What is hotel text messaging?

Hotel text messaging is the practice of using SMS to communicate with your guests, and it should form a critical part of any property’s guest communication strategy. Why? SMS boasts an incredible open rate: 98% is a commonly cited figure (though the original source of this stat is difficult to identify). 

If you also consider that 64% of consumers have a positive perception of a company that offers texting as a service channel, it’s no question that small hotels should be using text to communicate with their guests.

This blog will cover all you need to hotel guest text messaging; what it is, why it’s important, and how you can use it to your advantage as a small, independent hotelier.

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Effective text message marketing for hotels 

Over six billion text messages are sent in the US each day. Text messages are becoming a preferred form of communication for businesses because open and reply rates for SMS (98% and 45%) are far beyond those of email (20% and 6%). Millennials have even voted voicemail out and texting in.

Here are some ideas on how small hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns and guesthouses can use text to effectively build relationships with guests:

1. Exclusive deals

People join loyalty clubs because they expect to have access to special promotions.

But offering special promotions isn’t enough. They can get that by signing up to your newsletter or social media pages.

By giving you access to something as intimate as their personal phone number, they expect something valuable in return.

Make sure your SMS offers are unique and exclusive and that customers can’t get access to them through any other medium.

2. Reservation confirmations

Businesses use text messaging when timing is important, and clients may need to refer to the details later.

People immediately open almost all SMS messages they receive (90% of texts are read within three minutes after reaching the recipient).

You can send an automated confirmation code with reservation details via text.

This will ensure guests always have quick and easy access to important information about their trip.

Customers might not always have access to the Internet to review their reservation by email, but they’ll be able to pull up a text message without a problem.

3. Tips and advice

Your guests might be interested in knowing if there’s a big event or concert in town.

Or what the weather will be like during their stay so they can be prepared. Or they might like to know where they can rent a car or the best local sites to visit. Or even practical things like packing tips.

People have a lot of organising and planning to do before a trip and anything you can do to help them out will be welcome.

4. Order room service

Allowing customers to place room service orders via text and sending confirmations of the order can be a convenient way to handle food orders.

Sometimes a guest doesn’t speak the language fluently or background noise in the kitchen makes it hard for staff to hear the customer’s voice clearly while taking the order.

A guest might feel the food is taking too long and claim that the order was placed longer ago than it actually was.

To avoid confusion, accepting text orders can give both guests and small hotel management a written record of when an order was placed and what the order was for.

This can provide a better experience for guests and remove the possibility of mistakes.

5. Checkout

Checkout is usually the most stressful part of a guest’s stay at your small hotel.

They may have rental cars to return and flights to catch, and waiting in line at the front desk to check out is usually the last thing they want to do.

Instead of printing an invoice and slipping it under their door, take care of the checkout details via text so they can simply text a confirmation approving the charges and be on their way without a hitch.

6. Polls and feedback 

Did a guest just check out of your small hotel? Send them a poll asking them how their stay was through text.

Texting is a quick and easy way for guests to provide feedback.

They can fill out answers to a text on their way to the airport or whenever it’s convenient for them rather than being held up filling out a paper form before checking out.

SMS messages have high response rates so you’re likely to have good results from your polls.

Giving clients a platform where they can voice a concern or complaint is an important part of maintaining customer loyalty.

Guests need to feel that their opinion is important to you and asking their opinion in a convenient format assures them of that.

7. Customer service

If a guest has a problem they need to be solved, SMS can be the ideal platform.

It allows the customers to contact you in a way that’s convenient to them and allows you to respond quickly and easily.

8. Welcome and thank you messages

If a guest just checked in, send them a text welcoming them to your small hotel and letting them know how to contact you in case they have any problems.

When your guest checks out, send them a ‘thank you’ message.

This way you let your guests know how much you appreciate them choosing your establishment.

These are quick and simple gestures that can help improve a customer’s experience with your small hotel.

Examples of hotel text messaging software

Truly efficient and effective text message marketing for hotels is only possible when you use a hotel text messaging system. These tools are built specifically for properties, with features designed to make communication smoother for both you and your guests.

Examples of hotel text messaging software include:


Designed to build beautiful guest journeys, Akia offers deep text message functionality and a wealth of automations that can make communication a breeze for small hotels. It can help you communicate better in far less time. 


Bookboost sits between your hotel property management system and all the communication channels that are critical to delivering a great guest experience: not just text messaging, but chatbots, WhatsApp, Messenger and more. It can save you huge amounts of time on repeat enquiries, and even upsell guests into more valuable rooms and services!


Featuring a universal inbox and automated messaging, GuestTalk simplifies multi-channel guest communication for your hotel.

What to look for in the best hotel text messaging system

What does a quality piece of hotel text messaging software look like? It will feature: 

  • A user-friendly, mobile optimised interface: It will be easy to use and will work perfectly on any device.
  • Automation: It will lighten your load by automating repetitive, laborious tasks.
  • Multi-channel support: It will allow you to communicate any way you prefer – SMS, email, phone, DM and more.
  • Guest personalisation: It will allow you to easily customise communications to different guests and guest groups.
  • Real time communication: It will send and receive all messages instantly, and allow you to set up notifications for those that are most important.
  • Trial period: It will offer a no obligation test period.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).