In luxury hospitality, the importance of brand identity is paramount, especially considering the impact this identity has on potential hotel bookers.
NB: This is an article from The Hotels Network, one of our Expert Partners
Identity sparks the initial interest and desire of a traveler to book, and this desire is then nurtured on your direct channel. Upon entering the hotel website, visitors need to be welcomed by the personality of the brand through visually stimulating content, and customizing your website experience to each user is an effective way to accomplish this goal.
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Read on to discover five ways to seamlessly and aesthetically include personalized messages on your website to maximize users’ website engagement, illustrated using examples from luxury brands to inspire you.
1. Communicate personalized offers seamlessly using Inliners
One of the things people enjoy most about gifts is that special feeling of knowing it was selected specifically for them. When visitors land on your website, they are in search of that same feeling, and creating this impression might be easier than you think. Targeting a relevant, appealing offer to a specific group of users, such as visitors coming from your Instagram page, will set your hotel apart from competitors and encourage more guests to book with your property directly.
Inliners, which are personalized messages displayed as native content, are the perfect format for luxury brands seeking to seduce users with subtle messages. Thanks to a design that integrates seamlessly with your website, you can ensure that your targeted messages fit perfectly with your hotel’s branding. In the example below from The Chedi in Oman, both the tailored design and the exclusive offer targeted specifically for GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) residents are powerful tools for increasing user engagement.
Inliner message attracting visitors’ attention while maintaining a smooth user experience
2. Welcome returning users to encourage reservations
As every user is different, it is essential to tailor their experience individually if you wish to boost your conversion rates. Visitors returning to your website will not have the same behavior as a visitor landing on your website for the first time. With a simple “Welcome back” message, you can make visitors feel special. You also have the opportunity to take it one step further by offering returning users something unique.
These types of welcome messages can be integrated aesthetically within the homepage using the colors and fonts aligned with your hotel branding. To maintain consistency with your brand image, we always recommend tailoring the message content and phrasing to your brand’s tone of voice.
Personalized message on the homepage giving a warm welcome to returning users
3. Grow your marketing database
The first step to an effective email marketing strategy is growing your email audience, making it possible to build and nurture a strong community of potential guests for future marketing actions. Using an Email Capture solution, it’s extremely simple to launch personalized campaigns on your hotel website to collect email addresses. A fantastic way to boost signups is to provide visitors with something in return, such as membership to your loyalty program, an exclusive offer, saving their search for later, or subscribing to your newsletter.
As a luxury hotel, VIP membership and the advantages that come along with it are likely to provide a strong incentive for visitors to sign up. Make sure to highlight these benefits when displaying an email capture form on your website. With Inliners, you can embed and message and form directly within your website so that it fits perfectly within your brand design. Whether you decide to show the message immediately, or when the user begins to navigate the website, using integrated personalization can help convince visitors to provide their contact information.
Simple form with a seamless design to effortlessly collect users’ email addresses
4. Reassure guests that you offer the best available rate
Yes, even luxury travelers care about rates. Luxury travelers or not, no one wants to pay more than they have to. Price disparities are a big pet peeve for hotels working with OTAs or metasearch engines. To start combating these issues, first you need to use an analytics tool to understand how your property is performing in terms of disparities. If an OTA is undercutting your rates, reach out and see if they’re breaking your parity clause. If you find that OTAs are not actually undercutting your rates, then it’s all about making sure your direct channel visitors know that you offer the best deal.
Using a Price Comparison tool, visitors can compare prices on your website which will discourage them from leaving to browse on other websites in the search of a better rate. Within the Price Comparison feature, you can communicate the various perks they will receive by booking direct, in addition to the best price. Customize your message format and content to discreetly, yet efficiently, catch the attention of your visitors by showcasing these additional benefits, such as a welcome drink. In our recent article, you can discover other tactics to help you fight disparities, such as automatically matching the lower price if in fact your rate is being undercut.
Price Comparison feature adapting to the aesthetic of the website
5. Make sure users know why guests love your property
The luxury hospitality industry, like no other, thrives on positive reviews and guest satisfaction. According to a survey carried out by TripAdvisor, “96% of users consider reading reviews important when planning trips and booking hotels”. Customers are drawn to concise, succinct information. Therefore, ratings are a proven strong marketing tool to boost your direct bookings.
By incorporating the Reviews Summary feature seamlessly into your website, you maintain a smooth user experience while sharing the positive reputation of your hotel and the trust your brand has built with its guests.
Reviews Summary feature embedded in the hotel website
These five ways of maximizing users’ website engagement will transform how you craft, present, and manage messaging along every step of the booking funnel. Apply these personalization and design strategies to grow your direct booking channel while ensuring that your hotel website stays true to your brand image.