Best Luxury UK Hotels On Instagram 2017

With over 600 million people now using Instagram [1], it’s clear why hoteliers are flocking to the social platform. Its photo sharing focus allows hotels to ‘paint a picture’ of their brand, exposing unique aspects of their hotel with stunning, never before seen photography.

belmond

Here is @Deluxevenues collection of the best Luxury UK Hotels taking advantage of Instagram in 2017!

Rosewood London
302 Posts | 34,500+ Followers

@ROSEWOODLONDON

“An ultra-luxury High Holborn hotel that combines English heritage & contemporary sophistication in a central location, near Covent Garden & the City” – We were impressed by the quality of photos being presented, as they simply scream luxurious!

The Dorchester
1,248 Posts | 41,900+ Followers

@THEDORCHESTER

“One of London’s most iconic hotels, overlooking Hyde Park in Mayfair” – The Dorchester cleverly balance art with real life, celebrating goings-on around them as much as the hotel, creating a sense of place.

The Savoy
813 Posts | 37,400+ Followers

@THESAVOYLONDON

“Perfectly placed on the north bank of the River Thames, The Savoy is the most celebrated and glamorous 5* luxury hotel in Central London” – Glamour is certainly the right word for The Savoy’s Instagram account, with a clear focus on promoting the finer things in life. Perfect branding for this renowned hotel.

The Pig
844 Posts | 41,200+ Followers

@THEPIG_HOTEL

“A restaurant with rooms; the focus is very much on the food, uncomplicated and simple British garden food” – The epitome of countryside luxury. The Pig’s niche of freshly grown produce is evident throughout their Instagram, whilst photo’s of the hotel show why Londoner’s often escape to the country!

Claridge’s
1,843 Posts | 122,000+ Followers

@CLARIDGESHOTEL

“Daily adventures from the art deco hotel in the heart of Mayfair, London” – Claridge’s approach is much more ‘behind the scenes’, granting Instagram followers a peek into this exclusive hotel with smart use of targeted hashtags for maximum exposure. No wonder they have over 100k followers!

The Ritz London
399 Posts | 31,500+ Followers

@THERITZLONDON

“Five star luxury hotel in the heart of London. Share your Ritz memories with us using #ritzreveals and we will choose our favourites” – Here we see a hotel thinking ahead, creating a custom hashtag for their brand. A fantastic method to gain insights on guests and their experiences.

The Connaught
1,352 Posts | 38,400+ Followers

@THECONNAUGHT

“The Connaught, is a luxury five star hotel on Mount Street in the heart of fashionable Mayfair” – A very British affair. Instagram for The Connaught tells the story of an exclusive hotel, proud of it’s London location.

Chewton Glen
799 Posts | 10,100+ Followers

@CHEWTONGLEN

“An English Original… A five star luxury country house hotel and spa on the edge of the New Forest” – Another hotel proud of it’s location is Chewton Glen, based in the New Forest. Like The Pig this is a luxury country hotel, but their approach to Instagram also presents real customers and their experiences.

The Goring
705 Posts | 31,000+ Followers

@THEGORING

“London’s impeccably English luxury hotel has entered a new era” – In this case The Goring twins beautiful photography with artistic illustrations, a brand also keen to present its classic British aesthetic.

Belmond Le Manoir
347 Posts | 10,600+ Followers

@BELMONDLEMANOIR

“Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is renowned as one of Britain’s finest gastronomic and hotel experiences” – For this hotel food is king. Their fine dining posts are mouth-wateringly delicious, matched by it’s subtle European inspiration.

For more insights into UK Hospitality and Digital Marketing Subscribe to the DeluxeVenues Blog above!

References

[1] 600 Million and Counting. Instagram. Dec 2016.

3 Email Tactics For Customer Retention

In hospitality, success depends heavily on repeat custom. Many marketers forget this and put their focus into gaining new ticket sales or bookings; however when 25-40% [1] of most business revenue comes from repeat custom, this channel cannot be ignored. Studies by Bain & Company state a 5% [2] increase in retention can lead to profit increases of 25-95%!

A sell-out event full of new customers is an amazing quick win, but what is your venue doing to ensure they visit again?

It’s likely that your hotel, restaurant, bar or events venue will have a basic database of information on past customers. This means you have the capability to reach people on a personal level; which can be used to increase loyalty and repeat custom through strategic email marketing.

coffeeemailcheck

At LeadDigital, it’s our opinion that email marketing is far from dead. In fact with the number of worldwide email users now topping 3.7 billion [3], plus the growth of email on mobile, it’s actually flourishing. How can email increase repeat business? Read our top 3 tips here below.

 

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1. The Personalised Approach

How well do you know your customers? Say for example, a person attends an event at your venue. Sure you have their name and contact details from the event booking, but what else?

For one you can probably assume their sex, potentially their age, and it’s likely you’ll have some insight into their interests based on the type of event they attended.

When it comes to email marketing, savvy marketers take this information and use it to personalise every interaction. You may even have experienced this yourself if you’ve attended an event and later received a ‘thank you for visiting’ style of email, addressed to you directly.

Sending a masculine-styled email to ‘Tim’ referencing the rock gig he attended 6 months ago & inviting him personally to a similar event, is much more likely to result in repeat business than a generic promotional message.

Personalised email communication enables more than just contact with existing clients. It also grants the ability to strategically target what you send, when it’s sent, and to who; maximising the return on each email. More importantly, regular personalised emails help maintain relationships with a group of people you know have bought services from you already!

2. Let Software Do The Hard Work

Automate Everything! Okay maybe not everything, but modern email marketing software does give businesses the ability to automate emails sent to existing customers. By utilising these features correctly, Hotels, Restaurants, Bars and other event venues can develop drip marketing strategies that increase repeat business.

What do I mean by drip marketing? Imagine a scenario where ‘Lana’ books a birthday party at your bar.

  1. First, you send Lana a personalised email confirming her booking.
  2. Next you remind Lana of her booking a week in advance and wish her a happy birthday.
  3. Two days after the event Lana receives another email, thanking her for choosing your bar and asking for feedback on her party. You learn she had a great time and particularly enjoyed the cocktails available.
  4. A few months later Lana receives an email, inviting her to an exclusive cocktails masterclass at your bar.

