Understandably, you want sales. But sales conversion can take time when talking to new prospects. We can target and reach recipients that fit the profile we want, but they don’t necessarily know about you yet. Unfamiliar buyers need time to educate themselves about your products, destination and reputation before they can build trust in you. Many times, the purchase being made is quite significant and new customers are not going to make that decision quickly or lightly.
Unlike past guests who have already experienced or have an affinity for your property, new prospects are getting your information blindly. In-house lists of past guests and interested buyers are the most productive. These customers already know and have confidence in you, but you also want to be careful not to oversaturate your customers. Building your internal database is the most cost-effective strategy for long-term growth and you must continue to feed your sales funnel with new prospects. Kiawah Island Golf Resort takes full advantage of this strategy, with all campaign messaging (print, email, digital, search, etc.) and media tactics centered on generating e-club sign-ups in addition to promoting package sales, plus other lead capture tactics applied on-property. Metrics show that total database signups have increased by more than 50% YOY, which translates to increased sales over time.
A key goal in marketing to new prospects must be focused on lead generation. While this is of critical importance in the leisure market, it is also particularly true in the group market when selling meetings, weddings and the like. Group buyers will rarely purchase directly from an email or other form of communication. The objective is to get them interested enough to call, send along contact information or submit an RFP so a sales manager at the hotel or resort can pursue the lead.
“Conversion” can take many forms when measuring lead generation for hotels and resorts:
- Assisted leads
- Email sign-up
- Blog following
- Social following
- Database contacts
- Website visits and engagement
For example, The National Conference Center’s prospecting emails offer group customers the opportunity to communicate on several levels—by calling, submitting an RFP, downloading white papers that demonstrate thought leadership in the industry or interacting via social channels.
Historically, hotels and resorts invested in significant brand advertising to build trust through repetition and familiarity. Digital advertising has diluted brand budgets, but branding can still be accomplished digitally through proper strategies.
Ideally, hotels and resorts should concentrate on repeatedly reaching out to the same, targeted audience to drive conversion at one or more of these levels. Consistent messaging to these prospective audiences will allow you to generate awareness and an understanding of your products in order to anticipate business in the future, even if they don’t purchase right now. Lead generation for hotels & resorts will enable you to build your brand, with the goal of attracting and converting prospects into loyal repeat customers.
Ready to take your lead generation strategy to the next level? Dana can help. Contact Lynn Kaniper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609.466.9187 ext. 117.