Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Are Reminder E-Mail Messages From Travel Companies Annoying?

Can this be considered a form of “spam”?

Sometimes I will visit the official Internet web site of a hotel or resort property in order to conduct some research for an article — or perhaps I may be in the middle of planning for a trip — and I either complete, postpone, or abandon my research for a variety of reasons…

Are Reminder E-Mail Messages From Travel Companies Annoying?

…only to check my e-mail account and find messages — typically from the frequent travel loyalty program of a travel company — which “remind” me to complete booking my reservation.

Generic examples of those “reminder” messages include those from both Hilton Honors and what was then known as IHG Rewards Club — they are described in this article which I wrote and published here at The Gate on Wednesday, March 9, 2018 — and the latest one I received was from Choice Privileges with the following verbatim text:

Brian, Complete Your Reservation

We noticed you didn’t complete your online reservation. You can book with confidence knowing your safety and peace of mind are top of mind for us. At Choice Hotels, you can count on our extra-flexible booking policies and enhanced cleaning procedures. Just secure your reservation on or on our mobile app and you’re all set.

Below that text, I was asked if I saw nearby hotel properties — along with a small photograph and a link to book my reservation there instead.

I received that message after investigating a claim from a reader of The Gate that a certain hotel property was charging a mandatory cleaning fee of ten dollars per night. After going through the process of booking a reservation without completing it, I could not substantiate that claim.

Final Boarding Call

What is interesting about most of the times when I receive those “reminder” e-mail messages is that I never logged into any of the frequent travel loyalty programs of which I am a member — so going through the reservation process in “stealth” mode does not seem to help because the official Internet web sites of these companies must recognize my “cookies” or Internet Protocol address.

Perhaps using a different device would help reduce the number of “reminder” e-mail messages which I receive.

I cannot remember one time when I received one of these e-mail messages and thought to myself, “Oh! I forgot! I was in the middle of booking a reservation at this hotel property and I neglected to finish it!”

I also cannot remember one of those e-mail messages convincing me and prompting me to book a reservation at a particular hotel or resort property in general.

Yes, I realize that those automated custom e-mail messages are part of a personalized marketing technique which is based on the “surfing” habits of the recipient — but I personally find them irritating and only a step or two above “click bait” or “spam” at best; and the method does not work for me…

…but it must work, because they keep coming.

Having that pop-under window for Room Key — which is a search tool formed by a partnership of hotel companies designed to offer one-stop shopping to the customer searching for options of where to stay — is annoying enough when attempting to find a hotel property in a particular location, as I first wrote in this article back on Tuesday, August 21, 2012…

…but I have been finding them annoying lately, as the frequency of them being sent to me seems to have increased — almost as if I was being “spammed” by them.

Do you receive these “reminder” e-mail messages from travel companies after aborting the booking of a reservation? If so, how do you feel about them?

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

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