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SMS marketing for hotels: A ‘suite’ of tips and ideas

Alia Paavola
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As technology and guest preferences change, hotels must find better and more convenient ways to communicate with guests. That’s why 44 percent of hotels reported they will likely add a mobile messaging solution soon.

SMS marketing for hotels enables hospitality businesses to reach their guests directly on their mobile devices. With features like mass messaging and two-way SMS, hotels can use text messaging to improve overall communication. But how can the hospitality industry use SMS to its full potential?

In this blog, we’ll describe the benefits of SMS marketing for hotels and share ideas and examples for inspiration.

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<h2 id="Benefits">10 benefits of text marketing for hotels</h2>

Texting is a powerful communication tool. Let’s look at some of the top SMS marketing advantages hotels should take advantage of.

  • High open rate. The average open rate for text messages is 98 percent. This is nearly five times the open rate of email. Hotels should take advantage of this communication channel’s high open rate to ensure messages are seen.

  • Instantaneous delivery. A majority of customers read SMS messages within 60 to 120 seconds. This makes texting a great way to get in touch with guests quickly.

  • High engagement rate. Before texting your contacts, you must collect consent to text them. This practically ensures that your guests want to hear from you via text, resulting in a higher engagement rate than other channels.

  • Improved guest support and communication. Texting enables real-time, two-way conversations with guests. Use texting to solve customer problems or answer their questions quickly.

  • It’s a preferred channel. Texting is a preferred communication channel across different age groups because of its convenience. In fact, 85 percent of consumers want to have text conversations with businesses.

  • It can be highly personalized. Customers expect personalized conversations. Text messaging allows your hotel to do this at scale. It’s simple to address guests by their first name and tailor messages appropriately.
  • Easy to set up. Text message marketing for hotels is simple to set up and scale with the right platform. SMS is familiar, so you won’t need extensive team training. Plus, most platforms allow you to manage guest texts from one simplified web-based inbox.

  • Easy to integrate. SMS is an easy channel to integrate with other software and channels. Many SMS platforms have out-of-the-box integrations, allowing you to connect platforms in just a few clicks.

  • Give guests a choice. SMS platforms let businesses text-enable existing voice numbers, which gives guests a choice on how to reach out. You can offer guests the option to call or text your number to book a stay, coordinate on-site services, and more.

  • Incredible use versatility. Hotels can use text messaging in many ways to improve the guest experience because it’s versatile. Whether to send booking reminders, promote discounts, upsell guests, or improve the concierge service.

<h2 id="Ideas">SMS marketing ideas for hotels</h2>

SMS marketing can help hotels overcome challenges related to communication, guest experience, revenue, and online reputation. Let’s look at a few of them and how SMS can help.

Direct and immediate communication

Most Americans (97 percent) own a cell phone capable of receiving text messages. SMS allows hotels to reach guests on these mobile devices quickly. This direct and immediate communication is crucial for time-sensitive information and urgent updates. It can also be beneficial for sharing last-minute deals to fill rooms and inform guests about relevant changes.

For example, hotels could text guests updates about:

  • Reservation changes
  • Booking reminders
  • Hotel service closures
  • Room rate deals and discounts
  • Welcome messages
  • Day-of-event invites

Improve customer service

Use hotel text messaging to improve customer service. Texting supports rapid and convenient two-way communication. Guests can text your hotel support system to resolve booking issues, ask questions, or request on-site services. Plus, with SMS they don’t need to sit on hold or wait on a computer screen. Instead, they can reply at their convenience wherever they are located.

Enhance your online reputation

Five-star ratings and positive online reviews help your hotel book more rooms and appeal to new guests. Encourage satisfied hotel guests to leave reviews via SMS. You can send a short message with a link for them to leave the review. Texting has higher open and response rates than email, making it a great way to deliver surveys and review requests. 

Increase revenue with promotions

Use SMS marketing to notify guests and potential customers about promotions, deals, or package offers. You can even inform guests about special room rates to support a dynamic pricing strategy. This can help manage occupancy levels to boost revenue.

Here are some hotel promotional campaign ideas:

  • Share a discount with VIP guests
  • Promote a special or discounted room rate 
  • Run a flash sale to boost bookings in a short period
  • Offer a birthday discount
  • Create a package or bundle offer for guests
  • Offer guests a free spa service with a booking

Upsell for more revenue

In addition to running promotions, hotels can use SMS to upsell or cross-sell customers to boost revenue. A study suggests that upselling can result in a 41 percent increase in order value. Plus, cross-selling can boost customer lifetime value by 14 percent

Texting is a great way to encourage guests to:

  • Upgrade their room selection
  • Add rooms to a room block
  • Utilize an on-site service

Increase direct bookings 

Reduce your hotel’s reliance on external booking platforms and avoid paying those commission fees. Instead, use text message marketing to encourage direct bookings. Hotels can send exclusive offers with links to opted-in customers to book rooms with them directly. SMS marketing links have a higher click-through rate than email marketing links.

