Increase Your Hotel Sales in 2023 with These 15 Crucial Strategies
April 3, 2023
After several turbulent years, hotel sales are finally on the rebound after the pandemic-induced industry recession. In 2023, revenue per available room (RevPAR) is forecast to grow at a rate of 5.8% across the U.S. hotel industry – and demand for hotel rooms only continues to grow.
As the hospitality industry recovers, it is a perfect time to invest in your hotel sales strategies, and introduce innovative new techniques to attract hotel guests. From cross-selling to email marketing, there is no shortage of opportunities to increase your hotel revenue.
This guide will look into 15 different hotel sales strategies you can use to:
- Increase revenue
- Improve the guest experience
- Secure direct sales and bookings
- Competitively position your hotel
1.Focus on Booking Abandonment Campaigns
Cart abandonment is a popular strategy used by eCommerce businesses in order to increase revenue. But this strategy is not specific to any one industry, and hoteliers can (and should) utilize cart abandonment strategies to increase hotel revenue.
Hospitality reports estimate that $10 billion in revenue is lost each year to abandoned bookings. However, many hotels simply aren’t tracking or recovering these potential sales, leading to a black hole of revenue drain.
Only 0.58% of guests complete their online reservations, but with a booking abandonment campaign in place to recover sales, hotels can increase revenue drastically.
If your hotel website generates 10,000 leads per month, with the average 2% conversion rate, you can expect 200 bookings. However, 80% of bookings are abandoned, leaving 8,000 potential guests. Even recovering just 1% of these lost bookings can result in 80 more reservations, a 40% increase.
The best way to launch a booking abandonment campaign is to invest in an all-in-one booking abandonment tool. Booking abandonment tools take the guesswork out of your abandonment campaigns, by providing multiple features designed to optimize your campaigns.
We recommend looking for software with the following features:
- Real-time tracking
- Pre-made email templates
- In-depth analytics and reporting
- Data integration with your booking engine
RezRecover is one solution that contains all of the above features, and more. If your goal is to increase direct bookings in 2023, why not learn more about everything RezRecover can do for your hotel?
2.Personalize the Guest Experience
Personalization is key to creating a unique and memorable guest experience at your hotel. When guests feel that their individual preferences are considered, they are more likely to feel valued and satisfied with their stay.
In fact, studies show that personalized experiences can lead to increased bookings and hotel sales. According to a report by Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences. On top of that, 36% of US travelers say they would pay more for a personalized hotel experience.
Personalization can take many forms, from offering customized room amenities to providing tailored recommendations for local attractions and dining options. By gathering data on guests’ preferences and behaviors, hotels can anticipate their needs and tailor their experience accordingly.
To easily harness the power of personalization, invest in an email marketing tool with automated personalization tools. RezRecover’s Booking Engine Data Sync (BEDS) allows you to inject customer data into your booking reminders and emails automatically. This ensures all your booking abandonment campaigns are highly personalized, while your marketing teams save time and improve results.
3.Monetize Early Check-In and Late Check-Out
Hotel rooms sit empty for an average of 25% of the day due to strict check-in and check-out times, but flexible options can incentivize guests to pay for the extra convenience and fill otherwise empty rooms.
Traditional check-in and check-out times can be inconvenient for many travelers, who may arrive in the early hours of the morning or depart late at night. Offering early check-in for a fee is a valuable option for weary travelers who need to relax and settle in after a long-haul flight.
Similarly, a late check-out option can give guests more time to explore the city before heading to the airport. Additionally, by providing flexible options, you can make better use of your resources and increase revenue.
4.Use Segmentation to Target Ideal Guests
As a hotel sales team, you can benefit greatly from utilizing guest segmentation to increase hotel sales. By dividing guests into specific groups based on their needs, preferences, and behaviors, you can better tailor your marketing and sales strategies to each segment.
For example, you may create a segment of business travelers who have booked a conference or event at your hotel. This group might have different needs and preferences than leisure travelers, such as requiring access to meeting rooms or airport shuttles. By understanding the unique needs of this segment, you can tailor your sales pitch and offer upgrades based on their preferences.
