Email marketing is a powerful tool that can be used to reach out to potential and existing customers. However, like any other marketing campaign, email marketing for hotels needs to be carefully planned and executed in order to be successful. Here are 15 tips to help you plan and execute a successful email marketing campaign for your hotel:
1. Define your goals
Before you start emailing, take some time to think about what you want to achieve with your email marketing campaign. Do you want to increase bookings? Boost customer loyalty? Drive more traffic to your website? By defining your goals upfront, you can create an email marketing campaign that is tailored to your needs and will help you to avoid spamming your guests with unnecessary information.
2. Email list is up to date
Before you start emailing potential and existing customers, make sure that your email list is up to date. This means removing any bounced or invalid email addresses, as well as segmenting your list into different groups so that you can send more targeted emails.
3. Personalise your email content
One of the best ways to personalise your emails is to segment your subscribers. This means dividing your email list into smaller groups based on factors like location, age, or interests. By segmenting your list, you can send more targeted and relevant emails that are more likely to be opened and clicked. For example, you can segment your list by location, age, or gender. Or, you can segment your list by interests or needs. By segmenting your list, you can ensure that each subscriber receives emails that are tailored specifically for them. As a result, you will see higher engagement rates and increased booking.
The types of segments you can target:
- Previous guests
- First-time visitors
- Group bookings
- Event bookings
4. Send the right email at the right time
Timing is everything when it comes to email marketing. To maximise your chances of success, send your emails at a time when your subscribers are most likely to be online and check their inboxes. For example, if you have a lot of subscribers in Europe, send your emails during European daytime hours. Many email providers will allow you to schedule emails by timezone too, which can be incredibly effective.
5. Use a strong subject line
Your email’s subject line is the first thing your subscribers will see, so it’s important to make a good impression. A great email title will entice the reader to open and read the email, while a bad email title will cause the email to be deleted without being read. Make sure your subject line is clear, concise, and to the point. Avoid using gimmicky words or phrases, and steer clear of email spam triggers like “free” or “win.”
Here are some examples of great email titles for hoteliers:
- “Introducing our new hotel in Paris!”
- “3 nights at our hotel + $100 dining credit!”
- “Summer vacation special: 30% off all rooms!”
By crafting a great email title, you can increase the chances that your email will be read and acted upon.
6. Use an email funnel
An email funnel is a series of email messages that are sent to subscribers over some time. Email funnels are often used to nurture subscribers and build relationships. By creating email funnels, you can send a series of targeted emails that will guide subscribers through the booking process. Furthermore, email funnels can be used to upsell or cross-sell services and products.
There are a few different types of email funnels that hoteliers can target, these include:
The first is the awareness stage, where people are discovering your hotel and just getting familiar with your brand. In this stage, you want to focus on building relationships and creating a connection with potential customers.
The second stage is the consideration stage, where readers are actively researching hotels and comparing them. In this stage, you want to focus on convincing potential customers that your hotel is the best choice.
The third stage is the decision stage, where it’s time to seal the deal and convince customers to book a stay at your hotel. In this stage, you want to focus on providing a great customer experience and creating a sense of urgency.
The fourth and final stage is the follow-up stage, where you keep the conversation going after a sale and nurture a long-term relationship. In this stage, you want to focus on sending thank-you emails, special offers, and other types of email content that will keep customers engaged.
7. Make your email easy to scan
Most people don’t read email content word for word. Instead, they scan the email for relevant information. To make your email easy to scan, use short paragraphs, clear headings, and bullet points. By making your email easy to scan, you can ensure that your subscribers will be able to find the information they’re looking for about your hotel.
8. Use attractive visuals
Visuals are an important part of email marketing. In fact, emails with images get been shown to outperform emails without images. When selecting visuals for your email, choose high-quality images that are relevant to your hotel and the content of the email.
9. Use calls to action
If you want your email subscribers to take action, you need to include a call to action. A call to action is a statement or button that encourages the reader to do something, like click on a link or book a room. Make sure your call to action is clear, concise, and to the point. You also want to make sure that this CTA is relevant to the content you’re featuring in your email.
10. Create a sense of urgency
Including a sense of urgency in your email can encourage subscribers to take action sooner rather than later. To create a sense of urgency, use words like “limited time only” or “first 10 bookings.” You can also include deadlines or countdown timers in your email to create a sense of urgency.
11. Send follow-up emails
After a customer has checked out from your hotel, you can send them a post-stay email that:
- Thanks the customer for their stay
- Encourages them to leave a review
- Asks for feedback
- Offers a discount on future stays
Follow-up emails are a great way to keep the conversation going after a sale and nurture a long-term relationship.
12. Ask for and utilise customer ratings and reviews
Customer ratings and reviews can be a powerful email marketing tool. By including customer ratings in your emails, you can show potential customers that your hotel is reputable and trustworthy. Customer reviews can also help to boost your hotel’s SEO if you add them to your website, which can lead to more bookings.
If you currently don’t have many customer reviews, it’s important to ask for them in a follow up email. By asking for reviews, you are letting potential customers know that you care about their opinion. Furthermore, customer ratings can help you improve your hotel’s overall rating on popular travel websites. And, the higher your rating, the more likely people are to book a stay at your hotel.
Asking for reviews also allows you to gain feedback from customers that you can use to improve your hotel. For example, if you notice that a lot of guests are giving low ratings for cleanliness, you can take steps to improve the cleanliness of your hotel. Or, if you notice that guests are giving high ratings for your breakfast buffet, you can make sure to keep up the good work.
Asking for reviews via email is one of the best ways to collect feedback from your guests. By sending a follow-up email after a guest has checked out, you can gently remind them to leave a review and thank them for coming to stay.
There are a few things to keep in mind when asking for reviews via email. First, be sure to send the email after the guest has checked out (so they have had time to experience your hotel). Second, keep the email short and to the point. Finally, be sure to include a link to your hotel’s page on the review site. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of collecting reviews via email, without coming across as pushy.
13. Use email analytics
Email analytics can help you to understand how your email marketing campaign is performing. By tracking metrics, such as email opens, clicks, and unsubscribes, you can gain insights into what is working and what isn’t. Email analytics can also help you to improve your email marketing strategy over time.
14. Test, test, test
The best way to fine-tune your email marketing campaign is to test different elements and see what works best for your business. Some things you may want to test include:
By testing different elements of your email marketing campaign, you can optimise your campaign for maximum results.
15. Get help from an email marketing expert
If you’re not sure where to start with email marketing, or if you need help fine-tuning your campaign, consider working with an email marketing expert. An email marketing expert can help you to create a campaign that is tailored to your needs and goals. They can also provide insights into email marketing best practices and help you to avoid common mistakes.
Email marketing can be a powerful tool for hotels. By following these 15 tips, you can maximise your chances of success and boost your email marketing ROI.