The personality of your sales team is a major selling point - your venue needs a friendly face. Someone that connects people to your business.
However, a friendly face is no longer enough: The average close rate in Hospitality is just 11%. Something isn’t working for venues.
To put that into perspective, the average close rate across all industries is 19%. Is it the amount of competition? Maybe, but every business has competition. Something else then?
It could be that few venues are taking full advantage of marketing automation. Sure, you might have automated emails for leisure bookings but do you use it for the corporate side of your venue to increase event bookings?
You should be. Marketing Automation will help you close more sales and catch up with the rest of the business world in terms of close rates.
Automating your entire sales process or even the wrong parts is a bad idea - it can strip away your unique personality. However, when marketing automation is properly executed, it can be your secret advantage over your rivals in this very competitive industry.
Here’s how to use marketing automation without becoming a robot:
Automate (Some Of) Your Email Campaigns
Marketing has become about reaching the right people at the right time.
This is why email automation gives you an edge over the venues not using it - it helps you target event planners effectively at every stage of their route to selecting a venue.
Automated response to low-level interest:
With the right tools, you can automatically send personalised follow-up emails in response to specific behaviour on your website.
What does this look like in action:
A user visits a page about one of your meeting rooms, spends 5 minutes reading the specs but moves on without enquiring. Maybe it’s not what they are looking for. Or maybe they are still shopping around so, if you do nothing, this becomes a lost opportunity.
Instead of doing nothing, this ‘action’ can trigger an email to send a day (or however long) later in which you reiterate the meeting rooms unique selling points - right person, right time.
Not only are you providing potential customers with more content to help make a decision earlier on in the booking process, but you’re also amplifying the exposure of your venue in a non-intrusive, helpful way.
Re-engage during the slow season:
This is where you can get one up on your competitors. If you’re anything like the venues we work with, you’ll have periods that are slower and booking business becomes a grind.
With automation tools, you can re-engage with your existing customers by running campaigns designed to bring them back - whether that’s with discounts, perks or something else.
How long would it take you to manually reach out to all your past clients with targeted offers?
With marketing automation, this becomes instant, helping you to fill up previously unbooked dates.
Collect reviews after the event:
Increasing the number of positive reviews is a target for most venues and there is a way to fuel this with automation tools.
Of course, you only want positive reviews so this is something you can control:
- If a client has a great experience and your Operations team has blown them away, you can enrol them into an email campaign inviting them to leave a public review.
- If a client has a poor experience, you can choose not to enrol them.
This helps to build up your hotel’s online reputation - something you’re probably tasked with but are unsure how to achieve.
Following Up On No’s:
Do you give up when a prospect says they are choosing another venue? You shouldn’t.
Bookings fall through all the time. And that means people that were once interested in your venue often come back on the market.
You can put them into a workflow to send a follow-up email a few weeks or months later just in case their venue fell through and they are looking again. You’d be surprised how often this happens and how effective a light touch can be at reigniting interest.
The Best Tool For All This? HubSpot
If you’re looking for a tool that allows you to automate your marketing from a single platform and take advantage of the strategies we’ve discussed above, we recommend HubSpot. It’s the gold standard for marketing automation and other marketing activities. And their world-class CRM is free forever to boot.
HubSpot gives valuable insights into your customers’ behaviour and lets you quickly segment guest data so you can do a better job of sending targeted, highly relevant emails, without having to take the time to write them one-by-one.
You can arrange a HubSpot Demo below - either 15, 30 or 60 mins, whatever suits your workload: