How a simple idea helped HotelRunner improve their properties’ performance on Booking.com
Every Tuesday, HotelRunner sends out an email and a push message through their mobile app to their properties explaining how they can improve their performance on Booking.com, which they call B.Tuesday. We spoke to Rıza Kaynak, HotelRunner’s Director of Partner Success, to find out how they’ve made such a success of their collaboration with Booking.com.
Booking.com has given us many benefits, including an exclusive invite to the annual Connectivity Executive event and Click. Furthermore, earning the Premier Connectivity Partner badge was not only great for marketing purposes, but also increased our sales. - Rıza Kaynak, Director of Partner Success at HotelRunner
Can you tell us a bit about HotelRunner?
HotelRunner is a SaaS-enabled B2B network for accommodations and travel agencies to find, contract, connect, and transact with each other online. Alongside connectivity services, we provide all types of accommodations with a hotel website, built-in themes, integrated booking engine, frontdesk, call centre, guest and online payment management tools, as well as property management systems integrations. We’re active in 193 countries with 35,000+ properties including individual hotels, group hotels, chains, hostels, daily rentals, villas and B&Bs.
How do you view your partnership with Booking.com?
We’ve been acting as a trusted advisor to Booking.com since 2015. We’ve been sharing our insights, innovations and tactics to overcome the industry’s challenges, which also shaped many innovations that Booking.com have developed for our mutual partners. From the moment we joined, Booking.com’s team offered dedicated support within 24 hours. They guided us through the process, provided instructions, and made sure we always know what’s coming up next. So we’ve been able to support our own customer better, which has increased their engagement. Through our Booking.com Partner Portal, we’ve had access to all the relevant documents, insights into our connection performance and product updates from Booking.com.
HotelRunner has been a great partner in driving opportunity growth with our accommodation partners. Their team is always eager to provide assistance to their accommodations. And any information that I share with them, they use to the fullest. - Benjamin Levine, Partner Business Manager of HotelRunner
We hear that you send your properties a weekly email about improving their performance on Booking.com. How did that come about?
The B.Tuesday campaign came out of the desire to help our properties increase their revenue, and offer them the best connectivity experience possible. We sent the very first email to our properties on Tuesday, February 5th, 2019. In our second week, in the spirit of the connectivity partnership, we decided that it should be a regular campaign with a proper name, so the B.Tuesday campaign came to life. The campaign is now in its 18th week.
Did you see any specific impact from this campaign? Did you get any feedback from properties who received your emails?
Each week our team looks at the Opportunity Centre on Booking.com to select the most relevant and profitable opportunities for our properties. In the past 18 weeks we’ve seen a growing interest in our B.Tuesday campaign, and we’ve received very good feedback from our hotel partners. For instance, we ran a successful campaign about Booking.com’s Genius Programme. Before we sent the mailing, there were 1,068 actionable properties, and after the mailing the number decreased to 391. Meaning that many of our properties using Booking.com took notice of the email, and the campaign was a success.
What’s next for HotelRunner?
Just like many other hotel management software providers, our main opportunities this year include increasing accommodation sales performance with autonomous features, and onboarding and engagement with seamless integration experience, auto-payment processing, PMS and mobile applications. The companies that improve their guest communication and experience with Guest Relationship Management (GRM) and Extras Management (EM) will be one step ahead of the others. The next step is to increase our total transaction value by connecting with unconnected properties. And finally, hotel management software providers must increase their content quality through their certified partner ecosystem because no matter how good you are at what you are doing, you need to be able to present it well.
Do you have any advice for your industry peers?
The hospitality industry is a challenging industry. When digitalisation is added into the equation, the challenges that a company must overcome increase. As a company that trusts its technology infrastructure and its team of experts, our biggest challenge was digitalising our long-tail accommodations. Yet again, we overcame this challenge with our reliable and scalable technology infrastructure, agile approach leveraging digital marketing, and of course our team.
Last but not least, building strategic partnerships is vital. It is not possible for any company to stand alone in such a competitive environment. Such strategic partnerships with valuable industry leaders are a great advantage for all the parties involved.
Do you have any advice for other Connectivity Partners who might be wondering about running co-branded marketing campaigns?
At HotelRunner, we believe in our partnership with Booking.com, and we know that supporting our properties to get the best experience possible is an aim that we both share. Sometimes you come up with the best ideas by asking the simplest questions. How can we increase our properties’ revenue, how can we improve our connectivity partnership with Booking.com, how can we guide our properties to get the most out of this partnership… So the best advice we can give is to start with the simplest things like mailings, campaigns, and announcements to let the properties know what else they can do to improve themselves, and then build up on it.
- Every Tuesday, HotelRunner sends out an email to properties on Booking.com with commercial advice.
- The B.Tuesday campaign came out of the desire to help properties increase their revenue.
- One campaign promoting Booking.com’s Genius programme resulted in 63% of all eligible properties opting into the programme.