In this example, as she knows your brand, remembers her great party and loves cocktails, Lana books the masterclass event – job done, another repeat booking!

All of the above emails can be automatically sent, having been designed and scheduled well in advance – making email marketing scalable as your business grows. Working with an email marketing expert the right strategy can also save hospitality business time & money, that otherwise could be wasted on less effective marketing initiatives.

3. Make Existing Customers Feel Special

Leading on from the personalised approach above, email gives you the ability to make customers feel special, like they’re getting exclusive ‘backstage’ access to your Events Venue, Restaurant, Bar or Hotel.

People are becoming increasingly selective on who they give their email addresses to. When a customer gives you permission to contact them, they’re also telling you they have an active interest in your business. By picking up on core booking information and interactions, you can develop relationships that result in repeat business.

Wedding venues for example, know it’s unlikely they’ll get a repeat wedding booking from a recent bride. However that bride will have spent months comparing your venue with alternatives before booking, so clearly LOVES your location.

Email marketing gives you the perfect opportunity to make her feel special and remembered. People who feel valued, are both likely to book on another occasion and recommend your business! For example, how about emailing the bride just before her wedding anniversary, inviting her to an exclusive dining experience to relive their special day?

Exclusivity is a big deal in hospitality email marketing. At LeadDigital one of our clients is the luxury London private yacht company, Woods’ Silver Fleet. Their brand is associated with hosting luxurious functions & celebrations on the Thames, and LeadDigital are responsible for their email marketing strategy. Our greatest email successes for Silver Fleet have come from targeted, personalised invites which make previous clients feel remembered and important.

Conclusion

Email marketing for repeat custom can generate impressive revenue returns for your hospitality brand. Making your past customers feel special and taking a personal approach to communication builds trust & loyalty, resulting in more ticket sales, bookings and event enquiries!

LeadDigital are officially recognised email marketing experts, with over 20 years email marketing experience, specialising in strategies that increase revenue and grow customer loyalty. Need to improve your email marketing profit, then speak to us – we can audit current processes, develop a bespoke strategy and help you get the most from email!

 

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References

[1] The Importance Of Repeat Customers. SumAll. 5 April 2013
[2] Customer Retention Is King. Forbes. 21 January 2015
[3] Email Statistics Report 2017-2021. The Radicati Group. February

An Introduction to Google Analytics

What is Google Analytics? Why do I need it and how will it help my hospitality business?

logo_lockup_analytics_icon_horizontal_black_2x

Imagine this scenario. You have just started selling tickets for an upcoming event at your hotel, bar, restaurant or venue. You’ve published social media posts and done some marketing, that’s great! You want to sell more tickets, but what’s next?

Before you start spending more on marketing, ask yourself these questions;

  • Is the process of buying tickets too complicated?
  • Are potential guests making it to the website?
  • Can customers even find what they’re looking for?!

In reference to the last question, watch this video, by the Google Analytics team.

Google Analytics collects data on the visitors to your website. Most importantly, It can deliver business critical insights to help you answer all of the above questions and more!

Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool. Once correctly configured, you can analyse your hospitality websites sales funnel to find out if your website is working effectively and even how efficient your checkout experience is!

So why should I use Google Analytics?

In the age of data, it is becoming essential to understand where your customers are coming from. Using Google Analytics you will be able to gain insights into your potential guests, their preferences and behaviour. Being able to interpret this data will allow you to make informed business decisions, which can help you sell more tickets at your bar, restaurant, hotel or venue.

It also seamlessly integrates with many other online software services, such as Google Adwords, Mailchimp (for email marketing), EventBrite (events promotion) and Shopify (for eCommerce). For example, if you were to using Google Adwords to promote your hospitality business, then you can use Analytics to track sales from that channel.

However, there is so much data available in Google Analytics, that getting to the end result isn’t always easy. LeadDigital can help here. We are certified Google Analytics experts, our speciality is using Analytics to provide hospitality brands with a better understanding of potential guests and how to convert them into loyal customers.

 

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What can Google Analytics show me?

Google Analytics collects data on every visitor to your website. Here is a list of some information that Google Analytics makes available:

  • Where visitors are coming from (website, social, email etc).
  • Real time visitors on your site.
  • Which countries, even city, visitors are from.
  • What type of devices visitors are using (mobile, tablet, desktop).
  • What page visitors are arriving and leaving on.
  • How long visitors are spending on your website.
  • Ecommerce sales down to product level.

You can set up detailed Multi-Channel Funnels, run data experiments and setup shopping cart and checkout funnels, it opens up a lot of opportunities for data-driven marketing.

What is data-driven marketing?

You are marketing a New Year’s Eve event at your hotel, venue, restaurant or bar using a variety of methods, including Content Marketing and Social Publishing. But how can you tell which one is more effective?

Using Google Analytics, you can see which method is producing more ticket sales and bookings through your hotel, venue, restaurant or bar’s website – allowing you to then focus marketing on that best performing channel. This will save you money by highlighting marketing channels that do not produce results.

This is data-driven marketing.

How will this help my hospitality business?

Google Analytics will allow you to have more visibility of where your online sales are coming from. This will enable you to dedicate your resources in the correct areas, which in the long run, will save you money. Using data-driven marketing, you will be able to sell more tickets at your bar, restaurant, hotel or venue.

Using data from Google Analytics, you can find out where your most engaged visitors are coming from, such as a great blog post or maybe a fantastic review? Data is key, and knowing how to interpret it will unlock new digital opportunities.

As a certified Google partner, LeadDigital have configured, managed and imported Google Analytics for many successful hospitality businesses. We use data-driven marketing to help companies sell more event tickets and increase room bookings.

 

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Why You Need An Email Marketing Strategy

Strategy is the foundation upon which a business is built. Without a clear strategic framework in place, it is impossible to effectively manage or develop a hospitality company. How can you reach your business goals and ambitions without an actionable plan for fulfilment?

