How to Increase Your Direct Bookings by 30% Overnight

How to Increase Your Direct Bookings by 30% Overnight

09 May 2017 Oliver Braithwaite

How would you like to increase your hotel direct bookings by 30% overnight? This article will give you a step-by-step breakdown on a simple way to pump up your direct booking conversions, but first, let’s take a look at a success story from one of our clients using this method.

This hotel's conversion rates had been dropping month on month for some time due to increased competition from online travel agents and the industry-wide customer trend towards comparing online deals before booking. They needed a fast, efficient solution to stem the tide of customers booking through the OTAs rather than on their website.

In order to remedy the situation, we recommended creating a book direct campaign powered by smart popup technology. We got to work, designing and building multiple popups to target different devices, all of which are compliant with the strict Google popup guidelines. Our new campaign yielded instant results:

  • 31.37% increase in eCommerce Conversions
  • 28.10% increase in Transactions
  • 28.96% increase in Revenue

As mentioned, these results were powered by 2 things:

  1. A strong book direct campaign
  2. Engaging delivery via the use of popups

Let’s take a look at these two elements in depth.

How to create a Book Direct campaign that will take back business from the OTAs

We know from Google stats that 68% of people are unsure that they are getting the best deal when they book. The purpose of an effective book direct campaign is to make sure that potential clients know that they can find the best deal by booking directly with you, rather than letting the OTAs chew up 10-20% of your profits in commission.

At bare minimum, you must present a better deal to customers than the OTAs, because they will inevitably have better marketing, booking interfaces and systems due to their near-unlimited budgets. Offering a discount on rates is the most compelling hook to convert visitors into guests, but other benefits may entice potential customers - free WiFi, late check-out or complimentary meals may help convince customers to book direct. A simple offer may be enough - a 5 - 8% discount with “Best Rates Guaranteed” should give customers confidence that they are getting the best deal and cause them to book direct.

Creating a popup suite that is effective but not spammy

Popups are effective at grabbing attention, so if you have a strong book direct campaign, a popup will turn window shoppers into sales. While popups are highly effective, they can be distracting, so they must be used with restraint. Don't flood users with a full-screen popup on every page as they will quickly click away out of frustration. Our solution is to serve a full-screen popup to users once, and then keep an unobtrusive sidebar tab visible at all times that expands out to show the full offer so that users always have access to your book direct offer.

Although full-screen popups are the most effective method for catching users attention, you mustn't serve full-screen popups to mobile users. Google will apply a penalty to mobile search result rankings for sites with full screen popups - the guidelines for acceptable popups on mobile are very strict, only about 20% of the screen can be covered. Create a strong but succinct popup campaign for mobile users that's visible at all times, but not intrusive.

If you create a strong book direct campaign backed up by great popup technology, your direct bookings will go up like a rocket.

Don't know where to start? Unsure on how to create popups that are targeted and follow Google guidelines?

Don’t worry - Fastrack can provide a comprehensive popup solution that will reclaim your sales from the OTAs.

About Oliver Braithwaite

Oliver is the lead SEO and CRO Consultant at Fastrack Group. He joined the team after years of experience as a lead digital marketer in the online startup space. Having forged his knowledge at the anvil of startups, Oliver is adept at thinking outside the box and making data-driven decisions to both increase revenue and growth. In his spare time, Oliver is overrun by two young children and recovers by fronting a folk-rock band.

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