Push notifications. Simply put, these are messages sent to your mobile device from applications you use that are “stored” in the notification bar of your device. I think many of you see the hidden opportunity of them. The opportunity to not be overlooked. Why? Because push notifications act like incoming e-mail or SMS. Because they ring, blink and vibrate. You might now ask yourself: “Why should I use push notifications when I already use emails?” Well, there are a couple of reasons for that.
Imagine Gmail. Majority of companies’ emails are received to Promotions card. Once you receive e-mail here, you get no notification about incoming e-mail. So basically if you are a hotel, you loose the opportunity to communicate with your guests in real time. Now imagine that you receive only 10 promotional messages per day. What is the probability that you simply select all of them and hit Delete? Speaking for myself, it is kind of day to day reality. Higher number of e-mails makes us undecided, so deleting or ignoring them all is the simplest choice for us. Moreover, many e-mails end up in spam trash, too.
So the push notifications are replacements of e-mails in terms of fast and targeted communication. In your hotel, you can use them in several ways:
- Promotion of special offers – you can upsell your services or events in your hotel. You don’t have to rely on posters or leaflets (nobody reads them, anyway).
- Information about disorders – you can inform your guests that the elevator is not working or that the restaurant is closed because of some event. You got the idea, right?
- Communicate with individual guests – you can let your guests know that their room is ready, or was cleaned. That they can take their printed boarding passes et cetera.
Moreover, if you use RoomAssistant, the cool thing is that your guests can continue in conversation with you. They can ask additional questions so you have another opportunity to engage them more and persuade them to stick to your offer.
I hope that now you are convinced that push notifications represent powerful real-time communication channel. However, you still have to learn how to use them efficiently. And you will do so in the following lines of this post.
Make them short and encouraging enough
I will use following analogy: push notifications are like Tweets. You have only limited space to attract the attention of your guests. This makes even bigger sense when you try to promote your special offer. Use our tips for effective copywriting and try to craft the message that will be short, attractive and action-oriented. Test different styles and see which one works the best.
Select the right time
It is obvious that your guests will not take care of your message early in the morning or late in the evening. You might be more bothering than helpful. However, it depends. Basically, you should try to reach your guests when it is most relevant.
Target the right guests
The key here is to stay relevant towards your guests. Not each of your offer will be attractive for all of your guests. Imagine young couple versus family with little kids. For young couple, the information about animators that will entertain their kids will be irrelevant and vice versa, when we look at family with kids, the party will probably not resonate among its members. Extract as much information as possible about your guests from your PMS system, see what they already ordered/tried and craft your message that will cover their needs.
Don’t send too many of them
The question is How many is enough? And it is question that is really difficult to answer. However, if you will send too many messages, you may risk the app uninstallation. So, try to find the right volume that will not hurt the experience of your guests.
Continue with in-person follow-up
In many of application (and in RoomAssistant, too), you can see which guest saw your message. Because of this, your staff have the opportunity to approach particular guests in-person with further follow-up. It can ensure that more of your guests will complete your desired action.
Tip: When crafting push notifications, you can take advantage of weapons of influence. It will help you be more persuasive.
How do you feel about push notifications? Do you consider them to be effective? Do you have any additional tips you want to share? Don’t hesitate to let us know in comments!