Based on various surveys, it has been observed that over 95% of SMS are read and this is higher than any other medium including social media and email marketing. Thus SMS should be a part of all digital marketing plans. In this post, we have suggested 6 smart ways to use SMS for hotel business.
It is crucial to integrate Short Messaging Service (SMS) in your hotel marketing plan because of the many advantages it has to help gain competitive advantages.
The key advantages of using SMS for promoting your hotel business according to Smartinsights are many. Some of these are mentioned below.
- It’s a direct and immediate channel to reach potential and existing customers.
- It can easily support and integrate with other hotel marketing channels.
- It helps in increasing customer/traveller engagement.
- It helps in the effective branding of the hotel.
- Helps in improving analytics by tracking responses.
- Increases the customer database and accuracy of the database.
There are many more advantages of SMS marketing which we will be discussing while covering the smart ways to use the same in the hotel business.
Let’s get started with the smart ways to use SMS for all hotel and travel businesses.
1. New Offers and Deep Hotel discounts
You have a hotel customer database. Why not use it to enhance your sales?
Spreading the word out in a viral manner is crucial for all digital marketing plans.
So, if you have a Christmas offer or a New Year celebration with discounts, send an SMS to spread the news.
Text messages can be useful to apprise potential and existing customers of the best discounts and offers from time to time.
2. Get Customer Feedback through SMS
It is important to keep on improving the Hospitality service standards and for the same, you need prompt and direct feedback.
Nothing better than SMS for the same as it serves multiple purposes.
Blogpost from Littlehotelier mention this as one of the best uses of SMS in hotel marketing and we agree with the same.
SMS marketing can be a great way to get feedback while improving the brand at the same time.
3. Promote in-house services using SMS
Once the customer is in there are multiple things that hoteliers can achieve through smart use of SMS.
SMS can be used to sell and upsell in-house products and services like the following:
- Room services
- Room upgrades
- Laundry and ironing services
- Meal vouchers
- Taxi and travel services
and more. You are limited just by your imagination in terms of add-on services that can be provided to the customer who is already in the hotel.
4. Sending reminders and confirmations
The hotel industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. Lots of travel agencies now have ‘pay at the hotel’ options when they book a hotel.
Customers at times miss to inform hotels about changes in plan or hotels get information at the last moment leading to a loss in terms of business.
It is here when text messages can be used smartly for your hotel business. Using an SMS API, such as Plivo, hotels can use text messages to send regular reminders and confirmations to keep customers in the loop.
This will also have an impact on direct hotel bookings in the future. According to a survey by Forbes, customers opt for SMS due to the key following reasons.
- Coupons or deals (77%)
- Personal alerts (50%)
- Staying in the loop (48%)
- More meaningful content (33%)
- No need to visit a physical location/website/app for information (31%)
So, your hotel customers do expect to hear from the property once they have shown interest in the same. Thus, using text messages for hotel promotion would lead to increased sales and enhanced brand visibility.
5. Use Text messages to keep hotel customers happy
When you want to make your hotel guests happy, it’s time to focus on better communication for hotel customer service. Using SMS in the house can improve the guest experience drastically in a positive manner.
It is one of the important hotel customer service strategies to keep customers engaged by providing them with useful deals and information during their stay in the hotel.
Hotels can use the below 4 tips to use SMS to enhance the guest experience during their hotel stay.
- Welcoming guests and informing them about hotel services and amenities
- Reminder for Dinner and event reservations.
- Promoting exclusive deals during the hotel stay through text messages.
- Taking feedback, conducting polls and surveys using SMS.
Whether you want to encourage guests to participate in an activity you are hosting, or you have local deals to offer to a nearby event or activity, your guests will appreciate these personalised text messages.
6. Use SMS for Hotel branding
Last but not least, SMS marketing can be used by your hotel business to improve your brand.
Text messages are far more effective than email and social media messages to make an impression in front of customers. SMS also is extremely effective in reaching the intended audience.
Text messages can be used to improve the brand of the hotel business through some of the below activities:
- Sending our expansion plans
- Intimating existing customers about newly added services
- Sharing information about hospitality awards and recognitions
- Sharing profitability and ranking information
- Sharing CSR activities with customers
and there are various other information that can be shared with the stakeholders and customers from time to time to enhance brand recognition and to promote the hotel business further.
Here you go, a list of smart ways to use SMS marketing for your hotel business. Integrating text messages in your hotel promotions will certainly yield enough dividends in the future.
However, it is also important to use clear messages as you only have 160 characters to express yourself. It is advisable to avoid abbreviations, complex words, jargon, all caps and emoticons.
Call to Action Buttons are also crucial for an effective SMS strategy for hotel marketing. Using a call to action button like Book Now, Know More, Save for Later etc. makes your text message worthy of customer action.
SMS is one small tool to include in your arsenal for hotel marketing but a potent one for sure. Various other tools and strategies have been given enough attention through other articles on this portal.