If you’ve already read our guide to improving low website conversion rates you’ll know how important it is to make sure you’ve created a clear user journey on your website. Reviewing your website regularly allows you to remove out of date or unnecessary content that might prevent a customer taking the action you want them to take.

That said, personalization increases conversion rates by around 16% so it’s also vital that your website provides the tailored digital experiences that customers expect. Targeted Messages help you keep your fundamental user journeys clear and seamless, but still provide dynamic and relevant content for every website visitor.

In this guide we’ll cover:

  • How to use Triptease insights to understand which audiences to target

  • Where else you can find useful customer insights to improve your targeting

  • An introduction to Triptease message targeting


Using Triptease Insights to understand which audiences to target

You already know the value of using Triptease Targeted Messages to highlight your marketing campaigns to everyone who comes to your website. That kind of consistent experience - where your website content reflects and reinforces the other marketing campaigns you’re promoting out in the world - helps to build trust in your brand. It also helps customers find the deal they’re looking for when they arrive on your website.

But Triptease Messaging can be used in other ways too. Lots of hotels use Triptease to experiment with delivering different kinds of content to different kinds of guests. This allows you to easily and quickly test out ways to increase conversions from a particular customer segment.

First, you’ll need to work out which segment of customers you want to run a test on. There are three key charts in the Triptease Insights Dashboard that should provide you with some useful insights to get started.

  1. Performance by visitor country

  2. Most searched check-in dates

  3. Conversion rate based on lead time of searches

Performance by visitor country

Let’s start with Performance by visitor country. In the table below we can learn a lot about which countries are currently visiting this hotel’s website. By reviewing the number of visitors from a particular location, along with their conversion rate and average booking value, you can start to draw some clear actionable insights.

For example:

  • The fourth-highest number of website visitors are coming from the United States, but those guests have a slightly lower conversion rate and significantly lower ABV than almost all the other countries.

  • Switzerland has a very high conversion rate and their ABV is also high.

From just a quick glance at this table, it’s clear that this hotelier should be creating targeted content to help increase the conversion rate and average spend of those visitors from the United States. And if Swiss visitors are converting well and have money to spend, it also might be worth seeing if a personalized upsell might convince them to spend just that little bit more.

Most searched check-in dates

Now let's look at Most searched check-in dates. This graph gives hoteliers visibility of how interest in their property fluctuates over time. This can help you spot unexpected spikes in interest (is there an event happening in your area that you didn’t know about?) or periods when interest is really low (could you run a targeted promotion to encourage guests to stay during this ‘down time’?)

Let’s run through an example. If we look at the next three months for this hotel we can see that they have some big spikes in check-in date searches over the next month (pretty understandable, given that it’s the holiday season) and they also have small spikes every Friday, which we can assume are leisure guests checking in for the weekend.

This is pretty standard stuff, but still useful to know. A leisure-focussed hotel is likely to have more weekend than week night bookings, so it’s always worth targeting those weekend guests with an offer to extend their trip into the following week.

But it’s when you start digging further into the data that you’ll uncover some potentially unexpected insights worth investigating. If we switch the graph above to view the whole of next year, looking only at customers searching for longer stays (4-6 nights, 7-13 nights or 14+ nights) we can see that they have a spike in interest around the time of the Easter holidays in April. This would definitely be a good opportunity to launch an Easter campaign and turn some of those searchers into bookers!

They also have periods with no interest whatsoever, such as May and September. Looking at this, the hotel’s Marketing and Revenue teams might want to get together and consider what kind of offers and messaging they can get in place to drive interest for those quieter periods of 2021.

Conversion rate based on lead time of searches

Now let's look at Conversion rate based on lead time of searches. This graph can help you increase conversion rates by targeting last-minute or advance searchers.

On the graph above we can see that in the last 28 days, this hotel has had over 2,200 ‘last minute’ searches (with a lead time of seven days or less), but that those searches only had a conversion rate of 0.44%. While it’s unlikely that all of these searchers are seriously considering booking a stay (they may just be trying to get a sense of your prices by clicking on immediately visible calendar dates). That said, with this many searches being run, it would be a waste not to target this segment of customers to see what kind of incentive might help them to convert.


Using other (non-Triptease) customer insights to understand which audiences to target

Ideally you should be using a range of sources to build a clear picture of where your customer demand is currently strongest and weakest. Other useful data sources include:

Google Analytics

There’s a wealth of analysis available to you in Google Analytics, but it can sometimes be a little overwhelming and tricky to know exactly what action you should take based on what you see there. For a crash course in getting the most out of Google Analytics as a hotelier, watch our Direct Booking Masterclass session with search and analytics expert Barbara Pezzi.

PMS/CRS data

A full analysis of who has historically booked your hotel and how those customer segments are changing is a great thing to do regularly. This allows you to see which customers drive the highest revenue for your business.

