A Hilton HHonors Silver Challenge!

Let me start by saying this is pretty much a ridiculous offer. The value proposition is not compelling. But it sure is amusing.

A few weeks ago I received a “targeted” email from Hilton promising me great deals for my upcoming family travel. That one annoyed me for the ability of the company to so tremendously screw up the targeting algorithm. I’ve never booked a room with 4 guests. I’ve been a HHonors member for 20+ years and Hilton knows that about me. Yet I still got the offer.


This week the offer is different.

Hilton noticed I haven’t stayed in a while (one stay this year, in May, that someone else paid for) and wants more of my 120+ nights away from home business. So the company offered me a challenge to earn status. Silver status, with the 15% points earning bonus and a couple free bottles of water when I check in. Apparently the company’s market research suggests I’m an easy target.


The good news is that the offer is cheap. I don’t really have to change my stay patterns much. It requires only a single stay and that can be just a single night. It is CHEAP to earn. But it is also unclear that holding the Silver status will be enough to sway my future stay loyalty. I mean, I know it is not enough for me. I’m never going to go out of my way to book a HHonors family property (or any other brand) simply because of bottom-tier status. I’m curious what data HHonors has that says I’m in the minority on that front.

Why can a non-member register for a "win back" promotion that is targeted!?!?
Why can a non-member register for a “win back” promotion that is targeted!?!?

It is targeted, per the T&Cs, but the registration form on the landing page is really what gets me going. It is a “win back” campaign and is targeted to existing members that haven’t stayed at a Hilton property in some time. Yet the landing page has an option for people to enroll in the program. There should be precisely zero people in the intersection of the Venn diagram of people arriving at that landing page without an account and people eligible to enroll. I’m sure it is just a standard bit of code they use for everything but it still has me rolling my eyes at how a targeted campaign can still not quite hit the mark.

That said, I’m registering anyways just in case a cheap Hilton stay comes along. I actually have an upcoming quick airport overnight I may use it at, assuming the HHonors property is as cheap as others in the area. But this is targeting done badly. Getting me to register isn’t a conversion that should count. Even getting one stay isn’t (especially if the stay is still based on price, which in my case it would be). Getting the extra stays would be the conversion that counts, and this isn’t a sufficiently compelling offer to get there.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I received a similar offer today, although it was 2 stays for Gold. Same verbiage though around not having stayed in a while. That’s an easy fasttrack to Gold for me.

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