Booking windows are shrinking. We first noticed this trend a few years ago and released data to show that 48 percent of reservations made in 2018 were ‘last minute’, or booked within a week of check-in. In addition, in 2018 only 13 percent of reservations were booked more than 60 days in advance. A few years later, the window continues to shrink. According to TravelPulse, Priceline’s data found that more than 76 percent of flight bookings were made within a week (seven days) of the departure date in 2020.
Today, it’s common to see booking windows of just one or two days as travelers quickly adjust to post-pandemic travel conditions. While borders are starting to open up around the globe, many people are keeping a close eye on the Delta variant and wondering whether there might be more travel restrictions in the next few months. Rather than plan for an uncertain future, travelers are booking getaways just days before their anticipated trip.
As a result of shrinking booking windows, it’s important for hoteliers to tweak their marketing plans and add strategies to take advantage of last minute bookers. In this blog article, we explore the top four ways that Revenue Managers are leveraging Revinate’s segmentation builder, a feature in Revinate Marketing, to drive both last minute business and ADR.
Drive Guests to Extend Their Stay
Stay extension campaigns are an effective way to drive business during a slow day of the week. You can target these campaigns to your already captive (in-house) guests to encourage them to extend their stay by one or two nights. This upsell offer is highly effective because guests have already made the decision to travel and book with you; Adding additional nights to their stay is an easier decision, especially if they’re enjoying their stay and dreading returning back to their normal lives.
Looking for some campaign ideas? Since many companies have not yet asked their employees to return to the office, you can offer an ‘ease back into the office’ promotion, encouraging them to stay another couple of days but work from the comfort of the hotel versus their homes. Tout your blazing fast internet and quiet public spaces. Or, let them know about any upcoming events at the hotel or in the local vicinity to drive FOMO and encourage a booking extension.
To set up this campaign with Revinate’s segmentation builder, use the DOW segmentation filter to isolate guests checking out on a particular day for a hyper-targeted communication that is guaranteed to drive revenue.
Drive Your Last-Minute Planners to Return
Who better to take advantage of last minute travel deals than past guests with short booking lead times. These guests have proven that they don’t need a lot of lead time to get ready for a trip so leverage that information and target them with promotions for last minute stays.
Since the email will be sent close to the check-in day, your promotions can leverage the weather forecast, your dining specials or big games that might be playing in the bar. Or, just let them know that you love their free-wheeling spirit and great things come to those that wait. Get creative and watch the bookings roll in.
To set up this campaign with Revinate’s segmentation builder, use the Booking Lead Time segmentation filter and target guests who have historically booked with less than two or three days lead time.
Target your Local Guests
During the pandemic, we saw local guests become a lifeline for hotels that were still open and operating. These guests were looking to escape the monotony of the lock-down with some fun and pampering, without having to get on a plane. Even though the worst of the pandemic seems to be over, hotels shouldn’t forget about their local guests as many people today are looking to avoid crowds or are not yet ready to return to air travel.
To set up a campaign targeted at local guests with Revinate’s segmentation builder, use the Guest Location filter. Set the location to be within X miles of your hotel and watch your parking lot fill up with drive-to travelers.
Focus on On-Property or Arriving Guests
Capitalize on the excitement of travelers about to start their vacations, or those already on vacation, with targeted communications aimed to drive additional revenue through upsells or extended stays.
We have written a lot about upsell campaigns on our blog and have benchmark data to help hoteliers understand which offers convert. But, hoteliers should think about how to create personalized offers based on guest segments. For example, drive-to guests will appreciate parking offers and families with kids might leverage breakfast or babysitting offers.
To set up this campaign with Revinate’s segmentation builder, use the Guest Status segmentation filter to isolate guests that are staying in the future. Create a promotion that encourages them to add additional days to their trip to get the most out of the vacation. Or, select guests that are on-property and encourage them to extend their stay.
As you can see, it has never been easier to send highly targeted offers and promotions to any segment of your guest database. If you can think of a guest segment, Revinate Marketing likely has an easy way to find it in the database, using the segmentation builder.
Want to get a demo to see how easy it is to find and market to your segments in a personalized way that drives revenue? Reach out today. We can’t wait to talk to you.