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7 ways to automate great hotel booking journeys this Black Friday
Make hotel digital marketing a stress-free experience this Black Friday with tips to automate the customer booking journey, save time and increase revenue.
It’s the question every busy marketer fears. You knew it was coming - it happens every year - but budget season was hectic so you pushed it to the bottom of your to-do list until…
“What are we doing for Black Friday this year?”
No matter the size of your marketing team, there are certain calendar dates when the workload ramps up, steep goals are set and everyone feels just that little bit more frantic. Whether it’s Black Friday, Singles’ Day or the January sales, those peak shopping days that present incredible sales opportunities also bring their fair share of panic and stress.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! Automation and generative A.I. tools have never been more accessible to hoteliers. The trick is working out where they can be most effectively applied to take the strain off your team. Below we’ll outline how automation and A.I. can be used to save you time (and budget!) at every stage of the customer booking journey - or use the links below to jump straight to the part of the funnel you’re most interested in fixing.
- Use ChatGPT to revolutionize your organic SEO strategy
- Let customers preview your price on Paid Search to boost qualified traffic
- Have the best price in Metasearch with automated precision discounting
- Personalize your website for every guest (and get ChatGPT to write headlines!)
- Recover lost bookings with 100% automated Cart abandonment and Back-in-stock emails
- Show search itineraries and personalized pricing in Retargeting ads to bring guests back to your website
- Don’t overpay your digital marketing providers for Black Friday bookings!
Use ChatGPT to revolutionize your organic SEO strategy
Over 90% of online experiences begin with a search engine but 75% of searchers don’t click past the first page of results. That means your SEO strategy is incredibly important - but it's also incredibly time consuming. Keyword research and content creation takes a lot of time and effort - until now. The launch of ChatGPT means hoteliers can create SEO-boosting content in record time.
At the Direct Booking Summit Chicago, SEO expert and Vice President, Digital Marketing at Westgate Resorts, Alex Velazquez, provided a, step-by-step guide to creating SEO content that will drive a hotel’s rankings up the results list. The best bit? You can follow his steps in just 30 minutes.
Alex explained how global media and hospitality brand, Time Out, dominate organic rankings for ‘New York Hotels’ by using list-type articles that live on their blog. They use the EAT model: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Hotels should focus on building search engine expertise and authority for their destination. Write about your city lifestyle, guest interests, and your hotel’s unique selling points. Search engines like Google are focused on authority. If you can create a blog full of content that builds shows expertise on things to do, places to eat, nightlife, local beaches, etc. your website will rank higher. With the right prompts - which Alex shared in his presentation - ChatGPT can write all this content for you. Want to know what those prompts are? Sign up to the Triptease newsletter where we’ll be sharing his full presentation very soon…
Let customers preview your price on Paid Search to boost qualified traffic
It's hard to have a competitive edge in Paid Search ads. Most hotels lose traffic to OTAs with huge marketing budgets and ultimately lose bookings as a result. But what if your branded ads automatically highlighted the one thing customers care about most when booking?
Finding the right hotel at the right price is crucial for all guests. Triptease’s Price Preview functionality highlights the direct ‘from’ price automatically in Paid Search ads, providing a competitive edge over OTAs who don’t have access to this data.
Price Preview offers a great experience for customers too. People who click on your ads already know that your price is right for them - you’ve saved them a step of having to check if your hotel is within their budget. The price they see in Paid Search ads will be reflected on the booking engine too, providing a consistent, premium experience that helps to build trust in your brand.
Want to automatically increase qualified direct traffic by previewing your price? Speak to a member of the Triptease team today.
Have the best price in Metasearch with automated precision discounting
Metasearch is where high-intent customers are looking specifically for your hotel, on specific dates. The competition for clicks on this lower-funnel channel is fierce. From January 2022 to September 2023 cost-per-click increased by 90% - from $2.20 to $4.20! So it’s a place where budget can easily be wasted if you’re not using intelligent, algorithmic bidding that adapts based on a customer’s likelihood to book and your price parity status. It’s also a place where hotels can easily (and automatically) funnel high intent guests away from OTAs to the direct channel - but only if you have the best price.
Triptease’s Price Match functionality allows hoteliers to automatically discount their prices on metasearch by just enough to undercut their selected OTAs. You choose which OTAs you want to price match and the range of discounts you’re happy to provide. Triptease then applies the appropriate precision discount to ensure that the hotel only ever discounts by the minimum amount required to win that booking - typically just a few dollars. The hotelier stays in full control of their prices, but metasearch price undercutting is no longer an issue.
McDreams Hotel doubled their Metasearch CTR by offering just a 4% discount via Price Match. More generally, Triptease clients are seeing 17% of total metasearch bookings coming from Price Matched links, with a 42% click-through-rate and a more than a 15% ROAS. This is true set-and-forget marketing automation that saves time, money and uneccesary stress.
