The Alexander Hotel Collection, a privately-owned collection of five country house hotels across the south, has seen website traffic return to 80% of pre-Covid levels after a specific focus on email marketing campaigns throughout the pandemic.
The Collection, which includes Barnett Hill in Surrey and Alexander House Hotel, made a conscious decision not to scale back on marketing during the initial phases of the lockdown, and instead created a plan to increase communications, maintain web-traffic and interest and also to position the brand positively to guests and followers.
In line with the rise in website traffic, bookings through direct channels is also increasing with several properties ahead year on year for the same booking period, with bookings made through commissionable channels down as a result.
Since reopening earlier this month, booking levels at the hotels have also been building strongly, with a growth in call volumes year on year as the reservations team come back from furlough to cope with the demand.
Elliott Wakefield, group marketing director joined the Alexander Hotel Collection in October 2019. He tells BH: “At the beginning of the pandemic we decided that we needed to approach this critical situation with strategy, tact and agility, and recognised that it would change our business for a significant length of time.
“Whilst we were keen to cut back on costs, we decided to build a strategy of authentic content, tapping into our supplier, brand and local networks to create interesting interview pieces and added value promotions for our readers. We saw quickly that our EDM campaigns were becoming the most significant source of our web traffic. Our guests at this time didn’t want to hear about tactical campaigns, they wanted real human stories, and copy and content which understood the pain and crisis sweeping the nation.
Now all five properties are open and both spas are ready to fully open on July 25.