Additionally, hotels can encourage guests to text in to book a room. This can smooth the booking process for guests.

Boost customer engagement and loyalty

Use SMS to improve customer engagement and loyalty. You can use SMS to encourage guests to sign up for your loyalty program to earn points or get exclusive deals. This can help drive repeat business and loyal customers over time.

SMS offers a personalized marketing and support approach that helps drive guest satisfaction. That’s because customers prefer texting as it offers a convenient way to stay informed and connected.

Urgent notifications

From inclement weather to power outages, there are times when your hotel may need to contact all guests at once. Communication is paramount in these urgent or emergent situations. SMS provides hotels with a reliable channel to ensure all guests are informed promptly. You can use SMS to share safety information, emergency updates, or service changes.

Get 21 other SMS marketing campaign ideas.

<h2 id="Examples">13 examples of SMS marketing for hotels</h2>

SMS marketing is a versatile solution to enhance guest communication and book more rooms. Let’s look at 13 examples of hotel SMS marketing.

1. Booking confirmations and reminders

Use SMS to confirm a guest’s stay or remind them about an upcoming booking. Given the high open rate of texting, you can ensure guests read your message.

Booking confirmation text example for hotels.

2. Promotional discount

One of the more well-known use cases is offering discounts to guests to fill rooms. Use a promotional text or limited-time deal to encourage bookings.

A promotional text example for hotels.

3. Upsell opportunity

Use SMS to encourage guests staying at your property to upgrade their room for a discounted price. This can end up earning your hotel more revenue.

A sales text example for hotels.

4. Room block sales

Many hotels offer room blocks for group events. Use a text message to manage room block sales. Send quotes, encourage guests to add more rooms, or let guests manage reservations by texting a group code.

A sales-related text example for hotels.

5. Request feedback

Text messaging is a great way to collect feedback from guests about their stay. Use texting to deliver an online survey or simply ask guests to rate their experience numerically.

A feedback request text for hotels.

6. Event invitation

Boost attendance at your hotel events with SMS invites. Simply text guests about on-site events or partnership deals.

An event invitation text message example for hotels.

7. Guest support and concierge

Encourage guests to text your hotel phone number for specific questions, recommendations, or room service requests.

A guest support text message example for hotels.

8. Manage guest reservations

Use text messaging to confirm on-site reservations. This can include guest dinner reservations, spa visits, or special events.

A guest reservation text message example for hotels

9. Emergency notifications

Emergencies happen quickly and unexpectedly. Communicate with guests in the event of an emergency or unexpected situation by sending a text message.

An emergency SMS example for hotels.

10. Welcome text message

Use a text message to welcome guests to your hotel and provide important information. You can include parking instructions, how to contact the front desk, and any hotel policies.

A welcome text message example for hotels.

12. Encourage loyalty program sign-up

Use a text message to promote your loyalty program or membership offerings.

A loyalty text message example for hotels.

13. Streamline valet and bellhop services

If you offer a valet or bell hop service, use text messaging to streamline this process for guests. Let them send a text when they’re ready for their car or need help with luggage.

A valet text message example for hotels.

<h2 id="How">How to get started with hotel text message marketing</h2>

Your hotel can get started with SMS in a few simple steps. Here’s a breakdown of them:

1. Create an SMS strategy. You should first establish an SMS marketing strategy. This process includes determining your use cases, audience, and goals.

Get Textline’s 12-step guide to creating an effective SMS marketing strategy.  

A visual of a guide to create an SMS marketing example

2. Choose your SMS platform. The next step is to choose an SMS marketing platform that fits your business needs. To help you choose, determine what features and integrations you need. You should also examine an SMS provider’s reputation, pricing structure, support, and security. SMS platforms like Textline simplify hotel texting with features like mass texting, scheduled messages, and automations.

3. Build your SMS marketing list. The third step is to create your contact list. Before you can message contacts, you must get consent to text them. This is called getting an SMS opt-in or generating SMS subscribers. Check out these compliant SMS opt-in examples for inspiration.

4. Compose your messages. Now, it’s time to craft your marketing text messages. Pro tip: Proofread your texts and include a call to action.

5. Send texts. The final step is to press send. You can text contacts one-on-one or use a mass text to reach many guests at once. From here, you can measure results and optimize your messages.

Use Textline to keep rooms filled and guests happy

SMS marketing helps hotels better manage communication with guests and reach potential customers. Add texting to your guest communication strategy to book more rooms, keep rooms filled, and improve the guest experience. 

Textline’s hotel texting service pairs enterprise-grade security with the text messaging features your hospitality business needs. Use Textline to mass text, message one-on-one, or automate workflows. Plus, you can manage all guest texts from one simple-to-use web-based inbox.Test out the Textline platform free for 14 days. Sign up now.

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