Hotel remarketing is the proactive way to get people who are interested in your hotel to return and make a direct booking. The effective way to remarket and do it for free is to allow your website visitors to opt-in to your follow-up “Book Later” message. To connect with first-time visitors to your hotel site and start a booking conversation, you must demonstrate trust and privacy. That is another reason why opt-in travel remarketing is the friendly way to capture hotel booking leads and turn them into customers.
Hotel Remarketing #1 – Email Newsletter
Do you already offer an email newsletter for your hotel, B&B, or boutique lodging? Instead of just using it for past hotel guests, collect and market to a list of people who want to book a room – just not immediately. Perhaps they need to think it over for a few days, talk to their family, or wait until they buy plane tickets.
Now of course you must follow through and write a useful hotel newsletter (monthly is a reasonable interval) that offers tips to subscribers. These valuable tips establish your hospitality or tour business as an expert and trustworthy source of travel planning advice.
The best part is that you get to contact everyone that reached your website, liked what they saw, and is somewhat likely to make a booking. Use this opportunity to remind subscribers of your unique property features, reasons to stay, and booking promotions.
Advanced Tip: Add a separate subscriber list for capturing hotel booking leads or prospects (let’s call them “opportunities”) that is separate from your list of past guests. That way you can tailor your hotel email marketing message to be most effective for each group.
Hotel Remarketing Technique #2 – Book Later Form
The next free method is to use a simple contact form, just like the one you have on your hotel’s “Contact Us” page. This technique can work regardless of whether you have an online booking engine (hosted onsite or at a third-party) or accept inquiries via web form and email.
For someone that discovers your hotel and is not ready to make a booking, how likely is it they will fill out a complex booking inquiry form or use the contact page to get in touch? More likely they will bookmark your site, copy the URL to their trip planning document, or simply try their best to remember to come back later.
Instead of leaving their booking conversion to chance, use an “Email Me Hotel Information” type form to be a proactive remarketer.
Advanced Tip: Set up a hotel auto-responder through your email client settings to instantly send your warm leads a friendly welcome message. Since their visit to your website will be fresh in their minds, they may be more receptive to an instant reminder about your hotel instead of waiting for your busy staff to respond.
Hotel Remarketing Technique #3 – Book Later Landing Page
Creating a lead-capturing landing page takes the Book Later email form method one step further. For this technique, design the same form but instead add it to a stand-alone landing page. This hosted web page is where you will direct travelers who are not ready to book now.
The advantage of a landing page is that it has only one call-to-action (CTA) button. The page is optimized to get the email address of someone who is interested but not ready to make a booking today. To remove all distractions from entering their email address and clicking submit, try to remove the navigation in the header, footer, or sidebar. Landing pages with photos, arrows, and a clean design are effective at getting more book later conversions.
Once your hotel lead-capture landing page (the “Book Later” page from the perspective of your customers) is live, add links to it. Just as you can embed your Book Later email form on the booking and room rates pages, you can instead link to your landing page.
Underneath the “Book Now” button and in places where you ask people to inquire about a booking, insert secondary CTA. This is solely for people who would benefit from an email reminder to return and book later. Here are several examples of book later optimized link text to consider:
Not Ready to Book Now?
Request a Book Later Reminder?
Remind Me to Book A Room Later
Bookmark This Page
Send Me This Page By Email
Your goal is to convince inbound visitors who would otherwise leave your site, perhaps never return, to click through to your hotel landing page. Once they are on that page, you can show them the benefits of submitting their email address. A friendly, private, and automated email message with a link back to your site is probably the easiest way for travel consumers to remember to make a hotel reservation.
Of course you must follow the email marketing best practice of never adding someone to your newsletter list without their opt-in permission. Simply get back in touch one time and invite them to continue down the hotel booking path. When you build trust by following through as promised, you are more likely to earn their direct booking.
Capturing leads on your hotel website is a necessary step to move travel consumers along the hotel booking sales funnel. You’ve got people to visit your website (hotel SEO, social media outreach, text and display ads, offline marketing) and you are doing a good job converting them into bookings. However there are a lot of lost opportunities in the middle – people that discover your hotel, are not ready to book today, and forget or are simply not motivated to return later.
By implementing a simple, trustworthy, and secure solution to capture hotel guest leads (opt-in of course), your property will have one more proven technique to gather more bookings. Since all three hotel email remarketing techniques in this article can be implemented for free, what are you waiting for?