Hidden among the giant Sequoia trees in Victoria, BC is the Robin Hood Inn & Suites, an independent property that prides itself on providing the best value and hospitality, with a long list of services and upgraded amenities that are most commonly attributed to a five-star resort. Getting the word out about this gem was something the marketing team struggled with for years. By the end of 2020, they found their solution; utilizing the Revinate Marketing platform they began to share their story with guests in a hyper-personalized way, driving hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct revenue while reducing their marketing costs.
Personalization Through Guest Profiles
In November 2020, Robin Hood Inn & Suites revamped its technology stack. They replaced their PMS and switched from Salesforce to Revinate Marketing for CRM and direct revenue campaigns. What drove this change was a need for easier-to-use technology that would allow the hotel to meet its revenue objectives while enabling long-term loyalty. For that, they needed a solid database.
Salesforce was challenging for several reasons. First, it was difficult for the hotel to import their data. Ultimately, they resorted to manually importing data via CSV files, resulting in a high percentage of duplicates and incomplete records. Second, they weren’t able to run campaigns in SFDC because the process was too complicated. Sam Kirsch, the hotel’s general manager says, “We needed something simple that would grow as we grow. If we want to shift strategies or create new segments, we need a solution that enables us to do that effortlessly and in real-time.”
The team selected Revinate due to its ease of use, hospitality focus, and ability to help hotel staff manage guest relationships. Sam Kirsch explains, “With Revinate Marketing, we can engage our guests in a personalized way when they’re on the property and when they return home. This industry is about connections and with Revinate we have the data that we need to personalize the stay, welcome back return guests, and ensure that our email communication is always targeting the right recipient at the right time.”
Comparing Revinate to Salesforce, Sam says, “Salesforce is a vertical, retailer company with no focus on supporting us in building connections with our guests. Salesforce is a machine but we aren’t. We focus on relationships above all else and Revinate is a relationship solution.”
Once selected, Revinate’s implementation team was able to capture and synthesize all the historical guest data that was trapped in the old PMS within a matter of weeks, providing a great foundation for Robin Hood’s outbound marketing efforts and personalized guest engagement.
A Bright Spot During Covid-19
Having invested in Revinate paid off during the pandemic. With a strong, reliable guest database in place, Robin Hood Inn & Suites was able to keep loyal guests informed and drive revenue by targeting local audiences that were still able to travel.
Revenue Through Email Marketing
Sam is very quick to point out that he considers Revinate to be a profit center. The last five email campaigns alone generated close to $200k in revenue. Pink Yu, the hotel’s director of new business and media is behind the campaigns’ success. One of her many responsibilities is creating email promotions for the Inn’s highly engaged opt-in subscriber list.
Through these promotional emails, Pink can share all the Inn’s unique selling points, from free shuttles to free paddle-boards, to the highest quality beds in every room. In a crowded market, email provides the Inn with a channel to tell their story, which allows them to avoid discounting because they can communicate their value. Sam says, “We’re proud of what we do. We use Revinate to express that.”
Sales driven through the direct channel are so strong that the Inn regularly has the highest RevPar and market share in Victoria, which is home to many luxury brands. And, best of all, as word spreads about the Inn’s staff and value, they don’t have to discount as much as they used to. Pink explains, “This winter, we will be able to maintain our rate because we have an engaged audience of our own. I think our revenue will be 20-25% over last year.”
Saving Time and Resources
Because Revinate Marketing is so easy to use, Sam estimates that it’s doing the work of two full-time employees; “With any other solution, we would need two additional resources to send emails, report on campaigns, compile our guest data and keep the database clean. But Revinate does it all, saving us about $70k in resources alone.”