Email marketing is a useful tool for businesses of all types, especially those within the hospitality sector. It’s a great way to reach both current and potential customers and, with an ROI of 3800%, email marketing is one of the most economical types of marketing. The hospitality and hotel industries especially benefit from email marketing – for every $1 a business spends on email marketing, they’ll get $38 back.
Before we dive into how you to use email marketing to beat the competition, you should be prepared for the results of a successful email campaign.
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1. Build an organic email list
No one likes spam. Your email list should be based on the permission of guests and others who opt-in to your communications. Lists that have been built organically get much better results because they’re people who have already expressed an interest in using your services. Spamming people with email lists you purchased or otherwise acquired is not only ineffective, it can be illegal.
When you collect email addresses the right way, i.e., guests and website visitors who opt-in to receive emails, you already know the person is interested in visiting your hotel. This doesn’t mean you can’t actively seek out new people for your email lists.
You can solicit new subscribers with cards at your reception desk (or in rooms) and simple website forms that ask visitors to sign-up.
Make sure your emails also include a functional unsubscribe link. Most email marketing services make it simple to add the option to unsubscribe to your messages.
2. Segment your lists
Hospitality email marketing benefits from being specific. It can be helpful to use your customers’ preferences to create different lists, so the emails you send will be more relevant to them.
Well-targeted emails sent to the right customer base have been shown to get better results. The following statistics from email marketing service, Mailchimp, show how powerful segmentation can be:
- 0.64% higher unique opens
- 14.31 higher opens
- 100.95% higher clicks
- 9.37% lower unsubscribe and subscribes
- 4.65% lower bounces
To help segment your list, you can survey your guests or request feedback from them and use this information in your CRM system. There are several different ways you can consider dividing up your list in order to create better-targeted emails and get better results.
Some suggestions include:
- Birthday season
- Local, national and international travelers
- Travelers who are couples, who have children and who travel for business
- Type of room
- The number of visits to your hotel
Emails can then be targeted to these groups, such as a discount for couples who book a spa visit, specials that include kids’ activities and a showcase of your business amenities.
3. Welcome your hotel guests
Send your guests a welcome email immediately after check-in. A welcome email is one way to make your hotel guests feel special.
These tend to have good results since they generate 320% higher revenue compared to promotional emails.
Your welcome email marketing for your hotel should greet your customers warmly. It should have introductory information about what your hotel represents, its values and the services and products that you would like your guests to use while staying.
Another useful thing to add to these emails is answers to the most frequently asked questions by your hotel guests.
4. Keep in touch before and after guests visit
Hotel email marketing works best in the time before and after a visit. Before your guests arrive, you can let them know what to expect and, after they leave, you can thank them for choosing your hotel.
Here are some good contact points:
After booking – Send a thank you email stating that you appreciate that the guest has chosen your hotel when they could have gone to your competitors. This email should also include confirmation details and information for making changes if necessary along with their check-in and check-out times. Highlight any additional services you think may be of use to your guests.
Two or three days before check-in. Send a reminder email two or three days before your guest is due to check-in. This information will be welcomed by your guests because it will serve as a reminder of the things they need to know.
You can add:
- Links to information from the nearest airport about transportation options.
- A link to the local weather forecast.
- Information about current activities and attractions in the area.
- Anything else that may be helpful for planning travel.
The day after check-out – Send a thank you email after your guest checks out. An email marketing campaign for hotels depends on your interaction with your guests and that doesn’t stop after they have left. Express your gratitude for their visit to your hotel, ask for any feedback they may have and let them know about any loyalty programs you may have. You can direct them to a survey on your website or direct them to leave a review on TripAdvisor or other popular review sites.
5. Remember mobile users
Email marketing for hotels and other hospitality businesses are subject to the same technology issues as other businesses. Customers use their phones and tablets for a vast amount of their internet browsing these days, so it’s important your emails are readable and look good on all devices. If an email has poor readability on someone’s phone, they’re very unlikely to click through to your site.
Be sure your hotel email marketing tools use responsive templates. This means that your email will be functional and look good on any device, including sharing options for messages so they can send it to friends and family easily. Link to your social media accounts in your messages and make it easy for customers to contact you in whatever way they prefer.
Guests aren’t the only ones who expect a seamless mobile experience. As a hotel owner or manager, you rightfully expect that you can keep the key aspects of your business running wherever you are.
Deputy provides a mobile-ready experience, which enables you to manage your workforce from any device no matter where you are. Our app is available in the App Store and on Google Play.
6. Plan your content
Today’s savvy customer is used to ignoring different kinds of advertising. It’s important to provide useful content in your hotel’s email marketing campaign. They need to be designed so they stand out and grab the reader’s attention. If possible, you should test different subject lines to find out which ones work best.
You’ll almost certainly have to make adjustments as you evaluate the results of previous emails and continue your hotel’s email marketing campaign, but there are good practices you can follow from the start.
Ideally, your emails for your hospitality business or hotel should be short and straight to the point.
- The following tips will help you create the best content for your hotel emails:
- Choose a warm greeting.
- Focus on one message at a time.
- Have a click-worthy subject line.
- Keep your email simple.
7. Utilize scheduling tools
The time an email is sent has a big impact on whether it’s opened and acted upon. Create a schedule for your emails for your hotel and hospitality business. Also, consider the number of emails you’re sending. You don’t want to bombard guests with too many emails, which leads to a high unsubscribe rate. Emails that aren’t relevant are also likely to lead to customers unsubscribing. So, consider the timing of your emails carefully.
The emails you send before and after a guest’s stay are easy to schedule. For other communications, choose times relevant to your customers. You can track the results of your emails to determine what times work best and use this information to refine your hotel email marketing campaign.
8. Take advantage of automation
Automation tools help with scheduling email, but they can also do a lot more for you. Custom templates, list management, social media tracking, and reporting are all available from most email providers. You’ll be able to set-up promotions easily without having to compose new emails from scratch every time. Take advantage of being able to set-up a system to handle this for you. It’ll eliminate a lot of the guesswork and errors in your hotel email marketing campaign.
9. Personalize your emails
Even with automation, it’s possible to personalize hotel email marketing campaigns by targeting specific groups of customers and making sure they receive emails relevant to them. This will help build better relationships with your guests. Use the information you have about their previous activities to determine what promotions may be appealing to them.
For example, guests who have booked spa services before can receive offers and discounts on new treatments. If your hotel caters for business travelers, you can email them about your updated Wi-Fi service or business center.
10. Track your campaign
It’s easy to collect lots of data from your hotel’s email marketing campaign and it’s important to use this information to help you refine and improve your campaign.
Here are the metrics you can use to help you understand your customers and how they’re responding to your emails.
- Click through rate
- Conversion rates
- Sharing and forward rates
- Unengaged subscribers
- Number of emails sent
- Unique opens, clicks and total clicks
You should monitor your hotel email marketing campaigns regularly to figure out what works and what doesn’t and make changes if you’ve noticed something isn’t working. Then track your emails on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis so this data will help you see immediate and long-term results.
Proper email marketing will bring you plenty of customers, but will your business be prepared to handle the extra attention?
Deputy already helps more than 90,000 businesses including hotels, resorts, and others in the hospitality sector in areas like staff scheduling and workplace communication so they’re able to provide top of the line service every time.
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