Wait, Text Message Marketing for Hoteliers?
Yes! SMS marketing has been coined one of the most effective marketing channels, boasting as high as a 98% open-rate. According to the Greater Digital Channel Survey, an estimated 49 million people will opt-in to SMS marketing by 2020. Just think about all the guests who can be reached within 5-seconds by a simple text message.
Navigating SMS and MMS Regulations
With such high open-rates, there’s strong appeal for Hotel Executives and Marketing Directors to utilize this growing marketing channel. However, navigating the channel’s strict regulations to convert open-rates to room reservations will continue to present challenges for marketing departments throughout the U.S. Why?
Nothing new, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) has strict opt-in and opt-out regulations. And now, the FCC’s recent classification of SMS and MMS as “information services” enables wireless providers to continue to take necessary anti-spam precautions that keep wireless messaging services relatively scam-free to protect wireless messaging as a trusted form of communication within the United States. This ruling helps ensure the marketing channel remains clean, and positively impacts all within our population, except for the scammers of course. However, good-intentioned marketing agencies and managers utilizing text message marketing services have experienced the impact of increased regulations as previously accepted SMS and MMS techniques are now blocked by select mobile carriers.
Despite the challenges, SMS marketing continues to rank in the top-four most-adopted mobile marketing tactics. Yet, in the Gartner 2016 Digital Channel Survey, 61% of mobile marketers are still not using SMS marketing. Keep guests informed about upcoming sales—offer first dibs on coupons to bring value and increased loyalty to the channel. Gain insights into guest sentiment through quick feedback surveys and channel satisfaction surveys. Connect with your guests and give them a voice to engage with your brand on a personal level.
When used correctly, SMS can be a low-cost tool to reach a high number of users within minutes through a personal channel. Personalization in the hotel industry is no longer a trend, it’s an obligation. Text message communication with guests can be an effective tactic for increasing personalization and enhancing the guest experience in a digital era.
Resources: Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Registrar, Gartner, Skift, Textedly