Hotel Email Marketing: 6 Tips for Hotel Managers & Marketers
Success in the hospitality industry depends on how strategically you segment your marketing budget.
Most high-performing hotel businesses focus on email marketing because hotel email marketing returns $38 for every $1 invested.
Email marketing is one of the most affordable ways to connect with your audience.
It doesn't require any upfront costs either.
Hotel managers and digital marketers use this route to take advantage of a extra business exposure, upselling opps, and more bookings.
BUT... there's one catch.
You have to create an actionable plan and an effective marketing strategy to get ultra-high ROI and better-than-everyone-else marketing performance.
We put together this guide to show you how to take the right approach for your hotel email marketing campaigns.
6 Fantastic Strategies & Tips for Hotel Email Marketing
The following tips will help you create an email marketing campaign that'll attract more guests and deliver extraordinary results for your hotel business.
- Collect Emails from Guests and Prospects
A winning hotel email marketing campaign starts with creating a list of people you'll be sending marketing materials to.
The better your email list, the higher your click rates will be, the more people will actually open up and read your emails, and the real-life actual reservations you'll get.
Start by evaluating your current email list and check which of your subscribers aren't opening your emails.
Then consider creating a re-engagement campaign to get those people to engage with your content.
Special offers like a nice (i.e., HUGE) discount or a free night's stay could be just the trick to win them back... and much cheaper than trying to find, attract, and engage new leads that haven't already decided at some point that they were interested in your property.
Alternatively, you can "clean" your list by temporarily removing these contacts until you know exactly how you want to reengage with them and focus your current efforts on those prospects truly interested in your business.
The easiest way to grow your email list is simply to collect emails from all your guests.
If you're not that creative, just put up a sign-up form and get people to fill it when they visit your website or while they're checking in at your front desk—enticing them with treats or incentives like:
- First-day discounts
- Earlier check-ins
- Guest-only offers
- Free upgrades
- Chances to win a contest for a complimentary dinner, massage, spa, gym pass, etc.
- Hotel map / guide
- Neighborhood guide with things to do in the area
There's no excuse to not collect emails from guests and prospects... keep reading to see how we quickly create audience segments.
- Segment Your Audience
Every hotel manager knows that each guest walking through their doors has unique needs and expectations.
That said, your email marketing needs to reflect your customer base's diversity which gives you a great opportunity to connect and resonate with your audience at a deeper and realer level.
You can create segments of your email list like solo travellers, travel enthusiasts, foodies, families on vacation, business travelers, history buffs, adventure travellers, people travelling to visit specific landmarks and destinations, honeymooners, romantic getaways, etc.
Think about your guests, what's around your properties, and why people book at your property.
Also think about the things guests in your segment(s) would like to see in your emails.
The following questions will help map out your campaigns:
- Would families traveling for leisure want details regarding family-friendly attractions and activities nearby?
- Is a family celebrating a birthday, wedding, or some other special occasion that they'd like you to help with?
- Would travelers appreciate restaurant recommendations for business meals? This is a big one because most travellers, from all audience segments, really appreciate a well thought out list of food recommendations tailored to their visit.
- Is the guest local or coming in from another town and needs guidance?
- Is it their first time staying at your hotel?
You can have your guests fill in a short form to gauge their interests and purpose of traveling.
This information will help tailor your email campaigns and ensure personalized messaging for each guest.
- Create Winning Subject Lines
To maximize the chances of people opening your email, you have use good, well-optimized subject lines.
They need to be short, sweet, and direct.
While 50 characters is a good guide to follow, you want to run A/B testing of subject lines with different combinations lengths for the best results.
Another pro tip (and just a great practice to follow) is to add the recipient's name and / or location to the subject line if you want to increase your open rates.
Aside from personalization, your email marketing campaigns will benefit from using an captivating subject lines so people are more likely to click on and read your emails.
For example, you can create an email to promote your spa (or whatever you have to promote) with a subject line like "The most relaxing hour of your life (guaranteed)".
Additionally, you can reveal special offers and discounts in the subject line.
Remember, it's better to mention the actual discounted price instead of saying "25% off".
- Tell a Good Story
Storytelling is a powerful tool for email marketing but even more so when you're marketing a hotel property.
Today people can easily identify a salesy email and quickly ignore it so you need to consider creating a compelling narrative to grab the reader's attention and keep them interested.
The biggest trick to telling a good story, even when its an uninteresting one, is to keep your audience top-of-mind and frame the story around them.
Most people don't know how to tell a story well.
The following is a basic opening paragraph that performed very well.
"Step out of your hotel. Find yourself surrounded by stunning, snow-capped mountains. Notice the vampire-white trees?
As the cold wind begins to gust, the cold bite finds your nose... but you're into cuddly and warm so you zip your jacket over your face and all is well with the world once again.
Oh the skiing... few things are better than a perfect stride down a powdery white trail that feels like it was designed exactly for you (yeah, we've got fantastic slopes for every skill level).
Your bucket-list adventure awaits you."
Once you have the recipient's attention, you can move on to highlighting the specifics of your hotel.
Don't have amenities on your property? Not a problem because everything around your property is an amenity in your prospective guest's eyes.
Alternatively, you can feature the best reviews from past guests to add a feeling of authenticity to your email.
This is the easiest, fastest, and best way to get prospective hotel guests to resonate with your message and be more receptive to your offering.
- Use Sensory Language to Evoke Emotions
Emotion-driven emails perform very well for hotels (and really everything else too).
With sensory-rich words and sentences, you can create vivid images in readers' minds, allowing them to get a sneak peek of the exciting experience offered by your hotel.
Be as descriptive as possible when writing emails with sensory language and focus on your property's unique selling points to evoke emotions that resonate and turn readers into bookers.
- Offer Helpful Tips & Insights
Many hotel marketers offer practical tips, how-to guides, and insights related to their offerings, upgrades, and destinations.
This adds more value for the reader and as such, allows the reader to justify the sales intent.
Even though its considerably more time-consuming and warrants extra knowledge and creative thinking, the investment is definitely will be worth it because the results will speak for themselves.
You'll create a sense of authority and establish yourself as an expert.
Ultimately, more people will trust you and see you as a friend in the industry who wants the best for them.
Bottom Line... It's Time to Master the Hotel Email Marketing Game!
Success for hotel marketers and hotel management goes beyond the growth of the email subscriber list.
Nurturing the leads and keeping them engaged with creative and captivating content is the real achievement.
By implementing the tips above, you can build the perfect hotel email marketing campaign that'll capture your audience's attention, develop rapport, and get the specific results you want.