Ireland’s largest regional hotel group, The iNUA Collection, includes 10 beautiful 4- and 5-star hotels across the island of Ireland. Its sustainable practices and the guest experience are what separate The iNUA Collection from other hotel brands. Every employee takes the guest experience to heart and focuses on crafting the best possible experience, which means understanding their guests and what guests are looking for from their stays.
When Emer Hallahan joined Cliste Hospitality, who owns and manages The iNUA Collection, as the Group Marketing Team’s first hire, she uncovered a treasure trove of unmined guest data — nearly 500,000 guest profiles were stored within each hotel’s property management system.
Emer knew that she had a tremendous opportunity to leverage this data and build a powerful revenue-producing marketing engine. She knew she needed a partner to help consolidate the data so it was actionable for guest marketing. But not any partner would do. As any European marketer knows, managing guest data is tricky. GDPR comes with risk — penalties are steep for mismanaging data and the complexities and legalities around GDPR are vast.
After an extensive vendor review, Emer selected Revinate Marketing to power iNUA’s data-first marketing strategy. Of the many reasons she selected Revinate Marketing, there are two that stand out. The first is the company’s experience and long history of bringing together disparate hotel systems to power accessible guest data at both the property and brand level. Second, it was clear from Revinate’s security practices and certifications that iNua’s data would never be compromised and would only be accessible to marketers if guests opted into communications.
After a brief implementation period, iNUA was ready to build a marketing strategy focused on its newly aggregated guest data.
“One of the most important things I did during this period was get buy-in from our hotel teams around the importance of collecting guest data so that we could build personalized guest journeys,” Emer says. “This is important because the population of databases is heavily dependent on our reservation teams capturing guest data on-site. Without their support, the program would not have been as successful.”
Luckily, all teams were on board. With a focus on capturing data, iNUA has almost tripled the number of guest emails in the database. Today, the 10 hotel teams are invested in the brand’s email health.
Because Revinate Marketing is intuitive and easy to use, it was widely adopted. This was helpful for Emer, who began her 1-year maternity leave 10 months after onboarding. Before leaving, she set up automated emails and pre-built segments and campaigns that the collection could leverage. Hallahan was confident that the teams would be able to continue her direct marketing efforts without much effort.
“I have no doubt that Revinate was a big part of keeping everything running smoothly during my absence,” Emer shares.
The iNUA Collection leverages Revinate to send both one-time and automated campaigns. One-time campaigns average €6k in revenue and 43 room nights. The team relies on personalization to drive ancillary revenue or demand dates (eg flash sales, midweek offers or exclusive rate codes). The average open rate for one-time campaigns is 19% and average CTR is 2%.
iNUA has embraced automated campaigns as a way to power an always-on revenue channel. Campaigns include “we miss you” and OTA winback. These have driven an average of 225 room night bookings. And automated pre-arrival emails serve to drive upsells and enhance the stay with items such as F&B reservations.
Recognizing that potential guests are spending time on social media, iNUA runs Instagram ads as well. They are then added to the database to receive direct email promotions, such as Black Friday deals.
Since going live with Revinate Marketing in 2020, The iNUA Collection has gone from 13% direct revenue to 20% as a result of its data-driven marketing strategy.
“Revinate gave us a competitive edge in the form of accessible data,” Emer says. “We can now securely and intelligently use our data in our marketing efforts. We can segment guests based on their behaviors, locations, family status, and interests. We build relationships by acknowledging birthdays and life milestones. We create repeat business by incentivizing loyalty and rewarding those who commit to our brands.”
Prior to the roll-out of Revinate across The iNUA Collection, 90% of hotel teams didn’t know what the Guest Data Platform was capable of. Today, teams boast about their hotel being top of the internal “Revinate League Table.” They proudly share that their email health has risen by an average of 22% in the past 24 months.
“The entire group has learned to embrace guest data at The iNUA Collection, and the rewards we are reaping from it are only growing,” Emer says.
By focusing on first-party data for marketing campaigns, the brand has driven more than €5.6m in revenue, or €185k per month of additional online direct revenue across the Collection.
“Today, email marketing is, without a doubt, our top channel for ROI,” Emer adds.