November 18, 2020

An Actionable Guide to Email Marketing for Hotels


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COVID-19 has disrupted life and business in unprecedented ways. The hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.  Hotel marketing has never been easy, but COVID-19 has made it even harder. 

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If profit margins were slim before, low occupancy and dwindling revenues have made them even thinner. There’s no room for error and no budget to waste on campaigns that don’t deliver. In this situation, email marketing appears to be a life saver for the hotel industry. 

Why Hotels Cannot Afford to Ignore Email Marketing

Here are a few reasons why email mar

Email‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌Offers‌ ‌the‌ ‌Highest‌ ‌Return‌ ‌on‌ ‌Investment‌ ‌for‌ ‌Hotels‌ ‌

Believe‌ ‌it‌ ‌or‌ ‌not,‌ ‌businesses‌ ‌can‌ ‌earn‌ ‌as‌ ‌much‌ ‌as‌ ‌$44‌ ‌for‌ ‌each‌ ‌dollar‌ ‌they‌ ‌spend‌ ‌on‌ ‌email‌ ‌marketing.‌ ‌That’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌return‌ ‌on‌ ‌investment‌ ‌(RoI)‌ ‌of‌ ‌‌4400‌ ‌percent‌!‌ ‌You‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌earn‌ ‌that‌ ‌much‌ ‌in‌ ‌any‌ ‌other‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌channel.‌ ‌ ‌

You‌ ‌Can‌ ‌Create‌ ‌Laser-Targeted‌ ‌Email‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌Campaigns‌ ‌ ‌

Email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌allows‌ ‌you‌ ‌to‌ ‌personalize‌ ‌down‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌customer’s‌ ‌first‌ ‌name.‌ ‌You‌ ‌can‌ ‌also‌ ‌segment‌ ‌your‌ ‌mailing‌ ‌list‌ ‌and‌ ‌target‌ ‌different‌ ‌groups‌ ‌of‌ ‌consumers—such‌ ‌as‌ ‌new‌ ‌buyers,‌ ‌repeat‌ ‌buyers‌ ‌or‌ ‌loyalty‌ ‌program‌ ‌members—with‌ ‌content‌ ‌tailored‌ ‌to‌ ‌their‌ ‌needs.‌ ‌

Improve‌ ‌Your‌ ‌Services‌ ‌by‌ ‌Collecting‌ ‌Customer‌ ‌Feedback‌ ‌

Did‌ ‌the‌ ‌customer‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌good‌ ‌time‌ ‌while‌ ‌staying‌ ‌at‌ ‌your‌ ‌hotel?‌ ‌Did‌ ‌they‌ ‌like‌ ‌the‌ ‌food,‌ ‌rooms,‌ ‌services,‌ ‌and‌ ‌ambience?‌ ‌Email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌enables‌ ‌you‌ ‌to‌ ‌communicate‌ ‌directly‌ ‌with‌ ‌them‌ ‌and‌ ‌find‌ ‌out‌ ‌their‌ ‌preferences,‌ ‌likes‌ ‌and‌ ‌dislikes,‌ ‌allowing‌ ‌you‌ ‌to‌ ‌provide‌ ‌better‌ ‌services‌ ‌and‌ ‌improve‌ ‌the‌ ‌customer‌ ‌experience.‌ ‌

Email‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌Enables‌ ‌Hotels‌ ‌to‌ ‌Pitch‌ ‌New‌ ‌Offers‌ ‌and‌ ‌Improve‌ ‌Sales‌ ‌

Dynamic‌ ‌hotel‌ ‌brands‌ ‌send‌ ‌their‌ ‌customers‌ ‌different‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌offers‌ ‌to‌ ‌keep‌ ‌them‌ ‌engaged.‌ ‌Email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌inexpensive‌ ‌way‌ ‌to‌ ‌inform‌ ‌your‌ ‌new‌ ‌and‌ ‌old‌ ‌customers‌ ‌about‌ ‌events,‌ ‌dinners,‌ ‌exhibitions,‌ ‌concerts,‌ ‌and‌ ‌other‌ ‌public‌ ‌programs‌ ‌being‌ ‌held‌ ‌at‌ ‌your‌ ‌hotels.‌ ‌

Email‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌Helps‌ ‌Hotels‌ ‌Stay‌ ‌on‌ ‌Top‌ ‌of‌ ‌their‌ ‌Customers’‌ ‌Minds‌ ‌

An‌ ‌‌Adobe‌ ‌Email‌ ‌Consumer‌ ‌Survey‌‌ ‌indicates‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌half‌ ‌of‌ ‌millennials‌ ‌ages‌ ‌18‌ ‌to‌ ‌24‌ ‌check‌ ‌their‌ ‌email‌ ‌while‌ ‌still‌ ‌in‌ ‌bed‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌morning,‌ ‌and‌ ‌43‌ ‌percent‌ ‌of‌ ‌millennials‌ ‌ages‌ ‌25‌ ‌to‌ ‌34‌ ‌report‌ ‌doing‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌thing. ‌ ‌By‌ ‌staying‌ ‌in‌ ‌touch‌ ‌via‌ ‌email,‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌stay‌ ‌on‌ ‌top‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌customers’‌ ‌mind.‌ ‌They’ll‌ ‌be‌ ‌more‌ ‌likely‌ ‌to‌ ‌call‌ ‌you‌ ‌when‌ ‌they‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌book‌ ‌a‌ ‌table,‌ room‌ ‌or‌ ‌ballroom‌ ‌next‌ ‌time.‌ ‌

