2 minute read

Smarter Spotlight: How to Build Better Booking Abandonment Campaigns

Travelers are constantly searching—searching for the best destination, best location within that destination, and above all, the best bang for their buck. Booking vacations and weekend getaways can be a daunting task as travelers sift through high prices and compare the best deals. So, it’s no wonder the travel and hospitality industry sees some of the highest abandonment rates across industries, even beating out retail (75.6% cart abandonment rate) with 82% of users abandoning bookings. 

Enter Booking Abandonment campaigns. They are the best and most effective way to remind customers that they left the site before booking, while making sure they book with you over your competitors. Booking Abandonment has produced on average a 7.8% conversion rate for our clients. For clients like Omni Hotels, SmarterHQ Bookings Abandonment emails have produced 202% more revenue and 238% more transactions than their previous campaigns. So what’s the secret to driving these types of results? 

Here are some tips to help you utilize Booking Abandonment campaigns more effectively within your marketing strategy: 

1. Make sure to include personalized and specific booking details.

According to a Skift survey, on average, travelers jump from 3-5 sites before making a purchase. When a traveler visits your site, you don’t want to send the standard “Dear valued customer” message with generic content. Provide detailed messaging to remind customers what they were looking to purchase, what dates they were looking to book, and the transparent cost. With SmarterHQ’s behavioral marketing platform, if a site visitor enters in dates and lands on a page showing available rates, a personalized email is triggered to encourage the visitor to complete their action. 

2. Send abandonment emails promptly—the earlier the better.

Frequently, travel and hospitality brands target customers in the very last stage of the booking process, but that makes it difficult to uniquely interact with customers to educate and inform prior to purchase. Trigger these emails earlier in the booking funnel; don’t wait until right before they’re about to book. If the visitor is engaged and inputs their booking dates, send them an email ideally within 30 minutes after leaving the site, but no longer than 24 hours. 

Omni Hotels saw a drastic improvement in performance by implementing Booking Abandonment earlier in the booking funnel via SmarterHQ. According to Chris Killough, Omni’s Senior Manager of Email Marketing, “With our previous vendor, we were only able to do that at the very end, right before a visitor was about to book. We wanted to get more aggressive in sending to qualified people, and SmarterHQ provided the capability to identify existing subscribers earlier in the process.”

3. Implement booking/discount alerts to keep them interested.

According to a Google report, 69% of leisure travelers worry they’re not finding the best price or making the best decision, which means travelers are constantly searching for the best deal (and abandoning your site to do so). In addition to Booking Abandonment emails, implement Booking/Travel Discount Alerts to let your customers know when the items they have viewed multiple times have decreased in price. This email provides those with the highest propensity to purchase the opportunity to book before the rate expires. With this approach, you can keep those bargain-chasing travelers interested and give them yet another reason to book with you.

Ready to get started driving top results with strategic Booking Abandonment campaigns? Request a demo with our team. For more information on how to improve customer acquisition and retention and tips on how to boost ROI, take a look at our Travel and Hospitality Playbook