Reading Time: 3 minutes

The hospitality industry took a direct hit in 2020 as COVID-19 surged around the globe. Lockdowns and general unease halted visits to favorite resorts and well-loved destinations. But as the pandemic recedes, there is a surge in demand for travel.

According to the 2022 Travel Industry Outlook by Deloitte, while travel fell quickly in 2020, demand has now increased just the same. The study found that Americans’ intent to book travel across most categories doubled from February to September 2021.

It will take some time for the hospitality industry to return to normal. However, many companies are riding the wave of demand and making moves to up their marketing game. Here at Cro Metrics, we’ve run hundreds of tests for hospitality partners to better connect them with their guests at the right time, and many have been a resounding success.

The five experiment-led marketing tactics below caught our attention. Now, we want to share them with you to help get those experiment juices flowing.

5 Experiment-Led Marketing Tactics We’re Seeing Right Now

1. Urgency Triggers

Hesitancy or uncertainty regarding booking is a common issue facing hotels and their guests. One way hospitality businesses can overcome this is to create a sense of urgency.

In a recent test, we placed a banner at the start of the booking funnel, informing guests their reservation was being held for a specific amount of time, including a timer: It was a resounding success. It improved user confidence and conversion at every step in the funnel through to booking.

2. Streamlined Booking Engine Layouts

Booking engines tend to be clunky. After all, there are many steps involved in the booking process and a lot of information to share with each guest. However, friction is also common in the booking process which may scare customers away.

The solution? Streamlining the booking engine layout by ensuring the next steps are visible. In one recent test for a hospitality partner, we found that the opt-in and out option for travel insurance wasn’t clear. In the variation, we moved the option up above the fold and paired it with a “continue” CTA. And yes, it was a success.

Anything that’s required before moving forward in a funnel should be obvious. CTAs should be kept visible at all times. How can customers continue down the funnel when they don’t know what to do next?

3. Distraction-Free COVID-19 Messaging

We’ve all seen the COVID-19 banner messaging across the web. This messaging often includes restrictions, information about cleaning standards and more. Unfortunately, the paragraphs of text can be distracting for some visitors.

At the height of COVID-19, we performed several tests for a resort. Their COVID-19 banner featured a large amount of text. We set out to adjust the info so it wasn’t so verbose about protocols. In one test, we used simple icons to relay the message.What we learned is that visitors wanted simple messaging that quickly stated the facts.

Keep your COVID-19 and safety messaging simple and to the point. This ensures you’re able to share important information without distracting your website visitors.

4. Strategic CTAs

If the one thing you want your visitors to do is book, give them the means necessary to do so quickly. When working with a spa partner recently, we saw they didn’t have a visible CTA for booking treatments. After adding a “book your treatment” CTA above the fold, the spa saw a quick increase in conversions. One strategically-placed CTA can make all the difference when it comes to CRO.

5. Goodbye, User Journey Friction

One move we recommend for all hospitality companies is this: remove all friction for your potential customers. Removing friction improves the overall experience which often results in increased conversion rates.

One opportunity we’ve noticed is facilitating resort comparison for booking websites. In a recent test, we added a resort-specific section to a resort’s website, highlighting the benefits of each place to stay. Customers could then see the differences in one place instead of needing to scroll through each resort page.

The result? A large increase in bookings as guests who continued were more educated on the resort-specific value propositions.

Take Your Marketing to the Next Level With Cro Metrics

Remember: the key to successful conversion rate optimization is testing. Before you make any change to your website, test it first. If you’re not sure where to start, Cro Metrics can help. Learn more about experimentation and access a ton of fresh testing ideas by subscribing to Cro Metrics.