Hotel Marketing Tip: Don’t Sell the Steak—Sell the Sizzle!

Sell the sizzle of your hotel's story

You have an opportunity to tell your story… and make it sizzle!

Born at the turn of the 20th century, Elmer Wheeler has long been lauded as the father of persuasion marketing. Known for coming up with ingenious ways to upsell everything from shaving cream to crude oil, Wheeler has also been credited with coming up with some of marketing’s most important adages, from “don’t ask if but which” to the concept we will be discussing today “don’t sell the steak—sell the sizzle!”

If Mr. Wheeler were alive today, he could surely give us countless examples of sizzle. A New Yorker profile on the marketing maven tells of how he would carry a square clothespin with him to illustrate the “sizzle” behind these everyday household objects. You see, back in the days of yore, way before clothes driers, clothespins were round and–consequently–more likely to roll under furniture and far out of reach. Then, in the 1920s, square clothespins entered the scene, and their “sizzle” (the fact that they don’t roll if you drop them) helped them take over their round counterparts within a matter of years. (more…)

Are Facebook Ads Even Worth My Time?

Facebook ads can take on many appearances depending on the ad type and the device used to view the ad.

Facebook ads can take on many appearances depending on the ad type and the device used to view the ad.

Are Facebook ads dead?

Short answer: no, they’re not. Not even close.

Long answer: Facebook ads are still very much alive and thriving. How alive you might ask? Looking ahead, KISSmetrics statistics indicate that Facebook is expected to generate at least $4 billion in revenue this year of 2015 from ads alone.

For that kind of money to be spent on ads alone, it’s apparent that this method of marketing is worthwhile and working for many businesses.

So why do certain ad managers swear that Facebook ads are a lost cause? This could depend on a number of factors, but most likely businesses that didn’t see any immediate results so they became discouraged and turned off their ad campaign prematurely. (more…)

Choosing Cloud-based Hotel Management Software

Cloud-based hotel management software: a primer for hoteliers & innkeepers

Facilitating online bookings is getting easier with smart cloud based systems.

Facilitating online bookings is getting easier with smart cloud based systems.

Increasingly, hoteliers and inn-keepers are turning towards cloud-based software solutions to manage bookings and inventory, set rates and parameters, and integrate with third-party applications and online travel agencies (OTAs). Here are a few things to know about cloud-based hotel management software and systems.

What is cloud-based hotel management software?  Cloud-based hotel booking software refers to software used by hoteliers primarily to facilitate room bookings and manage rates and inventory — often across channels. Data is stored and backed up in the cloud (as opposed to a static server or a virtual private network), allowing users easy access to data and systems without the need to invest in hardware.  Larger properties may need to consider a PMS (Property Management System) or POS (Point of Service Software) for integration and management of gift shops, coffeeshops, and other departments in a Hotel. (more…)

Smart Thinking Behind Smart Forms to Boost Conversions

When you work on CRO — Conversion Rate Optimization — at your website there are a number of steps in the process where you can impact how many site visitors will convert to a lead for you.  Developing and testing your forms is one tactic marketers often overlook.  One approach is to create a ”smart form” for your business that delivers specific information tailored to the individual that is completing the form. Forms that automatically show or hide fields based on the user’s response are known as ”smart forms” and FormStack refers to this capability as “conditional logic.”

Using this feature offers many advantages, including the following:

  • Enables the form to look less intimidating than it really is
  • Creates the unique, individualized experience all internet users are looking for
  • Hides information that you don’t want all users to see

FormStack released an extensive report that evaluated trends, conversions and analytics of more than 40,000 forms for 2014 – it may come as no surprise that smart forms ranked supreme with the most engagement and conversions.  This only makes sense when you consider the content is tailored to the individual and relevant. (more…)

Writing Skills for Blog Marketing

wpSEO-Copywriting-–-10-tips-for-writing-content-that-ranks-in-2013

Good writing becomes great content marketing content with the implementation of SEO best practices and tactics, which are changing all the time. See the excerpt from the infographic, 10 Tips for writing content that ranks in 2013.

Content is the buzzword. That’s all you hear about — engaging content; informative content; interesting, valuable content. Good content translates to  good writing. It’s as simple as that. Because face it, if you are lacking the expertise of a skilled and talented writer – your content is going nowhere.

In fact, back in 2012, the Content Marketing Institute’s consultants were all asked, “What are the essential skills for content marketing teams?” Each commentator included writing skills as a top recommendation.

