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ZDirect Enhances Guest Communications and Boosts Revenues for Bluestone National Park Resort

  • ZDirect, Inc.
  • 12.17.14
Bluestone National Park Resort has seen a 38.66 percent increase in revenues generated solely from new reservations as a result of highly targeted and personalized email marketing, social media/website marketing, eSurveys and drip marketing campaigns by ZDirect.

Since partnering with ZDirect in 2012, the resort has seen a 20 percent gain in new emails captured.

"Bluestone National Park Resort has been open for seven years, and during that time we've experimented with numerous campaigns to raise brand awareness," said Yvonne Buckingham, head of marketing. "The automated system we now have in place from ZDirect has proven to be simple and effective. Previously, this was a manual process that was tedious and time consuming. WeO needed a solution that would keep up with our continual growth, generate revenues and automatically produce reports on the revenue generated and the effectiveness of each campaign. We wanted a tool that brought everything into one system, and which worked seamlessly with our MICROS Opera property management system. ZDirect has the comprehensive tools we need."

Bluestone National Park Resort sends email campaigns daily via ZMail. Whether they are sending an email targeting four people or their entire database in a given day, the system enables Bluestone to segment and target each guest based on relevant data.

"Through a direct two way interface with Opera, ZMail completely takes over the pre-arrival function," said Buckingham. "Starting six months ahead of arrival, guests begin receiving pre-arrival information about restaurants, spa and activities for both adults, children and families. If adults are traveling with children, they will receive information about our Blue Lagoon Waterpark and Adventure Center, whereas couples will receive messages containing details about our spa packages, restaurant specials and adult activities. With up to 1,300 guests at the resort at any one time, booking in advance is critical to ensure each we are maximizing the experience of each guest. To guarantee that perfect dinner or spa package on a specific date and time, it’s ideal if they book ahead."

Bluestone National Park Resort relies heavily on ZDirect's integration with its OPERA PMS to aide with check in and to deliver the right messaging to the right people at the right time. ZMail pulls data from pre-registration fields in OPERA to get to know each guest better and personalize future email campaigns with a more targeted approach. In this way, families traveling with children will receive information on relevant activities to heighten engagement, secure bookings and boost revenues rather than sending generic content to all guests with offers that are not relevant and that they may ignore. In addition, the website features a 'manage your booking' tool that provides a direct link to each guests' pre-scheduled itinerary. Pre-arrival emails direct guests to the manage your booking link, and some of the guests' purchasing and preference information is then stored in OPERA and shared with ZMail.

One of the best ways to collect data about a guest's stay is to give them the opportunity to recall and retell their experiences in their own words. Bluestone National Park Resort leverages ZDirect's forms center to create surveys on the fly. Not only is the guests opinion taken after check out but periodically, equipped with iPads, staff poll guests in the waterpark, for example about their experiences and satisfaction. The same queries are posted on the resort's website and on Facebook to generate feedback.

"Being able to create custom surveys and capture data from guests about their experiences is a huge benefit," said Buckingham. "Because candid reviews are so important, we may offer an incentive to participate. This data is then used for statistical research to identify specific interests or to use for local PR. For example, we may offer guests arriving on a certain date the opportunity to upgrade to a different lodge. After creating a custom form to offer these upgrades, we use ZDirect's reporting tools to deliver instant email campaign results, enabling us to analyze how many guests have upgraded."

Bluestone National Park Resort also uses ZDirect to initiate drip marketing campaigns as a post-booking satisfaction tool. Various automated emails are sent based on actions taken or actions not taken in previous emails. Thirty minutes after a booking confirmation is sent, the resort will send another email asking if the booking process was satisfactory. This hotel marketing automation tool from ZDirect keeps travelers interested and always ensures communication with the resort. 
Drip marketing is also making a huge impact on the resort's 'Kingdom of the Elves: Elf Workshop' promotion in which the resort's adventure center is turned into a winter wonderland for children. Rather than assuming that all eight guests on a reservation will want to attend the event, the resort uses ZDirect's form center to create a survey asking how many people on the reservation would like to attend.

"ZDirect tools enable us to get an accurate head count of exactly how many people want tickets to the Kingdom of the Elves event," said Buckingham. "If only four people out of eight on a reservation want tickets, we can then offer these tickets to other guests rather than holding them indefinitely like we had done in the past. If the targeted guests haven't replied within seven days, ZMail automatically sends another email request using a different email template. Through this drip marketing process, we have been highly successful in generating more specific results."

"The Kingdom of the Elves program is a prime example of how we quickly create an email and reach 2,000 future guests to determine if they want tickets for this event," said Buckingham. "We upload the information, and then trust the system to continue the process. The system keeps the communication going on our behalf and our guests are thrilled to hear from us. Thanks to ZDirect, our days are more productive because the system does the legwork and we can focus on new promotions that will drive more revenues."

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