The ability to engage with more of your guests and turn that engagement into sales comes with growing and nurturing your guest database. Without clear insights into your guests, it’s impossible to send them segmented, high-impact messaging. And without the ability to segment & target your marketing, you can’t nurture your guests. As a hospitality marketer, you have data flowing in all the time, from places like lodging, rentals, spa bookings, dining and entertainment, and so much more. To utilize this data effectively and turn it into data you can actually use, there are a few key steps you need to take.

Increase Data Capture

One of the biggest goals of any hospitality marketer is prioritizing and increasing data capture. It’s important to know how many new people are entering your database from each system and from what location or specific line of business. You can easily see how many transactions are being made in your systems, but a transaction alone isn’t enough to grow your database and glean useful insights.

Good data capture means collecting contactable information, otherwise known as personal identifiable information (PII). That means first name, last name, and email, phone number and address depending on the type of campaigns you run. Without a way to contact your guests, you’re unable to market to them in the future and they sit idly in your database collecting dust (and your database doesn’t actually grow).

Whether your guests are making a transaction online or in person, you need to collect their PII at the point of sale. The best way to gather this information is to make sure they know what you will be using their data for, such as deals and promos (or snow reports if you’re a ski resort), so they don’t think they’re just getting added into yet another generic marketing list. If guests can see the value in what you’ll provide, they’ll be more likely to share their personal information (also known as first-party data).

Additional Ways to Capture Data

Two additional methods for capturing guest data are through web forms and preference centers. It’s important to have a clear email signup form with good placement on your website to help drive subscriptions and collect contactable information that you can use for future engagement.

It gets even better when you set up a well thought out preference center. This allows you to provide subscription options tailored specifically to your guests’ interests. Guests may not want to sign up for everything, they may just want to sign up for deals and promotions or just snow reports. When you allow them to customize their preferences, you have a better chance of delighting and retaining them as they will grow to trust your brand and even look forward to getting emails from you in the future. And, ultimately, knowing your guests’ preferences helps you better personalize your marketing which in turn drives engagement and guest loyalty.

Tying Everything Together for Database Growth

Here’s where the magic happens. If you’re using a guest data and marketing automation platform, you can take all the data that’s being captured from your various systems like POS, Reservation and PMS and compile them into a single comprehensive platform. Why does this matter? You are capturing all your data in one place no matter where it’s coming from, and then the tool cleanses that data to create what’s called a guest “golden record”. In other words, the guest data is run through a comprehensive hygiene engine that identifies any errors or duplicates, then merges that information for a unified, enriched record.

The best part of this data compilation process is that your guest golden records are getting updated every single night. As new data comes in each day, the platform rebuilds the records from all sources and filters it through the hygiene engine automatically to split or merge records or update with new information.

Now with a 360-degree view of each of your guests at your fingertips, their information, and how they’ve interacted with your property, you can put that to use to grow your database.

Remaining Compliant with CASL/Spam Law Authority

As you grow your database, it’s crucial to understand what you need to do to remain compliant with guest consent. With US Spam Law Authority, consent doesn’t expire, but your guests must be over the age of 16 to be contacted. A guest data platform can automatically opt out your underage contacts until the system sees their date of birth meets the age of 16, then automatically switches them to implicitly opted in. Depending on your business, this can be a big part of retaining your database.

The rules are a little different in Canada. CASL has a two-year consent period based on a guest’s most recent transaction if they are not explicitly opted in that applies to all Canadian contacts. Every transaction is an implicit opt-in, and the data is constantly updating. If a guest makes a purchase six months from now, their two-year consent period gets reset by six months to extend their two-year consent period.

You can use CASL compliance laws to your advantage as well. There is a field in the Ascent360 CDP that includes the CASL expiration date, which you can use to create a reengagement campaign. If a guest’s CASL status is expiring in a week or a month, you can reach out to let them know and ask if they still want to hear from you. If they do, they can follow a link to your web form and opt-in, giving you an explicit yes and the ability to market to them forever until they opt-out. If you’re not retaining these customer’s consent, this can be a big source of database shrinkage.

Nurture Your Guest Database with Ascent360

Ascent360’s guest data and marketing automation platform can do all the above, but it also helps you nurture your guest database on an ongoing basis. Once you’ve captured contactable guest data and compiled it to create golden records, the next step is using segmentation and automation to create timely, relevant, and highly personalized marketing messages. Within the platform, you have everything you need to engage with your guests in a meaningful way that will keep them coming back and improve their overall experience with your property.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to us today to set up a custom demo using your unique guest data!

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