One of the biggest challenges in e-commerce is converting website visitors into customers. In the hotel industry, this is especially difficult due to online travel agents (OTAs) that are partners but also, in a way, competitors. Many customers book through OTAs because they present and compare all hotels on price and quality, so the visitors feel they are making an informed decision. Hotels seek to avoid using OTAs and sell directly to the visitors instead so they don’t have to pay up to 25 percent in commission per booking.
Martijn, the digital marketing coordinator of Sircle Collection, said that he could see that their website had many visitors, but not nearly as many bookings. To help optimize the hotels’ conversion rate, he created a strategy based on using website popups.
He decided to combine popups with persuasion marketing, which enabled him to reach each visitor at the right place, at the right time and offer the right benefit. The popup strategy that Martijn created using Sleeknote consisted of 350+ different popups across all the domains of Sircle Collection.
Sleeknote was not the first popup tool that Sircle Collection worked with. Martijn said that they had worked with two other options previously but a combination of the price and ease of using the tool, led Sircle Collection to try Sleeknote, and they have now been using it since the rebranding.
An additional factor for Martijn in choosing Sleeknote was that the process of branding was made easy through the tool. This was particularly important due to the rebranding of the company.
Sircle Collection used Sleeknote to create a range of different popups that were to guide the visitor or offer some kind of benefit. The first way they did this was to create a small teaser that would appear on any site to offer each visitor more information about booking through the hotel’s website.
When clicked, the user then saw a popup sharing the benefits of booking through the hotel’s website.
Sircle Collection also created an exit-intent popup that appeared when a visitor had been through certain steps in the booking agent was about to leave. When working with an OTA there is a cost agreement, which means that Sircle Collection is unable to lower the cost of their hotel rooms. They can, however, offer a discount to the visitor, which is what they tried.
Martijn said that this is a win-win for the company and the customer because it makes the room cheaper and most importantly the discount is smaller than the commission of an OTA.
The exit-intent popups offer a promotional code, which makes them measurable because it is registered every time they are used. Sircle Collection has implemented thirteen of these campaigns that have had an average conversion rate of almost 14 percent, and these are visitors who were about to leave the site.
The initial plan for Sircle Collection was to just use Sleeknote to improve the conversion rate, however, Martijn didn’t just stop there. He has successfully used Sleeknote to create awareness about their CSR work, where they have been selling art and donating all the profits to medicines sans frontier (doctors without borders).
Martijn said that this use of Sleeknote was unexpected but a pleasant surprise. Therefore, he has been considering what else he could be doing and is now planning a future project where Sircle Collection will be collecting emails and building an email list with the use of Sleeknote.