SMS Marketing for Hotels How-to + Text Messaging Examples

For most people, a text message is a very personal form of communication. This personal nature means that if you get a text, you will absolutely read it and engage with it. This means that smart SMS marketing for hotels can lead to amazing opportunities to communicate with your guests.

But along with that opportunity comes great responsibility. 

If you’re one of the many smart hoteliers who use a system like a guest messaging solution for hotels, you are already almost there.

Text marketing for hotels should be used responsibly to engage guests before, during, and after a stay. In this article, we are going to show you why creating a hotel SMS marketing strategy makes sense, how to implement it, and examples of it working effectively.

SMS Marketing for Hotels:

Step 1: Why your hotel needs a hotel SMS/text messaging marketing strategy

Step 2: How to implement your hotel SMS/text messaging strategy

Step 3: The hotel SMS/text messages you need to include in your strategy

Step 4: Launch your hotel’s SMS/text marketing campaign

4 Reasons Your Hotel Needs A Hotel SMS/Text Messaging Marketing Strategy

Guest Engagement

When someone visits your property, for vacation or business, they are going to be 100% engaged in the stay. A simple welcome message can go a long way to creating goodwill and a strong relationship. Though, engaging your guests with a hotel text messaging marketing campaign is not without risk. You will want to carefully monitor performance so you are not becoming a bother to your guests. We will cover how you can effectively engage your guest further down in this article.

Learn more about the do’s and don’ts of hotel guest mobile messaging.

Increased Revenue

A direct line to your guest is an amazing tool that has the potential to drive direct revenue on property. Depending on your specific needs, a pre-arrival upgrade message, app download promotion, or late check-out alert can all be excellent ways to drive incremental revenue while engaging with your guest in a one-to-one relationship.

Learn more about the triggered hotel messages to guests that increase revenue and satisfaction.

Proven Performance

Just as in the example here, a well-thought-out hotel SMS marketing campaign can significantly improve property operations. For instance, Fuel created and launched a post-stay survey alert upon check out that asked guests to review their stay. The results were definitive. Prior to the implementation of a hotel text messaging campaign, through email alone, this property would receive an average of 2.6 guest surveys per day. After launching an SMS message with a trackable link, the property was able to double its response rate to 5 surveys per day.

Find out how you can use hotel SMS marketing to increase positive reviews and prevent negative ones.


Text messaging systems, such as Twilio, integrate into your email platform and can be triggered much like a traditional email message. Pricing starts at less than 1 cent ($0.0075 to be exact). This is far less than what SMS marketing for hotels would have cost years ago and makes it an affordable solution for engaging your guests.

guest messaging post stay text

This post-stay text doubled a hotel’s guest satisfaction survey response rate from an average of 2.6 surveys to 5 surveys per day!

4 Steps to Implementing A Hotel SMS/Text Messaging Strategy

A communication tool is only as effective as your ability to implement it into your existing marketing efforts. In the past, this is where text or SMS messaging has always fallen flat. Between a lack of integration with existing systems and difficulty setting up, this forced most hoteliers to avoid SMS in favor of simpler platforms.

If this is your current opinion then it’s time for a change. Setting up and implementing your hotel’s texting systems is easier than ever.

Step #1: Ensure Your Hotel is Gathering Phone Numbers

This one should go without saying, you’re not going to be able to message someone if you don’t have their mobile number. During your booking process, ensure you are capturing a mobile number and storing that along with the guest reservation information in the PMS.  Obviously, you’ll also want this to be carried over to your email platform. If your PMS is not set up to feed guest information to your email platform that’s a problem and should be addressed.

Step #2: Does Your Existing Email Platform Support SMS?

This is a critical step and if your email delivery platform does not support SMS integration, it may be time to look at making a change. If you’re one of the many smart hoteliers who use a system like Fuel’s hotel guest messaging solution (GMS) you are already 90% of the way setup. If this is the case, we will work with you to set up a seamless SMS component integration with your platform.

As is the case with any platform, the backbone of the delivery will be handled by an SMS service, such as Twilio or MobileMonkey, but the triggering and message development will all be handled on the email platform side. Just like with email, this ensures maximum deliverability and the lowest costs possible.