There are multiple strategies for segmenting your target market, but a few common strategies include:
- By demographics, such as age, gender, income, and location
- By behavior, such as past booking history, spending habits, and preferred amenities
- By purpose of travel, such as business, leisure, group, or event bookings
5.Leverage Social Media & Short-Form Video
Social media is a fantastic way to “humanize” your hotel marketing while also showcasing the guest experience, and has been a crucial element in hotel marketing for a long time.
However, recently, the younger generation of travelers have started using video-based platforms, like TikTok, as their primary research tool. At a technology conference in July 2022, Google’s Senior Vice President stated as much as 40% of young people use social media, like Instagram and TikTok, to conduct research.
Hotels looking to increase web traffic and direct bookings in 2023 cannot ignore the importance of social media in their digital marketing. Here are some ways your hotel can utilize short-form video and social media to increase sales:
- Film hotel room tours and property walk-throughs
- Highlight unique amenities
- Promote food and beverage options
- Showcase local attractions and events
Would be cool to embed this video example: https://www.tiktok.com/@hilton/video/7182233082722929963
Social media is also a great way to build a community of loyal guests and create a sense of belonging for travelers. Through user-generated content and reviews, you can demonstrate the authenticity of your hotel and create a community of brand advocates.
6.Provide Travel Financing Options
By providing payment plans or financing options, you are giving travelers the ability to afford and book longer stays or more luxurious accommodations that may have otherwise been out of reach.
With the current state of the economy and looming concerns of a recession, many travelers may be hesitant to spend a large sum of money upfront. By offering financing options, you can help alleviate some of these concerns and increase the likelihood of a booking.
If you do not already offer financing to your guests, you can do so through the main provider for hotel financing – Uplift. It’s also worth noting that travel financing options can be a competitive advantage for your hotel over other properties that do not offer such options.
7.Offer Package Rates and Group Incentives
Why focus on selling a single room, when you can sell multiple at once? Creating package rates for groups can be a highly effective strategy for increasing sales.
Here are some key steps and benefits to keep in mind:
- Identify your target group: Determine which types of groups are most likely to book at your hotel. This might include wedding parties, conference attendees, sports teams, or tour groups.
- Create a customized package: Develop a package that is tailored specifically to the needs and preferences of your target group. For example, a wedding party might be interested in a package that includes discounted room rates, free breakfast, and a shuttle service to the wedding venue.
- Promote the package: Once you have developed your package, promote it to your target group through various marketing channels. This might include email campaigns, social media ads, or targeted outreach to event planners or group travel organizers.
Benefits of offering group packages include increased revenue and occupancy rates, as well as the potential for repeat business and referrals. Additionally, creating customized packages can help to differentiate your hotel from competitors and provide added value to guests.
8.Build a Seamless Checkout Experience
Offering a seamless checkout experience is a critical aspect of increasing hotel sales, as it can help to reduce booking abandonment rates and improve the overall guest experience.
In fact, studies show that a significant percentage of travelers abandon their bookings when the booking process is too long and complicated. For example, a Sales Cycle survey found that 13% of travelers say they abandon their bookings due to a complicated checkout process.
To address this issue and increase hotel sales, hoteliers can take several steps to streamline the checkout process for guests. These might include:
- Simplifying the booking form
- Offering multiple payment options
- Using mobile optimization
9.Optimize for Mobile Bookings
If you want to increase hotel bookings, it’s crucial to optimize your booking process for mobile devices. According to a recent study by Adobe, more than half of travelers use their mobile devices to research hotels. Here’s how to optimize your booking process for mobile:
- Create a mobile-friendly website that is easy to navigate and use.
- Simplify the booking process as much as possible, with clear calls-to-action and minimal form fields.
- Ensure that your booking engine is mobile-responsive and loads quickly.
By optimizing your booking process for mobile, you can increase the likelihood of travelers booking a stay at your hotel. Don’t miss out on potential bookings by neglecting the mobile booking experience.
10.Consider Attribute Based Selling (ABS)
With attribute-based selling, you can offer more personalized and targeted products and services to your guests by offering them a “build your own” hotel experience. Instead of going the traditional route of selling by room type, attribute based selling involves selling room attributes and features individually.
