Hotel keycard as a marketing hack

Every other Wednesday, we're dropping 4 hospitality tips right in your inbox.

You can
subscribe here.

#1 Hotel keycard as a marketing hack 🤳

Let’s be honest, most hotel key cards are pretty dull.

Plain white plastic that guests barely notice – yawn! But what if these little cards could be more than just a key?

I recently stayed at Autocamp in the Catskills and was impressed by their approach.

They’ve taken the humble hotel key card and turned it into a marketing hack.

One side is tastefully branded  – simple, yet classy. The other side? A QR code that directs guests to a beautifully designed mobile guide.

Once scanned, guests are showcased local attractions, dining options, and exclusive offers.

It’s a perfect platform for upselling services and activities.

Want to boost bookings for your hotel’s spa or restaurant? Highlight them here! Partner with local businesses for mutual promotions? Done and done.

There used to be a lot of friction when using QR codes as you had to download a QR code reader app. But these days every decent mobile phone can read a QR code with a simple camera.

#2 Smart upsell of an additional night 🌙

I've always felt that booking flows on most PMS platforms fall short compared to giants like Booking or Airbnb. Ever felt the same?

That's why taking control of your PMS could be a game-changer as it's your chance to have a system perfectly tailored to your needs and your guests' preferences.

Look at what Getaway is doing. This hospitality startup has hundreds of tiny houses across the US and their booking process is smart, simple, and smooth.

Here's a great example: when a guest selects 2-3 nights, they're later in the booking flow prompted to add an extra night at a heavily discounted rate.

Brilliant, right? No friction, no fuss, just pure value for the guest and extra revenue for the business.

It's extremely challenging to build your own PMS, better not to try. But I know that many people working in PMS companies read this newsletter - here you have an idea for a new feature 🤔

#3 "I book your place mainly because..." 🔥

I just got back from the Skift Short Term Rental Summit and have some amazing insights from Expedia's Tim Rosolio to share.

Did you know that 42% of guests choose their stays based on outdoor amenities?

We're talking pools, jacuzzis, seating areas, gyms, fire pits—all the fun stuff that makes a stay unforgettable.

Believe it or not, onsite massages are now more popular than going offsite for wine tours.

Why? Well, think about it—your guests can relax and do what they aimed to do in the first place: chill out.

And that's without them ever having to leave your property.We're seeing this trend with our Surf Office groups too.

Everyone loves the convenience and luxury of having top-notch amenities and activities right at their fingertips.It would definitely seem as though now is the time to make those outdoor spaces shine and bring your guests the best onsite experience.

#4 Kid influencers 🧒

So, another golden nugget from Tim Rosolio at the Skift Short Term Rental Summit (yep, he's full of these!).

This one is about the little ones. Turns out, kids have a huge influence on where families decide to book their vacations.

Many hotels have been teaming up with those 'mom influencers' on Instagram, and it’s been great.

But here's a thought—what if we start experimenting with kid influencers?I know, it sounds a bit out there, but I have a feeling it could really work.

Imagine your hotel as the backdrop for the next viral kid adventure video.Picture the kids splashing around in your pool, exploring your adventure playground, or raving about "the best pancake breakfast in town".

Visit the nearest toy store and see what's trending now. Kids will definitely spot that Ninjago box in your hotel pictures!

It's a fun and fresh way to capture the attention of family vacation planners.

Every other Wednesday, we're dropping 4 hospitality tips right in your inbox.

You can
subscribe here.

More articles

Inventory game (Hotel Revenue Management 4.0)

Hotel revenue management is a fascinating topic because even if you think you’re an expert, there’s a good chance you may still be leaving a lot of money on the table. 

Continue reading →

Monetizing unused hotel spaces

Becoming a popular concept during the pandemic, the day use of empty rooms allows people to utilize the space for their own needs, earning you extra cash and a talking point amongst those within the circle.

Continue reading →

Online checkin, hotel value calculator and mini markets

‍We can online check-in comfortably for flights, so why isn't it the norm for hotels? 🤔 Look, it's not just us who think that:

Continue reading →

Book Review: Unreasonable Hospitality

I've got to tell you about this incredible book, "Unreasonable Hospitality". I wanted to make a quick review and share my insights with you. 

Continue reading →

Indie or franchise?

‍Deciding whether to franchise your hotel or go independent is a significant choice that requires a lot of time and effort to make the right decision for you.

Continue reading →