Strategy-Chess-336230-edited

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

Jack Welch, retired CEO of General Electric.

When looking at email marketing for your hospitality business, the same rules apply.

Whether you’re a hotelier, own an events venue or are a restaurateur – successful email marketing starts with a carefully crafted email marketing strategy.

Why Is A Structured Email Marketing Plan So Important?

Email is one of the most effective channels for hospitality businesses that are looking to make profit through marketing and engage with their customers. Email marketing can reach a large audience of people already interested in your brand, whilst allowing you to target and personalise your messages on an individual level – vastly improving the customer experience.

However, in a world where [1] 269 billion global emails are being sent daily, it’s easy for your emails to get ignored if not setup correctly and sent as part of a thought out, actionable strategy.

So Why Is This So Relevant To Hospitality Businesses?

Email marketing is a direct revenue opportunity for hospitality businesses, interacting with past, present and future customers. Whether used for branding, personalised communication or for promotional purposes, few other marketing options allow for such a targeted approach. Keep in mind, in most cases all email subscribers will be customers, or at least interested and aware of your brand.

For an example of hospitality email strategy, see online hotel booking site Expedia; or more specifically, how they used a carefully crafted and personalised strategy in their automated email marketing [2].

Expedia’s goal was to increase bookings from logged in website users who started the booking process, selected dates, but didn’t complete the process.

  • In step one of their fulfilment plan, an automated email pulls in the name of the specific city that person was booking, with email content focused on booking a package deal.
  • Step two, the city name from step one stays in the subject line, but now it’s also used in the emails title, body copy and in the

This strategy successfully aligns what the customer was thinking about completing, with a relevant email and subject line that would get their attention and likely lead to a booking. Focus, Goal, Tactic, Action.

Or as another example, imagine how impressed you would be as a customer if:

  • You booked a restaurant table, and immediately received a personalised booking confirmation email.
  • You then get a reminder two days before, including details on the restaurant’s location and best places to park.
  • One week after the meal you receive an email thanking you for visiting – then one month later you get offered a return diner promotion.

The customer journey has never been more important in the hospitality industry, and engaging with customers at every point of interaction ensures you’re always on their mind.

What Makes A Great Strategy?

A great email marketing strategy for hotels, venues & restaurants can be summarised with four core steps;

  • Set Goals
  • Decide Tactics.
  • Action.
  • Learn, Optimise & Repeat.

Each step is equally important, however step four brings the process full circle and gives you the vital information on subscribers, required to tailor future goals. Being able to learn from results (data) and adjust tactics accordingly, is the difference between a basic marketer and expert-level email marketing strategist.

How Can My Hospitality Business See What Works?

Email marketing service providers offer hospitality brands the tools to create, personalise and analyse their email campaigns. At LeadDigital we recommend using the online software platform MailChimp, due to its wide range of features, extensive history and affordability.

For more on why to choose MailChimp, Click Here.

LeadDigital are also officially recognised MailChimp Experts, and have the knowledge and experience from over 20 years of email marketing to craft bespoke email strategies for your hospitality business. We start by auditing all aspects of your email processes, and lead on to setting goals and suitable tactics, removing any guesswork and maximising your return on email investment!

 

To Speak With An Email Strategy Specialist

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References

[1] Is Email Marketing Dead? LeadDigital. 20 Mar 2017.
[2] 7 Lessons from top Performing Drip Email Campaigns. Shopify.

Inbound or Outbound – Which Marketing Strategy is Best?

The way we market hospitality brands, services and products has changed considerably in the last decade. This has been driven by a change in consumer behaviour, due to the development of internet technologies and how people use them. According to a report on the European Commission website, 87% of internet users in Britain made an online purchase in 2016 and these figures are growing year on year.

With the ever developing digital consumer, we look at whether hospitality companies should be transitioning from an Outbound to an Inbound Marketing strategy.

Inbound-or-Outbound-Marketing-for-Hospitality

Outbound Marketing

Commonly referred to as interruptive marketing, the outbound methodology is focused on actively seeking potential customers. The practice involves pushing a message out far and wide to broad audiences, grabbing the attention of anyone willing or forced to look.

Traditional advertising methods such as billboards, cold-calling, TV and radio ads are identified as Outbound. However, these are becoming less effective and less affordable, with mainly just large corporations paying for the diminishing results as part of a larger ‘top-of-mind’ brand awareness campaign. More affordable, modern, versions of outbound marketing exist, such as internet banner ads, pop-ups and cold-emailing. But, as with traditional advertising, these methods come at a price and they are also becoming less effective.

Technology is not only enabling these marketing methods, but it is also empowering the consumer to block and avoid these interruptive practices. Just as consumers are able to fast-forward adverts on recorded/on-demand TV, they are also using ‘ad blockers’ while browsing the internet. Consumers don’t want to be told what to buy or when to buy it. Instead, they want to research themselves (at a time that suits them) and make informed buying decisions. In-steps Inbound Marketing.

typing-macbook-side-943889-edited

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing challenges traditional Outbound marketing techniques, by not fighting for the customers attention. Inbound is defined, by its originators Hubspot, as “an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful”. The focus is on being found by your potential customer, not seeking them out to sell them a dinner for two at your restaurant or tickets to your event.

Inbound traditionally uses social publishing and SEO techniques to promote content, making it visible to the consumer when they are looking for it. This requires skills and resources to create, but unlike outbound, this is the end of your costs. Once you have created, optimised and published your content it continues working for you.

A contentious form of promotion in the world of inbound, is Pay-Per-Click advertising. At LeadDigital, we believe using AdWords to promote your content to the right people, at the right time, forms part of the inbound strategy. Promoting your content at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages enhances the visibility of the content and ensures you are seen above your competitors.

With Inbound, the onus is put on the content to engage your potential customer and answer any questions they may have when making their buying decision. This shouldn’t be a problem, because who knows your potential customers better than you do? You can create Buyer Personas to help you focus content around your potential customer. These personas describe your ideal customer and detail their typical challenges and interests, which you can use to engage the reader.

