Email marketing is one of the best ways to acquire new customers, promote goods and services to existing ones, and keep a brand at the front of the market. Hotels offer a wide range of services. Their connection with customers places them in a unique position to benefit from personalized email campaigns that always reaches their intended audience. Getting started or improving an existing email strategy is simple.
1. Acquire Quality Email Addresses
For hotel operators, building an email list should be routine whenever the brand interacts with guests. Whether customers are visiting a hotel’s website, responding to an online ad, or speaking with staff directly, always ask for a contact email address. These parties are a hotel’s prime demographic target. Once those addresses are acquired, use an email verifier tool to ensure future marketing strategies go as smoothly as possible.
2. Get an Email Analytics Program
In order to gather the best data to review the performance of email campaigns, use an email analytics program. These programs help hotels manage the writing, sending, and scheduling of messages. They also provide the all-important response metrics for email marketing campaigns.
3. Personalize Emails
Whenever someone interacts with a hotel’s marketing efforts, gather as much information about them as they are willing to share. By understanding customers, hotels can establish a personal connection when marketing to them.
Knowing a guest’s preferred language, location, service interests, dining, and shopping habits will elevate email response rates. Even something as simple as calling them by their first name will increase replies.
4. Entice, Entertain—But Don’t Spam
As a rule of thumb, only include email addresses on a marketing list from people who have opted-in to receive messages. People who did not request information are less likely to open and respond to emails, which will reduce the value of data metrics on open and bounce rates.
Offer valuable, entertaining content, but keep it short. Emails are not the forum for long discussions or articles, but you can and should link to them in your emails. Avoid bombarding recipients with too many emails as well. Sending too many, too often, risks annoying a customer by sheer volume.
5. Talk the Right Talk
A hotel’s email strategy will not work if recipients don’t understand the messages. As the hotel industry is an international business, it’s critical to reach guests in their first language.
The top non-English languages of visitors to the United States include Spanish, French, German, Japanese, and Chinese. Translating emails into these languages–and including language options on the hotel’s website–can open the doors to more international travelers, repeat visitors, and online recommendations.
A language service provider (LSP) can provide excellent content translation services. Small hotels can find freelance translators on websites such as Fiverr or Upwork.
6. Make It Easy to Respond
Whatever the offer in an email marketing campaign, provide an easy and obvious way for recipients to respond. Known as “call to actions” (CTAs), these include obvious links to click or graphical buttons with message prompts like, “Choose Your Benefit” or, “Send Me the Discount Code.”
To avoid wasting readers’ time or burying an offer in too much text, keep emails under 100 words. Provide links to more in-depth information rather than placing a large volume of information directly in the email.
Experiment, Learn, and Succeed
Email marketing is not difficult to learn. You can see your successes through analytical results and adjust ideas to improve. Over time, your response rates will grow and the financial benefits will become obvious.
Indeed, statistics show that for every dollar spent on email marketing, the return on investment is $44. Not using effective email campaigns leaves money on the table.
About the Author
Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content.