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Case Study: How the Kimpton Hotel Group's Affinity-Based Email Program Boosted Bookings Revenue Fivefold

by Jennifer Natsu  |  
December 11, 2007

Company: Kimpton Hotels
Contact: Steve Pinetti, Senior VP, Sales & Marketing
Location: San Francisco
Industry: B2C
Annual revenue: Confidential
Number of employees: 7500

Quick read:

A large hotel group had successfully created a loyalty program based not on miles or points but on rewards geared toward individual preferences. But the company's email program—a key element in a good customer relationship strategy—was not nearly as well-defined.

The company's branding also was not very clear. Each hotel was branded separately, and even frequent guests had no idea of the corporate name.

By implementing an email strategy that focused on segmentation and on targeting communications based on individual preferences, and by slowly adding a corporate branding strategy, the company increased the average revenue generated by a customer email campaign from $70,000-$80,000 to $350,000-$750,000.

The Challenge:

Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants had created a loyalty program called Kimpton In Touch, which was geared toward recognizing and rewarding the individual wishes of its guests. Kimpton In Touch members could define their preferences down to the type of pillow they preferred and whether they liked rooms on a high floor or closer to the ground.

The company had an email incentive program that it regarded as relatively sophisticated. Kimpton officials tested various elements within their campaigns—where the offer should be, whether it should be in dollars off versus percentage off, etc.—and had modest success. Typical campaigns brought in between $70,000 and $80,000 (for a $5,000 spend).

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