SMS marketing for hotels
See how SMS can be even more effective than emails in reaching your customers!
Many of you may recall a time at school where a teacher said “You need to know how to count”. You will not have a calculator available in every situation”. It is ironic how wrong he was. Not only does every owner of a smartphone have access to calculator at all time, but a full miniature computer in the palm of his hands. The phone became so reliable it is practically attached to hand for the better part of the day. You may be reading this post from your phone right now. Who is to say your potential guest is not using his phone at this moment as well?
This opens up new opportunities for a reliable form of communicating with clients. SMS messages have a 99% open rate according to Forbes magazine. This makes it the most likely message type to be read by clients, outranking emails by a large number. It is a pity then, that most business owners do not consider SMS messages as often as they might.
Purpose of SMS in the hospitality industry
From a technical standpoint SMS messages are a reliable option, as almost all mobile phones are compatible with this form of communication. They are quick, easy to track and customize messages to be used for well wishes during holidays. For a hotel, SMS marketing offers great opportunity to send mass or targeted messages to guests. In an industry where owners have a selected number of rooms at their disposal, this is an invaluable tool to send last minute offers as well as to confirm and remind about the reservation. Additionally, with a direct two way connection quests have an efficient form of contacting the hotel. This allows them to immediately obtain information they require to plan a trip or to receive help with e.g. finding the hotel. If guests feel secure in their choice of hotel they are less likely to look for alternative options.
Things to consider when creating an SMS campaign for your guests
When creating your own SMS message campaign here are a few tips:
- The length of the message is important, as SMS has a limit to 164 characters. The text created has to be brief and to the point: what, where, when and why. This can be a benefit as a short message is more likely to be read. Even if the reader only glanced over the message he understands the point and may return to it if interested, SMS messages are best suited to informing about promotions, sending promotion codes, confirming reservations, counting down the time until the reservation/end of an event, information concerning the reservation.
Your reservation will take place in 5 days. Please confirm your arrival.
- An SMS message campaign is not meant to be sent on a daily basis. Building up brand awareness should be done through newsletter or blog posts, which allow for longer texts and links to other sites. Constant messaging may also be taken as a premium subscription scam and would make the client less likely to open new messages.
- While most purchase are done spontaneously, clients prefer to do their online shopping on a computer to be able to see their basket. It is not recommended to send links to an order form by SMS message. Reminders about abandoned baskets on the other hand can most definitely be sent by SMS.
We are writing to remind you your reservation for xx.xx.xxx t Hotel 123, has not been completed.
- Plan the time when your campaign will reach your client. Some hotels work in certain seasons due to the influx of clients. This means there are parts of the year where a strong campaign to reach out to those clients is needed. Target group for a hotel will often be outside of their time zone as well, which will make sending messages at a particular time of day harder. It`s worth considering as people under certain circumstances are more likely to consider your offer e.g. going on a vacation after a long day at work.
What are the difficulties when creating an SMS campaign?
- One of the downsides of creating your own campaign is the difficulty of obtaining phone numbers from potential guests. While booking portals and booking engines on private websites almost always require a contact number, it is necessary to obtain permission from the client before it is possible to send them any messages. As with any newsletter or other form of marketing the client should have an option to unsubscribe from the service.
- Finally, while getting an SMS campaign done correctly on the first try may not be likely, it is important to collect information from the beginning to create an improved campaign the following year.
Sending SMS messages directly from KWHotel
When your ideas for SMS communication take real shape, it’s time to put them into practice. With KWHotel 0.47 version you may create templates for automatic text messages. Your configuration may include specific criteria, time and even room.
Our team has partnered with SMSAPI.com, a portal specializing in sending text messages. Purchasing a synchronization module from us and setting up an account in SMSAPI.com will allow you to automatically send SMS messages to your guests.
If you have any questions about sending SMS from KWHotel, feel free to ask questions in the comments or email us!
More information about SMSAPI can be found here.