Book directly at the source
Direct bookings are the key to revenue and reservations in the hotel industry. While removing your listing from third-party sites is not advisable, direct online bookings are the best option for hoteliers. Hoteliers prefer direct bookings over third-party listings because they save you commission and allow for better customer-hotel relationships.
Many hotel owners don’t know how to attract direct bookings. When it comes to acquiring direct reservations, website optimization, email marketing and guest loyalty all play a role. Often, many details go unnoticed in hotel businesses that can be improved to improve these strategies.
This article will help you increase sales on your website. These seven strategies will encourage travellers to get straight to the source and help them avoid third-party detours.
How to increase direct bookings in your hotel
Create clever campaigns
Provide more value to your guests when they book through your website. Communicate your message loudly and clearly.
A well-thought-out campaign can make it easier to encourage guests to book directly with your hotel. Book Direct campaigns are a great way to get direct bookings. Many of the biggest names in the hotel industry use them well.
Your campaign should communicate the benefits of booking directly with your hotel rather than through OTAs. Your hotel should not use comparative language or compare booking platforms to get the message across. Instead, your hotel should use clever copy to communicate the benefits clearly and directly. Book direct with us to get 10% off in the autumn, or book directly on our website to get a complimentary bottle of wine when you arrive. Skift reports that around 45% of travellers consider offers or perks important when booking a hotel room. So don’t underestimate the power and impact of a well-designed campaign and great deals.
Warmly welcome OTA guests
Visitors may come to your site through an OTA. However, you can convert them into visitors right on your website.
Guests might visit OTA’s to see a list of hotels near their location and price range. However, they will also be likely to look at a few actual hotel websites before deciding. Guests can visit hotel websites to see photos, branding, or additional information about your facilities. This is good news for both you and your hotel. Your hotel website should be optimized for guests. It should also be well-branded, user-friendly, and engaging. (More on that later).
It also means that you should make every effort to invite OTA guests to book directly through your website. This will remove any incentive for them to go to another OTA to book a hotel room. In return for a 10% discount on your first booking, you should communicate the importance of booking directly. You can then send a follow-up email with the latest offers to keep your potential visitors interested, and you can also send them a reminder email.
Reexamine your website branding, visuals, and content
Start by taking a step back. Then, start to compare your website with other great examples.
Hotels are losing conversions because their websites don’t grab visitors’ attention or lack images. It’s not a good experience for guests to visit a hotel website you like but then have all your questions unanswered. Your impression of the hotel is also affected. These cases are likely to lead to potential visitors elsewhere.
Your website should contain a selection of high-quality photos that show enough information about the hotel so that potential guests can make an informed decision on whether or not it meets their needs. All photos are important, including the exterior, bathroom, bar, restaurant, and bar shots and small frames that show the hotel’s personality. Make sure your branding is current, and your website is user-friendly.
It is important that your visitors can answer their questions while browsing your pages. You should list all facilities, add-ons and times that you can offer, check-in/check-out times, location maps, and any other information that may be useful. It will make it easy to learn about your hotel and make booking easy.
Your online reputation is what you should be focusing on
You can collect more reviews online via social media and Google.
The review is essential to the decision-making process of a guest. Nearly 98% of travellers read hotel reviews, and around 80% consider them extremely important in their decision-making process. The scary thing about hotel reviews is that one review can determine the success or failure of a hotel. A difference between a Google rating of 4.5 and 3.5 can significantly impact your business’ success. Hotel owners have a few options for using reviews to their advantage.
Businesses might consider giving out thank you cards, business cards, or similar instructions to guests. Email is a modern alternative. A few days after guests have left, send them an email asking for reviews. This can increase the number of reviews received. It also encourages those with less extreme opinions to rate the pool.
Owners of hotels should consider posting glowing reviews on their websites. These glowing reviews can be made visible to guests during the booking process and encourage them to book directly with a hotel.
Initiate a loyalty program
Be like the industry leaders, and make your guests feel right at home.
Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage direct bookings. The world’s largest players in the hospitality industry have used loyalty and reward programs for years to keep their guests informed about their offers and products. Loyalty programs can help create a sense for customers to belong and make it easier for them to return to their hotels often. A loyalty program can be a way for guests to feel like they are being supported or devoted to your brand or hotel by the care and attention you give them. The booking process becomes a part of the hotel website.
Another benefit of a loyalty program is the communication aspect, particularly email marketing. Regular, punchy marketing emails will keep your loyal customers informed about current offers. Your emails should highlight the perks that are booked through your website offers.
Book with a great engine
Book a booking engine that offers a simplified process and multiple payment options.
Guests must book directly through your website. Your hotel should compete with platforms such as Booking.com, which are optimized for speedy bookings. It’s not a good idea to invest in a fast and efficient booking engine. To avoid rejection at check-out, it is important to offer a range of payment options.
Mobile bookings are important.
Mobile bookings are becoming more common. Don’t forget about optimizing your mobile booking process.
According to reports, hotel bookings made on mobile devices increased 3-10x faster than those made on desktop devices in 2018. This is compared to 2016. OTA websites often offer better mobile booking options than OTA websites, as large OTAs provide well-thought, high-quality, and optimized booking processes. Hotel owners should realize that investing in the mobile-friendly booking is a good idea. This investment could be the solution to your problems, as more people are booking via their mobile phones.