300% by Targeting Personal Interests with ZMail
Resort Realizes 70% Repeat Business
November 8, 2005 - Gone are the days when delivering a clean room and good service were enough to be competitive in the hospitality vacation industry. Today’s resort customers have much less time to spend on recreation. Most are looking for a destination where they can create lifetime memories and “transformational experiences,” and many are willing to pay a premium price to assure the experience is a good one.
To create these valuable experiences for guests, The Breakers Resort, a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, property with more than 140,000 summer visitors, gathers as much information as possible about its guests’ interests to meet their needs and mines it to drive its next generation electronic marketing. Breakers Resort General Manager Paul Williams said, “Knowing which guests enjoy golf, water sports or children’s activities lets us develop programs that build a lifetime of memories and keep guests coming back. This information also gives us the ability to design targeted marketing programs that help us fill rooms even in the off season.”
To collect data on guest interests and convert it into actionable marketing information for The Breakers, Williams uses ZMailtm, a hosted enterprise-wide electronic marketing solution developed by ZDirect. ZMail is a cost effective, hosted enterprise-wide suite of electronic marketing tools that use expert system principles to collect and integrate guest data from separate databases and convert it into actionable information for intelligent marketing communications and guest services. ZMail’s patent-pending, guest profiling process gathers and analyzes guest lifestyle information, called psychographic data. It also gives The Breakers the ability to send tightly targeted e-campaigns to specific opt-in guests. These emails are easily configured in advance and are scripted in part by the guests themselves. Guests define the parameters of their interest via simple interactive questions served over email.
Guest information drives 300% response increase
Before ZMail, a traditional email blast promoting an autumn golf package sent to all past guests yielded three percent unique opens; in other words, three percent of those receiving the email accessed The Breakers’ website through a link in the email. In contrast, the resort’s last ZMail campaign – targeted only to guests in specific zip codes who prefer to play golf in the autumn – garnered 13 percent unique opens, a remarkable 300 percent increase. And even further, The Breakers avoided fatiguing the balance of guests who had no interest in playing golf in the autumn, or who were geographically challenged from taking advantage of the offer.
“ZMail allows us to focus on precise guest demographics for our email marketing, such as recreational and seasonal preference, zip code, length of stay and family size,” said Williams. “We personalize our e-marketing campaigns to provide past guests with promotional information on exactly what they like to do on vacation. We know this because our guests have already told us what they value -- and they respond by returning to The Breakers. This is a tremendous edge in our competitive hospitality environment.”
The property’s guest-preference email marketing is proving to be effective. Recent statistics indicate that nearly 70 percent of The Breakers’ business is repeat guests, a remarkable feat for an unbranded property.
From blue-collar vacation to championship destination
“Since Myrtle Beach evolved from a blue-collar vacation area to a respected resort destination offering championship golf courses, award winning beaches and $600,000 condos, competition for vacation dollars here has intensified,” said Williams. “ZMail gives The Breakers a successful cost-effective method for getting to know its customers in a way that builds loyalty.”
The Breakers begins gathering client preference data by sending out ZMail reservation confirmations that include a few questions on guests’ interests. Guests’ responses are stored in a database for future use. This automated process has the added benefit of avoiding the postage expense of regular mail confirmations, and gains guests’ permission for further email contact. Later, the property sends a pre-arrival email that provides incoming guests with information on area activities suited to the interests they indicated earlier, and includes promotional marketing for the resort’s three restaurants and other amenities. The property also sends each guest a post-departure email thanking them for their business, and giving them an opportunity to respond to an online survey rating their stay. With each guest contact, The Breakers’ ZMail technology asks questions that explore guest interests; it then archives the information, which becomes the foundation of future campaigns and special offers. These are uniquely designed to each guests’ self-described preferences.
Advantage over the comp-set
“Our mission, simply put, is to always be growing our business,” said Williams. “That requires keeping up with a constantly shifting market and changes in our guests’ interests. ZMail’s technology gives us a proactive advantage against our comp set because it lets us quickly and effectively market the amenities and activities that guests have told us give them pleasure, excitement and relaxation.”
“The more we know about our guests, the more successfully we can meet their needs and target our marketing programs,” added Williams. “ZMail technology goes a long way to help us create the unforgettable experiences guests expect; this drives repeat business and adds revenue to The Breakers.”
About The Breakers
|Also See:||ZMail Tapped by Intellistrand to Grow Customer Base in 19 Major Metro Areas; Top intelligent email provider, ZDirect, turns ‘C’ lists into ‘A’ lists, ensures delivery, grows quality customer databases / August 2005|
|ZMail Used by Myrtle Beach National Company to Consolidate Multiple Guest Databases, Strengthen Repeat Business with Cost-effective Expert Email Solution / August 2005|
|PMS Vendor Gains Edge with ZDirect Expert Email Solution / June 2005|