Customer interviews

Speaking to your customers directly is key to understanding what each segment actually wants and expects from your hotel. Are business travellers often looking to extend their trip into the weekend? Are you offering packages that appeal to younger, millennial groups? You could speak to customers directly in your hotel if they’re happy to do so - or leave survey forms in rooms or send them via email post-checkout to gain valuable insights about your customers.

Travel demand tracking

In previous years you’ll likely have had a clear idea of who your customers were, when they’d be most likely to book and what you needed to do to secure their booking, based on their patterns of past behavior. Historical data still has its place, but right now - particularly with fewer people actually travelling and booking hotels - there’s nothing more important than pre-booking data and demand signals.

Pre-booking data is everything that happens before your customer makes their hotel booking. From flight bookings to length of stay search data, these are now your go-to reference points when understanding who to target. For example:

  • Which countries are the top bookers or searchers of flights into your city or region? Even if you’re currently in lockdown your customers may still be searching, so this is still useful data.

  • What check in dates are most popular right now?

  • What is the most common length of stay being searched on your booking engine?

The answers to these questions can tell you which customers you need to target right now. Check in dates and flight information can change fast depending on local and national lockdowns, so this is data you need to review regularly.


An introduction to Triptease message targeting

In this final section of the guide we’ll walk you through exactly how to set up a message to target the customers that will have maximum value for your hotel, based on your previous customer analysis.

When you arrive on the Triptease Message Builder, the first thing you’ll need to do is decide which type of message you’d like to set up. Simply click on the message type you need.

If you select a Nudge Message - as we’ve done in this example - you’ll have the option to choose from a range of pre-built templates, or to start designing a message from scratch. Let’s start from scratch.

The Message Builder consists of three sections: Behaviour, Audience and Design. We’ll walk through each of those now:

Behaviour

In this section you’ll define which pages of your website - or which hotel websites - the message will display on, how quickly it will appear and how long it will stay live for. You’ll also give the message an internally visible name so it is easy for you and your colleagues to find if you have multiple messages set up in the Message Builder.

Audience

This is where all your customer research will be used! We’re now going to define which customer segments your message will appear for.

If you haven't had time to run customer analysis and just want to get something up on your website as quickly as possible, there’s an option at the top of the page to apply Smart targeting to your message. Selecting Smart targeting means that Triptease will automatically determine how likely a visitor is to book. All you need to think about is what message you'd like them to see.

For example, if a visitor already looks likely to book it could be more profitable to entice them with an upgrade rather than a discount on what they would have purchased anyway. Whereas for visitors with a low likelihood to book, a discount message might be exactly what it takes to persuade them.

If you do know which customers you’d like to target, you will make your selection from the Custom targeting options below. These are split into Visitor profile targeting and Booking engine search targeting:

Visitor profile

  • New vs returning visitors: Target visitors who are new or have returned to your website

  • Location: Target visitors based on their country, state, region or city

  • Referral website: Target visitors based on the website they came from

  • Device type: Target visitors based on the device they’re using

Booking engine search

  • Lead time: Target visitors based on whether they are booking in advance or last minute

  • Check-in date: Target visitors arriving before, after or between certain dates

  • Length of stay: Target visitors booking a specific number of nights

  • Party size: Target visitors based on the number and type of guests in a reservation

So, if you know from your research that you have lots of Spanish first-time website visitors arriving from your Instagram profile (on their mobile phones), and searching for stays on New Year’s Eve, you can pinpoint precisely those guests using the Audience tab and show them exactly the offer that will help them to convert. Here’s how you’d set that targeting up:

One important thing to remember, though, is that the more targeting specifications you use on a message, the fewer people it will display for. That’s fine if you’re keen to offer a really great deal to a very specific audience and not to all of your website visitors. But it’s important to remember that the most impactful messages are often the ones that have less targeting and can display to a broader group of guests.

Design

Finally, in the design tab you can get creative! This is where you write your content, share your offer, add images, branding, and a call to action button to send customers through to your booking engine (or wherever else you want them to go).

There are a few features here that will help you make the most of Triptease Targeted Messages:

  1. Adding a translation
    Messages can be automatically translated into the appropriate language to match the different language versions of your website. You should create the original version of your message in English. You can then select another language to automatically translate it into. You should also only create translated versions of your messages if your website is available in different languages - and those messages will have to match the language variants of your website or they won't appear. Find out more here.

  2. Uploading a custom design
    If the branding and design options within the Message Builder don’t quite work for your hotel, there is the option to upload a completely bespoke design. Within the Imagery section of the Design tab, select Use your own custom image and you’ll be able to add a design that you’ve created yourself. Just remember that your design must include a call to action button (so that customers know they can click it!) and be written in the language you have chosen for your message.

  3. Running a message test
    In the Design tab you also have the option to duplicate your current message and run a variant test. This involves creating two slightly different versions of your message to see which one performs better for your business. This is particularly useful if you are experimenting with targeting new or different audiences - you can find out exactly what kind of content makes them convert. Read more about variant tests here.

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