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Hotel text messaging app promises to increase hotel room sales

Hotel text messaging app promises to increase hotel room sales
InstantRates™ is a hotel mobile app that enables travelers to get a hotel's available rooms and rates, all by sending a simple text message to a phone number. When prospective guests text a designated keyword to the hotel's InstantRates™ phone number, within seconds they receive back text messages that tell them the day's prices and which rooms are available for booking at the hotel

Hotel and Text: A Powerful Combo

One effective feature of the app is that hotels can send back to the user a phone number of their choosing. For most of today's smartphones, the phone number sent inside a text message is clickable; that is, the prospect can just press it and it will dial the number automatically.

"Hotel marketing managers and GMs are seeing firsthand how this very simple concept can quickly and easily increase their bookings," said Barbara Bryant, chief of operations for Gnosis Media Group, the company that created the hotel text app. "Using text message technology to benefit hoteliers is so simple, yet powerfully effective."

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Currently there are three different packages to choose from. Each comes with virtually unlimited text messages:

  1. InstantRates™ Basic: Includes assigned phone number and text messages
  2. InstantRates™ Plus: Includes assigned phone number, text messages, plus a record of user phone numbers who utilize the Service
  3. InstantRates™ Deluxe: Includes assigned phone number, text messages, a record of user phone numbers who utilize the Service, plus the option to include promotional content within the text messages

IntstantRates™ even allows hotels to customize the text messages they send to guests and prospective customers for promotional purposes. For example, hotel managers could add a coupon code or a discount code. Or, they could integrate their messaging with a Foursquare or Facebook check in special. "Imagination's the limit here," Bryant said.

"This app is definitely a game-changer for hospitality marketing," Bryant said. "With no marketing or publicity other than an occasional tweet or Facebook status update, one of our hotel clients sees prospective customers texting to their InstantRates™ number daily."

The mobile app can send a hotel text message to whomever the hotel chooses, notifying that person the moment someone requests rates at their hotel. Some hotels choose a reservations, front office, or other customer service specialist to whom to send the notifications, thereby providing a richer customer experience. Hotels can also elect to receive the phone numbers of those who utilize the service, which could be useful for customer service following up calls.

"So, imagine the possibilities in a call center situation and for enhanced customer service or sales support," Bryant said.