How to use promotional codes efficiently
Online bookings should be your main source of bookings. Whether they come from your own website or from booking platforms, online bookings are essential to guaranteeing the sustainability of your hotel. In addition to traditional marketing actions, such as search engine optimization (SEO), SEM campaigns, or even the “Book now” button location optimization, you also have the opportunity to carry out marketing campaigns for your hotel using promotional codes. Here are the advantages of these codes and how to use them efficiently.
Promotional codes advantages
Their main advantage is how they are easily shared. You can decide to share these codes or to restrict how you share them according to their popularity and your own objectives. This will allow you to keep your performance indicators under control, such as the ADR or the occupancy. You can measure the efficiency of a promotional code at any time, as your booking engine will be able to indicate the number of bookings placed using that specific code.
It can also be interesting to have multiple promotional codes available during the same period, depending on the type of customer you want to attract. You will then be able to measure their popularity based on the number of times they were used to place a booking. Promotional codes are usually transferable between users. A code intended for a specific person should not be transferable. However, a code offering a discount can be shared between friends and family. Thus, a small group of people can take the decision to place a booking and stay at your hotel together with this specific code. In this case, the effect of the promotional code is amplified. Therefore, if you do not see an inconvenience in doing so, you can encourage people to share the code with their friends and family.
When to use promotional codes?
A promotional code is designed to offer a specific discount to a specific clientele, whether it be to build their loyalty or to classify them. Hence the promotional code most often preferred is the one that offers a discount on their next stay. This code is usually linked to a thank-you e-mail following their stay and wishes to build their loyalty. During quieter seasons, we often use promotional codes offering large discounts which we then share on different platforms. For example, if you do not want your usual clientele to benefit from the discount, you can share the code on social media, but only for those who are not already following your page. This campaign will allow people who did not know about you and had never stayed with you to discover your hotel.
If you want to bring back clients, the easiest way to do so is by using e-mail marketing. Sending a newsletter will allow you to reach all the clientele already signed up to your mailing list within your hotel management software. Different codes can be used for different clients. If you have already identified a clientele within your database which often books when offered great discounts, you can easily give them a promotional code yielding a lower rate in order to encourage them to stay with you again.
If you have a list of clients who have stayed with you having booked a package with many options, the promotional code that you make available to them could, for example, only apply for a full package deal. You could also offer a promotional code to a group to whom you already gave an attractive rate. This code should be linked to the deal already made for this group, and will thus allow you to monitor the bookings made by these people. The segmentation of the data collected by your PMS will allow you to take multiple actions on the different types of clientele, aiming to offer the best promotional code for the type of clientele, with a price which will entice them to book again.
Promotional codes are an excellent way to carry out marketing actions in order to boost your occupancy without having too great of an impact on your key performance indicators. You can have multiple goals, such as building customer loyalty or gaining new customers. Promotional codes are a great way to make yourself known or for previous guests to rediscover your hotel.