Casino executives often devote most of their resources to top-end players, while devoting fewer resources to lower valued players, thus missing out on opportunities to grow the middle segment of their database. Chances are that there’s a group of players that is just a personal phone call away from becoming loyal customers.
Recently, a valuable client was struggling to fill their expanded hotel rooms to the capacity that they had forecasted. Despite their current marketing promotion program consisting of email and direct mail, response rates were lower than the marketing team desired. In an attempt to increase their responses and fill more rooms, the hotel asked my team of highly trained callers for assistance. They quickly and efficiently went to work to become a seamless extension of their team, making outbound calls as a follow-up to the emails and direct mail marketing. The results were nothing short of astounding!
Simply supplementing the email and direct mail marketing efforts with an additional channel of contact produced extraordinary results for this hotel. They produced nearly twice the number of responses, when compared to the response from direct mail and email alone. The emails and direct mail pieces alone weren’t enough, but when those efforts were followed by an outbound phone call, they were better suited to drive responses and fill hotel rooms. What is the secret behind this marketing strategy? It really isn’t complicated at all. I’ll simplify it into two points:
1. Warm up your guests’ interest with email and direct mail.
Email and direct mail are great ways to warm up a guest or potential guest, but they aren’t always going to drive the level of response needed. Only the most loyal guests will go out of their way to respond to an offer that they see through the mail or email for the first time. A lot of your guests (even those who are interested in your offer) have the potential to forget about your promotion in a pile of mail on the kitchen table.
2. Follow up with a personal phone call from your staff to harvest your interested guests.
A personalized phone call creates a connection with your guests that makes them feel important and valued, and makes it easy for them to participate in your offer. Especially after seeing an intriguing offer in the mail, a phone call from your staff can harvest all the interest felt by your guests that was forgotten about in the days prior.
Senior Raving Partner Nicole Barker recently presented some valid questions about the way that casino executives rely on direct mail and email when she said,
“Do you ask yourself whether the player feels closer to the casino and its brand after digesting the piece? Monthly, we have a chance to connect with customers. Rarely does the monthly mailer do this as an extension of our brand or as an expression of the property’s unique personality.”
Ask yourself, does your monthly mailer really make your guests feel connected to your casino? Is it personal enough? Does it make your guest feel special, important, and like there are unique opportunities awaiting them? In a few cases, mailers may get the job done, but for a lot of guests it won’t. So, what can be done to connect with more guests and drive more trips and spending?
When executed properly, adding a personal phone call from your staff will create an extremely intimate and unique way of connecting with your guests. Talking to a real person who can discuss current promotions and have a real conversation about the guest’s interests can make each of your guests feel like a VIP! If you are consistent, your guests will look forward to these personal calls, thus increasing their loyalty to your property. This increase in loyalty could result in several additional trips per month.
Here are three suggested actions that you can take, even with limited staff, to connect with your guests, drive more trips, and ultimately impact the bottom line.
- Dedicate a few team members within your call center or player development team to make outbound calls.
- Provide your PD or Reservations team with accurate data and information regarding the guest, their offers, and the promotions available to them.
- Cross-train other team members with accurate data.
When personalized phone calls are coupled with mailers, we have found that response rates can increase by up to 180%. If you really want to drive more trips and encourage more spending, coupling personalized calls with your monthly mailer is one of the most effective strategies for accomplishing your goal.