By Lisa McCreary and Amy McNeill
When people are ready to travel again they are going to return to brands and hotels they trust. The question is, how can your hotel instill trust in loyal guests and new guests in a post-COVID-19 world? The answer is consistent communication and thoughtful messaging. Your team has been working hard to develop a plan for reopening that follows local guidelines to maintain guest and employee safety. You should share this information and messaging across different channels to help re-establish trust with your customers. This trust will make them feel secure in booking at your hotel to drive the revenue your business needs to thrive. Here is a breakdown of our recommendations for great communication and messaging by channel.
Hotel Reopening Messaging Best Practices By Channel:
Hotel Website Messaging
Your hotel’s website is your online storefront and the place where guests and potential guests go to get official information from your business. Make sure you keep this information up to date and accurate. Here are some best practices and ideas to follow:
1. Create a post-COVID-19 reopening website landing page specifically developed to communicate your hotel’s new policies, procedures, and FAQs around how it’s complying with regional requirements to keep guests safe.
- Landing Page Best Practices
- Make sure you clearly communicate policies and new procedures
- Mention how are you educating/preparing your employees
- Make people feel safe with over communication of your cleaning procedures, possibly including a short video that shows employees with masks/cleaning
- Are you providing a touch-free experience? If so, how are you doing this?
- Are you including free masks included with stay? Is hand sanitizer or clean stations available all around the property?
- Consider if you can make your hotel website be a resource for what is happening in the local market by including government updates, and reopening announcements to help make your guests feel secure. Only do so if you’re able to keep this as up to date as possible.
Here are a few examples of hotel COVID-19 information landing pages to check out if you need a place to start.
2. Install a post-COVID-19 website ribbon at the top of the homepage that links to the landing page. We recommend using messaging in the banner geared towards cleanliness and peace of mind vs. using the words COVID-19 update.
3. Include updates with specific information about the current status of your hotel’s amenities such as the pool, restaurants, and spas. Include any new procedures and what guests can expect when interacting with your hotel’s amenities during their upcoming visit. For example:
- Lounge chairs at the pool will be 8-ft apart.
- We’ve removed ½ of our tables at the restaurant to comply with social distancing regulations.
4. Do not hide any pages devoted to business entities at your property that might be temporarily closed. This could negatively impact your performance in the search engines and confuse customers rather than inform them. Instead, place text at the top of the page with a status update on the specific amenity.
5. Avoid pop-ups as Google has stated these can negatively impact SEO and provides a poor user experience, especially on mobile devices. If a visitor closes the pop-up it also makes it difficult to find the information again.
6. Add an email sign up right below any “We’re Temporarily Closed” messaging so visitors interested in your hotel can stay informed and connected with your property. This ensures you can maintain communication and encourage future stays through email marketing campaigns.
Hotel Booking Engine Messaging Updates
Keep messaging around new policies visible within the booking engine flow to make people feel secure. Include messaging around flexible reservation cancelations or changes and include details on how you are keeping them safe to increase conversion rates.
eCRM & Email Messaging for COVID-19 Reopening
Ensure all of your email and eCRM communication include messaging around COVID-19 related policies, procedures, and links to learn more from your hotel’s COVID-19 specific landing page. Help the guest understand what to expect upon arrival at your property.
Hotel Social Media Communication
Your loyal hotel customers, as well as aspirational ones, are following you on social media. Make sure you are utilizing this channel to keep them informed on your hotel’s reopening or current status and any changes to policies and procedures. This is also a great place to keep your hotel’s fans updated on what’s happening locally that may encourage them to consider traveling to your area soon.
If your hotel hasn’t relaunched paid media, you should strongly consider jumping back in if you are able to find the funds. Check out our last blog post for a list of very convincing reasons why. Not sure what approach to take with your hotel’s reopening messaging? Here are a few examples:
Hotel Paid Media COVID-19 Messaging Examples
- Book today with peace of mind.
- Our spacious grounds are the perfect escape.
- Book a Risk-Free Vacation with our Flexible Cancellation Policies
- Plan your worry-free escape and book today.
- We’ve made changes to make sure our guests stay safe.
- Book today with worry-free planning.
- Cancel for any reason.
- Escape to the mountains where fresh air and blue skies await.
- Escape a world of worries. We’ve got your beach chair ready.
- Celebrate with a staycation and experience local attractions like never before.
- COVID Services Update – Learn More
- Questions? See up-to-date COVID Information >>
- A Deep Clean and Peace of Mind for All of our Guests
- New Standard of Clean
You can find an expanded list of ideas for themes to drive your hotel’s messaging during a crisis here.
Your hotel’s direct booking channels are going to be the key to communicating with your guests and making them feel secure in planning their next stay at your hotel. Keep them informed and make them feel secure in order to have the most positive impact on your hotel’s website conversion rate to drive more bookings.