Learn more about Fuel’s GMS:

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Step #3: Setup Your Automated Messaging

We will go into the types of automated messages in a bit, but in this step, you will want to understand what messages your guests will want, when they will want them, and how those messages should be triggered. We have found that the following tips are most effective in delivering effective hotel text messaging to your guests:

  • You should NOT blanket message your database or guest history. We suggest you write that on a post-it and stick it to your computer monitor. Use your text messaging to maximize the relationship during a guest’s stay cycle. Rely on email, social, paid search, and other tools to drive bookings. You will absolutely do damage to your list and relationship by randomly texting guests with your latest deal.
  • Develop strategies to deliver real value through your hotel SMS marketing campaigns at the right point in their stay journey. A text that is blatantly self-serving or texting for the sake of texting will ultimately lead to a negative experience.
  • Consider the most important messages you want to convey to a guest and limit your SMS/texts to those items.
  • While most devices can receive very long messages, the rule of thumb is less is more. The number of characters you use in a text includes spaces and links.
  • Opt to shorten links as much as possible. This can be done within your texting platform or through services like
  • Always include an opt-out message like “Reply STOP to unsubscribe.”

Step #4: Reporting and Improving

Once your hotel SMS marketing campaign is set up and rolling you will want to carefully monitor and optimize your campaigns based on performance. While the costs of SMS services are typically quite low, if you are sending multiple messages to every guest you can accidentally rack up a pretty hefty bill. It’s well worth it when it is working, just make sure it is working.

6 SMS/Text Messages Every Hotel Should Be Using

Now it’s time to implement your hotel’s SMS marketing campaign. We know we should be using SMS/texting to communicate with our guests. We know how to set up and use the platform. Now we need to know what to send. Here are five hotel SMS messaging strategies that will engage your guest and drive revenue:

Pre-Arrival Message

Your guest is in the process of packing, working on getting to the property, and likely has a lot on their mind. This is when you can first contact them via SMS and let them know you are there to help. If you are using a hotel mobile app (hint: if you aren’t, we suggest you do), this is the perfect time to promote that as well.

Example: Hi {{firstname}}, we are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Reply if we can help, or download our app today: Reply STOP to unsubscribe.

Welcome Message

Let your guest know they’re welcomed and you’re here to help after they check in. This is a common message that you may have received yourself at any major flag hotel and larger resorts.

Example: Hi {{firstname}}, welcome to {{hotelname}}! We hope you enjoy your stay. Our concierge is here for you, text us if we can be of service. Reply STOP to unsubscribe.

Service Upgrades

Whether your guest has booked an appointment at your hotel’s on-site spa, made a reservation at your hotel’s on-site restaurant, or looking to submit a room service request, SMS marketing for hotels can simplify these processes for guests. With a simple text message, guests can make an appointment, reservation, or request room service without having to dial a number on their phone. Plus, you now have the opportunity to drive extra incentives for guests, such as discounts and special perks on return visits.

Example: Hi {{firstname}}, we hope you enjoyed your day at {{spaname}}. Here’s an extra 10% off your next visit! Reply STOP to unsubscribe.

Check-Out Message

The check-out message is an excellent opportunity to thank a guest for their stay, but more importantly, drive an extended stay or late check out.

Example: We hope you enjoyed your stay at {{hotelname}}! Would you enjoy a late checkout? Call the front desk at #123 to stay an hour later. Reply STOP to unsubscribe.

Post-Stay Survey Message

The post-stay text is one of the most effective ways of soliciting your guests to leave a review. In the example above we proved that a simple text request can double the conversion rate of your post-stay surveys. This is an excellent way to address any customer service issues and ensure your guests had a great experience.

Example: Thank you for staying with us at {{hotelname}}, we hope it was amazing.  Please help us make your next stay even better with this brief survey: Reply STOP to unsubscribe.

Wait! No 6th Message?

That’s right, there is no 6th message. Why? Because we effectively communicated with the guest with just four messages. Remember with something as personal as a text we want to respect our guest’s time and attention.

sms marketing for hotels set up

Our guest messaging solution for hotels makes it incredibly easy to create triggered messages.

Ready To Launch Your Hotel’s SMS Marketing Campaign?

Hopefully, you now understand why SMS marketing for hotels is vital to any hotel’s marketing portfolio. Hotels around the world are already engaging guests and generating revenue.

But before you can craft an amazing hotel SMS/text messaging campaign, you need an amazing GMS to trigger and develop your messaging. Contact us today and find out how our guest messaging solution will put you on the path to success.

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