Nobody picks up a pen the first time and puts things down on paper and is instantly a good writer. Nobody. Writing is a skill that needs to be fine tuned, rehearsed and refined. There are, however, certain qualities that make for a good writer. You can learn them or hire out some experts when you’re busy wearing all the other hats in your company. (more…)

Using Smart Forms to Boost Conversions

Webdirexion Uses Smart Forms to Boost Conversions

Forms are a user interface that can streamline your software (website) and also your business processes.

Forms are a user interface element that will streamline your software (website) and also your business processes. But man

Hours went into creating an eye-catching website and you are seeing valuable results. Your website is scoring high rankings, there is traffic coming to your site daily. Unfortunately, analytics reveal that many visitors to your site are leaving without converting. Why? You might be scaring potential clients away with an overwhelming or poorly executed form.

Don’t Drive them off your Site

When a visitor on your site makes it all the way to a form, this means you have captured their interest and you are one step closer to creating a valuable conversion. Now comes the part that will make or break the deal. Therefore, it is vitally important that the form your clients encounter is easy to use, clean, uncomplicated and personalized to their needs. At Webdirexion, we implement basic psychology tactics that will create a form that makes users want to fill out the information.

Oftentimes users will run the other direction if they encounter a complex and complicated form. Leave the form simple and user-friendly. Rather than featuring several fields, such as home address, etc. – narrow it down to the key data points needed to serve the purpose of the form.  In fact, the shorter, the better.

Implement Marketing Psychology

Appeal to the senses At Webdirexion, we implement psychological marketing tactics such as featuring a tasteful color scheme and the submit button will turn a different color or heat up when you hover it. Research has indicated that simple principals such as these will increase conversions. In fact, in an article titled Call To Action Buttons and the Psychology of Color by Paul Olysager, he states:

By combining scientific studies on color with some design principles, you can create a great call-to-action button for your website and improve its conversion rate drastically.

color-psychology-smart-forms

In this example form, we use a blue call to action (CTA) button. Blue has been shown to generate more clicks in A/B testing modes.

On this same form, when the user hovers over the CTA button, it turns purple - which creates a "heat up" effect that has been proven to generate more click throughs.

On this same form, when the user hovers over the CTA button, it turns purple – which creates a “heat up” effect that has been proven to generate more click throughs.

Include advanced options in a digestible manner

Recently, we completed a website for a client where we took the existing form and gave it a complete makeover. Our client informed us that they wished the form was easier to use. They even made the remark that no one really completed the form in its initial state.

This particular form was used for online sign up for Hazmat training courses, and it featured a lot of content with the available courses and user information. It was a bit too much to take in. In order to make this information more digestible the first step we took was to divide it into two pages in order to not overload the user. Next, we eliminated fields that were not necessary or beneficial. Finally, we cleaned it up with a simple, easy to use and tasteful color scheme, theme and layout.

The results took our client, TMGI, by surprise. In fact, Diane, the Account Manager at TMGI stated:

“The form is much more user friendly.  It was more confusing before.  It’s easier on both ends now, saving me time, and saving the customers time — they’re not frustrated.  Before they would call me and be confused and I would have to do it for them.”

webdirexion screen shot

This simplified smart form we created for TMGI has increased their number of conversions dramatically in only 2 short months.

Appeal to the needs of the Individual

Customize the form with advanced fields that only display according to the selections of your client. By doing so, you appeal to the client’s needs with your personalized approach and attention to their unique needs. At WebDirexion you will disccover new ways to incorporate forms on your site that can do more than generate leads. While the ultimate goal is to increase conversions, we incorporate smart forms that generate the information needed to optimize all aspects of your business.

For example, let’s say you own a restaraunt. Your contact form can include an a field that states, what is the reason you are contacting us. Then according to their response, smart fields will appear that apply specifically to them. Using the restaraunt example, if reason for contacting was for an upcoming catering event, next you can display fields that will ask what date they are planning for, how many people will attend, which food service they are interested in, etc. Still using the restaraunt contact form, let’s say the user selected reason for contact was recent experience. Use this as an advantage to obtain valuable information for your business with smart fields, such as: what could we have done to make your experience better, who was your server, rate your experience from 1-10. By individualizing the automated smart fields according to the user’s needs, you have now generated much more valuable information besides a name and an e-mail address.

Ready to use smart forms to boost conversions at your sites? Let our smart forms experts launch you in the right direction. Reach out today to find out more.

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