This sales strategy includes creating tailored packages that bundle different room types, amenities, and other offerings to appeal to different segments of guests. For example, you might offer a “romance” package that includes a room with a king-sized bed, champagne and chocolates, and a couples massage. Or you could offer a family package that includes a room with a pull-out sofa bed, complimentary breakfast, and access to a hotel shuttle.
To implement attribute-based selling, you can use data analytics and customer feedback to identify the most popular guest preferences and create packages that align with these preferences. You can also use dynamic pricing algorithms to adjust package rates based on demand and availability, making it easier to maximize revenue and occupancy rates.
11.Opt for Dynamic Pricing
Dynamic pricing is a revenue management strategy where hotels adjust their room rates based on real-time market demand and other factors such as seasonality, events, and availability. By analyzing data on booking trends and market demand, hotels can adjust their prices in real-time, optimizing their revenue potential.
This strategy can benefit your hotel sales by increasing revenue and occupancy rates during high demand periods and filling empty rooms during low demand periods.
Additionally, dynamic pricing allows hotels to compete more effectively against online travel agencies (OTAs) by offering competitive rates that can be adjusted quickly based on market demand. By implementing dynamic pricing, your hotel can increase its revenue potential and better adapt to the constantly changing market demand.
12.Become a Destination Partner
Partnerships with other local businesses are a great way to offer unique experiences to your guests and showcase your beautiful destination. By developing excursions, add-ons and promotions that showcase the best of what your area has to offer, you can appeal to guests looking for more than just a place to stay.
Collaborate with local restaurants, museums, and activities to create packages that will entice potential guests.
This approach can also help you stand out from competitors, as guests will see you as a destination partner offering something special and memorable. Additionally, by working with other businesses, you can tap into their customer base and potentially expand your own.
13.Highlight Food and Beverage Deals
If there’s one thing we all like to do on vacation – it’s eating. Many guests prioritize the dining options when choosing a hotel, and a diverse and appealing menu can set your hotel apart from competitors.
You can highlight your on-site restaurant or bar, but also consider partnering with local restaurants to offer special discounts or promotions to your guests. Additionally, you can host food or beverage-related events, such as wine tastings or cooking classes, to give your guests a unique and memorable experience.
14.Upsell with Online Booking Incentives
Providing incentives for travelers to book directly with your hotel online, such discounted rates, room upgrades or food and beverage credits at check-in, allows you to stand out from the competition and drive more direct bookings.
Not only does this give you the opportunity to upsell guests during their stay, but it also helps reduce commissions paid to online travel agencies (OTAs) and increases revenue per available room (RevPAR). Don’t be afraid to get creative with your incentives and add-ons. The more unique and enticing the offer, the more likely travelers are to choose your hotel over others.
15.Improve Website SEO
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and it is a digital marketing strategy for increasing hotel sales. Optimizing your hotel’s website for search engines is an effective way to increase visibility, attract more website traffic, and ultimately drive more direct bookings.
To achieve this, start by conducting keyword research to identify relevant keywords that potential guests may use to find your hotel. Then, make sure to include these keywords in your website’s content, meta tags, and URLs.
It’s also important to optimize your website’s structure to ensure that it’s easy to navigate and has a clear hierarchy. Use descriptive and keyword-rich URLs and title tags to improve your website’s search engine ranking.
Creating high-quality content on a regular basis can also help to improve your website’s SEO. This could include blog posts, destination guides, and other helpful resources that are relevant to your target audience.
Finally, building high-quality backlinks from reputable websites can help to increase your website’s authority and improve its search engine ranking.
Ready for a Record Year of Hotel Sales?
The hotel business is constantly evolving, and it’s important for hotel sales teams to stay ahead of the game by implementing effective sales strategies. With the ever-changing landscape of marketing, it can be challenging to know where to focus your efforts.
Remember that the key to successful sales strategies is to continuously monitor and analyze their effectiveness. By testing and measuring different tactics, you can determine what works best for your hotel and adjust your approach accordingly.
Ultimately, the goal is to provide exceptional guest experiences and drive more bookings. By focusing on the key strategies in this article, your hotel will be well positioned to capitalize on the re-established demand for international travel.
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