Seven steps to more direct bookings

Distribution costs are expensive - commissions range from 20% up to even 50% for OTAs, wholesalers, flashsales, etc. Hoteliers know they need more direct business - but the question is how to get there, especially with so much information, options and ways of approaching the problem.

Here is a quick and easy list to make sure you are doing the most important things:

  1. Build a great website. Your website is your new front-desk and telephone in one - with more visitors than either one has ever had in the past. Make sure it is informative, well-designed, visually inspiring, and as service-oriented as the front desk of your hotel. Also make sure you have the site available in the languages of your primary source markets.

  2. Ensure your booking engine is easy to use and offers a seamless booking experience. Many hotels spend a lot of money on their website, driving traffic, SEO, etc and then have a difficult-to-use booking engine. This is the surest way to drive the consumer to an OTA. Make sure your booking engine is intuitive, offers minimal options, and always makes it clear how to contact you in case of questions. Additionally, make sure you have secure payment options on every direct channel - asking for a credit card over email may divert you direct guests elsewhere after all of your hard work.

  3. Offer the best rate and value for direct bookers AND be sure that you communicate this value. Make sure to do this on your website, at your front desk, and after check-out. If consumers don’t know, they won’t book through you.

  4. Check your digital marketing basics:

    • Social media marketing: use social media to drive awareness, engagement; make sure to post high-quality pictures and clear contact information on Facebook, Instagram, and Google

    • Email marketing: keep in touch with guests who have provided their email - send offers once a month, sell your destination, and remind them to book direct

    • Paid search marketing: check out your paid search marketing options, start small and see what works

    • Search Engine Optimization: make sure your website is the first result on Google when someone searches your hotel name

  5. Provide great service. Make sure every communication touchpoint with your hotel is informative, helpful, positive and quick. With so many tools at our disposal, it is easier than ever to stay in touch - your staff are your greatest brand ambassadors.

  6. Check your reviews. All consumers check reviews before booking - TripAdvisor, booking.com, google - make sure your reviews reflect the quality of your hotel, and if not, work on improving them asap.

  7. Track your results. Track your results with Google Analytics and other programs to see what efforts make an impact. This will save you time and money moving forward and will help you find the sweet spot for your hotel without spending too much money.

P.S. Did you know Instaroom helps you achieve each of these targets? From helping you staff your website and social media channels, to assisting you in providing even better service, we've got your back.

  • We help you greet your website visitors and personalize their experience
  • We help you promote your direct booking added value to all your website visitors
  • Engage and automate your online customer service across multiple messaging platforms
  • Automate and improve service for your guests
  • Check out our actionable insights to see how you can improve your communication and direct booking conversion

Want to find out more about Instaroom? Visit our website here or email us at info@instaroom.travel to schedule a demo.

Instaroom in the news: Travel Daily News Asia