Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Using Urgency To Increase Hotel Conversion

Using Urgency To Increase Hotel Conversion

Creating a sense of urgency and instilling that feeling in the minds of potential customers has long been a conversion tool in many markets outside of the hospitality industry. Within the hospitality industry, online travel agencies have used this technique for some time now. However hotels, whether chains or independents, have been slow to adopt the use of urgency in their marketing campaigns and booking engines. This reluctance may be due to the organizational inertia that results in a resistance to change or maybe a simple lack of knowledge regarding its implementation.

This is unfortunate because the use of urgency can be highly effective in leading potential guests to book their hotel stays sooner rather than later. Hotels who choose to adopt the technique of urgency, particularly in their booking engines, will benefit greatly from using this tactic. Travelers looking for a hotel will spend less time comparison shopping, resulting in longer lead times and shorter booking times for hoteliers.

Creating Urgency In A Hospitality Environment

Instilling a sense of urgency in the minds of hotel website customers can require nothing more than providing them with useful availability data in real time. Interspersed with the information can be encouraging text such as “book soon”, “rooms going fast”, “_ rooms remaining at this rate”, etc. It can also be effective to show website customers how many people are viewing the hotel as well. Letting them see the number of views within a specific time frame, and how many rooms are left for their selected dates can clearly speed up booking numbers.

If the hotel is making specific online offers to their customers, putting time limits on these offers and promotions creates a feeling of urgency. A useful method is to boldly showcase a countdown to the end of the offer or promotion. Sometimes just simply adding a time element to a rate can be enough of an encouragement. For example, “today’s” rate rather than “daily” rate. Small adjustments to hotel website text can be highly effective, yet subtle.

Following up with hotel website users who don’t complete the booking process can create the urgent need for them to go ahead and book the room. This can be accomplished easily with the early capture of customer email addresses and by sending an email reminder explaining how the rates are tied to availability. These follow up messages help build customer loyalty as well.

Creating a sense of urgency for online hospitality customers should never entail providing false information or in any way disingenuous. Fake urgency can only result in customers feeling manipulated and angry, meaning the hotel will get them to book a stay, but only once.

Using urgency to increase hotel conversion rates simply requires empowering customers with the information needed to make educated travel arrangements, while encouraging them to act now rather than think it over.

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