Tips for a Successful Rate Connect Campaign: Learn from the Experts

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In a survey conducted with registered hoteliers who regularly use trivago Business Studio, 1/3 of them ranked a personal relationship with an account manager as the most valued aspect in a partner they work with.

trivago’s Customer Success team recognizes the value of that, too, and they’re always willing and able to provide independent hoteliers with sound advice on how to run an optimized Rate Connect campaign on trivago.

So, we sat with the team to get their industry insights and expertise on how you can be successful with your campaign, too.

Whether you’ve been promoting your website rates on trivago with Rate Connect for a while, have recently started a campaign, or you’re just curious to learn more about advertising your website rates on trivago, she’s here to support you every step of the way. After all, you never have to go it alone.

Be competitive with your rates

Though rate management may sound like a dry subject, it’s one we need to talk about. At the heart of it is revenue management forecasting, which is an essential component for planning the coming year or for the months when you’re open on a seasonal basis. Along with your historical data, you’ll be able to decide on your pricing, promotions, and distribution based on the demand and performance you expect to see.

With your future rates set, you’ll need to check if your forecasting is accurate by referring to your channel manager, rate shopper, or daily reports. First, asses the rates in a “horizontal ranking.” This will give you a perspective of how competitive and consistent those are on your partner booking sites.

Next, evaluate your rates in a “vertical ranking” to see how those measure up to your competitors’ and know what they’re offering with their rates. Future travelers are essentially doing the same.

By zooming out to look at your rates from different angles, you’ll have a holistic view of where those stand in the marketplace and be able to make informed decisions on where slight adjustments may be necessary to stay competitive.

One more important factor we need to highlight is that your website rates should be more attractive than the standard room rates you’re advertising on OTAs. This is what helps you stand out from your competitors and redirect travelers your way.

Promote your website rates to drive direct bookings

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To pause or not to pause?

No matter the type of campaign you have, Rate Connect offers flexibility to run yours in the way that suits your needs and goals.

For example, one feature of Rate Connect allows you to pause and resume your campaign. However, before pressing the pause button at the end of the season, ask yourself: “Why should I stop showing my more attractive website rates on trivago when I don’t stop showing my standard room rates on OTAs?”

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a traveler. The avid one in all of us is exposed to travel-inspired content online and offline throughout the year. Whether flashy or subtle, the messaging that catches our eye can easily trigger a search to learn more. In fact, a study by Bain & Company and Google shows that a traveler will carry out 33 travel searches and consult 12 travel sites when planning a trip.

From our own research at trivago, we learned that travelers tend to book on average 51 days in advance of their stay, with “price” being the most used filter while searching for their ideal accommodation.

So, even though a hotel may be closed for a season, it doesn’t mean that travelers aren’t checking out rates for the next one, with the hope of booking an irresistible deal.

What about peak season when occupancy is high, or when there are fewer bookings coming in during the low and should seasons?

Simply put, we strongly recommend you keep your website rates visible on your profile throughout the year and take advantage of trivago’s algorithms for a better ranking in search results. In the end, the click of a mouse on those rates could lead to the future booking of room.

Be optimized for the booking stage

The path that leads all of us to purchase can be long. There are twists and turns, multiple touchpoints, and hours of time before we finally click on the button to confirm what we want.

The same can be said about the hotel customer journey. Since millions of travelers turn to trivago to compare hotel deals to find their ideal accommodation, we can bring you quality traffic with a Rate Connect campaign. But the conversion stage of their journey rests with you.

The key to conversion is an optimized website. According to research by SaleCycle, 29% of visitors will abandon their booking because of the complications they experience with the booking process itself. Those include payment and technical issues, as well as an unnecessary length of time it would take to complete a booking.

To test how user friendly your website is, go through the booking process as if you were a traveler. Here’s what you’ll want to check while doing that:

  • The load time of your website (1 – 2 seconds at most)
  • Ease of navigation to find information
  • Clear, crisp messaging
  • The CTA button “Book now” immediately catches the eye
  • The calendar to check availability and price is simple to use
  • The booking page for a selected room type has a high-quality photo (plus the upselling of a higher room category or packaged deal)
  • The form to fill in guest information and payment details is straightforward

Ideally, a future guest should be able to book their desired room in just a few minutes.

Now see what it’s like on your mobile phone (your website should load in a maximum of three seconds). The reason is that people aren’t just looking for hotels on theirs, but roughly one-third are booking there, too. And when we talk about last-minute bookers, the figure jumps to 72%, according to Criteo.

If your website isn’t mobile friendly, your potential guests are going to book with a competitor who has one.

Key takeaways

  • If you run a seasonal hotel, prepare and advertise your room rates for the next season when the peak one ends. That way, you’ll already be bookable and well positioned in the market at the beginning of the new year, not just shortly before you open again. It’s key to build up your occupancy early. The lower website rates you promote on your trivago profile with Rate Connect will help you do that, too.
  • Don’t shy away from upselling personalized offers (e.g., book 3 nights and get the 4th free) either on your booking page or in an email to future guests before check in. You can learn how to do that effectively by clicking here.

Don’t have Rate Connect yet?

Your location may be a beloved destination by locals and international travelers alike. It may even be a hidden gem on the cusp of being on the next bucket list. No matter the marketing boost that can come organically, what you want to do is boost your property’s visibility and ranking on trivago to draw travelers’ attention your way. Rate Connect gives you that opportunity.

Equipped with a booking engine from a connectivity provider that works with trivago, you’ll be able to open a new direct marketing channel from the promotion of your website rates on your profile. That will help you rely less on OTAs as the sole source of your bookings and have more control of your distribution.

To find out which connectivity providers we partner with, click here.

Photo by Mina Kedis