SMS marketing and the hospitality industry

When we mention the hotel and travel industry, a busy, neverending and lucrative industry springs to mind. Deadlines, excitement, seasons, overbookings, cancellations, delays, adventure, expenses, exploration… All these words and more comes to mind.

Having so many diverse and time sensitive services to offer their clients, SMS marketing, being an immediate form of communication should be on the top of hotels and travel industry marketing strategies. Summer is just around the corner and it can drastically increase consumer engagement, boosts customer satisfaction as well as streamline bookings.

Mobiles and Travel

Technology and travel go hand in hand now. We use our mobiles for everything from researching and planning our travel to saving and bookmarking our boarding passes, directions, travel plans and hotel confirmations.

Research from 2016 shows:

  • 95% of business travellers are owners of a smartphone
  • 64% own tablets
  • 67% research, shop and book their travel accommodations using mobile devices
  • 77% use their devices to check on updates like flight activities

So why should this industry not take advantage of these facts and use SMS marketing seeing that it is already a part of our day to day living and travelling?  From these statistics, it is clear to see that they are without a doubt in an advantageous position of having their SMS messages favourably received.

Ways of using SMS marketing in Hotel and Travel industry

There are tons of advantageous and useful ways SMS marketing can be incorporated into the travel industry that will vastly benefit both the business and the client. Remember, SMS is instantaneous with a high open rate. Let’s look at a few ways:

Reservation confirmations. What easier and faster way to get confirmations on your hotel reservations than to be directly sent to you via SMS? Guest’s reservation confirmation and arrival times can be sent to them prior to arrival as well as a courtesy message towards the ending of their stay informing them about check out times. The same goes for travel where confirmations of booking information can be sent along with reminders of all the information that they may need to travel.

Last minute deals.  Airlines can send out last minute deals to fill up those empty seats on a flight. Hotels can also take advantage of this by sending 24-hour flash sales on rooms to fill them up. SMS is the perfect marketing avenue to do this because of its timeliness and high open rates.

Travel updates and time-sensitive changes. The hotel and travel industry is a very unpredictable industry. Changes are inevitable with cancellations, delays, flight number changes, overbookings etc. Sometimes it happens while the customer may already be in mid travel or on their way. SMS provides the fastest and most reliable mode of communication to reach these clients to notify and update them of these last minute changes.

Courtesy Messages. You can send courtesy messages to clients after they have booked, thanking them for choosing you and even questionnaires offering them a chance to rate your service.

All of these examples keep your customer engaged while increasing customer loyalty and retention.

The list of the different ways to utilise SMS into the hotel and travel industry is endless. The opportunity to be creative along with an abundance of relevant, updated and time sensitive information makes this market a prime candidate for SMS marketing. Don’t get left behind, get on board! The time is now.