How a luxury resort in Missouri converted 160+ OTA guest to direct bookers, yielding $76,900 in revenue
Converting OTA Guests to Direct Bookers: Overcoming Challenges
One of the most significant challenges faced by independent hotels is the dominance of OTAs in the booking landscape. With OTAs positioning themselves as go-to platforms for finding the best deals across various hotels, cultivating guest loyalty towards their platform becomes their strategic focus. As a consequence, hotels miss out on opportunities to build a loyal customer base that chooses them for future stays.
Our client, an esteemed luxury resort from Missouri state, sought effective solutions to reduce their OTA dependence and convert OTA guests into loyal direct bookers. To achieve this, they identified three main challenges that needed to be addressed:
1. Limited OTA Guest Information
When guests made OTA reservations, the hotel often received limited guest details, such as names, while crucial contact information like phone numbers and email addresses were frequently inaccurate or fake.
This limitation posed severe obstacles in engaging and building direct relationships with past OTA guests, primarily because of fragmented and inappropriate guest data.
2. Establishing Direct Communication and Personalized Marketing for OTA Guests
The resort recognized that when guests booked through OTAs, they lacked the means to market to OTA guests, invite them back, or engage in follow-up interactions. This limitation motivated them to seek a solution that would enable direct communication and foster long-term guest relationships beyond the initial OTA booking.
Additionally, they wanted to personalize those marketing campaigns to nurture guest loyalty, while ensuring their staff wasn’t overwhelmed.
3. Balancing OTA Bookings and Driving Direct Revenue
Despite the necessity of OTAs for filling hotel rooms, OTAs incurred substantial costs due to higher commissions compared to other channels, impacting the hotel’s profitability.
The resort, driven by the high costs of guest acquisition, sought innovative strategies and technology to re-engage past OTA guests and increase the number of direct repeat bookings while adhering to OTA price parity rules.
Solutions for Direct Repeat Bookings from OTA Guests
1. Recovering Guest Data: Unlocking Past OTA Guest Profiles with AI Tools
To address the challenge of limited OTA guest information, the resort implemented Directful’s cutting-edge solutions. By leveraging modern technologies, including AI and machine learning, Directful helped to enriched guest data, including information from OTA booking confirmations.
This transformational approach allowed the hotel to obtain comprehensive guest profiles, bridging the gap in essential contact details and enabling direct personalized communication with those guests who weren’t reachable before.
2. Automated Marketing for Engaging Past OTA Guests
To address the objective of marketing to OTA guests, the resort leveraged Directful’s Marketing Automation solution. By accessing enriched guest information, they empowered their team to re-engage OTA guests effectively. The solution allowed for segmenting the guest database and creating targeted campaigns for past OTA guests in a few clicks.
Moreover, with the added advantage of AI automation, the process of auto-inviting past OTA guests and redirecting them to the hotel’s website for direct bookings became effortless. The resort could now seamlessly engage with past OTA guests, preserving the personalized touch in the marketing efforts.
3. Competing with OTAs using Direct-to-Guest Marketing
The resort adopted Directful’s direct-to-guest marketing automation solution to balance OTA bookings and drive direct revenue. With this approach, the hotel could now offer targeted discounts to past OTA guests inside personalized guest messages, ensuring compliance with OTA price parity rules while boosting repeat direct bookings.
Direct-to-guest marketing allowed the hotel to establish deeper relationships with guests, delivering a personalized experience that OTAs cannot match. The significant increase in direct bookings ultimately boosted guest loyalty and enhanced the hotel’s overall revenue.
Results & conclusion
The seamless integration of Directful’s AI-driven solution empowered the resort to overcome the limitations of OTA guest information, revolutionizing their guest engagement strategies and achieving remarkable results in just 10 months:
- Successfully converted over 160 past OTA guests to repeat direct bookers
- Increase the number of direct bookings by 28%
- Generated a remarkable $76,900 in OTA-to-direct conversion revenue
- Experienced a notable 29% increase in yearly direct revenue
Interested in hearing more about how Directful can help you?
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