Of all the people that visit a hotel’s site, only 2% (on average) end up making a booking. So, while it might feel like getting traffic to your website is good enough, the job doesn’t end there. A huge percentage of people who show interest in a property don’t follow through. That’s a lot of missed opportunity. So, how can you mitigate the effects of website abandonment? Answer: remarketing.
What it is
Remarketing is when a brand attempts to re-engage with consumers who have already shown an interest in their product. If, for example, a user visits a website for a hotel and then leaves without making a booking, remarketing allows ads for that hotel to appear on other sites that user visits. The idea is that they’ll be reminded of their original interest and return to complete the booking. And it works. Website visitors that are retargeted are 70% more likely to complete a booking.
How it works
A small piece of code (called a pixel) on your website is used to install cookies on browsers that visit it. The cookie then “follows” that user around the internet and displays ads to them. Targeted ads can be displayed online, by email, or on social media channels. Depending on where in the booking funnel they were before abandonment, those ads can be simple logos to maintain awareness or specific offers for rooms and rates.
Why it’s a good idea
Remarketing is a cost-effective way to spend your marketing dollars. The money is being directed at consumers that have already shown an interest in your product, so ROI is high. It also allows you to offer differentiated offers. If someone has abandoned a booking, you can target them with a discounted rate without making it available to the general public. And for that reason, you won’t have to worry about rate parity issues with OTAs. It’s a great way to incentivize potential guests and win more direct bookings.
Tips for success
Choose pages carefully >> When you’re choosing pages of your website to put pixels on, pick ones that are relevant to the booking process (at least in the beginning), so you can target the customers that are the most serious. This can be landing pages for special offers, the availability calendar, booking engine, etc. And then target them with ads that make sense for where they are in the marketing funnel.
Use frequency caps >> When remarketing to potential guests, you want them to be subtly reminded of your property, not feel inundated by it. So use frequency caps to control how often your ad appears to a guest.
Personalize the emails >> Email ads feel a lot more invasive than those displayed on websites, and social media feeds. So when you send them, they need to be valuable to the guest. This can be achieved by making the emails personalized. If a guest abandons a booking after selecting a room and dates, the email can include the relevant information. For example, you might send an email that says “we noticed you were interested in a [UNIT] for [DATES]” with a “Continue Booking” call-to-action button. It’ll make the email useful to the recipient and feel less like spam.
Send them soon >> If you are using email retargeting, send the first one within three hours of booking abandonment. Emails sent in this time frame average a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate.
Remarketing is a powerful strategy to increase customer engagement and drive bookings. Consider giving it a try, so you don’t miss out on any potential guests. Good luck!