Could retargeting and remarketing put an end to occupancy issues?

The hospitality game is challenging. One day you might be battling to fill rooms. Also, you might be sending people away because you are fully booked. If only there were some way to find the middle ground.

If your site is getting more hits than bookings, there may well be. It is a simple marketing trick called retargeting.

What is retargeting?

It is a marketing technique where you put a code snippet somewhere on your site. You then set the tracking rules. When someone matching the criteria visits the page, the snippet activates. It tracks your visitors’ behavior off-site. It will then display an ad for your services on whatever site they visit. 

Does this work?

Retargeted ads on Facebook are 76% more likely to get clicked than any others. Why? Your potential customers have already browsed your website. They are already familiar with your business.

Let’s use an example to see how this might work in real life.

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Joe Blogs and his wife want to travel to London. They want to see what accommodation is available. They visit your site. They click off, and you never hear from them again. You might assume that they were not interested.

But what if they were diligent consumers? Perhaps they wanted to look around for the best deal. Maybe they did not find the information on your site they needed. Perhaps they are not quite ready to book yet.

Now, let’s reimagine the scenario. This time, we will assume that the code has been installed on your site. Joe Blogs and his wife search your site and activate the code. When they head over to your competitor’s site, they will see an ad for your hotel.

Even if they do not, the next time they search for something on Google or access social media, they will see your ad. It could be an advert displaying a night-time view from one of the suites. It could be a video highlighting tourist attractions close to the hotel. You get the idea.  

With each successive touchpoint, Joe becomes more familiar with your brand. Instead of your hotel being one out of fifty anonymous ones he has researched, it becomes recognizable. As a result, he is more likely to book with you.  

Now that we have him, why not seal the deal with a touch of remarketing?

What is remarketing?

Remarketing is similar to retargeting. The difference is that with remarketing, the outreach is through email marketing rather than online ads.

Back to Joe. Joe has not decided who he wants to book with. Then serendipity strikes. Your hotel reaches out with a special package deal. It could be a free night’s stay, a discount, or a free upgrade.

The point is that Joe now has an extra incentive to book with your hotel. He is quite familiar with the brand, thanks to your adverts. The special treatment might just push him to make a buying decision.

Is this legal?

Retargeting is perfectly legal. You should have a notice about cookies being used on your site. The code we are talking about is not technically a cookie, but it is close enough. If your visitors agree to you using cookies, you can to retarget them.

Remarketing can be a murky area at times. According to GDPR regulations and tightening privacy laws, your visitors must accept to receive emails from you. There are ways around this.

Perhaps you could ask them for their email address to send them a quote. Or get them to subscribe to a newsletter. You will need to clarify somewhere on the page that you want to send them marketing information as well.

But you can couch that in terms like, “Subscribe to get your discount.” Provide Joe with something he wants, and he will be happy to get the email.

Final notes

Retargeting is an excellent way to touch base with a client you thought you lost. Not everyone who visits your site will book on the same day. In fact, very few people will. Does that mean that they are not interested? As we have shown above, not at all.

Why not try a touch of retargeting yourself and see how it works out for you?

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