We already discussed the difference between OTA vs direct bookings, but how do you actually get customers to book through you? We reached out to our network of hoteliers who increased their direct bookings without relying on OTAs. This article is all about:
- Why direct bookings are all about sliding into your customers’ DMs
- How to make digital marketing work for you
- Why the secret to more direct bookings lies in sleek SEO
Ready to reclaim your revenue? Keep reading.
5 Practical Tips For Encouraging Direct Bookings
Here are five tips you can implement right now to improve your direct bookings, drive up revenue, and keep customers coming back for more. Let’s jump right into it:
1. Build A User-Friendly Hotel Website
2. Get On Board With Digital Marketing
- Sign your business up to Google My Business. It’s often the first place people check for hotels—if you’re not on it you’re losing bookings.
- Make your website SEO friendly. When guests search for + hotel, you want to be on the first page of search results.
- Invest in paid ads. Think Facebook, Instagram, or wherever your target guests spend their online time.
3. Leverage Loyalty Programs
A loyalty program doesn’t have to be complicated. Whenever a guest arrives you give them an incentive to opt-in i.e. allow them the chance to check in early.
Once they’re signed up you can give them benefits for booking directly with you. Such as: membership-only rates, free parking or a discount on breakfast. This preferential treatment might just be the deciding factor when they’re deciding on where to stay for their next trip.
4. It’s Time To Get Social
5. Get Serious About Branding
Use this checklist to increase direct bookings:
This detailed checklist includes various action items to help increase direct bookings. The list is organized by level of progress (the further down the list you go the more advanced the action items get).
- Manage your own mobile friendly website where you accept online bookings
- Make sure it is easy to find the booking button on your website
- Make sure you are listed on Google Business and that your listing includes a direct link to your website
- Send a thank you note to guests after staying with link to your own website
- Offer your guests a discount for booking directly and make sure guests see that the best price is when you book direct
- Make sure to send a confirmation email with logo and full booking details
- Place your very best images on your website
- Use social media to engage with your audience and post content regularly to build your brand
- Collect your own reviews. Tell customers that reviews may be displayed on your site, or they may be used as feedback to help you improve your offering
- Opt-in marketing- regularly ask guests if they are interested in joining your mailing list and use email marketing
- Give better deposit/cancellation terms to those that book direct, and promote these terms on your website
- Put a price comparison widget on your site, showing direct booking as the cheapest option
- Create content for your guests that includes information about your property and destination
Ready To Get More Direct Bookings?
OTAs might be a significant source of your bookings, but they don’t have to be the only one. By trying out the tips we shared in this article you can convert customers from booking with OTA to booking directly with you—saving you up to 30% in commission.
OTAs invest millions of dollars into UX design and advertising. But you don’t need deep pockets to compete—you need a tech partner with skin in the game. Duve is made up of a team of hotel industry veterans who are here to help. If you’re curious about increasing your direct bookings, then our team is here to help.