What content should you be looking to create? Here are some content examples that are applicable to hospitality businesses;

Blog Posts

Market your brand in new and interesting ways. Share the latest developments and provide a relatable character to your business.

FAQs

Answer questions that potential customers may have and point them in the direction of further relevant information and how to purchase your product.

Reviews

Develop trust and turn your existing customers into promoters.

Menus

Potential customers will want to see the options before booking a table at your restaurant or bar.

Checklists

For all they need to make the most of their visit.

Guides

To the surrounding area of your venue or of the different room options at your resort.

Images and Videos

Visual representations showing your products and services.

Infographics

Show the history of your business through an infographic.

Conclusion

In years gone by, print, TV and attention-grabbing online advertising were the cutting-edge and most effective way businesses could influence potential customers. But, with the development of technology, consumer behaviour has changed and the Outbound method of actively searching for potential buyers is becoming ineffective and inefficient. Why try to buy your way in front of consumers, when they aren’t paying attention?

Today, a large proportion of consumers are purchasing through internet connected technologies. They are also using the internet to make informed buying decisions, researching articles online and seeking reviews from their peers before making purchases. Inbound Marketing is the answer to the evolving consumer behaviours and your answer to attracting new bookings and sales for your hospitality business. Better still, it’s cheaper than outbound marketing and is based on tapping into knowledge resources that likely already exists within your company.

 

Like what you’ve read? Get in touch to discuss your inbound marketing strategy.

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Using Shopify to Increase your Event Sales

Want to increase your event sales? Are you thinking of selling tickets online, but don’t know where to start? Whether you are running events at a hotel, bar, restaurant or venue, the internet is a great place to sell tickets and you should take advantage by making sure yours are as accessible as possible. Here are six reasons why we think Shopify is the best place to run a successful online ticket store.

shopify

First, A Little Bit of History…

Founded in 2004, Shopify was originally based on software written by its founders for their online snowboard store, Snowdevil. [1] Since its humble beginnings, the company has grown to over 1,900 employees, working from 6 different offices around the world [2] and after going public in 2015, posted revenues of $205 million. [3]

Shopify is the biggest ecommerce platform in the world, to date they are hosting 377,500 online stores that have sold over $29 billion worth of products. [4]

1. Beautiful Online Storefronts

In the right hands, Shopify will allow you to create beautiful, custom online ticket stores. You have complete control over the look and feel of your store, from its branding to its colours, layout and content. The customer experience with your brand is very important and Shopify provides everything you need to design and build this experience.

When selling tickets online, the event itself is everything. The powerful customisation features of Shopify provides the level of control needed to showcase your events in the best possible way. The product catalog system will let you categorise your events to help your customers find exactly what they’re looking for without getting frustrated.

Shopify is mobile-friendly and has built-in mobile commerce features so that your customers can browse and buy from your store using their mobile device. Shopify will detect when a customer goes to your store using a mobile device and show a different version of the checkout process, designed and built to work on smaller screens.

As an official Shopify Partner, LeadDigital can design and build custom themes for your online ticket store. We can sit down, discuss your business goals and work with you to build a Shopify store from the ground up in order to increase your event sales.

 

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2. Advanced Store Management

Once your storefront has been designed and built, you can add your events using the flexible inventory management system. Shopify can keep track of tickets sold and automatically stop selling your events when they have sold out.

You can add multiple variants of your tickets and these variants will allow you to customise how you sell your events. Want to offer multiple dates on your London party event? No problem. Do you have a fixed number of window seats available on your river boat cruise? That’s fine too. Each variant you create can have its own price and ticket allocation.

3. Mobile App

Shopify have built a mobile app that makes it easy to get an overview of your store when you’re on the go. All of your data is automatically synced between the app and your online store, making it available to you at anytime.

You can check your sales statistics, view and update ticket inventory, orders and customer data all from your iOS or Android device. Seeing all of your sales and visitor traffic at a glance will give you valuable insight into your business and keeps you in the loop when you’re away from your desk.

4. Marketing & SEO

An important part of increasing your event sales is letting people know your events exist in the first place! Shopify helps get the most out of your event by supporting SEO best practices and even generates special sitemap files for your products, pages and blog posts to make it easier for search engines like Google to find your content.

Google takes into account site speed when ranking pages in their search engine [5] and even provides tools like PageSpeed Insights to help you make it faster. It is no coincidence that the hosting included in your Shopify plan is lightning-fast.

If you would like to offer a special discount on your event for early-birds, or maybe offer a coupon to new members, Shopify has you covered and has a great discount codes and coupons system built-in. Combine your special offers with a solid email marketing campaign and you have a powerful selling tool on your hands.

Shopify integrates seamlessly with MailChimp, allowing you to automatically send your new customers and their purchase data to your MailChimp account. Being a Shopify Partner and a MailChimp Expert, LeadDigital fully recommend MailChimp for your hospitality business and believe that purchase data from Shopify can play an important role in an automated marketing strategy. Knowing what events your customers have been to in the past lets you know what events they might want to attend in the future.

 

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5. Web Hosting & Security

All Shopify plans come with hosting included, you get unlimited bandwidth and will never be charged based on the number of visitors or traffic coming to your store. All updates made to the core Shopify system are done automatically, meaning you will always be on the latest version and have access to the newest features.

Every bit of data that goes into your Shopify store is protected by daily backups. You can rest assured that all of your store data including business information, products, customer data, orders and inventory is safe and recoverable.

When it comes to security, Shopify is certified Level-1 PCI compliant [6], meaning all pages, content, credit card and transaction information on Shopify is protected by the same level of security that banks have to use.

6. Shopping Cart & Checkout

As soon as you launch your online ticket store, you can accept major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. Shopify supports over 70 payment gateways from around the world including PayPal, Amazon Pay and even bitcoin, giving your customers multiple ways to pay for your events. You can also accept payments via Apple Pay, a cutting-edge technology that will give your customers an even faster checkout experience and allow them to purchase tickets in a single step.

