Direct Mail Response by 300%
|April 19, 2005 - The Grand Geneva ResortSM,
located in beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, operates a full service destination
resort complete with exceptional golf, spa and dining experiences. As a
destination with a full range of seasons, the characteristics and interests
of its guests vary year round.
The resort asked Incite Response, a direct marketing agency specializing in highly personalized programs, to develop a monthly direct marketing campaign to provide incentives to past guests, inviting them to return. Incite Response quickly implemented its self-managing, turnkey direct mail program called Boomerang.
Boomerang is a mailing strategy and process developed by Incite Response to increase response to direct mail, resulting in a direct increase in repeat guest rates. In the case of Grand Geneva, the strategy was to send a unique offer to past guests on the anniversary of their last booking date. To lift response even further, each postcard displayed an image relevant to the past guest’s last experience and cleverly integrated the guest’s name throughout the card to enhance the personal nature of the offer. If a previous guest played golf, a golf photo appeared on the card, if the guest used the spa, a spa photo was displayed, and so on.
By mailing to past guests on the anniversary of their last booking date, the average size of each mailing was reduced. Smaller, more targeted, mailings generate higher response rates. Each month, approximately 1,500 past guests were identified and received an offer.
The Marketing Database
The Grand Geneva Resort utilized the services of the IDT Group to extract their guest history from various platforms at the resort. IDT has built an effective marketing database that provides the ability to segment and target past guests in a way no property management system can.
In addition to expanding the uses of the property data, the IDT system gives an expanded menu of valuable information in which to make marketing and sales decisions.
“Having a clean, usable resource for direct marketing is extremely valuable,” according to David Metze, president of Incite Response. “IDT does an exceptionally good job when it comes to unlocking the potential of guest history. We take it to the next logical step, creating revenue from it.”
The IDT Group built a very sophisticated marketing database for The Grand Geneva Resort, giving Incite Response the opportunity to append individual recipient household records with vital information about the campaign they received. Incite monitored those households for bookings and stays, providing a clear picture of the dollars that each recipient spent at the resort. This is called “passive tracking” since it requires no active participation on the part of reservations or other hotel staff.
One of the best traits of passive tracking is the ability to see what was booked and when. When the reservations staff successfully up-sells or redirects callers into need periods, it can create a tracking problem in the property management system. This does not affect passive tracking.
Shortly after the start of the Boomerang program, the resort added Incite Response’s new Call Tracking System. This greatly enhanced the resort’s ability to see how the strategy was working.
The online call tracking system assigns a unique toll free number to each campaign. The resort was able to look at the number of calls being generated by the postcards and listen to online recordings of the calls.
The added benefit was the ability to easily track the response rate and the conversion rate. The number of calls was compared to the bookings, and when conversion rates were unsatisfactory, the calls were reviewed for training opportunities in reservations.
The program, now in its eighth month has generated a net response rate of 4% earning Grand Geneva 14 times expenses in gross revenues.
About Incite Response
About the Grand Geneva ResortSM
|Also See:||The Strategic Approach to True GUEST KNOWLEDGE / Harry W. Rivkin & John W. Clevenger / April 2005|
|Ultra-Luxury Segment Stays Strong in $525 Billion Travel Industry; Rosewood Hotels & Resorts Consolidates Global Guest History to Target 10% Increase in Repeat Business from World’s Traveling Elite / September 2003|
|World’s Top Destination Health Resort Consolidates Guest Data to Develop Unique Services for Discriminating ‘Happy’ People / September 2003|