Working with the largest OTAs is a necessary part of growing your small hotel and improving your distribution strategy, however, in most cases you are going to have to commit to a rate parity agreement.
Rate parity requires you to provide consistent rates for your rooms across all of your booking channels, including the various OTAs and agents that you work with as well as your own direct booking engine.
OTAs are not going to work with you if you constantly offer better deals to your customers for booking direct, and you need OTAs in order to promote your small hotel on a global scale. Therefore, rate parity is a part of doing business today, but it’s not without its challenges.
Recently, Robert Hernandez released several tips to help hotel operators overcome rate parity challenges. Hernandez is the chief data scientist at Origin World Labs, and his report was published on Tnooz. Here’s a few of his tips:
When a new visitor arrives on your website, a pop-up e-mail capture will instantly ask them to provide their e-mail address and their preferred stay month.
This is valuable information for you, as it allows you to better target your products to a prospective guest. Entice them to complete the form by offering them access to a private discount page.
A private discount page will be inviting to your website visitors, who are searching for the best deal for their upcoming trip. This gives them the instant satisfaction they are looking for, and will motivate them to provide you with more information.
Beyond that, since the page is private and not searchable, you don’t have to stress about rate parity and maintaining consistent rates across all channels.
If a customer opts out of the e-mail prompt initially, you can invite them once again to provide you with their information and preferred stay month as they are leaving the site.
With this prompt, encourage them to leave an e-mail in order to receive exclusive discounts for their desired stay month.
Your booking engine should provide your potential guests with personalized, automatic emails in a specific order.
This order encourages your guests to book with you by providing them with extra information about your property, such as a feature on your dining options or an e-mail about your amenities.
These are some of the most powerful email marketing tools available, but many hotels are not taking advantage of them.
Targeting based on their preferred stay month will improve your chances of converting your customers. Add email tracking to these messages to see who opens them, who clicks on the links and who finalizes their booking.
Little Hotelier’s all-in-one solution includes a mobile-friendly booking engine with fully-customizable automated emails. Watch our demo videos to see how it works.
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