Order confirmation emails and invoices can be sent to the customer as soon as they purchase tickets from you, providing them with a seamless experience and the instant confirmation they will be used to in today’s world. You can take this one step further by making use of a custom Shopify App that could create and send your event tickets automatically to the customer on your behalf, removing administration and increasing the efficiency of your business.

Shopify gives you the ability to recover abandoned shopping carts by providing a list of customers that dropped out of the checkout page before making a purchase. Sending a simple email to those potential customers can help you recover an otherwise lost ticket sale.

Phone-Online-Shopping-735439-edited (1).jpeg

Why Shopify?

Shopify is, in our opinion, the best ecommerce platform available today. The level of customisation offered across all areas of your ecommerce store make it extremely powerful. With all the technical aspects of running an online store taken care of, you can focus on the important bit, increasing ticket sales.

Shopify provides all the tools to offer your customers a great online shopping experience and in turn, boost your event sales, all you need to do is harness these tools and use them to your advantage.

As an official Shopify Partner, LeadDigital offer the perfect partnership to help you and your hospitality business get the most out of your online ticket store. We have built and managed many successful online stores for hospitality businesses, to help them sell more event tickets and get more room bookings. We can design, build, manage and integrate your Shopify store to suit you and your hospitality business needs.

 

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References

[1] Shopify, a Start-Up, Starts Its Own Business Competition. The New York Times. 2 Feb 2010.
[2] 2016 Year in Review. Shopify.
[3] Shopify Expects Revenue to Surge in 2016. Fortune. 17 Feb 2016.
[4] Shopify Announces Fourth-Quarter and Full Year 2016 Financial Results. Shopify. 15 Feb 2017.
[5] Using site speed in web search ranking. Google. 9 Apr 2010.
[6] PCI compliant shopping cart and hosting. Shopify.

Digital Marketing Buzzword Glossary

All these marketing buzzwords and acronyms can get a bit confusing!

To help you cut through the jargon, we have created a glossary. We will be constantly updating it to make sure you know what we’re talking about and keep you informed.

Digital Marketing Buzzwords

A/B Testing

Also known as split testing, is when two versions of something, such as a Web page, are run at the same time, to the same audience. The results of the A/B test will show which Web page, app or email campaign, achieves your goals better.

Adwords

Google’s advertising platform. It is used to power adverts on Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) as well as thousands of adverts across their display network and YouTube.

API (Application Program Interface)

An API allows software solutions to talk, or interface, with each other. This is incredibly useful when doing software integrations. An example would be automatically transferring booking information from an eCommerce platform into an accounts package or CRM system.

Avatar

Avatars are small images that online users choose to represent themselves on websites, forums, blogs and social networks.

Backlink

An incoming Web link from an external website or application to a specific Web page.

Black Hat (SEO)

Black Hat techniques are used to help improve your website’s presence in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). They do not follow search engine guide lines, so can be very risky to use.

Bots

See Robot.

Bounce Rate

This is the percentage of visitors that come to your website, but only view one page, have zero interaction and then leave.

Bounces (Email)

Refers to undeliverable emails. If an email is sent, but can’t be delivered it, due to various reasons, such as closed or non-existent email accounts, it “Bounces”.

Buyer Persona

This is a semi-fictional description of your ideal customer based on market research and existing customer information. Buyer persona(s) provide structure and insight for your company.

Campaign

A set of specific marketing activities with one shared goal, the selling of a service or product, or to raise awareness of a business or brand.

Cloaking

A form of Black Hat (SEO). It is the practice of showing different content to search engine bots when they crawl your website, as opposed to what regular human visitors would see.

CMS (Content Management System)

CMS is a platform allows you to create, modify and manage your digital content. The most common CMS is a simple blog!

Content Marketing

The practice of attracting potential customers through the publication of informative and helpful content, such as infographics, images, video, reviews, blogs and menus. (See also Inbound Marketing)

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

A CRM system provides a central database of your customer information, such as orders and enquiries and can streamline the processes of your Sales and Marketing teams.

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)

A system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers or take a desired action.

CTA (Call-To-Action)

A clickable link or button to prompt an immediate action from the user.

CTR (Click-Through-Rate)

Refers to the number of clicks on a specific link compared to the number of impressions (views) it’s had. Often shown as a percentage CTR = Clicks / impressions (x100)

DMP (Data Management Platform)

DMP’s collect, analyse & segment a companies customer, audience and marketing data into one central location. This information is then output and used to inform & instruct advertising decision.

Drip Marketing

A communication strategy that sends, or “drips”, timely pre-written messages to customers or prospects over time. The process is often automated and uses email marketing platforms with predetermined rules that trigger emails to be sent to consumers, based on their actions.

Evergreen (content)

Content that is always relevant and stays “fresh” for its readers. Referred to as “Evergreen” as it reflects how evergreen trees retain their leaves all year round.

Forms

Forms collect information about your visitors. They are a critical part of the conversion process with the purpose to capture the information to generate a new business enquiry or lead.

Geo-Targeting

The method of identifying the geographical location of a website visitor and delivering different content to that visitor based on his or her location.

Google Analytics

A free service from Google that tracks and reports on visitors to your website.

Hashtag (#)

Is a method of grouping social posts by categories using keywords. It also enables users to search and follow discussions and trending topics – e.g. #HospitalityMarketing. Hashtags are used by most of the social media networks including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Hit

Often inaccurately used to describe unique visitors, visits, page views, or all of the above. A hit is a request for a file, such as an image. One Web page view could be tens of hits!

Hyperlink

Also referred to simply as a “Link”, is a clickable word, phrase or image that takes you directly to another document or to another section of the document you are currently on.

Inbound Marketing

A marketing strategy of attracting potential customers through digital content and interactions (social media) to your website. It expands upon Content Marketing using a combination of other marketing strategies and tools to convert these new potential customers into repeat customers and promoters of your brand.

Impression

Also known as a “View”, is a count of the number of times a Web page, or in some cases an advertisement, is either viewed by a user or displayed by a Web browser.

