An overwhelming nine out of 10 guests prefer staying at a hotel that offers an app to manage their stay. Your guests have come to expect digital features such as remote check-in/out, mobile key, and mobile concierge functionality that’s easily accessible through their personal devices.
Congratulations if you’re a savvy hotelier who has already recognized this fact and implemented a web-based or native hotel app to increase customer engagement and streamline the guest journey. Now that your app is up and running, however, how do you let your guests know it’s available?
To help you achieve this crucial objective, we’ve put together 12 top tips for promoting your hotel app.
Signage, particularly digital signage, can be highly effective in promoting your hotel application. Include onsite lobby and elevator signs, as well as restaurant/bar tabletop displays. Newly arrived guests may be quick to come on board when signage highlights the speed of remote check-in available through the app in contrast with the long line they see at reception.
Word of Mouth
There’s nothing better than word-of-mouth advertising, especially among those who are already your biggest fans. Consider notifying your loyalty members before your app launches to collect beta users. After they’re sold on the benefits, you can incentivize word-of-mouth advertising by offering credits or discounts for new subscribers they bring onboard.
Train Your Staff
Train frontline staff on app benefits for guests and individual departments. They can share with guests how the app reduces wait times through self-service functionality – the number one tech feature your guests want. As an example, housekeeping staff can let guests know how quick and easy it is to request additional towels via the app. You can even reward team members who drive increased app downloads and access.
If you already have a strategy in place to increase website traffic and direct bookings, you can use your website home page as another key spot for promoting engagement with your hotel app. Keep your messaging short and sweet, introducing the app along with a QR code linking to web access and the different app stores.
Hotel Blog Posts
If you maintain a hotel blog, regularly include posts that highlight specific benefits guests enjoy when using your hotel application. You can share stories about how easy it is for guests to get answers to questions through live chat, book dining reservations, or locate area activities that match their interests.
Email open rates on phones continue to rise, making email one of the most efficient ways to let guests know about your hotel app. Focus on specific benefits based on the type of email. In booking confirmation/pre-arrival emails, you can highlight the ease of remote check-in and mobile key. In a welcome email upon arrival, promote specific on-site conveniences.
Seventy-nine percent of small businesses say email marketing is important to their success. Dedicate a section of your e-newsletter to exclusive app offers paired with enticing images to boost engagement. For instance, use an image of a mouthwatering meal along with an offer to receive 10 percent off the bill when using mobile ordering through your app.
On-site Text Messages
Once guests are on-site, you can send them a text message with a link to access your hotel app. Include a brief note letting them know that they can view itineraries, book amenities, schedule housekeeping services, or live chat for a quick resolution to any issues via your hotel app.
Let people know that your hotel’s app is available by promoting it across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media. Make your posts creative and click-worthy by using captivating imagery and special offers available exclusively to app users. #travelmadeeasy!
Consider expanding your reach by connecting with travel bloggers as part of a hotel application launch kick-off event. Invite influencers to stay and ask them to write about the myriad ways your hotel app enhanced their vacation experience.
Consider creating a short YouTube introduction for your hotel application, showcasing in visual form how it provides fast, accurate service that enriches guest stays. You can show guests scheduling golf tee times, booking massages, or ordering F&B service wherever they are on property.
All Communication Channels
Make certain you cover the most basic forms of promotion. Include clickable links not only on your website, blog, and social media channels, but in every staff member’s email signature line, and mention it in on-hold messaging for your phones.
Ready to implement an app at your hotel?
 “NEWS: Survey Reveals Tech-Supported, Contactless ‘New Normal’ For Hotels, Resorts and Casinos Amid COVID-19.” Metova, 10 Nov. 2020
 “Customer Engagement Technology Study 2020: What Do Guests Want Now?” Hospitality Technology, Dec. 2020, https://hospitalitytech.com/Customer-Engagement-Study-2020?from=gate.
 van Rijn, Jordie. “The Ultimate Mobile Email Statistics Overview.” Emailmonday, Feb. 2022, https://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics/.
 “2020 Small Business Email Marketing Statistics.” AWeber, 2020, https://www.aweber.com/2020-report/?utm_source=awpartnership&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sponsors&utm_content=smallbizdaily-72220-2020stats.