Stop giving away money in your booking engine… kill the promo code box!
Modern travellers are savvy deal-seekers.
If a hotel deal exists, they’ll find it, use it, then expect it every time.
Such is the case with that prominent ‘promo code’ field found on practically every hotel’s booking engine. That prominent discount or promo code field makes online visitors doubt their purchase decision and will convince them that if they start trolling coupon sites, they can get money off of the room rate.
If they’ve made it far in the booking process that means they were likely dead set on completing the reservation before the irresistible appeal of a promo code field sent them off on a search for elusive promo codes!
There IS a place for promo codes in smart hotel marketing.
Here’s how to use them instead:
1. To lure back unfinished reservations
When travellers don’t complete their reservations, which can happen for several reasons, lure them back by offering a promo code through your reservation abandonment system and retargeting ads. This way, promo codes will only be shown to a highly engaged audience and will not show up in search results across the web. Use the principle of scarcity to make this even more appealing by adding a deadline to use the promo code before it expires. For example, “Come back and complete your booking within 24 hours and we’ll take 15 percent off.”
2. Create your own page of current promos and link back to it
Macy’s has a brilliant solution to keeping shoppers on their hotel website while they’re looking for promo codes. Next to their Promo Code box, they invite shoppers to take a look at all of their current promotions and provide a convenient link to the list of codes. In your hotel’s case, include a direct link back to your special offers page where travellers can look at all of the promos you have available at the moment. By offering an internal link to your own promotions, you’ll reduce the number of visitors who would have abandoned their reservation to search for a discount or promo code on another site. Plus, you’re also showing transparency to the guest by letting them know you are willing to help them find travel savings.
3. Track and measure advertising ROI
You can use coupon and promo codes to track and measure the success of your advertising. The concept is easy – just publish a different code for your different ad buys. For example, use a different code in your email marketing versus Facebook versus pay-per-click. This way you can track how many sales are generated from your various media placements.
Get rid of the promo code box all together and replace with auto-fill
Customise your advertising links so that if there is a promo code available, the inbound ad link into your website will take prospects directly to your booking engine where the promo code will automatically be plugged in. This way, you don’t have to have the promo code box on your hotel website at all. Which means, shoppers won’t leave your site to go find a discount somewhere else on the web.