With Black Friday only a few weeks away, it’s imperative to start your hotel’s campaign process right now. The trick to a successful campaign is making sure that it stands out compared to the offers you promote throughout the rest of the year. Customers want special offers, and this is the time of year they are trained to expect them.
Industry experts Michael J. Goldrich and Fiona Gillen of The Hotels Network recently hosted a Black Friday webinar, sharing tips, insights, and best practices for building a successful campaign for your direct channel. Learn step-by-step how to leverage benchmarking and personalization technology on your website to increase direct channel conversions of your Black Friday campaign, and any campaign you design in the future.
Whether you have attempted this kind of campaign in the past or you’re a Black Friday newbie, the following tips will show you how to personalize your direct channel and convert your hotel website’s visitors into bookers.
1. Create a sense of urgency
A major theme that reappears throughout these learnings is urgency. The urgency of beginning the process of designing your Black Friday campaign, making the campaign live and guest-facing, and crafting your messaging and a CTA that encourages people to book quickly at your property. To communicate the time sensitive nature of your campaign, include a countdown clock within a Layer on your website to showcase the Black Friday offer to your potential future guests. This method has proven to be highly effective for boosting conversion rates as it helps nudge the visitor in the right direction of completing their booking in the moment, rather than procrastinating and taking the risk of missing out on the offer.
2. Maximize personalization
Hotels can leverage messaging on their website to promote the offer in terms of font choice, colors, and message format. However, it’s not just about the look and feel of the messaging, but ensuring the correct message is delivered to a specific person at the right time. Through targeting, you can maximize personalization on the hotel’s website to create a one-on-one connection with the prospective guest.
For example, by crafting an offer specifically for those who subscribe to your hotel’s newsletter, you will be able to personalize your communication even further to achieve this sense of connection with those targeted website visitors. By designing your message to this specific group, it elevates the feeling of exclusivity and encourages them to make the booking as they have the impression the offer is tailor made for them and too good to pass up. Drilling down on targeting is key to creating relevant messages that resonate with the intended audience to achieve top tier personalization.
3. Extend your offer for last-minute bookers
It’s common behavior of shoppers to wait until the last possible minute to complete a purchase if they know they have the time. However, sometimes these shoppers overestimate the amount of time they have, or simply forget about the offer. What’s a simple way to appeal to this audience? Extend the offer! By adding limited extra time to the deadline of your Black Friday offer, there will be significant additional revenue earned from those shoppers who thought they were too little too late to the deal. While this extension has the appearance of a last-minute decision, this can be something easily planned and coordinated within your campaign from the very beginning.
Following the use of these tactics and features on your hotel website to win over Black Friday hotel room shoppers, it’s important to take a look back at your areas of success within your campaign. Did the campaign achieve the goals you set? Did it drive the number of nights, bookings, or amount of revenue you hoped? By taking a closer look at your website analytics and benchmarking your direct channel, you’ll have a clearer picture of what worked best and engaged your audience. These insights are key both in building your marketing plan for the following year, as well as in optimizing any future campaigns.
For a comprehensive set of guidelines and a step-by-step explanation for creating a successful Black Friday campaign for your hotels direct channel, including how to utilize hotel website benchmarking and personalization technology, be sure to watch the full webinar.