6 Strategies To Achieve Effective Email Marketing At Your Hotel

September 15th, 2017 Christina M. General, Marketing

How to create impactful email campaigns that drive revenue at your property.

How many meaningful conversations are you having with your guests?

Surveys reveal that 48% of your customers prefer to communicate with your brand via email. Email marketing also results in conversion rates that reach up to 3 times higher than other social media networks.

Impactful email campaigns allow you to personally engage with your guests at every touchpoint in the trip cycle. It’s a highly effective and low-cost way to improve direct bookings, boost organic reach, and drive guest loyalty.

Here are our six proven strategies for delivering great email campaigns.

1. Create highly-personalized content

Steer away from mass emailing, and deliver content that speaks to the intent, location, and past purchasing behavior of your audience segment.

Your guests are each at a different stage in the customer journey. They’re also in different time zones, and likely to be interested in different hotel services, deals, experiential packages, and more.

To increase the impact of your campaign, identify trends in your past guest data and segment your audience into specific categories (Hint: The more specific, the better!).

As only 8% of companies in the vacation, hotel, and leisure industry use advanced segmentation to send out targeted emails, personalized email campaigns can strongly differentiate your property from its competitors.  

JetBlue

Airline JetBlue provides a great example of how to win with personalized emails in the travel space. Be ultra-personal and celebrate the one-year anniversary with your guest, just like JetBlue. Remind your guest of the first-time they booked with your property, or subscribed to your emails, and be sure to include personal details about their stay with you.

 

2. Craft an engaging subject line

The subject line is the first bit of content your guests see—and it may be the only content they see if you don’t get it just right.

Great subject lines tend to be short and concise. To yield the best response rates, stay between three and four words. If that feels too short, focus on keeping your subject line under 50 characters.

Successful subject lines also tend to evoke feelings of intrigue or urgency. What clever way can you grab the attention of your audience?

A clever subject line to drive repeat bookings

Surprise your guests by designing a post-stay email that says more than just “thank you.”

For hotels located in an idyllic destination, craft a subject line that feeds the curiosity of your audience such as, “You left something behind from your stay…,” and follow up with content in the email body that’s just as clever, like “your heart’s still here.”  

To finish off your campaign strongly, include a call-to-action that urges guests to book a second stay.

3. Optimize for mobile

Two-thirds of email in the US is opened on a mobile device.

Optimizing your emails for mobile can dramatically impact the success of your marketing campaigns.

Consumers expect a great user experience, and mobile-friendly design will encourage your audience to engage positively with your email content.

When crafting your campaigns, ensure the call-to-action button is highly visible and easy to click. Opt for a design with minimal content and strong visuals that help communicate your message, so your audience can quickly digest the resonating message in your campaign.

Also, don’t forget to include links that encourage social media sharing!

4. Design a meaningful call-to-action

The call-to-action (CTA) prompts your audience to take the next step, whether that’s booking a room, exploring your hotel services, or reviewing your property on TripAdvisor.

Many brands want the call-to-action to be as clear as possible, and often choose a direct approach, such as “Book Now.”

Other brands strive to engage their audience on a more personal level, and prefer a friendly and conversational tone.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with both approaches and see which CTAs lead to higher click-through conversions with your guests.

Speak to guests’ inner travel bug in the CTA

If it’s the middle of winter for your guests, and your hotel location boasts warm weather year-round, why not entice your audience with a call-to-action like, “Follow the sunshine.” For a boutique hotel in the city, a CTA like “Book your urban oasis,” can work well too.

Email Marketing Example

5. Send speedy follow-ups

According to a recent study by Boxever and Skift, 81% of guests abandon their booking halfway through the process.

As this represents a significant loss in revenue, how can you reverse these trends and incentivize your guests to finish the booking?

SalesCycle reveals the most effective abandonment emails are sent out within 20 minutes after a cart has been left, so make sure you follow up with your audience as quickly as possible!  

When doing so, consider highlighting your hotel’s value proposition, including services and some of the exclusive experiences guests can have on your property.

6. Test and retest

To make each campaign more successful than the last, improve your emails through a process of trial and error. Experiment, but change only one element of your copy or design at a time to ensure you’re accurately measuring the effectiveness of changes you’re making.

To assess how much better your emails are performing, refer back to your metrics.

The industry average for click-through rates is 20%; this is a great benchmark for your property to work towards. If click-through rates sit at 10%, don’t feel discouraged.

After all, the best email campaigns don’t end at “send”, they’re refined over time.