Right now, you’re probably wading through a tsunami of outdated PowerPoint reports trying to make sense of the numbers and wondering which metrics matter when it comes to increasing your hotel bookings. Not only do you need to access, analyze, and action the data for your hotel properties in real-time, but you also have to eclipse the competition. And as you know, there’s no shortage of data.
If you want to get more heads in hotel beds, you have to make smart, strategic decisions based on available data. Yet, with so much of it at our disposal it’s easy to get distracted by vanity metrics such as social media followers, website traffic, email open rates, and media impressions. It doesn’t matter if you have a million Instagram followers if your conversion rate is on life support. And those hundreds of thousands of impressions you scored from that recent media blitz? Consider that moment of glory crushed if you’re faced with 1-star TripAdvisor reviews, because brand reputation is a key factor in revenue growth.
Here are the metrics you need to zero in on right now if you want to boost hotel bookings:
1. Website Conversion Rate: The simplest, yet most potent metric is your website conversion rate, which simply means the amount of bookings per total number of web sessions of a website for the same period. High rates indicate that not only are you getting heads in beds, but also you’re using your new customer acquisition dollars efficiently. According to Fast Booking, the average hotel conversion rate is 2.2%, with the top 20% of hotels having a rate of 5.6%. While it’s reductive to be beholden to an average, it does lend some guidance on how to evaluate the efficacy of your messaging and marketing efforts.
2. Email Click-Through Rate: Compared to the sheen of social media, email is often considered the sad stepchild, but it’s a marketing channel that consistently converts. Don’t believe it? Here are some staggering stats to put you on pause: 77% of consumers prefer email as the place for permission-based promotional messages vs. 4% Facebook and 1% Twitter. And for every $1 you invest in email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38.
Now that you’ve been swayed by the power of email, it’s important to focus on the only metric that matters. While open rates demonstrate genuine interest, it’s often a data point that’s skewed by varying service providers and their ability to serve up image previews in lieu of people actually opening the email. At the end of the day, you’re getting people to open invitations to the party, but click-throughs mean they’re knocking at your door.
Click-throughs to your website (or booking page) demonstrate how likely a prospect was to book after engaging with your email content. It can also give insight into site abandonment metrics (i.e. are they coming to your page to only leave it or leave mid-way through booking?) so hotel marketers can improve website messaging and resolve for missed opportunities.
3. Return on Asset Spend (ROAS): ROAS (total revenue/total cost) is one the simplest revenue-based metrics marketers can measure. Not only is it effective in determining the efficacy of your marketing efforts, but also you’re able to then compare various channels (i.e. social media ads, OTA commissions, PPC, re-targeting, etc.) to determine which are best at driving the highest conversions.
4. Direct Revenue Ratio (DRR): Context is king your DRR will give you a sense of your own website/booking environment performance vs. expensive third-party providers such as OTAs. At least 40-50% of your revenue should come from your own marketing channels. If your numbers pale in comparison to your commission-based providers, you need to re-evaluate your website messaging and marketing tactics.
5. TripAdvisor Sentiment Score: TripAdvisor has become central in travel planning because people rely on unbiased, honest reviews when they’re booking a hotel. According to data from the site, 79% of global users will read 6-12 reviews before selecting a hotel and 83% will “usually” or “always” reference TripAdvisor reviews prior to booking. As you’re probably acutely aware, your sentiment score is mission critical. No amount of smart marketing can cover up a poor guest experience or a competitor that’s encroaching on your terrain. The higher your sentiment score, the more likely consumers will choose your hotel over your competitors.
Even when you distill your metrics to the bare essentials, accessing, analyzing, and taking action on your data, when you have to manually pull and tabulate it from a slew of sources, can cause a serious strain on your resources.
Hotel Heartbeat cuts time-consuming tasks by aggregating your metrics into one dashboard. Imagine a customizable, 360° view of your hotel’s media and PR intelligence, social analytics, marketing metrics, reviews, and more in real-time, in one place, on any device. The hours spent on customizing reports for execs? Gone. Now you can get back to what matters most—building relationships with your customers and standing apart from the pack.
Want to learn more? See how Hotel Heartbeat works and schedule a demo.