I like Las Vegas as much as the next guy - if the next guy just wants to relax with his wife and catch a Cirque du Soleil show - and this weekend, my wife and I were motivated to go to the entertainment capital of the world. Naturally, we needed a place to stay.
It used to be easy, didn't it? You'd call a few hotels and go with the rate that sounded best. Then came the deal sites: Hotels.com, Vegas.com, Orbitz... the list goes on and on. Every savvy shopper knows that you can check all the hotels for their rates and all these sites.
It's All Gone Whack-a-Mole
I guess it would be easier if I just chose one of these sites to compare prices. But no, not me. I'm sifting through multiple sites' pages like I was reading one of those old Choose Your Own Adventure Books, and I'm afraid to make a wrong decision. The next thing I know, an hour has passed and I've got 50 tabs open without having chosen my hotel. Some sites even open up ten pages at once for you. Rates are literally popping up on my screen and I can't close the windows fast enough.
Just Like Airline Tickets, the Prices Rise when You Wait
Well, we waited a day and the rates at all the hotels went up. Oh, now we were extra motivated to find that deal! We needed to make up the $30 rate increase because we've hesitated. For not being gamblers, we feel like we've already lost a few bucks to hotel roulette before leaving town.
Lucky for Us, Vegas Hotels Know the Value of a Signup Box
Well, then the bright idea came up. Why not just go to a few hotels' websites and see if they have any direct deals? Treasure Island (or TI) was one of the hotels we were wondering about. Right on their front page was a signup box and it promised special deals:
I told my wife I would wait exactly three minutes for some info. If nothing arrived in that time, we'd just go back and book on one of those aforementioned hotel/travel megasites before it was too late to save.
And They Know the Value of Double Opt-In
Guess what - it took less than a minute for the response. First, a double opt-in confirmation email arrived. No problem by me as the thank you page for the signup box let me know to expect it. I hurriedly clicked the opt-in link and went back to my inbox to wait to see if anything else arrived.
And They Definitely Know about Autoresponders
Guess what happened next? An email arrived with exactly what I was looking for: a deal! Never mind that I'm on yet another list. I'll take it if it comes with a discount. By the way, the "best offer" only amounted to about 10% less than the hotel/travel deal sites, but it was cheaper nonetheless. We pounced on it.
It Needn't Be Flashy, Just Immediate
You know, the email itself wasn't anything flashy - a simple logo followed by plain text and a link or two. You probably don't need an email marketing software solution for that. But it wasn't how what arrived looked that counted here. It was the speed of it. The email with the deal showed up in less than a few minutes because it was automatic - an autoresponder
. And you do need an email marketing service for that.
When Your Shopper Wants Immediate Gratification, Only an Autoresponder Will Do.
Face it: some people like me can be impulsive and impatient when we want to be. If your business has a website (or even a Facebook page), put your signup boxes to work. It's one of the many email marketing features
that you don't pay anything extra for with Benchmark. Next, set up an autoresponder that automatically sends out an email with exactly what your customer so impatiently desires. It's also included as part of your Benchmark account AND it's dead simple to set up.
Treasure Island (TI) won our business because they knew the value of autoresponders and signup boxes. Now you do too.