Hotel Online  Special Report


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 ZMail Used by Myrtle Beach National Company to
Consolidate Multiple Guest Databases, Strengthen
Repeat Business with Cost-effective
Expert Email Solution
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Myrtle Beach Operator Rides Resort and Condo Boom, Internet
Email Marketing Trend to Power 65% Repeat Business

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August 2, 2005 - Myrtle Beach South Carolina is the East Coastís top beach and golf vacation mecca and the most popular drive-to destination in North America. Legend has it that ĎThe Beachí grew from a sleepy vacation hideaway to its current status as an internationally known tourist sensation after one chilly season when golfers at nearby Pinehurst were snowed out and needed a place to play within driving distance. They came, and kept coming back.
 
Travelers continue to return in ever growing numbers; 13 million people each year flock to Myrtle Beach for the golf, sun, ocean and shopping. Myrtle Beach National Company (MBN), with nine golf courses, has been part of it all since the beginning in the 1970s, partnering early on with Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to develop the areaís premier signature golf courses. In the tradition of its founder - Myrtle Beach hotel pioneer, Clay Brittain, Jr. - MBN built and acquired resorts as well, and today through different 
Breakers Resort
2008 N Ocean Blvd.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
companies oversees six beach-front properties.  Riding the hospitality trend toward ownership units, it is continuing its growth with condominiums:  two on the drawing board, one in the evaluation stage, and several properties in condo renovation 

Through it all, MBNís resort enterprise has earned an astonishing 65 percent repeat business, a testament to the power of the Brittain family philosophy and its marketing savvy.

"My father always taught us to keep guest satisfaction as the companyís key focus," said Matthew Brittain, Clayís son and current MBN president. "And, of course, a high level of repeat business means our guests like what we offer. Our never-ending challenge is to maintain a close relationship with our guests in a way that makes them comfortable and keeps them coming back Ė and to do it without breaking the budget. Thatís where ZMail comes in."

"Actionable" guest information drives repeat business

ZMailtmis a hosted enterprise-wide email solution developed by ZDirect that uses expert system principles to collect and integrate guest data from MBNís separate databases and convert it into actionable information for intelligent marketing communications and guest services. For Myrtle Beach National Company, it began with an ongoing challenge of gathering guest information from the many computer systems installed at its resorts and golf courses. Now ZMailís suite of tools is streamlining MBNís entire electronic marketing effort.

"Our resort property management systems did not communicate with MBNís direct-mail companyís database. We had valuable guest information and marketing data scattered in different directions and this made it very difficult to use when we wanted to launch a marketing campaign," said Brittain. "ZMail merged all our separate resort and golf club guest information together into a single, intelligent database that lets us quickly and easily communicate to guests based on their specific interests. Now our golfers or theater-goers only receive promotions that target their favorite activities. We send out fewer opt-in emails but they are more effective because they spotlight exactly what our guests have already told us they liked to do."

What seems simple on the surface is backed up by ZMailís robust, patent-pending guest profiling processes for collecting and analyzing psychographic data. Once ZMail builds its comprehensive database, it uses the information to create dynamic content for each email campaign.
 

Using ZMail's Customer Communication Management Solution, Myrtle Beach National first sends reserved guests a confirmation, then a pre-arrival email with information that allows the property to market its amenities and restaurants, cross market other MBN businesses, and promote activities in the Myrtle Beach area that are relevant to the guest. After their stay, guests automatically receive a post-departure Ďthank youí email with an online survey providing an opportunity to rate their stay. These sequenced emails allow MBN to develop a positive relationship online with their guests and further build MBNís guest information database, as well as email brand value (EBV). To leverage every subsequent guest-communication touch point, MBN uses ZMailís intelligent database system to insert fresh questions asking visitors if they liked additional activities such as water sports or childrenís programs. The resulting information is the foundation for an automated email marketing process that employs guestsí own self-described preferences for effective email marketing campaigns that fill rooms.

"In the past, specific guest information like this cost a lot to obtain and was complicated to use, if you could get it at all," said Brittain. "But ZMail gathers this extremely valuable guest preference information in a way that seems just like a normal part of the communication process with our guests, and then ZMail puts it to work for MBN."

