Attract Direct: Rediscover the power of direct bookings

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The topic of direct bookings is so relevant, especially after the turbulence the hospitality industry has seen in the past few years. The needs and expectations of hotel guests have shifted, as has their booking journey. The competition is stronger than ever, with everyone grasping at new ideas to increase revenue. Couple that with a rise in feedback on review platforms and third party booking sites at your guest’s fingertips. 

And that’s where you face a lot of unmet potential as a hotelier and can regain control over your direct booking channel. It’s all about showcasing unique aspects to the guest stay and personalising the communication you’re having with them.

So what can you do to take ownership of your guest relations and increase both direct booking value and guest loyalty? Let’s take a look:

✨Advantages of strengthening the direct booking strategy:

  • Strong guest relations and guest loyalty
  • Personalisation for better guest experience
  • Better guest targeting for marketing purposes
  • Access to guest data for segmentation and analysis 
  • Lower guest acquisition costs 
  • Brand power and protection
  • Higher total value of sales per room
  • Lower cancellation rates

It’s crucial for your hotel to have a strong online footprint, meaning a highly converting booking engine, hotel website and strong digital marketing. Capture your potential customers in their search stage and turn them from lookers to bookers directly via your hotel’s website.

🚀Here’s our 10-step-plan to increase direct bookings: 

  1. Make sure your guests can find you Via search engines, your Google Business profile, metasearches, social media, paid search, Google Hotel Ads and retargeting to name a few.
  2. Offer a beautifully curated website with a seamless booking journey Offer more enticing content and attractive offers/packages on your hotel website
  3. Incentivise direct bookings via newsletter discounts and attractive offers
  4. Offer guest loyalty programmes
  5. Set up a powerful digital identity Nurture your brand credibility
  6. Use urgency triggers Such as enticing CTAs, pop ups or countdown timers to stimulate lookers into bookers
  7. Convert previous OTA bookings into direct bookings by offering attractive offers, rewards or discounts after a guests first visit
  8. Set up marketing automation for efficient guest communication and targeting
  9. Optimize the content on your website Don’t forget to keep your hotel profiles on third party platforms up to date too!
  10. Offer seamless and flexible cancellation policies

⚖️It’s all about the right balance

Of course a strong direct booking strategy doesn’t mean you should ignore your digital identity on third party platforms. 

In order to radiate an appealing brand identity online, you need to carefully curate the appearance of your hotel on your own website but also on other online channels, such as Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), Metasearch, Wholesalers and Global Distribution Systems (GDSs).

You want to make sure your hotel card is up to date everywhere that your guests can find you and that it’s up to date with professional and inspiring photos from your hotel. They might find you elsewhere but book via your website, so you need to make sure you're visible across multiple platforms.

Strengthening your direct booking strategy doesn’t need to be a challenge and Profitroom can support you throughout your journey to increase your visibility and revenue! Speak to a member of our team to find out how our solutions can help. 

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Julia Kolberg, Product Marketing Manager