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5 Best Practices for creating a compelling ad

Posted on Aug 28th 2019

When it comes to hotel key card advertising, there’s a handful of “dos and don'ts” that will make or break your campaigns. Let’s go over the basics, and make sure you make the most out of your campaigns with us, or anywhere else you directly market your customers.

#1 Use “Please show keycard” or “Get ____ when you show this keycard”

Don’t say “Must show keycard;” it’s not inviting.

Words are worlds. The same message can be said in so many ways, and subsequently interpreted in even more ways. When you are using direct-marketing such as an ad on a hotel key card, you want a call to action that is inviting and prompts your audience to redeem whatever it is you are offering.

#2 Avoid restrictions in order to cast the largest net

I.E. “Free bottle of wine with purchase of two entrees” excludes single travelers
I.E. “Get 20% off your purchase Monday through Friday 12-4” excludes weekend and dinner guests

While it may initially sound costly to offer something free or discounted all day/night long, people are much more likely to buy your food/drink/services once they commit to redeeming your special offer. In short: they spend more money at your business vs. your competition. However it’s a common mistake for advertisers to create limitations on these offers, which hurts their return on investment (ROI).

What also can happen, is your advertising compelled them to try your location out, but since the offer was so restrictive, or required too many steps to redeem, they didn’t even bother to show the key card - thus you would have no idea how otherwise well your ad is doing. Make it easy for them.

#3 Use a Unique call-to-action

I.E. “Embassy guests stop in today for a free dessert” includes three parts:

The first reason is of course trackability. Let’s say you are a pizzeria, and you regularly advertise “Free soft drink when you purchase any medium or large pizza” online, in direct-mail campaigns, and on your store front. Every time a customer comes in and redeems this offer, you have no idea which advertisement prompted them.

What’s more, customers like to feel included. Advertising offers that are commonplace means your customer will not value it as much as they would if it was exclusive to their situation. Scarcity prompts sales, and making your customer feel like they “just got a great deal” is key.

#4 Create Appeal

I.E. “Voted DC’s best pizza” or “Go where the locals go” or “Key West’s dive experts for 50 years”

Social proof is appealing to potential buyers, and when we are advertising to travelers we are in front of an audience that has no familiarity to your area, so this is your chance to shine. After all, they chose to sleep in the hotel, so obviously they trust anything that goes along with that - including your key card advertisement! This is an important element because if the ad is unappealing, it greatly affects how seriously it will be taken.

#5 Don’t use a stated minimum purchase amount when it’s likely a customer will be spending that amount anyway

I.E. “Get 20% off when you spend $25 or more”

Similarly to avoiding restrictions, this is a common mistake advertisers make. Let’s say you are a high-end cocktail bar, and your average ticket is $60-100 per person, creating this friction is only hurting your ad’s effectiveness. It may seem like you are ensuring higher ticket sales, but in reality you are making it much harder for your customer to be motivated to even bother taking you up on the offer.

In summary

Since advertising to travelers/hotel guests is slightly different than advertising to locals, it’s important to remember that these folks are actively looking to spend $$ on what they perceive as their best options, and following these basic rules will greatly improve your chances of feeding that money your way. On average, $144 per day is spent by hotel guests, so as long as you can get their attention and hold it, you can tap into a never ending flow of active spenders.

When you advertise with CTT, we are highly motivated to make sure you get the most out of your experience. Our team of expert graphic artists and consultants are always available to make sure your ads work. Call us today to find out how to tap into the hotel guest stream, and Capture Those Travelers 360-261-6553 .

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Capture Those Travelers is a creative advertising firm that develops highly targeted print and digital marketing solutions in the hospitality industry.

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