Every marketing strategy will be different, and by focusing on the different elements you can see varying results. However, according to Net Affinity, there are a few different areas that you can focus on to really drive direct bookings.
According to research conducted by Net Affinity, 25 per cent of people will leave a website before making a booking if it’s too complex. This means that it’s imperative that you ensure that not only is the customer journey simple and clear, but that you’re not asking for unnecessary information that might put a person off making a booking. Different factors that you could test include the number of fields on contact forms, your drop-down menus, using familiar buttons and the headings in your navigation bar. Web design company Imaginary Landscape did some research into these features. They reduced the number of fields on their contact form from 11 to four, which resulted in form submissions increasing by a massive 160 per cent and conversions jumping up 120 per cent.
Another study conducted by VWO showed that reducing the number of options on each web page boosted engagement by 17.8 per cent. This highlights the importance of ensuring that you don’t have unnecessary information on your website. If you do, it could be confusing potential guests, or cluttering up the page too much so that the information they need is less visible.
When it comes to drop-down menus, various studies have shown different results. Some have seen significant increases in revenue when they’re removed, while others have shown the opposite. This means that it is very much dependent on the website itself and its target market. If you think that this could be an area that is causing issues on your website, then it’s worth testing a different layout to see if this improves results.
As a hotel brand you’re probably attempting to show that you’re unique through your website. While this is important, there are some areas where it pays to follow the trend. For example, the headings on each of your buttons need to be concise and clear. Look at other leading hotel brands and see which headings they’re using. These brands are successful for a reason, and while of course this isn’t entirely down to the headings of the buttons on their website, by aligning yourself with them you can avoid any confusion with what different things may mean. Another option that you might see as slightly more risky is to entirely remove the navigation bar. It must be noted that this certainly won’t work for all web pages. However, kitchen tool retailer Yuppie Chief decided to run a split test that completely removed the navigation bar to boost signups for their wedding registry landing page. In this instance, it resulted in 100 per cent more signups. Now, this won’t always be the case, as there are times when a consumer might need more information before committing to something. However, for something as simple as signing up for a free service, it could well be beneficial.
The success of changing each of these elements will, naturally, be dependent on each individual business, so it’s important that if you choose to make any changes you track these consistently to ensure you can see the results.
Test your emails
Email marketing can generate as much as a 2500 per cent return on investment, according to a report published by DMA. When it comes to your email marketing strategy, it’s important to test certain factors to ensure they’re performing as well as they could be. One aspect that has proved fairly popular recently is personalised greetings. A test run by MarketingSherpa showed that by personalising emails with the recipient’s name, open rates jumped by 137 per cent. This is actually really simple to do as well, as if you’ve collected the information during the signup process, most email marketing tools can input this information for you. One of the most important aspects of your email marketing campaign is the subject line. According to ExactTarget, 33 per cent of people open emails based on the subject line alone. Most email marketing tools allow you to run an A/B test on your campaigns, which is where two different subject lines are sent to a small percentage of your database, and whichever sees the best results is then sent to the remainder.
Of course, these are just a few of the different marketing elements that you can test to boost conversions, but past studies show that even a very small change can have a significant effect. Try amending one small thing at a time and see if it boosts your marketing efforts.