1 Easy and FREE Way To Turn Your Post-Stay Emails Into A Lead-Generating Machine on Facebook
I took inspiration from a similar example I recently found and turned it into what I hope is going to be a powerful way to turn your Post-Stay Emails into a Lead-Generating and Testimonial Machine, for FREE, easily, simply using Facebook.
It serves both your Direct-Booking strategy and the engagement with your prospects.
Below is the step-by-step process, it shouldn’t take more than 20-30 minutes. And btw, I’ve never tested it, so I’m looking for some good pioneer who is willing to implement it. For this reason the below is just and example I made up.
Ultimately, this is how the final result might look like:
Doesn’t say much yet, I know. Just keep following for a couple of minutes.
Essentially, the above is the post that your guests’ friends will be seeing.
In very few words, this is the idea:
- Include a call-to-action in your Post-Stay emails that offers your customers the possibility to share a discount (or whatever added value you might think of) with their friends for their stay.
- The CTA is a button or link that points them to Facebook.
- In here, they will be shown a pre-populated facebook style post that they can simply share with their Facebook friends, eventually by adding a custom message on top (optional).
- Their friends will then see this post that talks about your destination and hotel and offer them a discount if they want to visit too.
Besides the method and the tool, the most important thing here is your customers spreading your word with all their contacts, in exchange of a practical advantage (discount for their friends) that others don’t have.
The idea is the very basic principle of marketing: people trust people they know.
Simply put, it’s not just about reaching out to more people, it’s about people endorsing you and becoming testimonials of your hotel with all their friends. Thus, marketing message more effective, efficient and powerful.
And when you can get great exposure, with minimum effort and for FREE, I can’t help but getting excited!
Alright, let’s do it. For the sake of this SOP, I will just refer to what I did on my site and Facebook as if it was a hotel website.
1) Create a New Page in your CMS (Content Management System)
A very simple landing page that contains:
- An image of your destination – Do NOT place an image of your hotel. Your destination sells, not the hotel. In my example I used an image of Bergamo, my hometown, the most beautiful city on Earth 😉
- [Your Destination], My Gift For You! – Change the copy if you want, but keep it simple. The shorter, the better. Use tags <h1>, <h2> or <h3>. It doesn’t really matter, it just needs to be a title.
- A short message as if you were your customer – Make it enthusiastic, refer to the experience your customer might have just had at your hotel. Remember, it’s not you talking about you, it’s your customer.
- Book Now Button – Pointing to your Booking Engine. Make sure the link contains a parameter (promo code, voucher code, depending on the set up and capabilities of your booking engine) that triggers the discount you are offering.
That’s it. Easy, right?
Don’t connect the landing page to any menu on your site. It doesn’t have to be accessible for those who are visiting the site, it just needs to be online.
This is how my example page looks like: https://directyourbookings.com/post-stay-email-engage-friends-on-facebook/
2) Convert the Landing Page into a Facebook post.
The magic here happens thanks to Facebook.
One of the many hidden and free tools on Facebook is this: https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php
Essentially it simply does what I just said: it converts web pages into facebook posts, ready to be shared.
Not much to explain here: copy/paste the URL of the newly created landing page and click on Share (sometimes you might need to refresh the page to see the changes).
This is my example if you want to see it in full page: here.
You see what’s going on? You are creating an automated lead-generating and testimonial machine, for FREE!
Your “word” being spread by your guests toward their friends and acquaintances is going to be extremely way more efficient.
People talking about you is more powerful than you talking about yourself.
Let’s just complete the final quick steps.
3) Place the Facebook Link into your Post-Stay Email template… AND…
4) …Turn Your Post-Stay Email Subject into a Call-to-Action.
“Sell” it with proper copywriting. Make it prominent because, ultimately, that’s going to be the most important part of your email.
Starting from the subject.
How many customers do not open any of communication after staying with you?
Makes sense, they got what they wanted, they don’t need you any more.
So, rather than simply saying “Thank You For Staying With Us“, maybe your subject could be like “Here’s a Gift For You & Your Friends“. Because for your customers to share your post, they first need to open the email, right?
You can totally get rid of all those thank-you-hope-to-see-you-soon-again-wish-you-a-wonderful-day-blablabla messages. In full honesty, this is pure BS.
I really mean it: as of the very moment your guest steps out of your doors, you need to switch from being customer-oriented to being marketing-oriented.
And if there is one marketing approach that does NOT work across all businesses, including of course the hotel industry, is the service-oriented strategy. Because it doesn’t sell and doesn’t turn guests into repeating guests.
That guest is no longer a guest, he’s a prospect again and/or a testimonial. Thus, use your post-stay emails in a much more creative, effective and powerful way.
ONE FINAL TIP
This one really depends on your booking engine, whether it allows you to do that or not.
To make the above Call-to-Action even stronger, in addition to the discount for friends, you can think of giving something free directly to your recent guest, like a free night stay.
The condition and the message could be something like this: “if you share this post/discount with your friends and we receive at least 5 bookings through your link, you will win a free stay with us.”
This way they clearly see a direct advantage for themselves.
However, and this is the reason why it all depends on your booking engine, you need to be able to create a unique promo code for each and every guest, obviously and automatically generated by your booking engine.
Clearly this is something that will not be working if you can only use 1 promo code for all guests.
Are you willing to try? It doesn’t cost any money, just 20-30 minutes of your time.
Feel free to share your thoughts and results here or directly with me, I’m very curious to know about the outcome 🙂