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HotelTonight joins mobile loyalty space with in-app tiered rewards program

HotelTonight is the latest travel marketer to foray into mobile loyalty, opting to roll out a new in-application feature called HT Perks, which lets users unlock bigger discounts based on the amount they spend.

The booking platform is offering frequent customers an easier way to access special offers – by encouraging them to reach specific spending thresholds in exchange for receiving tiered rewards. The HT Perks feature employs a video game-like angle to inspire app users to reach each level, suggesting that gamified loyalty is still a top revenue-driver for travel brands.

“[HT Perks is] always there when you need it,” said Ray Elias, chief marketing officer of HotelTonight. “Sticky and fun so it takes the anxiety out of a typical points program.

“You can browse and see hotels pop up even if you are just bored on public transit and looking for a mental escape,” he said. “Try doing that with a points dashboard.”

Next-gen mobile loyalty
HT Perks has been integrated into HotelTonight’s Android and iOS apps, enabling users to start earning rewards once they spend $100 or more on a booking.

Consumers who have made previous bookings at this amount or higher may also be grandfathered into HT Perks, based on their purchase history.

Individuals searching for accommodations will see a blue animated HT Perks badge marking each eligible listing.

HT Perks deals will not include blackout dates, a benefit that will likely appeal to consumers with specific travel dates in mind.

Travelers are also spurred to book more frequently on HotelTonight’s mobile platforms if they want to move up through the various loyalty levels. Each discount level is directly correlated to the amount that bookers spend.

Individuals who spend $100 or more on a booking will reach level one, while those who spend $750 will earn an extra five percent discount off level one.

Level three, which is accessible for users who spend $5000 on HT Perks, offers an additional 10 percent discount off level one, as well as VIP customer support and more exclusive deals.

“Keeping HotelTonight fresh and fun keeps people engaged,” Mr. Elias said. “This is about looking for something to do on-the-go and being rewarded for it.

“This is about giving hotels another powerful way to compete for your last-minute business. This is the new norm.”

Unlocking more conversions
HT Perks also offers several benefits for participating hotels. Including the blue animated badge on a listing helps resorts compete with merchandising and stand out to travelers among a plethora of comparable options.

HT Perks users convert more than three times better than non-Perks members. Also, HT Perks users make seven times more bookings each month, making them valuable, engaged assets to leverage.

According to HotelTonight, thousands of properties have already opted into HT Perks. These include independent properties in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other major cities.

HotelTonight remains dedicated to continuously rolling out new features for its mobile platforms, as evidenced by the introduction of this game-inspired loyalty program.

The booking platform kicked off 2016’s first quarter with a strong focus on commerce, allowing users to book accommodations on behalf of others and take advantage of augmented in-application chat support options (see story).

It also ramped up mobile bookings by rolling out the Tonight +1 feature, which enables customers to add a second discounted night to their stay with the tap of a finger (see story).

“HotelTonight is almost more like a game, from discovery to ending up somewhere awesome,” Mr. Elias said. “It’s pretty entertaining to open the app and explore.

“We have to keep that balance between simplicity, value and fun,” he said. “Nobody likes to keep going back to an old, stale app.”