Wyndham Adds 8,000 to Loyalty Program Through Online Sweepstakes

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Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has added roughly 8,000 members in the past two months to its loyalty program, Wyndham ByRequest, through an online sweepstakes labeled "Wyn The Ultimate Vacation."


The sweepstakes, which kicked off in April, allows registrants to win a trip to selected Wyndham locations. The prize for the May sweepstakes is a five-day trip to Orlando, FL, including hotel accommodations for a family of four and a four-day Disney parks pass.


Sweepstakes registrants are required to enter their name, e-mail address and ByRequest member number if they are members. Registrants can opt in for a weekly e-mail update on Wyndham promotions and special offers. The sweepstakes also offers registrants two additional entries if they register for the free Wyndham ByRequest program. Entrants also can enter up to five e-mail addresses of friends and family.


Roughly 40 percent of the 20,000 people who signed up for the sweepstakes also registered for Wyndham ByRequest, according to the company. The remaining registrants were already ByRequest members. Also, approximately 10 percent of all sweepstakes registrants participated in the viral component.


"We are not registering the sweepstakes on sweeps sites in order to be selective," said Andrew Jordan, senior vice president of marketing at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Dallas. "We are not trying to build a database. We are trying to build a base of returning guests."


Wyndham has only done limited online advertising for the sweepstakes on www.travelzoo.com to avoid soliciting consumers who are only interested in entering the contest.


Customers who sign up for the ByRequest program are required to enter all contact information. They also can fill out a profile detailing their credit card information for express check-in purposes, information on frequent-flier club memberships, room preferences, food and beverage preferences and leisure activity interests. ByRequest members receive a card and a unique number in order to customize their visits to any Wyndham locations. Also, members are sent a monthly e-mail detailing exclusive promotions and offers based on their interests.


"The program is the most efficient means to collect information online focusing on our guests' experience," Jordan said.


The ByRequest program has been in place for one year, Jordan said, declining to disclose membership numbers. Wyndham hopes to reach 1 million members by the end of the year, he added. Registration for the program is available exclusively online at www.wyndham.com.


Wyndham primarily targets 70 percent male upscale business travelers with an average age of 42 and an annual income of at least $70,000. Jordan said the company's clientele travels at least six times per year and spends roughly $100 per day on business trips.


While Wyndham targets a heavily skewed male demographic, Jordan claimed that its 30 percent female customer base is 50 percent higher than the average for its competitors. He attributed this to its "Women On Their Way" customer program and partnerships with groups such as the National Association of Women Business Owners.


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