Guest data + Internet marketing = Booked rooms for MBN

One of Myrtle Beach Nationalís top marketing objectives is driving guests to the Internet. "Itís difficult to find the right words to describe how much the Internet has changed the way we book rooms," said Matthew Brittain. "The Internet influences every marketing decision we make and is fast surpassing the telephone as a source of reservations. For MBN the question is not whether to move marketing dollars to electronic strategies, itís how much to move." 

With traditional direct-mail print marketing every date change, every amenity update, every extra page adds significant dollars. With ZMailís help, the Internet is providing companies like MBN all the marketing flexibility and targeted effectiveness they need for much less money. "For one monthly fee we can mount multiple email campaigns, and with ZMail technology every campaign can be customized and relevant to the guest based on their buying habits so there is the greatest chance for them to respond to the email. MBNís marketing team constantly works their creative juices to uncover new methods for driving traffic to the web site. And ZMail has become a powerful ally."

One way MBN uses ZMail to help fill inventory holes is by sending highly targeted email messages to guests three to six weeks prior to their visit offering special rates if they extend their reservation a few days before or after arrival. MBN also helps fill unused inventory by sending promotions to previous guests, with messages catered to specific vacation preferences guests have previously described. Golfers are offered a special package that includes a room and a couple rounds of play on their favorite course. Families may get a package offer that includes the supervised childrenís Buccaneer Club program. ZMailís advanced intelligent database technology filters the emails to include only the appropriate guests. Further, the property management system interface and unique ZMail protocols screen out guests who have an existing reservation from the outbound email list.

"ZMail gives us a wealth of valuable information about our customers that yields more effective marketing and bottom line results," said Brittain. "It is an invaluable tool for improving our guest experience and the right use of technology to continue my fatherís commitment to personalized service and guest satisfaction."

About the Myrtle Beach National Company
The Myrtle Beach National Company is one of the leading golf and management operations in the Southeast, featuring many of the most well respected signature courses along the Grand Strand. The company formed in 1971 with the construction of the Arnold Palmer-designed original 54-hole golf complex, which includes the West Course, Southcreek (both designed by Francis Duane and Arnold Palmer) and Palmerís newly award-winning Kingís North. Myrtle Beach National has grown to include the Robert Trent Jones-designed Waterway Hills, Jack Nicklausís Long Bay, Tom Jacksonís River Club and Aberdeen Country Club, Dan Mapleís Willbrook Plantation and Willard Byrdís Litchfield Country Club, all premier Myrtle Beach area signature courses. Myrtle Beach National Company resorts include Breakers Resort, Compass Cove, Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort, Caribbean Resorts, Long Bay Resort, and The Ocean Reef. For more information please visit www.oceanresorts.com.

About ZMail
ZMailís parent company, ZDirect, Inc. (www.zdirect.com), based in Miami, Florida, with regional offices in Myrtle Beach, is thepreeminent provider of solutions for the travel and tourism industry in the emerging area of Internet and electronic marketing. The company takes email technology to a new level of effectiveness by giving clients a more powerful way to impact relationships with customers. With its patent-pending technology and expertise, ZDirect enables companies to send highly targeted, relevant emails to their permission-based, opt-in subscriber list. The result is new revenue captured, stronger customer loyalty, an expanded customer base, and increased return on investment through the reduction of traditional marketing costs via measurable electronic marketing. ZDirect is well known for delivering on its mantra, "For every $1 you spend with us, you will get $8 to $10 back." For more information please visit www.zdirect.com or contact Charles McBride, at cmcbride@zdirect.com, Bob Fill at bfill@zdirect.com, or call 843-839-3100.

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Contact:

Charles McBride 
Email: cmcbride@zdirect.com
2102 Cromley Circle, Ste C
Myrtle Beach, SC  29577
Toll Free:  888.ZMAIL.4U  (888-961-4548)
Phone: 843-839-3100

ZDirect, Inc.
Bob Fill
Email: bobf@zdirect.com
2102 Cromley Circle, Ste C
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Toll Free:  888.ZMAIL.4U  (888-961-4548)

Hayes Thomas
Email: hayest@zdirect.com
1920 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd, Penthouse 1 
Hallandale Beach, FL  33009
Toll Free:  888.ZMAIL.4U  (888-961-4548)
http://www.ZDirect.com

Media Contact
Julie Keyser-Squires
Softscribe Inc.
Phone: 404-256-5512
Email: julie@softscribeinc.com
www.softscribeinc.com
 

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Also See: PMS Vendor Gains Edge with ZDirect Expert Email Solution / June 2005
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