Influencer Marketing

A marketing strategy that uses a key individual with a following that can be influenced by their actions. Often, Celebrities with large social media followings are used to promote brands and products or services via their personal media channels. There are many influencers today without the celebrity status though, judged to have the capacity to affect the buying decisions of their followers.

Internal Link

A weblink from one Web page within your own website, to another Web page within your own website.

Keyword

A word or phrase that describes the content of a Web page. Keywords make up part of a Web page’s metadata and help search engines select relevant pages to particular search queries. Google Adwords also uses keywords to make its adverts target the correct audience.

Long Tail (Keyword)

A keyword phrase made up of three or more words. They are used to target niche demographics rather than large audiences associated with broader (shorter) keyword search terms. For example, Luxury Thames River Cruise as opposed to River Cruise.

Landing Page

A single Web page that is commonly used with a marketing campaign. Landing pages are designed with a very specific purpose, often gathering Leads.

Lead

The confirmation of consumer interest. A lead is generated when a stranger shows an interest in your company or service. In digital marketing this is often through a contact form on your website, with the user providing contact information and a purpose to follow up.

Martech

Martech is the combination of Marketing and Technology. The term represents the initiatives, efforts and tools that use technology to achieve marketing goals and objectives.

Meme

An Internet Meme is a form of content, often an annotated image, which spreads from person to person via the internet.

Open Rate

Refers to the number of “opens” or “views” an email campaign has received in comparison to the number of people it was delivered to. Often shown as a percentage, Open Rate = Opens / (Emails Sent – Bounces) x100.

Open Source

Software with a source code that anyone can inspect, modify and enhance – allowing programmers to manipulate a software ‘program’ or ‘application’ as they require.

Organic Listing (Search Result)

Listings on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) that appear based on their relevance to the search term entered, as opposed to Paid Listings (Search Results).

Paid Listing (Search Result)

Listings on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) that appear in prominent (higher visibility) locations for a price.

Plug-in (or Plugin)

These are extensions or add-ons that add new features to an existing computer software program.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

PPC refers to an online advertising method where an advertiser pays for a listing and agrees a set cost for each time that listing is clicked. These advertisements are most commonly seen on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).

PR (Page Rank)

Is an algorithm used by Google Search to “rank” Web pages in order of relevance and importance to search terms entered into their search engine.

Qualified Lead

A Lead that has been through a qualification process, either through contact from one of your sales team, or by checking information provided aligns with that of your Buyer Persona.

Retweet

The act of resharing a tweet on Twitter, via the account you are logged-in on.

Robots (Bots)

Also known as Spiders or Crawlers, are programs that navigate, or “crawl”, your Web pages gathering information for search engines, which tells them what your pages are about.

ROI (Return On Investment)

ROI is used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. It is often shown as a percentage, calculated this way (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) x 100.

RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication)

Enables the user to receive content updates from blogs, podcasts and other information sources through one central location. This gives the user full control and doesn’t require contact information such as email addresses.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Focuses on increasing the visibility of a Web page in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP), through paid advertising. SEM also uses the practices of SEO to achieve increased visibility and reduced advertising cost.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

A process focused on increasing the visibility of a particular Web page in search engine organic results . This process involves keywords, page loading speeds and other factors defined by search engine algorithms.

SERP (Search Engine Result Pages)

The page that you see having performed a search via a search engine such as Google. The organic listings are provided in order of relevance based on the keywords or search phrase you entered.

Social Monitoring

Is the active monitoring of social media channels for mentions or information about a company or organisation. It also provides an opportunity for your Hospitality company to gain insight about your potential and existing customers and their views related to your industry.

Social Publishing

The use of Social Media channels to share and promote content with your target audience.

Spiders

See Robots.

Tag

A keyword or phrase that is “tagged” to a piece of content, such as a blog post or media file. These tags are used to organise content by topic. For social media see Hashtags.

Thread

Refers to a sequence of responses, or discussion, based on an original message post.

Trending

When a topic or discussion goes viral and gets rapid coverage amongst social media users. Most social media platforms use Hashtags to organise and group topics and it is through these hashtags that topics “trend”.

Tweet

Is a post made by a user on the social network, Twitter. “Tweets” are restricted to 140 characters long, but can include images, GIFs, videos and links to external content.

User Generated Content

This refers to content that is created by users of an online system or service, often made available by social media channels. Content types can be, but not limited to; blogs, forums, posts, wikis, images, video or audio files.

Viral

When things go “Viral” they are rapidly and widely circulated on the internet.

Vlog (Video-Blog)

A Blog or Web log that includes video clips. It may be entirely video-based or could be a written blog that features videos as commentary. Examples of Vlogs include product and service reviews, instructional videos and personal commentaries.

Web Design

While inclusive of visual design elements, by “Web Design” LeadDigital also refer to the behind the scenes processes that you can’t see. The usability and capability of your website to function as a sales funnel, working for your sales team. It is essential to include processes that achieve your hospitality business goals including booking and payment processing systems.

White Hat (SEO)

Uses optimisation strategies and techniques that focus on the human audience ahead of search engine Robots (Bots). The process follows search engine rules and policies to increase visibility of your Web page.

WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)

A WYSIWYG editor or program allows a developer to see the end result of a project while still in creation, in contrast to traditional editors that are typically code based. Often seen in landing page software platforms.

 

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Is Email Marketing Dead?

Let’s start with the facts. Right now, according to a report by The Radicati Group, 269 billion emails are being sent daily. This figure is set to grow by 4% over the next four years, with the number of worldwide email users in 2017 now topping 3.7 billion.

So email itself is still flourishing, but what about email marketing?

Email-Late-Night-688329-edited

Here is LeadDigital’s top 5 for what your hospitality brand can achieve with effective email marketing.

1. Inform & Engage

There are few better ways to connect with people interested in your hotel, restaurant, bar or events venue than by email. Your list of email contacts will include people who’ve stayed in your hotel, attended an event or shown an interest in your hospitality business. These are people who want to hear from you and have given permission to be contacted.

Although our inboxes are inundated, people don’t dislike all email – just the messages they don’t want to receive!

