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Travel Marketing

Debbie Szwast

Looking for a way to boost occupancy and improve revenue? Try gift cards. Many resort properties are capitalizing on the holiday season by offering gift cards redeemable for room nights, spa services, special packages, dining options, and more.

Pheasant Run Resort in the western suburbs of Chicago has taken to advertising its gift card program across all mediums—signage, radio tags, print ads, eblasts, and the property’s website all promote gift card sales. The resort is banking on the fact that people are looking for easy and affordable stocking stuffers for family and friends. Gift cards can be purchased in denominations of $20. To encourage repeat customers, Pheasant Run Resort also is offering a limited-time special where customers receive and extra $50 for every $200 in gift cards they buy.

This type of loyalty program increases sales for both the buyer and the recipient. Plus, it can translate into revenue twice from the same transaction—once when the gift card is purchased and then again when it is redeemed when the guest hopefully spends additional money on services or amenities at the resort. Studies show that in general, consumers spend more than the face value of the gift card they are using. By limiting the time frame in which the gift card can be used, the hotel can control occupancy, as well.

From a profitability standpoint, gift cards improve cash flow, too. The hotel or resort benefits from the sale at the time the gift card is purchased, even though the property does not have to provide the rooms until the card is redeemed. So even if the property is currently sold out, it can still sell gift cards and increase revenue today.

In addition to boosting sales, gift cards can enhance brand identity. When the resort’s logo is emblazoned on the gift card, it is a

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constant reminder to the user of that property. It’s like a mini billboard in someone’s purse or pocket!

So this holiday season, if your hotel or resort is searching for a memorable way to generate sales, revenue and customer loyalty, why not implement a gift card program of your own? It could be just the gift you were hoping to receive.

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Nicole Wagner

Below are Stevens & Tate Marketing‘s picks for the best resort e-mail subject lines of the month:

Your holiday escape to Lake Ozark

Fall into savings!

We want to know what you think

Make November Special

Resort Homes for the Holidays…

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Nicole Wagner

Are you in the hospitality industry and looking to improve your company’s web site? Below are some tips from Stevens & Tate Marketing that will help you improve your site and make it more user-friendly for your visitors to generate more conversions:

Accommodations and Special Packages Are What They Are Looking For
Accommodations are the key pages for users. The guest really wants to know what the room looks like that they are considering to stay in. Make sure you present your rooms in the best light. This is also an area where you can upgrade users by presenting multiple rooms on one page and showcasing the amenities for each room type.

Specials and packages pages are key. Steer price sensitive customer to dates you need to fill by offering specials they can’t refuse when they visit this section of your website.

Headlines Should Be Clear
Hotels typically want to do fluffy text but their focus groups has found they need to be succinct. Make sure your headlines tell people what the copy is about so they can easily find what they are looking for. This also helps you be found within the search engines.

Content is King
Place your key content in prominent positions, but don’t be afraid to finish your story. If you are offering information that is valuable to the reader they will scroll and continue to read. Don’t overwhelm them in website content on one page however. Be sure to make the website appear simple so a user is not overwhelmed with the amount of copy on one page.

Use Skimming Words
Remember that users still skim your web pages. Make sure to incorporate key words that will resonate with the reader to draw them into the copy they are looking for. Bold headlines and short paragraphs help for them to find what they are looking for and for what you want them to read.

Coordinate Ads Into the Site

If you are trying to draw attention to special promotions or features in your website and you want to add call outs on different pages don’t make them look like ads. Make your ads look like part of the website rather than stand apart. Users will trust and read them more than if you make them look like banner ads.

Unique Audience Pages
You have different audiences visiting your website. Make pages unique to each audience and be sure to speak to them in their own language. From the home page call out these different audience segments and lead them to the pages that are meant for them.

Do Not Overdue Main Navigation
No more than 9 main navigation elements. Nine is all that a user can digest to make a logical decision without being confused. Make your navigation easy to understand and try to withstand from catchy phrases that may cause confusion.

