With new offices in Singapore, new clients across North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific, and new functionality for its eCRM solutions, hospitality's pioneer of Hotel Marketing Automation is revving up for even more global growth in the new year

[HALLANDALE BEACH, FL- DECEMBER 20, 2013] - ZDirect is reporting exponential growth in 2013, with demand for its electronic customer-relationship management (eCRM) solutions up 140 percent as of November, compared to the same time period last year. Growth projections for 2014 show no signs of slowing. As a result, ZDirect will continue to fortify its sales team worldwide in preparation for the new year.

"Today more than 2,000 hotels worldwide are successfully communicating with their guests and prospects utilizing ZDirect and its ZMail® electronic communication platform," said Hayes Thomas, ZDirect CEO. "There isn't one factor in particular that we can attribute our ongoing success; instead, it's the combination of a dynamic product portfolio; a brilliant research and development group; a stellar sales team; a customer focused client service group; a new website; and the launch of a professional Public Relations effort that really catapulted awareness of our services in 2013."

ZDirect dramatically increased its number of worldwide customers this year, especially in Asia Pacific and Europe. In the APAC hotel market, ZDirect's technology is a cut above the rest. While eMarketing and data mining services are commonplace, they do not come close to the breadth of functionality and service that is offered by ZDirect and its ZMail® electronic communication platform. To bring ZDirect's centralized and personalized approach to eMarketing and eCRM to hotels in Asia Pacific, the company opened an office in Singapore in February, spearheaded by Martin Chua. Interest also abounds in Europe. In the coming months, ZDirect will be adding a Director of Sales in the UK to leverage demand for its solutions in the region.

A few of the global hotel chains that partnered with ZDirect in 2013 include: Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts (Asia Pacific), Capella Hotel Group (Worldwide), Group Germain Hospitality (Canada), GrandStay® Hospitality LLC (USA), Pineapple Hospitality (USA), Commune Hotels and Resorts (Worldwide) and The Ritz London (UK).

"Providing technology to hotels worldwide is no easy task, but ZDirect is committed to continually staying on the forefront of electronic communication technology and to releasing new functionality," said Shayne Paddock, ZDirect CIO. "Earlier this year we enhanced functionality in numerous modules. We also pioneered Hotel Marketing Automation to help hoteliers optimize their limited resources. By introducing automated workflow processes which take care of the routine tasks throughout the day, hoteliers can free-up time so the marketing staff can be more efficient."

The debut of Hotel Marketing Automation resulted in the following new functionality in 2013:

  • Drip Marketing. Instead of just sending out one email and hoping it will be opened, read, and acted upon, ZDirect has redesigned its technology to send out a series of emails in "drips" to keep travelers interested and always communicating with the hotel. Different automated emails are sent based upon actions taken or actions not taken, such as: All recipients that click on the spa link will get a future automated email with a spa offer.
  • Upgrade Engine. Hotel Marketing Automation facilitates room upgrades based on the real-time room availability. The upgrade can be processed immediately and the PMS gets updated. In addition, the guest receives an immediate email notification that they were successfully upgraded instead of having to wait until check-in to learn if they get the room upgrade that they requested or not.
  • Booking Abandonment Engine. Hotel Marketing Automation enables hoteliers to recover lost reservations from guests who started the online booking process but didn't complete the reservation.

Big Data, Sentiment Analysis, Guest Dashboards & Responsive Design

Big Data is also changing eMarketing processes in a big way. Hotels have a tremendous amount of data coming in from a vast number of disparate systems. Add in data that is being generated from the growing number of social media channels, and hoteliers can easily become overwhelmed. In 2013, ZDirect combined the power of big data with profile and behavioral marketing to create campaigns that increased occupancy, revenues and loyalty. Equipped with this knowledge base, our customers were able to generate campaigns that were personalized to each guest or prospect and that enticed guests to engage with the property.

Additional functionality in 2013 includes:

  • ZDirect's patent-pending Guest Sentiment Analysis Engine began helping hoteliers make sense of the massive amount of guest feedback and data that was available on the Internet. Utilizing data mining, text analytics and data visualization, ZDirect's new Guest Dashboard brought the trending issues in a hotel to the surface so managers and marketers could take immediate action.
  • ZDirect redesigned its Forms Center services from the ground up to make it easier for hoteliers to instantly create digital forms and surveys and send them to guests via ZMail. The service was designed to enable marketers and managers to get to know their guests better and deliver upon expectations to better engage with customers before, during and after their stay.
  • Using Responsive Email Design, ZDirect converted web content to mobile content for easier viewing. ZDirect ensured that all HTML emails now appear on a guest's mobile web browser and email client in an appropriate manner depending on the device used.
  • To support its ongoing technology upgrades and functionality enhancements, ZDirect launched a series of new interactive training webinars. The first in the series supports the Forms Center upgrade.

"More than ever before, hoteliers are turning to ZDirect for help with automating routine marketing tasks and enhancing the guest experience while improving the hotel's bottom line," said Caren de'Ath, ZDirect vice president of sales. "Through ZMail and specialized Hotel Marketing Automation practices, hotel companies are enhancing guest communication and the guest experience as well as gaining a competitive advantage with automated up-sells, and selling perishable room inventory with customized promotions. Their success is our success, and there's no better time than today to be a ZDirect partner.

"We would like to take this time to thank our customers, our business partners and our valued employees for a job well done in 2013," she said. "ZDirect's future is bright, and we are proud to have you along for the ride. Cheers to another successful and profitable year in 2014."

About ZDirect

Based in Hallandale Beach, Florida, ZDirect, an Enterprise Email Service Provider (ESP) for the Hospitality Industry, is a leading provider of electronic customer relationship management solutions for the hospitality industry. The maintenance of a single guest profile is essential for an effective eCRM strategy. With the Dynamic Content Engine and PMS integration, ZMail® automatically sends intelligent and personalized confirmations, pre-arrival emails and post-departure emails with guest satisfaction surveys via email, mobile communication, SMS, social networks and more. Learn about the real people behind every reservation. Let ZDirect help you convert your prospects to customers and your customers to loyal customers. Real People. Real Profiles. Real Results.

Contact: Barb Worcester, PRpro

barbw@prproconsulting.com / (440) 930-5770

Contact: Caren de'Ath, ZDirect Inc.

caren@zdirect.com / (954) 376-3409

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