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With more travellers looking for hotels to pass the night, spend the weekend, and holiday, there has been a quest by hotel owners for simple, budget-friendly ways to reach guests before and after they visit their hotel facility. Email marketing for hotels is the perfect answer.
Email marketing is one of the most rapid means of reaching and reconnecting with guests, whether old or new. Research by HubSpot shows that email marketing yields over $30 for every $1 spent.
Email marketing keeps guests informed and follows them up in an ever-competitive industry like the hotel industry.
In this all-in-one email marketing guide, you will learn about email marketing, how to get started, and how to increase growth and revenue for your hotel business using email marketing. Let’s dive right in.
Why Email Marketing is needed in the hotel business
Email marketing is one powerful tool for many businesses and industries, including the hospitality industry. Here are some reasons why email marketing is critical for your hotel business
- It enables you to build close relationships with your guests (both old and new)
- Using email marketing to connect with guests leads to repeat bookings and guest loyalty.
- There are no advertising fees or commissions to pay when you send
- With email marketing, you can up-sell and cross-sell to your past guests
- Email marketing is one way to keep your guests updated
- Email marketing is an easy way to reach more customers
- It is highly effective and cost-effective for increasing revenue and profitability
- You capture a higher ROI
Set up email marketing for your hotel in 5 steps
Setting up your email campaigns requires the right tools – especially the right software for managing customer relationships and other customer touchpoints.
- It starts with building an email list
This is the first step in your email marketing campaign. You can only send emails to the guest whose emails you have at your disposal. Without a list, you have nobody to send your marketing copy to.
Start by evaluating your current list or hotel records to build an email list.
While trying to grow your email list, remember that email is a permissions-based marketing channel, and you do not want to start wrongly. For example, sending emails containing signup forms to collect their information.
Most times, your guests can detect when you’re only trying to get them to submit certain information to you. The best way to get them to hand over their details to you is by offering emails that contain incentives or a lead magnet. For Example:
- A discount for their stay
- A free airport pickup
- Early room check-in
- Hotel guide with information about the vicinity
- Members-only deals and discounts
If launching a signup form sounds complex, you could use software like GetResponse to create and include forms on your website or social media channels.
- Segment your audience list for better results
You would be mistaken to think that every guest that walks into your hotel has the exact needs and anticipations. Audience segmentation helps you determine what kind of content is suitable for your subscribers and boosts your likelihood of higher click-through rates.
For instance, a person staying at your hotel for leisure or tourism will have an entirely different need from someone who is visiting your hotel for business pursuits. This is why audience segmentation is crucial. It is a way to ensure that your emails are effective and produce results.
Segment your list into groups such as new and existing guests. You can send new guests emails containing information about your hotel, attractive offers, and so on. At the same time, emails for the existing guests could be out about special deals that’ll make them book another stay.
- Send customized reminders
Studies show that cart abandonment sits as high as 81% in the travel industry. However, the study also revealed that if you re-engage with your customer on time, you stand a good chance of winning their booking back. And sending our personalized reminders is one of the most effective ways to do this.
- Share Discounts and special offers
This is another way to get customers to subscribe to your email list and make a booking. This approach works well because offers and discounts are only available for a limited period, creating a sense of urgency and fear of missing out if they fail to grab such an opportunity.
You could also send last-minute reminders to guests who clicked on your first email but are yet to book a room.
- Set up transactional mail
Emailing guests about every single upcoming event can be a bit stressful. The way out is to use transactional emails. Contrary to its name, these emails aren’t about financial payments or transactions. They are more sophisticated and contain highly personalized information.
Some transactional email you’d want to send to your guests includes:
- Promotions and special offers
This type of email includes seasonal promotions, special offers on suites, or staycations.
- Pre-arrival emails
These are emails you send your guests before arriving at your hotel facility. These emails play a vital role in helping your guests plan their stay. Some standard pre-arrival emails are:
- Confirmation email
This is the email a guest expects to receive after a booking is completed. 90% of hotel guests often wait for the email before proceeding with their journey. Once they receive a confirmation email, it is a sign that their booking has been processed and approved by the hotel.
