Hotel Marketing Podcast Episode 221 – Three Ways To Use Marketing Psychology To Save Your Existing Bookings

Way back in episode 69 we talked about how hoteliers can apply a few simple marketing psychology fundamentals to help drive direct bookings.  We covered the tried and true strategies such as creating urgency, reinforcing via social proof, anchoring, and many other ways to move vacation shoppers to vacation bookers. If you want to learn more about using these strategies in your hotel marketing, check out Alysa Foriska’s article at right here

We’re entering a new era in marketing though, and now  more than ever, you should be spending as much time focusing on keeping your existing bookings as you do on driving new bookings.  You may be asking yourself, “Why TravelBoom?  Why would I spend my money when I’ve already won a new guest?”  

#1 Recency

If you don’t communicate with your upcoming guests it is possible that they’ll start to lose interest and forget how amazing your property is, and even consider canceling their stay if something better comes along.  This is why staying in front of your upcoming guests is so critical in these chaotic times.  

It is said the average person sees between 6,000 and 10,000 marketing messages every single day, all of which are competing for the dollars your future bookings could reallocate.  You need a plan, a plan to always be top of mind.

#2 Social Proof

What better way to remind your future guests that they are in for a great visit than to show them people currently enjoying their own great visit? The concept of social proof is based on the reality that most people are inherently “followers.”  Where one goes, others often follow.  How can you do this?  Tools like, which is a powerful brand advocacy tool, allow you to curate user generated content from your past guests and share it with future guests.   Simple reviews can be added to emails, Instagram shots can be added to your site.  There are tons of great options, which we will be covering in just a few minutes.

#3 Overcoming Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance is the doubt and inconstant thoughts that creep into the mind.  This can be a challenge for a hotelier and marketer because as soon as a purchase is made, the mind will start wondering if they’ve made the right decision and if that money could be used for something else.  

Overcoming this can actually be quite easy.  Simply keep reminding your guests of the value they are going to be receiving regularly between booking and stay. If you’re able to keep reminding your guests that they made a great choice and their decision is smart, they’re going to be much more likely to go through with the trip.

How Do You Put These Psychological Tools To Work?

Step one of putting these tools to work is to remember what Alex Baldwin said in Glengarry Glen Ross, “A. B. C. A, always. B, be. C, closing. Always Be Closing!”  Build out your post booking strategy, which should consist of some of the following (at a minimum)?

  • Staff Training: when a guest calls to cancel, what does the staff to do keep a booking?
  • Content: what great content have you produced that will remind a guest why they chose to stay with you?
  • Email: what is your post booking email automation strategy? Are you sending enough messages to overcome doubt and fear?
  • Social Channels: What can you do on your social channels to remind upcoming guests that they would be crazy to not vacation at your property/area?
  • Outreach: Do you a plan in place to proactively reach out to upcoming guests to make them feel welcome via phone?
  • SMS/Text: Does your CRM system allow you to send triggered SMS/text messages to engage your guests before arrival?



Americans Cancel Summer Vacations:


60 Seconds To Success:

The bookings you have on the books may not have really booked and the booking may fall off the books.  That is if you don’t proactively communicate and continue selling your property in the lag time between a booking and a stay.  New data from a recent TravelBoom study shows that up to one third of all travelers who have already booked a stay would consider canceling due to rising costs.  This is above and beyond the typical reasons a guest would cancel a stay.

What do you do?  You keep the marketing pedal down and have a strong post-booking communications strategy for your upcoming guests. Continue to sell your location, promote your on-site amenities, extoll the virtues of a vacation, stay top of mind.  Hey, you might find you’re able to drive some great incremental revenue with room upgrades and on-site purchases, all while reducing your cancellation rate.


Listener Feedback:

I need your professional opinion please. On Saturday July 9th we arrived at the ____________in ________ around 11am ish.

Lightning struck a near by tower and the entire hotel lost power until well after 9:15pm. Mind you this past Saturday July 9th it topped at 108 degrees that afternoon when we lost all power and to make it worse I was in going up in the elevator to floor 3 to our corner room and got stuck between floors. So I am by myself with no phone, no A/C and very dim. I was here for over 40 minutes that felt like four days.

The fire squad & police department did eventually rescue me. And I was walked out of the elevator and straight to my hot room. I expected an apology from the hotel staff in the least. But nope. Not even words of an apology.

The hotel only gave us a credit of $55.39 for my time served in the elevator . I’m am so livid! What do you think they should have dove for me?

Now I left out all the other details of the trouble that came before the storm and the fact that we were there celebrating me completing my 1 year Breast Cancer Free. These people were unbelievably unsympathetic to anyone of us that weekend.

Thank you, I just wanted an expert’s opinion.


Tune in to the TravelBoom Hotel Marketing Podcast to here the full answer as well as expert recommendations from a major property management company.


Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom or


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