Creating urgency is a widely employed conversion tactic in eCommerce and yet, on the whole, seemingly underutilised in hospitality and travel. The potential to reduce time-to-book, increase booking lead times and reduce the propensity for guests to shop around, should catch the eye of any astute hotelier.
What do we mean by creating urgency? Simply put, providing information to the guest so that they understand there is a need to book sooner. Be it a limited time offer or limited room availability; empowering the guest with this knowledge can often encourage them to book now rather than later. That empowerment is key; help a guest understand the popularity of your properties and offers, along with the benefits to them of booking sooner. Avoid using false-urgency as a crude sales tactic.
Read the original article in full or see the key 7 tactics below.
7 tactics to increase conversion on hotel websites using urgency
- Availability messaging – Advise your guests how many rooms remain at a discounted price and vary this messaging as the number decreases. For example; “10 rooms remaining at £X” followed by “Hurry! Just 5 Rooms left at £X” and finally “Last 2 Rooms at £X, be quick!”.
- Advise guests of your popularity – Let guests understand how popular your properties/offers are by adding a ‘X people are viewing this hotel/offer’ or ‘X people have booked this hotel/offer in the last 24 hours’ message to your website.
- Countdown on offers – add a countdown timer to offer pages to remind guests that your offers are time dependent and they must book before the counter reaches zero to benefit.
- Countdown to sales – use all digital marketing channels available to you (social, email, your website etc) to pre-announce a countdown to an upcoming sale. Create awareness and demand before the sale even hits then urgency once the sale goes live.
- Adjust your terminology – Ensure guests understand that your rates fluctuate with availability by adapting your terminology. For example, try using ‘Today’s Best Rate…’ instead of ‘Rooms from…’ Experiment with different terminology and evaluate it’s impact on conversion.
- Offer gentle reminders – Should a guest start your booking process but not complete, consider sending a booking abandonment email after a couple of hours to enquire if they had any problems booking. Within this, offer a reminder than the rate they were considering is subject to change with availability.
- Follow up with the unlucky ones – Have your guests missed out on a flash sale? Offer an opportunity to get advance notice of the next sale you run as a way of placating them, whilst also reminding of the necessity to be quick next time. This can be as simple asking them to sign-up to an email marketing list for future offers.