Want to use precision discounting to have the best price on metasearch every time, automatically? Speak to a member of the Triptease team today.
Personalize your website for every guest (and get ChatGPT to write headlines!)
While price is the number one factor that will bring the right customers to your website, personalisation is the reason they’ll stay there. But segmenting your customers and tailoring their website experience based on who they are is time-consuming work.
That’s why a tool like Triptease’s On-site Messages is vital for any hotelier looking to increase direct bookings. It allows you to personalise the website experience based on a huge range of factors including where they’re located, the website they’ve come from, their check-in date, length of stay or party size.
But super busy marketers typically need more than that. When you don’t have time to analyse your own audience, the right smart targeting functionality can do the heavy lifting for you.
Triptease Smart Targeting allows hoteliers to:
- Automatically target customer based on whether they have a high or low likelihood to book
- Automatically target key audiences that have low conversion rates
- Automatically target visitors who’s searches resulted in no availability
And once you know which audiences make the most sense to target, there are lots of additional automation tricks to get an impactful campaign set up fast:
- One click translation to match your personalized messages to the languages your website is available in
- An automated campaign headline generator, powered by ChatGPT
- Your hotel branding pre-set and automatically applied to all messages
- Instant image selection via Unsplash
- Benchmarking data and message recommendations, based on your current live campaigns
- Add a discount code, countdown timer or email capture functionality in seconds
Personalization can increase a hotel's website conversion by 16%. If you’re looking for advice on what a great Black Friday website message looks like download our Guide to Black Friday messaging. It's packed with examples from real hotels.
Want to identify and target high value audiences instantly? Speak to a member of the Triptease team today.
Recover lost bookings with 100% automated Cart abandonment and Back-in-stock emails
There are two key ways that your booking engine leaks revenue: Cart abandonment and no availability. The average hotel cart abandonment rate (when customers get distracted and abandon their booking) is 80%, while the average no availability rate (when your customer was ready to book but you didn’t have a room available for their selected dates) is 20%. During peak sales seasons like Black Friday that cart abandonment rate is likely to spike as customers compare offers from multiple OTA and competitor websites.
Most existing solutions require a lot of manual work. You need to collect email addresses during the booking process, manually add them to your CRM then build your Cart abandonment email. It’s even more complex for Back-in-stock, where you’ll also need to monitor cancellation rates and cross reference them with the search dates of customers who saw no availability for their search.
That’s why Triptease recently launched two 100% automated, set-and-forget email solutions designed to tackle both of these revenue leaks. Early performance data is showing that our Cart abandonment emails have 70% open rates and 24% click through rates, while Back-in-stock emails allow hoteliers to resell cancelled rooms or suggest alternative hotels when a customer's first choice is sold out. Triptease customers are already seeing a fantastic ROI, with zero work for the hotel team.
Want to instantly automate your email strategy? Speak to a member of the Triptease team today.
Show search itineraries and personalized pricing in Retargeting ads to bring guests back to your website
So far we’ve looked at automated ways to bring the right traffic to your website, as well as the tools that can help you automatically target tailored messages - and 100% automated emails - to potential high value customers.
The final step of the booking funnel? Bringing back the people who have visited your website but left without making a booking. Once again, using the right price data can have an outsized impact on your Retargeting channel. Your customer’s attention span is limited when they’re browsing the internet. Anything you can do to remind them that your hotel (and your direct price) is the right choice for them is helpful.
Triptease’s fully-dynamic display ads pull in relevant information about each guest automatically to create uniquely personalized adverts in real time. If they’ve already run a search on your booking engine, they’ll see their most recent search itinerary and your best price for their dates. If not, they’ll see your ‘from’ price which should entice them back to run a search.
Want to display relevant price and itinerary details in Retargeting ads automatically? Speak to a member of the Triptease team today.
Don’t overpay your digital marketing providers for Black Friday bookings!
The final, crucial piece of automation that will ensure an impactful Black Friday for your hotel is less about customer experience and more about boosting ROI while saving you time on reporting.
You may well be using a combination of some of the tactics above in your hotel right now. Perhaps you have a marketing agency managing top of funnel activities, a metasearch provider, a CRM and a website personalisation tool. If you've found a mix of providers that works for your business that's great - but the more third parties you work with the more chance there is that you're paying twice for the same booking. You can either accept that additional cost or you can put aside time each month to analyse attribution and figure out who drove each direct booking.
If neither of those options sound great, the simplest time saving solution is to work with a provider who handles the de-duping process for you. Triptease makes hotel marketers more efficient by automatically de-duplicating attribution across separate marketing channels. That saves you time and money, and provides a more consistent customer experience too.
Find out more about digital marketing automation with Triptease
Our team of digital marketing and direct booking experts can help you build the right strategy to save time, increase ROI and drive more direct bookings for your hotel. If you’d like to discuss your current challenges and get help designing a solution, get in touch via the form below.