The Lancemore Group is a collection of award-winning boutique hotels in Australia. Each one is as unique as the travelers who visit. No one knows this better than Chantelle Veness, Group Director of Sales & Marketing.
Chantelle has made a name for herself in the industry as a CRM and digital marketing expert. Ironically, she was presenting at a conference in Singapore about email marketing best practices when she learned about Revinate’s CRM and marketing solution.
At the time, Chantelle was using Mailchimp to send email campaigns. While the platform only supported rudimentary email communication with guests, she and her team spent the time and effort to manually segment lists and ensure that emails were targeted to the right persona. With a mix of city hotels and regional boutique hotels and resorts, getting the messaging right became a passion for Chantelle, who spent a lot of time manually assembling lists and reporting to understand what was resonating with guests and where there was room to optimize and improve.
When Chantelle first saw Revinate Marketing in Singapore, she realized that she was 100% focused on the right things — segmentation, testing and personalization — but there was a far easier and more time efficient way to do it. With Revinate, she was able to save a day a week from her team and drive far better results than she ever got with Mailchimp. Here’s where she found the biggest wins:
Chantelle understood that the group’s guest database was the ticket to direct revenue and leveraged Revinate’s data health and arrivals reports to make data cleanliness a priority for all staff. Whereas the average hotel has 55% of contacts’ email addresses, The Lancemore Group has successfully expanded their database to 75%. This is not by accident. The group trains and incentivizes staff to collect email addresses and postal codes to ensure that the hotels can effectively market to and segment guests through their most ROI-positive channels.
With Revinate Marketing, she was finally able to automate her email program, eliminating the need for an email coordinator. Chantelle quickly set up a complete digital journey for her guests and alleviate staff of manually creating and distributing communications. Of note, by automatically sending guests a pre-arrival email with upsell offers, the front desk staff, who previously called guests with upsell offers, was freed up to focus on guests on-property while the upsells happened automatically.
With better reporting, Chantelle can easily see which offers resonate the most with different guest segments. As a result, she’s able to craft campaigns that drive the best response. She knows, for example, that her regional guests respond better to experiential upsells, such as spa credits and food and beverage offers. She also uses reporting from emails sent to the conference database to uncover intent. She shares the list of people that open the email with the group sales team, who calls down the list. This technique has been proven to be effective, driving conference revenue over $120k in a single day.
Integration with Surveys
Chantelle uses Revinate Surveys to learn more about her guests and what they’re looking for in their next stay. The data is collected and stored in the guest database and can be used for segmentation. Her most recent survey, sent as the region was coming out of Covid, received 2100 responses and provided her with valuable data to personalize her promotional email campaigns. A similar survey to conference planners ensures that she has the data she needs to ensure her email campaigns are on target and speak to the needs of the planners.
Having committed to leveraging Revinate to build a healthy database and streamline personalized campaigns, direct bookings increased to over 60% at regional hotels and 150% for city properties. With the high price of OTAs, driving direct bookings is incredibly profitable. As she optimized her segments and offers in order to effectively tailor her campaigns to her audience, Chantelle now sees outstanding results on a consistent basis. One of her annual campaigns, which would traditionally bring in a total of $200-$250k, this year has already driven $500k and is expected to grow to $750k by year end.
Additionally, one CBD city hotel, saw $200k in direct bookings from just two emails. And, one post-Covid reopening campaign drove more than $75k in direct revenue without even featuring a specific offer.
Of her decision to switch to Revinate, Chantelle says, “There is no doubt that Revinate has helped us take our marketing program to the next level. It has driven a substantial increase in revenue and saved us significant time in the process.”
Today, The Lancemore Group is in an enviable position. 78% of its website traffic is organic and direct bookings are dramatically higher than they were prior to Covid. The group’s email open rate, data capture rate and unsubscribe rate are far better than the industry average. The OTA channel has even been turned off for some hotels in peak demand times due to the success the group is seeing with direct bookings. These accomplishments are possible because the brand has invested in the best people, practices and technology to drive its marketing programs.