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Tips Six Ways to Drive Loyalty and Bring Guests Back Again and Again

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

If there’s one theme among the people who request demos of Inntopia, it’s simply this: they’re trying to drive more bookings.

They know we have an amazing commerce platform that turns more lookers into bookers, they know we have a marketing platform that is insanely good and getting the right message to the right person at the right time, and they reach out for our help in moving their needle.

But somewhere between those two areas of capturing demand (commerce) and generating demand (marketing) is the idea of increasing the likelihood of demand in the first place..


This is especially true with loyalty. With the process of getting guests to not just come once, but return again and again.

Loyalty can be a complex problem, but when you dig into the data a handful of surprising things stand out that you can do before, during, and after a guest’s stay to significantly impact the likelihood they’ll come back even before formal programs kick in.

1) Satisfaction

The most obvious one is simply to help them have a great trip. This makes intuitive sense, but the data support it. For every single number increase in an individual’s response to a Net Promoter Score (NPS) question, the likelihood of them returning increases nearly 3 percentage points.
chart of NPS vs return rate

2) Incentivize Longer Stays

One of interesting correlations between NPS and guest behaviors is that guests who stay more nights typically give a higher NPS on their post-departure surveys. We sometimes think of longer stays only in terms of revenue today, but there’s also a future value created by the fact that they may be more likely to return.
chart of length of stay vs return rate

3) Get an Email

Next, make sure you get a valid, working email address for every guest. Some people will absolutely come back on their own, but that likelihood nearly doubles if you can keep in touch with them via email.
chat of emailability vs return rate

4) Same Goes for Social

A guest following you on social makes a much smaller difference, but it does make a difference nonetheless. This is especially true for guests who follow you on Facebook and, not shown below, Instagram.
chart of social following status vs return rate

5) Put Extra Emphasis on First Year Visitors

The likelihood that someone will return increases the more years in a row they do. The biggest increase in return rate comes when you can get people who have only come one year in a row to return the following year and make it two. If they do, the likelihood of them making it three can triple.
chart of vacation streaks vs return rate

6) Remind Them

Sounds funny, but sometimes all people need is a reminder that they booked a trip last year but haven’t done so again. Getting those wheels turning in 1000 people may only lead a few guests to actually come back, but it absolutely makes a measurable difference. We call these booking reminders and it’s as simple as sending an email like this one when their most recent booking date is exactly one year in the past.

booking reminder email screenshot

Make it a Priority

If there’s one chart we come back to again and again, it’s the correlation between vacation streaks (how many years in a row they’ve come) and their likelihood of returning.

Because the idea of getting people to return isn’t just a nice thing to think about in terms of revenue today, it’s a snowball effect that can continue to incrementally increase that group’s likelihood of coming back again and again and again.

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photo of tyler maynard

Tyler Maynard
VP of Business Development
Ski / Golf / Destination Research

photo of doug kellogg

Doug Kellogg
Director of Business Development
Hospitality / Attractions

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