Strategy-led email marketing provides a direct opportunity to engage with people interested in your brand. LeadDigital can work with you to define your strategy and tailor your approach for different types of customers. This could be new subscribers just starting to explore your services or long-term customers.

2. Increase Retention

Your venue has run a large event, sold thousands of tickets and collected email addresses from everyone who attended. How do you then make sure those event goers buy from you again? Email marketing.

An experienced email marketer can craft content that directly reaches out to your customers, and builds a desire to recreate or relive a moment in time. This could be a hotel re-engaging with a couple who’ve celebrated a special occasion with a return visit offer. Or, perhaps a restaurant, inviting someone who’s booked a table four times in the past year, a discount on their fifth visit.

This is known as drip marketing. LeadDigital are MailChimp Experts, and can use the MailChimp platform to automate a wide collection of email messages, which saves you time and money.

Read more about MailChimp automation.

3. Affordable Marketing

Many hospitality businesses get drawn towards social media, print, tv & radio marketing and whilst these do offer their own benefits, none are as cost effective as email marketing. For example, an article on McKinsey.com suggests, email is considered nearly 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook & Twitter combined! – with average order values 17 percent higher!

This is down to two things – reach and engagement.

Say your restaurant or venue has 10,000 email subscribers and a sent email reaches 7,900 of those subscribers (79% according to a report by returnpath.com). As per benchmarks set by email marketing software brand MailChimp, 1714 people (21.7%) of those subscribers who received this email would likely open it, and 23 people (1.33%) would click a link.

On the other hand, Facebook posts reach only 1-6% of fans; so out of 10,000 fans, only 300 (3%) see a posted message, and then only 2 (0.07%) would actually engage with it (like or comment). Email offers both greater opportunities to reach people, and is more likely to engage with relevant customers.

More people, more relevance, more return on investment.

 

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4. Future Proof

Email is proving itself to be one of the pillars of digital communication. While people are moving away from desktop computers and onto mobile devices, email remains a key communication tool. With 44.9 million mobile users in the UK alone in 2017, being able to engage with mobile users is more important than ever!

Using an email marketing online software platform like MailChimp, your hospitality brand can create emails that not only look good, but successfully work across all devices. This can be tested carefully before even a single email is sent, never damaging your relationship with subscribers.

MailChimp Experts like LeadDigital, can develop specific email marketing strategies for mobile, taking into account how people interact differently on mobile devices.

5. Easily Sharable

With just the simple click of the forward button, subscribers to your hospitality brand can quickly share your emails with friends and family. This makes email marketing one of the best ways to gain more exposure for restaurants, hotels, bars, venues; turning your subscribers into brand advocates. Not only is sharing easy, it’s also a great way for your hospitality brand to build credibility. You’re much more likely to book a hotel room recommended by your best friend.

Conclusion

Is email marketing dead? Not at all, but the way businesses approach email marketing does have to change. Hospitality brands need to value and carefully manage how subscribers are obtained; and then develop tailored email marketing strategies.

At LeadDigital, we work with hotels, bars, restaurants and venues to refine their customer sign-up processes and create long-term email marketing plans that are based on their goals, using our expert knowledge of MailChimp.

 

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Why Choose MailChimp for Your Hospitality Business?

When considering email marketing for your hospitality business, it’s vital that you start with the correct structure and systems around you. Without these tools and resources, keeping control of subscribers to your restaurant, hotel or events venue can be a nightmare – and that’s before you’ve even sent your first email marketing campaign! Here’s five reasons why you should choose MailChimp for your email marketing;

MailChimp-Freddie

Why MailChimp?

1. A Brief History of MailChimp

Founded in 2001, MailChimp has grown to over $400 Million in revenue, with 15 Million customers and more than 500 employees.

They account their success to a unique customer first approach, an understanding of what competitors lack, greater customization and a loveable brand people connect with. They’re pioneers in email marketing, always developing new features, such as the recently released ability to include Gifs in emails.

2. The Infrastructure

When it comes to infrastructure, MailChimp have constructed brand-new, fit for purpose colocation spaces from the ground up in recent years. This is to handle the 10,000+ new users added each day, as well as 15 million customers sending over a billion emails every single day!

MailChimp is a large application so focusing on simplicity and proven technology has been their main engineering philosophy. (For more on infrastructure, see MailChimp’s engineering blog)

For email marketing users, MailChimp’s Cloud-based platform means no software downloads, no complicated installs and easy access for anyone, across any device with a browser!

3. The Features

Part of what has made MailChimp the number 1 email marketing platform, is the company’s ability to really appreciate the pain points email marketers face; and answer these with highly customizable features that can scale for any business size. The most prominent of these features include:-

Automation

Let’s say you’ve just checked out Mr & Mrs Smith from your hotel’s honeymoon suite. Two days later, the couple receive an email from your hotel thanking them for their stay, and asking for review. Four months later, in lieu of Mrs Smith’s upcoming birthday, Mr Smith receives an email suggesting a special rate at the hotel to celebrate the occasion.

Every interaction was entirely automated and scheduled by MailChimp. Intelligent data collection at each customer interaction point, forward planning and pre-scheduling in the MailChimp platform, can help your hospitality brand reconnect with customers and develop a greater customer experience, with minimal input.

A/B Testing

What’s the best day to send your venues latest events newsletter? Which subject line about your restaurant’s latest menu is most effective? Do more venue bookings come from sending morning or afternoon emails? – MailChimp helps you answer all of these and more, with precise A/B testing tools. You can build up-to three variants to test in each campaign, and MailChimp will take care of all the testing, letting you know what’s worked best!

E-commerce

Shopify and other similar platforms, offer the option to sync with MailChimp’s e-commerce features; allowing you to track orders, set up automated messaging (such as abandoned shopping cart emails), make product recommendations based on previous purchases, and much much more. It’s one of our favourite features of MailChimp, and if used well, can help generate revenue for your hospitality brand.

