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IHG debuts iPhone app with e-mail push

IHG WebMail App

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) launched an iPhone app for its Priority Club Rewards program on April 27. It is using e-mail marketing to promote the application. IHG Webmail is a large part of the future of this iPhone app.

The company is distributing messages to its subscriber list and Priority Club members, promoting the app and a bonus offer for consumers who book rooms using it. IHG is offering app users 1,000 Priority Club rewards points for all bookings and stays through June 15.

Building the App and What it Does

Mobilesect assisted the company in building the app.

“As a way to stimulate downloads to the device, we are offering a points incentive,” said Michael Menis, VP of global interactive marketing at IHG. “It is a way to increase exposure and a way to drive trials of the application.”

The app allows consumers to book hotel rooms at all seven IHG hotels, including Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

The GPS-enabled app also lets users find hotels from their location, as well as get directions to a specific property. Consumers can also use the app to book a room, access an existing Priority Club Rewards account or sign up for a new one or call the front desk of a particular hotel.

Quotes from IHG

“Our focus for the IHG webmail app was primarily for loyalty members, because it is important for our members to have full access to their account whenever and wherever they are,” said Mendis. “Travelers have really embraced the mobile device.”

IHG built the app a year after it began its strategic approach to mobile marketing. Last April, the chain optimized its Web site for the mobile Web. Menis said IHG will continue its mobile strategy by creating similar applications for Android and BlackBerry devices in coming months.

Competitors Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Worldwide both launched iPhone apps late last year.

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