Talking to past and future customers through email has always been easier, quicker, and more budget-friendly than other forms of marketing for businesses across different industries. On average, businesses expect to get $42 back for every $1 they spend on hotel email marketing. The great thing about using email marketing is that it doesn't just bring in a good return on investment, but it also helps build a solid, ongoing relationship between you and your guests.
The secret to making email your best tool is easy: deliver messages that are timely, relevant, and hyper-personalized. You don't need a fancy email marketing platform with all the extra features to see a quick return on investment (ROI), just make sure your team focuses on sending strong, purposeful messages that offer real value.
Building and Nurturing Your Email Mailing List
You don't have to wait until you have a large list of subscribers before you start sending out emails. In fact, it's vital to begin the moment you get your first signup. It's crucial to keep encouraging new sign-ups since your subscriber list will naturally decline over time. Making sure you are consistently attracting new subscribers will be key to keeping a strong mailing list.
Fortunately, there are many ways to keep your list growing. You can place an opt-in form on landing pages, headers, footers, and elsewhere on your website. The checkout process also presents an ideal opportunity to invite customers to subscribe to your marketing emails while your hotel is fresh in their minds and they already recognise the value in your services. Adding an opt-in link to transactional emails (like booking confirmations, inquiries, etc.) makes it convenient for recipients to subscribe without having to exit their inbox.
Building a strong mailing list is about focusing on the quality rather than the number of subscribers. Make sure to use "clean" data collected directly from guests or guest activity instead of outdated information or data from an inherited list. The better your email deliverability, the more trusted your sender reputation becomes, allowing for more email opens, click-throughs and conversions.
The First Impression Counts
The welcome email is the most crucial one you'll send during your entire relationship with your customer. It not only sets the tone for your brand and builds trust but also lays the groundwork for what your subscribers should expect from your hotel. With that in mind, your welcome email also needs to be sent on the same day that a new subscriber joins your email list. Ideally, a welcome email should be sent within minutes after someone subscribes. If you're offering them a perk like a discount or gift, they'll want it sooner rather than later.
It's always best to capitalise on your users' interest as soon as they sign up. Subscribers who receive welcome emails enjoy 33% more engagement with a business than those who don't. This is the ideal opportunity to introduce yourself and feature your hotel's best services. Thank them for subscribing, and include a summary of the kinds of emails they'll receive, how often you'll send them, and the usual welcome offer.
Top Strategies for Successful Email Marketing
1. Crafting Personalised Email Messages
Subscribers now expect more from brands upon joining mailing lists. They expect to receive relevant and hyper-personalized content from the very first email they receive. Leverage dynamic content and craft your messaging based on user data you've collected through your online forms as well as preferences you've learned from their stays/bookings. When you tailor email content to build off of these interactions, youvll create a solid foundation of trust with your subscribers.
2. Tailoring Campaigns with Audience Segmentation
Getting to know your customers and splitting them into groups helps you send the right email campaigns. For example, leisure guests might want information on local events, while business travellers might just want to know about good places to eat. Making sure your email list is sorted properly lets you shape your messages to fit what your customers need and personalise them in a way that works. Some of the most effective segmentations are by demographics, room type, location, purchasing behaviour, dates stayed, and purpose of travel.
3. Nailing Your Email CTAs
Make it very clear exactly what you want users to do when they open your emails. Your main message and Call to Action (CTA) should be blatantly obvious to the reader and located above the fold so that readers don't have to scroll down to know what action you want them to take. Longer emails should include CTAs through the different types of content shared. Putting your CTAs in the right place should be something you think about from the start, not something you add at the end, otherwise, your email marketing efforts will be wasted.
4. Writing Email Copy That Gets Readers Engaged
Establishing your brand voice in your emails the same way you do across other marketing channels creates consistency and builds trust with subscribers. Keeping your messages quick and to the point also shows subscribers you respect their time. Use short subject lines that make people want to read more and keep your message clear. You don't want to tire them out or bore them with loads of complex text. Your words should be useful, straight to the point, and use action words that make readers want to click on your CTAs.
5. Streamlined Designs for Effective Emails
Less is always going to be more when it comes to designing your marketing emails. Emails with too many design elements will not only turn off readers but can also be marked as “promotional” by programs like Gmail, causing them to end up in a different inbox and possibly never be seen. An even better reason to keep your email design minimal is that most emails today are viewed quickly and will typically be read via mobile devices. Limiting your design to a single column and keeping graphic elements minimalistic will not only save your team time, but create better-performing emails overall.
6. Optimising Email With A/B Tests
Optimize your email marketing strategy by scheduling regular A/B tests. Split testing is an easy way to gain important insights and improve every aspect of your email campaigns. Keeping an eye on various metrics, like click and open rates, will help you understand your audience better and create emails they'll be excited to open. Plus, when you know which email versions get better open, click-through, and conversion rates, it'll be simpler to put together winning emails down the line.
7. Streamlining with CRM and Email Integration
Strategic integration between your hotel's current email marketing system and your CRM eliminates the need for your team to manually upload subscriber data and allows you to easily identify and segment your subscribers to send hyper-targeted offers. Just by syncing these two platforms, you'll massively improve communication with guests and save your team some extra work hours.
At the end of the day, your main aim should be to give valuable content. Your emails should have information that's helpful, engaging, and relevant to your subscribers. Prioritising quality over quantity will build customer loyalty and get repeat bookings. You don't even need to put a special offer or incentive in every email you send. Focus on the key basics of email marketing, like making it personal, segmenting, testing, and offering value. The more strategic your email marketing base, the more your emails will do the work for you.