 

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Segmentation & Groups

MailChimp helps you send the right content to the right subscribers. It’s one thing to collect data on subscribers, but knowing how to use this data wisely and how to gain real performance insights, can be more complicated. Luckily MailChimp offer highly customizable segmentation options, allowing you to target email messages to the best subscribers, in every campaign. LeadDigital are MailChimp experts, so can help you refine complicated subscriber lists into actionable segments that work alongside your hospitality brand’s needs.

MailChimp Designer

Graphic designers are not always available on hand to create custom HTML email designs every week, so for this need, you have MailChimp Designer. This feature provides the ability to quickly create fantastic looking emails, with incredible content and personalisation options. Using the builder, your hospitality company can create emails that reflect your brand – with preview and testing features available to ensure your email works correctly across all devices.

This is more important than ever, given 56% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. Being able to test and ensure your content appears as intended on mobile, tablets and desktop is vital, and could make the difference between an email’s success and failure.

Mobile App

MailChimp works on any device, however they also created a mobile application for IOS & Android. Many of the features available on desktop are also available on mobile; including the ability to view and send email campaigns, keep on track with performance analytics and monitor e-commerce revenue (if associated with an e-commerce provider like Shopify). There are also widgets available for quick performance updates.

4. The Integrations

MailChimp now integrates with hundreds of apps and services, including Salesforce, Eventbrite, Shopify, Facebook, Twitter and many others (the full directory can be seen HERE). Working with MailChimp experts including LeadDigital, your hospitality business can sync all these applications within MailChimp – simplifying your workflow and increasing efficiency. For example;

E-commerce

As discussed above, sync your Shopify data with MailChimp subscribers, track visitors, track orders, automate targeted email campaigns and gain greater insights.

CRM (customer relationship management)

Sync customer data between your CRM and MailChimp. Perfect for improving customer experiences of your brand and engaging with subscribers in new, more effective ways increasing sales opportunities.

Social Media

Sync with your social channels, grow your subscriber lists, share content and market to subscribers on their preferred social networks.

5. The Affordability

Cost for MailChimp is related to subscriber numbers; making it perfect for all hospitality businesses, from start-ups with small lists, to Enterprise’s with thousands of customers.

At time of writing MailChimp prices start from as little as £16 per month for over 1,000+ subscribers – going up to £28 per month for over 2,500 subscribers. There’s also the option of MailChimp Pro to access the more powerful MailChimp features.

Conclusion

When it comes to email marketing overall, there is a lot to be considered beyond just the MailChimp platform. This starts with creating a strategy for ongoing success, and then includes: management of subscriber lists, integrations with other services, campaign planning/design/scheduling/reporting, learning from performance data and adapting future campaigns, etc…

This is where LeadDigital excel. We are certified MailChimp Experts, meaning we have advanced knowledge of the platform, and have been proven to provide successful email marketing campaigns for our clients.

LeadDigital’s team work directly with our hospitality customers to develop long term marketing strategies tailored to your brand’s needs; whether that’s to gain more room bookings, sell tickets or simply improve customer engagement. We can design, schedule, send and report on every aspect of performance, with the experience to backup support provide.

 

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What Is Inbound Marketing?

Over the past 5 years the term “Inbound Marketing” has been rapidly growing in popularity.

The term Inbound Marketing is credited to being first coined by Hubspot’s co-founder and CEO Brian Halligan, during the company’s inception back in 2006. Hubspot are the developers of one of the leading content marketing platforms for business of all sizes – a platform we at LeadDigital are committed to using ourselves and one we know to be beneficial to hospitality businesses such as event venues, bars, restaurants and hotels.

Inbound marketing describes the marketing strategy of attracting customers through digital content and interactions to your website. However, you may be more familiar associating this description with the term content marketing. You aren’t wrong! Content marketing is the process of attracting prospects to your website through a variety of content formats, like video, case studies, infographics, etc. However, inbound goes beyond this.

Arguably, content marketing has been incorporated as a part, or subset, of inbound. Content marketing only covers the initial stage of attracting potential customers within the inbound methodology as you can see from the graphic below.

Inbound-Methodology

Inbound Methodology

The above graphic represents Hubspot’s Inbound Methodology. It is made up of four actions, along the top (Attract, Convert, Close, Delight), which companies must take in order to obtain visitors, leads, customers and promoters. Along the bottom are the tools companies use to accomplish these actions. It is important to note these tools are listed under the action where they first come into play. Tools, like email, can play a big role in several stages of the inbound methodology.

The overall practice focuses on turning strangers into customers and customers into evangelists of your brand. Here is a quick summary of each stage of the inbound methodology, with reference to the above graphic;

Attract

Potential customers discover your hospitality brand through content such as blogs, videos and reviews via social media publishing and search engines. This content needs to aim at providing helpful information and answer questions. These are questions you know your potential customers will have when researching and booking a hotel, event venue, or table at your restaurant, for example.

This stage of the practice relies on a strong understanding of search engine optimisation and content creation skills. It also requires a good understanding of your customer base and an ability to pick out characteristics of your ideal customers. See more on how inbound can help your hospitality business increase sales.

Convert

Having successfully attracted potential customers to your site, this is where you make your website work for you. Using a combination of Call To Action buttons, Landing Pages and Forms, you capture the details of your potential customers, turning them into enquiries (leads).

Close

This is where having a good CRM (customer relationship management) system, that keeps a record of all customer interactions, really supports you in turning an enquiry into a customer. Email also plays an important role at this stage as a form of drip marketing, which nurtures your prospective guests and encourages them into becoming customers. An email marketing platform, like Hubspot’s or MailChimp, can automate much of this process while providing a customised experience (see point 5 in Why Your Hospitality Email Marketing isn’t Working!).

Delight

Continually using your CRM system to manage communications with existing customers. You can utilise email and initiate social monitoring to connect with your customer, provide excellent service and keep your brand top-of-mind. It is during this stage where delighting your customer also turns them into an evangelist of your hospitality brand.

Conclusion

Inbound begins with the principles of content marketing and utilises other tools and disciplines, which you may already be familiar with, to generate qualified leads, increase sales and convert customers into promoters.

We at LeadDigital work with hospitality businesses to establish and manage inbound marketing strategies, which deliver high quality enquiries and increase bookings.

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