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Nicole Wagner

Below are some of the top e-mail subject lines from resort/hotel e-mail marketing campaigns that we saw

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during the month of September.

Getaway this Month with our NEW Hot August Nights Package

Wake Up to the Beauty of Eagle Ridge

Make some memories at The Lake before the end of Summer

Your Labors Deserve A Getaway to The Abbey Resort

Labor Day and Fall Fun at The Abbey Resort

Celebrate Labor Day at The Abbey Resort

Live Entertainment at The Abbey Resort

August Beach Blast Cookout & Fireworks Show in Lake Lure……

Fall Events…Delaware Wine & Beer Festival

Ends Thursday! Sale starting at $49* one-way

Escape to Kohler this Summer for $148

Your August Pure Michigan Featured Deals

Luxury Escapes – August

Help Shanty Creek Name a Ski Run and WIN!

Snap up these great deals by Thursday!

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Tim Itano

A couple of months ago, my wife and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago and were both amazed and grateful. Amazed at our stay and grateful for the many technological resources the travel/hospitality industry has inspired to help us make that outstanding selection.

Ten years ago, I distinctly remember booking our honeymoon in mixed bag fashion, partially in the traditional travel mode (looking at Fodor’s, calling a referred travel agency) with the other part using tools pretty innovative for the time like Expedia.com and similar price-comparison sites.

Fast forward ten years, and my wife and I are short listing our potential hotels via Google maps (for proximity to nearby attractions), screening those same short-listed hotels on their Facebook pages for happy travel stories, pulling up Groupons and posting photos of our stops on FB via iPhone.

When it came to making our stay great, the technological features of the hotel – including a über cool bathroom mirror that turned into a TV – were great but weren’t the difference makers. It was the impeccable service that was evident from the moment our car pulled under their porte-cochére. Their service-first mentality wasn’t just a corporate mandate, it seemed genuine and true. When we sidled up to the well-appointed front counter, the conversation was warm and custom-tailored like a fine suit. Throughout the hotel, guests seemed more relaxed, more confident and friendly as you would expect having been

treated like a million bucks.

And the room, I can’t say for sure that Donald Trump himself didn’t hand-pick our room for us, but with views of the river, the lake and half of Chicago’s finest skyline, who’s to say he didn’t?

Are you looking for a hospitality marketing agency that trumps the others? Stevens & Tate Marketing and Endora Digital Solutions, specialize in hotel/resort advertising and have provided innovative marketing solutions for hotels, resorts, CVB’s and lifestyle-based residential communities throughout the U.S.

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Nicole Wagner

Getaway this Month with our NEW Hot August Nights Package

Wake Up to the Beauty of Eagle Ridge

Make some memories at The Lake before the end of Summer

Your Labors Deserve A Getaway to The Abbey Resort

Labor Day and Fall Fun at The Abbey Resort

Celebrate Labor Day at The Abbey Resort

Live Entertainment at The Abbey Resort

August Beach Blast Cookout & Fireworks Show in Lake Lure……

Fall Events…Delaware Wine & Beer Festival

Ends Thursday! Sale starting at $49* one-way

Escape to Kohler this Summer for $148

Your August Pure Michigan Featured Deals

Luxury Escapes – August

Help Shanty Creek Name a Ski Run and WIN!

Snap up these great deals by Thursday!

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Nicole Wagner

Resort Subject Lines of the Month:

Celebrate the Fourth with Destination Delivers

Summer’s Best Spa Value!

Reconnect with Nature this Fall

July Is Just Heating Up At Eagle Ridge

More of Summer’s Best Golf Value

Summer Never Looked So Good

Summer Fun Summer Values at The Abbey

Great Fun, Food, and Entertainment  at The Waterfront

It is All About the Values

An Exclusive Preview of our NEW Premier Magazine Just for You

Incredible Values and Great Summer Fun at The Abbey Resort

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