Cendyn’s Digital Marketing Strategy Drives Bottom-line Results for Louisville’s Galt House Hotel, Not Only at Kentucky Derby Time

  • Cendyn
  • 12.08.10
Many hoteliers are improving their Websites to attract online shoppers and make it easier for guests to book reservations.

But when the improvements triple Web traffic, bring in $1 million in sales, and make a company's Website the highest ADR producer of any reservation channel, it is worth talking about. This success story belongs to the Galt House Hotel, the 1,290-room group convention property that holds the distinction of being one of Louisville’s premier places to stay during the Kentucky Derby.
 
“Our new site is successful because Cendyn understands the hotel business and online marketing,” said Rita Stephenson-Reedy, corporate marketing director for the Al J. Schneider Company, which operates the Galt House Hotel. “It is clearly an effective combination.”

The property selected Cendyn, an online sales and marketing company, to develop a new online strategy and Website that incorporated eBookerTM, Cendyn’s booking engine. Since its launch in April 2010, the new site has delivered dramatic results and earned rave reviews, including:

  • A 200 percent increase in Website revenue
  • A 300 percent increase in visitors to the site
  • 100,000 goal conversions, including 70,000 visitors checking availability and 22,000 booking confirmations, with a result of more than $1 million in sales
  • 2 million page views, about 2,000 percent above the hotel’s benchmark
  • Galt House named Kentucky’s No. 1 Website by the state’s tourism council
  • 2010 Adrian Award for digital marketing from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International

Cendyn also created a fully mobile-optimized version of the Galt House site that received 30,000 visits since its launch and delivered a positive ROI in less than six months.
 
“The new site is doing a very good job of raising revenue,” said Stephenson-Reedy. “A growing number of guests use Cendyn’s eBooker to make reservations on our Website. Prior to Cendyn’s redesign, we were booking only 3.5 percent of business online. We now book more than 10 percent from our site and it is our highest ADR channel. This is very large for an independent hotel like the Galt House.”
 
Stephenson-Reedy attributes the site’s success to many Cendyn features that complement eBooker. “Cendyn was the only vendor who could provide real-time availability interface with our PMS, so rooms offered on our Website are always current," she said. "Guests have confidence when they book online that the hotel will not be oversold.”

In addition, the site is netting enormous traffic from direct inquiries—a result of Cendyn’s continuously updated search engine optimization (SEO) services. “Cendyn works to ensure our site is search engine-optimized to attract the highest number of visitors any time of year, not just during the Kentucky Derby. We work with them to target visitors who are coming to town for concerts and seasonal events such as our upcoming KaLightoscope Christmas celebration," she said. "As a result, direct traffic to our site is 33 percent of total visitors—a huge number. These customers are not being referred; they are searching for us and finding us very well.”
 
“Visitors are drawn in by the graphics and ease of navigation,” said Stephenson-Reedy. “They spend an average of 3.45 minutes on the site, 60 percent above our benchmark, and view an average of five pages.” 
 
The new site also features an easily accessible 'Submit RFP’ button that is a call to action for the meeting planners that make up 80 percent of the hotel’s business.



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