Today, “71% of marketers rate re-engagement campaigns as effective, yet 51% are actually implementing them.” Although powerful, re-engagement programs aren’t being used to their full capacity.
For hotels, re-engaging a guest after they’ve left is a great way to keep your property top of mind long after the customer journey has ended. It’s a marketing tactic that over the years has proven to aid businesses immensely and promote guest loyalty to improve retention and revenue.
In order to help you kickstart your re-engagement campaign, we’re uncovering the top advantages and the tactics you can use in your hotel to receive optimal results.
Why Re-Engage In The First Place
To begin, re-engaging guests can help you drive more profits and eliminate unnecessary spend. As many marketers and business owners know, it is much cheaper retaining existing guests than trying to engage new ones. In fact, according to The Harvard Business Review “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one”.
In addition, “the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70% more than the probability of selling to a new prospect, which is 5-20%”. With re-engagement of current guests, you don’t have to put your money into extensive marketing materials and strategies to get noticed and stand apart from competitors. An existing guest knows your brand – they just have to be reminded of your services. By sending out re-engagement messages or ads, you reinforce your presence in the guest’s life and increase the probability of repeat business.
In addition, if you go that extra mile by re-engaging a guest and end up retaining them, you can actually increase your profits – more so than with a new guest. Research by Fredrick Reichheld of Bain and Company cites that an increase in customer retention rates by 5% actually increases profits by 25% to 95%. By simply showing guests your admiration for their patronage through a carefully crafted message, you can reap a great reward.
Lastly, re-engagement gives you the opportunity to strategize, spice up your content and win over your guests with a more tailored approach. With a re-engagement strategy you’ll need something enticing, so let’s say 30% of your existing guests became disengaged between March and June. Taking a look at what tactics and content you put out during that time to cause such a drop can help you create new content accordingly. Similarly, if engagement sparked from January to February, you can take components of the tactics used in those pieces of content and use them for new re-engagement messages. By doing this, you pinpoint audience preference which allows you to conjure up new content and tactics that are more in line with your audience demands. In addition, the new content you produce can be used as collateral for your already engaging guests.
Although re-engaging guests has proven to help your marketing team improve the content and increase revenue, in order to obtain those optimal results you need to take the proper steps. To help optimize your results with a re-engagement program, we’ve contrived some helpful tactics.
Tips for Re-Engaging Guests Post-Visit
Understand Your Current Engagement Position
Before you begin re-engaging guests, it’s vital that you look at how you’re currently engaging them and how they are responding, or in essence, your success rate. Knowing this will provide you with a baseline to create your re-engagement campaign.
For starters, look at your hotel’s engagement performance and understand what is working and what isn’t. Pose questions like; What is our current customer retention rate? What are our message open rates? What tactics are we using? How successful are they? What is the sentiment of the guests we are engaging? How many guests are we re-booking a stay with? And so on. Having an understanding of the current success rate will help you understand where you need to improve your new program and what tactics you can re-purpose.
Understand Your Guests and Get Personal.
When drafting up your re-engagement messages or when sending them out, personalization is key. Over the course of several years, personalization has been dubbed one of the most effective methods for engaging guests and optimizing revenue. According to a Forbes survey, more than 85% of mobile marketers report higher engagement, revenue, and conversion success by utilizing personalization marketing tactics.
When speaking to guests, use personalization and do it in a way the prompts a response. For example, use their name or reference one of their previous bookings. A message like this is a great place to start:
It’s been a while! We hope you had a pleasant stay with us last month. Since you commended us last time on our exquisite breakfast bar, we hope you enjoy this voucher for a complimentary breakfast on your next stay.
We hope to see you soon.
Today, there is a big demand for personalization because guests are given such a variety of brands to choose from. It is now expected that guest experiences be tailored to their unique needs – so much so that guests are less reluctant to give up their personal information to have such an experience. “In research from SalesForce, a survey of more than 7,000 consumers found that 57% of consumers were willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts” and, “44% of consumers say that they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience with a particular company”
In essence, by providing a personalized experience you connect with the guest and increase your chance of getting a positive response.
Reach Out On Their Preferred Channel.
What better way to show your guests that you listen and care about their preferences than reaching out to them on their preferred channel. For guests, how you decide to communicate with them is important. If they spend 70% of their time on Facebook and 30% of their time on Twitter, yet you’re re-engaging them via email – odds are they won’t see your message or when they do it’ll be too late and in their mailbox with 100 other business emails.
In order to re-engage them effectively, you have to consider the messaging channel of their choice. Thanks to advancements in technology, businesses can reach out to guests in more ways than one. Whether it be through social media, text message, messaging app, or email, if you have an omni-channel program in place you can connect with them freely. As a marketing tip, take a look at what channel they initially reached out to you on and where they’ve continued to talk to you. If they texted you and continued to text you throughout their last stay – leveraging SMS for re-engagement is a great way to optimize the probability of them responding to your outreach.
If you don’t have an omni-channel program in place, as a hotel marketer it is really worth considering to drive success. As reported by Aspect, “businesses that adopt omni-channel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t.” What’s more, if you leverage a solution like a Customer Engagement Management (CEM) platform, the whole process becomes simplified. By adopting a CEM solution you can manage a range of channels on one single platform and autoroute responses to appropriate team members. It’s an easy way to manage and leverage re-engagement.
Offer An Incentive In Return.
It’s no secret that guests love complimentary offers. It is a kind gesture that shows you value them and that you’re willing to go the extra mile in return for their continued service.
By providing an incentive you give a guest an excuse to return. Let’s say you’ve begun running a re-engagement program. In your re-engagement messages, you offer guests a 25% discount for the month of December as a Holiday promotion. If a guest is in town looking for a place to stay, the odds of them staying with you and using that 25% off are substantially higher than a competitor where they will have to pay full price. Pair that with excellent personalized service and ongoing outreach program on the channel they prefer, and choosing another hotel won’t even cross their mind.
When guests become disengaged, your hotel loses out on establishing valuable connections that drive loyalty. This can heavily impact your bottom line and overall success. By going the extra mile and re-engaging guests, you show the value you have for their business. This is especially true when you use tactics like personalization, offering an incentive, using their preferred channel, and so on.
For hotels, finding new and invigorating ways to promote guest loyalty is essential for business success. So, go that extra mile and retain guests by re-engaging them. If you need a CEM solution to manage this, then feel free to reach out to a Benbria Account Executive who can help you craft a solution that will work best for your business.