your hospitality business individually, a multi-channel marketing strategy can create a system that builds on the strengths of each method of communication while supplementing the weaknesses of individual strategies.
For example, during a campaign, the bulk of your communication can be sent via email. Then, a shortened version or targeted offer can be sent to your SMS list to complement the primary email campaign. This method capitalizes simultaneously on the strength of email for distributing large amounts of information to broad audiences and the ability of SMS to personalize information and provide it in a timely manner.
Another benefit to this kind of multi-channel communication is that your hospitality business’s customers and prospects can be contacted in the manner they want to be. This increases response rates and ROI when your business conducts marketing campaigns. In order to do this, many hospitality businesses alert their customers to special rates and packages to encourage return visits. However, it is important for your hospitality business to realize the inherent diversity within your current customer base while determining which marketing methods are best for reaching different target groups.
This means utilizing methods other than traditional email communication, or even SMS, including voicemail or fax for your corporate customers. This could include emailing your databases coupons, calling loyal customers about special events, sending customers personal messages on their birthdays with special offers or discounts, or even last minute promotions to fill empty rooms
By utilizing this kind of two-way communication, your hospitality business can collect demographic information, interests, and communication preferences from your customer base. Your business can use this information to target specific groups within your database according to their preferences, making communication personaland relevant in order to keep customer records up-to-date and expand them for future marketing efforts.
Therefore, the key to growing a hospitality business is contacting customers and prospects the way they want to be reached. This means that a well-rounded marketing strategy is essential to maintain loyalty within and expand your customer base.
For more information on how to grow your hospitality business, download these free whitepapers:
How to Boost Performance by Integrating Email and SMS – Download Now
How to Conduct an Effective SMS Pilot Program – Download Now
For more digital marketing whitepapers and case studies, visit our Resources Section.
Posted in Digital Marketing Blog