Hotel guest

Tips for re-engaging with guests and generating repeat bookings.

While all guests are invaluable to your hotel, the positive revenue of repeat bookings shouldn't be overlooked. Retaining guest loyalty is an essential factor for a hotel's success.

  • Dawn Whittle
  • Published on June 29, 2021

Today's hotel guests are busy people, with more choices being served to them on a daily basis than ever before. This can make winning their attention and generating repeat bookings a real challenge.

While all guests are invaluable to your hotel, the positive revenue of repeat bookings shouldn't be overlooked. Retaining guest loyalty is an essential factor for a hotel's success.

This is why it is essential to provide a memorable guest experience during their stay and introduce post-stay tactics to keep your guests engaged.

Not only is guest re-engagement crucial for generating repeat bookings, returning guests are cheaper to convert and more profitable. In addition, once a guest's trust has been gained, they are more likely to upgrade, book longer stays, dine on-site, and make use of hotel facilities.

Re-engagement tactics help keep your repeat bookings flowing, but you need the tools and technology in place that enables you to deliver a great experience throughout the entire booking lifecycle, which can vary dependent on the guest. Therefore, you need to understand your guests' preferences and requirements to determine how you re-engage with them on a personal level.

Your CRM data is fundamental to understanding your guests
With Apple's pending privacy updates, it's more important than ever to understand what data is regulated and how you'll use it to identify returning guests.

When it comes to hotel email marketing campaigns, the open rate metric has been a critical indicator of guest engagement. Yet opens don't tell us much about the guests' booking intent.

Interactions such as click-through rates, page views, and previous booking preferences are far more valuable metrics to identify inactive guests.

Using these metrics will help you to understand the last time guests interacted with you and how long it's been since they prior booked. You'll then be able to use this data to segment and target your guests with personalised offers and communications to re-engage and drive repeated direct bookings.

Why is it essential to identify and target unengaged guests?

- It's more cost-effective to generate repeat bookings than to acquire new guests
- A large number of inactive guests in your mailing lists can be detrimental to your deliverability rate
- You have already gained the trust of returning guests who are more willing to spend money in your hotel
- There may be guests with booking intent in your mailing list who just need reminding of your offers to drive a direct booking and keep revenue ticking over

How to re-engage with guests and generate repeat bookings

Exclusive targeted offers and discounts
Offers and discounts exclusively available to returning guests are proven to be an effective re-engagement tactic. By drilling down into your CRM, you can strategically target your campaigns to segmented contacts.

Preferences and feedback requests
You shouldn't be afraid to ask your guests what they want. After all, your job is to provide them with exceptional service and a memorable visit. You want your guests to get maximum value and enjoyment out of their stay. The only way to achieve this is to understand their preferences and requirements.

Asking guests to fill out their preferences and provide feedback will help you to understand their needs. When you know what they want, you'll be able to deliver personalised communications to make your marketing interactions more effective.

If a guest on your mailing list has stopped engaging with your emails because their choices have changed, a preference update prompt can help you reassess their needs and move them to their relevant segment.

Likewise, asking guests for feedback is essential to identify areas in need of improvement. Feedback enables you to discover how guests felt about their stay at your hotel.

Personalise your communications
Personalisation is a fool-proof tactic for re-engaging with guests. Personalised communication based on past booking preferences helps to enhance the booking experience.

Sending post-stay communications is a great way to showcase the latest updates to your hotel, promote offers and remind guests how well you understand their personal preferences. Messages like this can spark a guest to head back to your website and hit that all-important 'Book Now' button.

Fear of missing out
FOMO is a powerful marketing tactic. Tapping into a guests 'fear of missing out' is a highly effective way to grab their attention.

'We miss you' messages offering returning guests exclusive offers and discounts make them feel special. As if they're valuable to you, not just a contact on a marketing list.

Triggered prompts

In most cases, and depending on your guests' lifecycle, long periods between booking is to be expected. However, during this time, it can be particularly challenging to maintain guest engagement.

To ensure guests have as positive a booking journey as possible, triggered prompts can re-engage and direct guests back to your website. In addition, property updates, refurbishments, and seasonal offers can run in the background, targeting guests at the optimal time to drive repeat bookings.

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