When it comes to converting prospects into customers, hotel email marketing is still one of the most powerful and cost effective tools available. We have already covered why hotel email marketing makes sense, however it is one thing knowing and another thing doing. We have explained below the basic building blocks of hotel email marketing, and hopefully it will be enough to get you started and ultimately driving more revenue for your hotel.
There are some things that are absolutely necessary for email marketing and a good database is one of them. Your database will contain a list of email addresses from people who have give you permission to contact them again. Even better it should contain some other data about the person, including first and last names, gender and interests. Building your database is another matter and is deserving of a post of its own. Suffice to say, you should gather as much opt in email addresses as possible using every channel available. Examples include forms on your website, comment cards in rooms or even using your WiFi portal to capture data. Having this data in an excel spreadsheet is good enough to get going and don’t worry if its a small list – you have to get started somewhere.
Choose an Email Marketing Provider
Email marketing is big business, and as such there are a host of companies out there with products to suit your needs. You can see some popular online providers below.
Most online providers will have a free package that will be more than enough to get you started, with easy to use tutorials and templates.
With your email provider setup and your database integrated, all you need to do now is create some compelling content to share with your contacts. Email marketing should be a mutually beneficial exercise, and the more valuable and useful the content is the recipient the more successful the campaign will be. Think carefully before you push content out, and make it interesting where possible. Exclusive offers and discounts are always interesting if targeted correctly.
Images are important
Images are an excellent way to make a marketing email look attractive, and the better the image the more attractive the email to the recipient. They also break up the text making it easier to read and ultimately more successful in delivering the message.
Create a Schedule
While regular and consistent email campaigns are important it is counter productive to send campaigns too frequently. Recipients will get annoyed and won’t engage the email, or even worse unsubscribe from your list. For hotel email marketing, weekly is probably too much with monthly and special occasion emails about right.
Segment your database
Most providers allow for segmentation of your database, meaning that you can create much more relevant content for your audience. For example, it wouldn’t be effective to send golf weekend specials to your entire database as at least 50% of your list will have no interest. It would be much better to send it to a male segment, or even better to those who you know are interested in golf.
This is taking it a step further, but really is the best way to keep in constant contact with your target audience. Automation, means that emails get sent automatically, based on trigger events. For example you might have a welcome email, when the user first signs up, and another 1 month after their hotel stay. Personalised automated emails require more work initially, and can come after you get started but it also means that your marketing machine is working at all times without any additional effort.
Analyse and Measure
Post campaign analysis is hugely important with email marketing, as ultimately the goal should be to create more revenue. If, for example you sent out a campaign for a Valentines Weekend special, you would expect at least some of your audience follow through to purchase. Did many open the email or click the link to get to the point of purchase on your website? A low click through on the email would suggest the content isn’t compelling enough, whereas a high click through rate and low website conversion rate might suggest your website offer page needs some work. Either way, making changes based on analysis and measurement of campaign results will ensure that your hotel email marketing efforts are always improving.
Get started with hotel email marketing today
Hotel email marketing is one of the best ways to leverage the web to grow your business. It is not difficult to get started but it does require persistence and discipline to keep going and ultimately, when done right the results will speak for themselves.
Image Credits: Top, by Kassandra Bay