By Paul Sumner, Communications Director at Go Inspire Group
Are you considering all the options when it comes to building your marketing campaign? 87% of marketers in the hospitality sector think that email campaigns are the most effective mechanism to turn warm leads into customers; however, Go Inspire Group’s research shows that this channel alone is not always the most powerful.
Cost-effectiveness and a broad reach are not the only aspects that should be considered when planning a campaign; the strength and weaknesses of every channel should always be analysed in depth. The first in a series of randomised control trials (RCTs) carried out by Go Inspire Group revealed that direct mail outperforms direct email, gaining greater incremental revenue; moreover, results highlight that a combination of direct email and mail outperforms the results of each one in isolation.
The integration of traditional and digital channels produces the highest return on investment; but only if implemented correctly! In its second RCT, Go Inspire Group shows how to efficiently optimise and personalise direct mail campaigns. We have identified three key steps that hotel marketers should take in order to build a strategy that stands out from approaches without personalisation.
- Personalise your messages
Personalisation is a must for a successful campaign; research looking at marketing in the hospitality sector shows how personalisation increases email open rates by 26% and how 86% of travellers like and value personalised offers. Despite these numbers, only 44% of consumers think that the messages that they receive are accurately personalised. In order to master personalisation, marketers need to capture customers’ data and really understand it; addressing your customers by name is not enough!
The use of tailored visuals and design can make a drastic difference to the campaign’s outcome and small adjustments such as targeted call-to-actions can positively influence your audience. Research shows that making calls-to-action relevant to each traveller or audience segment improves conversion rates, with 42% higher view-to-submission rates reached through the use of a bespoke approach rather than with traditional standardised calls-to-action.
- One size doesn’t fit all
The better you know your customers the more your personalisation will be accurate and your campaign successful. To prove this point, Go Inspire Group’s RCT trialled different levels of design ‘vibrancy’ across a variety of segments, showing that increased vibrancy produces an overall incremental revenue uplift of 20%.
Go Inspire Group’s RCT also tested the efficiency of messaging and imagery targeting recipients’ individual area(s) of product interest, historical behaviour and potential. The results show a 128% uplift in incremental revenue – the highest increase overall – while the incremental revenue generated varied between product categories from 72% to 197%. These numbers provide clear evidence that each customer segment should be considered separately from the others and that marketers should put in place different tailored strategies for an optimal campaign outcome.
- Look at the bigger picture
In order to better understand how successful a marketing campaign really is, response rates and opening rates shouldn’t be the only metrics analysed. Focusing on alternative – but more representative – marketing measurements, can provide marketers with useful insights. To identify the commercial outcomes, for example, of personalised direct mail, Go Inspire Group looked at the incremental revenue generated per customer – net of campaign costs.
Using incremental revenue as a benchmark allows marketers to have a true understanding and a real representation of their campaigns; while focusing solely on inward-looking metrics could provide them with an inaccurate representation that would prevent them from developing their strategy in the right direction.
Marketers in the hospitality industry do not have it easy; the high number of competitors and the broad and varied audience makes it challenging for campaigns to stand out from the crowd and be remembered. Focusing on personalisation can significantly improve the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, increasing ROI and improving your customers’ loyalty through greater satisfaction.