Although in some hotels, a welcome email is automatically generated by their CRM software in most cases, this CRM software comes preloaded with a bunch of hotel email marketing templates.
A welcome email should contain the following information:
- The arrival dates
- Your hotel’s check-in and checkout times
- Room type reserved
- Direction to the hotel
- Prices of the stay include other fees or taxes
A welcome email is a starting point for your email marketing and establishing a relationship with your hotel guests. It puts their minds at ease.
- Preference Email
What’s the best way to ensure that visitors get everything they could need while at your hotel? One way to do that is to ask them ahead of time by sending them a pre-arrival email.
Sending preference emails to your guest shows that you genuinely care about their welfare and experience. Not only does this email spark excitement in your guest’s minds, but it also allows you to learn more about them when they provide answers to their preferences.
Ask if they have any personal preferences, health challenges, or allergies. You could also ask if there is anything they would love to let the hotel know as regards their arrival or if there’s anything the hotel can do to make their stay at your hotel worthwhile.
You could also use the preference email to offer additional services such as airport pickups, a bottle of champagne on arrival, spa treatment, or a room upgrade.
You can send a preference email before they step their foot in your reception or lobby.
- Pre-arrival Reminder Email
The pre-arrival email is sent a day or two before your guest arrives. Like the preference email, this email could also be automated by the hotel’s CRM software. It is a reminder email just before your guests walk in.
Use this email to capture any specific preferences and give them a brief on what to expect. It can be a simple update on your hotel’s COVID-19 policies.
- Post-stay emails
Upon checking out of your hotel, they should receive a mail that contains their folio or a thank you mail. Beyond sending customers’ bills, it is recommended that you send a more personalized email.
Thank the guest for choosing your facility over all other options. Remember, they had a choice to choose others.
- Request for Feedback email
Feedback and reviews are crucial for improved service delivery.
When asking for feedback from guests, it is best done 24 hours after the checkout.
- Email Newsletters
Email newsletters are necessary. You must maintain communication with customers even when you don’t have anything to sell. Email newsletters are sent periodically to keep guests engaged, showcase new offers in suites, or some new recipe from the kitchen.
Here are some emails that every hotel needs to send to its guests:
There are three customer journey stages: Before, during, and after their stay. At every stage of your customer journey, there are different types of emails you can send to them.
10 steps for creating a perfect email for your guest
Whether it’s a promotional email, a welcome email, or an after-stay email you intend to send to your guest, the following steps can help increase your open rates as well as your click-through rate:
- Identify your potential guest
Email marketing is sensitive. You could ruin your email marketing campaign. The first thing to do before you send a mail to your guest is to conduct customer research. Detailed customer research will give you insights into specific demographics and enable you to craft a perfect and appealing mail.
- Write a captivating headline and subject line.
Study shows that people tend to open emails more when it begins with an enticing heading or subject line. If your subject lines aren’t catchy, it could trigger spam filters.
- Add an image and logo
Permanently attach your logo to every email body, followed by a quality image of your hotel facility or some other activity related to the context of the mail.
- Create the body copy
Write a personalized message that begins with your guest’s name, then a short, easy-to-read description of the offer.
- Add a call to action.
Depending on the audience or the objective of the mail, add a call to action that suits the audience. For example, a « Book Now. »
- Include your company’s contact details
Always ensure that your hotel’s name, contact details, social media profiles, and even an unsubscribe option are all included in the email.
You could send a test email to yourself or a colleague for proofreading. Crosscheck all the details to certify that the email you’d be sending to your guest is utterly free from typos or formatting errors.
- Monitor results
Tracking your results is another crucial part of your campaign as it shows how subscribers interact with your email, the open rate, and how many bookings and upsells it yielded.
Hotel email marketing best practices
To enhance your email marketing campaign, we suggest you try the following strategies:
- Build and strengthen your email database
- Get permission
- Plan ahead
- Always craft compelling copy
- Use quality images in your emails
- Don’t bug your subscribers
- Track performance metrics
Email marketing software tools
Whether your goal is to fill rooms, increase revenue, advertise new deals, or showcase your hotel facilities, email is a cost-effective tool for achieving those goals. Begin your email marketing today with the information provided in this guide and I guarantee you will see a significant increase in your hotel business.