Email‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌Helps‌ ‌Drive‌ ‌Traffic‌ ‌to‌ ‌Your‌ ‌Website‌ ‌

If‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌like‌ ‌most‌ ‌other‌ ‌hotels,‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌website‌ ‌that‌ ‌always‌ ‌needs‌ ‌more‌ ‌traffic.‌ ‌Email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌can‌ ‌change‌ ‌that.‌ ‌You‌ ‌can‌ ‌feature‌ ‌different‌ ‌promotions‌ ‌on‌ ‌your‌ ‌website‌ ‌and‌ ‌inform‌ ‌your‌ ‌customers‌ ‌via‌ ‌email.‌ ‌

Need‌ ‌to‌ ‌book‌ ‌more‌ ‌rooms‌ ‌and‌ ‌earn‌ ‌more‌ ‌revenue?‌ ‌Contact‌ ‌us‌‌ ‌for‌ ‌running‌ ‌highly‌ ‌effective‌ ‌email‌ ‌campaigns‌ ‌without‌ ‌the‌ ‌hassle!‌ ‌

How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Get‌ ‌Started‌ ‌with‌ ‌Email‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌for‌ ‌Hotels‌ ‌

Email‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌cost-effective‌ ‌channel‌ ‌for‌ ‌reaching‌ ‌your‌ ‌customers‌ ‌with‌ ‌personalized‌ ‌content‌ ‌and‌ ‌improving‌ ‌occupancy.‌ ‌Here‌ ‌are‌ ‌5‌ ‌steps‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌take‌ ‌to‌ ‌create‌ ‌email‌ ‌campaigns‌ ‌for‌ ‌your‌ ‌hotel.‌ ‌

1.‌ ‌Build‌ ‌Up‌ ‌Your‌ ‌Mailing‌ ‌List‌ ‌

Before‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌run‌ ‌email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌campaigns,‌ ‌you‌ ‌must‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌list‌ ‌of‌ ‌subscribers‌ ‌who‌ ‌have‌ ‌opted‌ ‌in‌ ‌to‌ ‌receive‌ ‌your‌ ‌emails.‌ ‌Here’s‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌proceed:‌ ‌

1. Import‌ ‌email‌ ‌addresses‌ ‌from‌ ‌your‌ ‌existing‌ ‌data.‌ ‌Check‌ ‌your‌ ‌CRM,‌ ‌booking‌ ‌records,‌ ‌or‌ ‌guest‌ ‌book‌ ‌--‌ ‌you‌ ‌probably‌ ‌already‌ ‌have‌ ‌customers’‌ ‌email‌ ‌addresses‌ ‌and‌ ‌add‌ ‌them‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌mailing‌ ‌list.‌ ‌

2.You‌ ‌should‌ ‌not‌ ‌send‌ ‌emails‌ ‌to‌ ‌people‌ ‌who‌ ‌have‌ ‌not‌ ‌explicitly‌ ‌agreed‌ ‌to‌ ‌receive‌ ‌emails‌ ‌from‌ ‌your‌ ‌hotel.‌ ‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌do,‌ ‌you‌ ‌might‌ ‌be‌ ‌violating‌ ‌GDPR,‌ ‌CCPA,‌ ‌or‌ ‌other‌ ‌consumer‌ ‌privacy‌ ‌laws‌ ‌in‌ ‌your‌ ‌region‌ ‌or‌ ‌state.‌ ‌

3.It’s‌ ‌surprising‌ ‌to‌ ‌see‌ ‌how‌ ‌many‌ ‌hotels‌ ‌do‌ ‌not‌ ‌have‌ ‌an‌ ‌email‌ ‌subscription‌ ‌form‌ ‌on‌ ‌their‌ ‌websites.‌ ‌If‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌you,‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌use‌ ‌email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌software‌ ‌such‌ ‌as‌ ‌MailChimp,‌ ‌Mailer‌ ‌Light,‌ ‌or‌ ‌Constant‌ ‌Contact‌ ‌to‌ ‌create‌ ‌a‌ ‌signup‌ ‌form‌ ‌in‌ ‌minutes.‌ ‌

4.Make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌to‌ ‌offer‌ ‌an‌ ‌incentive‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌visitors‌ ‌for‌ ‌signing‌ ‌up.‌ ‌Examples‌ ‌include‌ ‌early‌ ‌check‌ ‌in,‌ ‌exclusive‌ ‌deals‌ ‌and‌ ‌discounts,‌ ‌hotel‌ ‌upgrades,‌ ‌and‌ ‌maybe‌ ‌even‌ ‌a‌ ‌chance‌ ‌to‌ ‌win‌ ‌a‌ ‌hotel‌ ‌voucher.‌ ‌

The‌ ‌IHG‌ ‌Group‌ ‌offers‌ ‌a‌ ‌‌bunch‌ ‌of‌ ‌benefits‌‌ ‌for‌ ‌subscribing‌ ‌to‌ ‌their‌ ‌‘Reward‌ ‌Club’‌ ‌

5.Place‌ ‌the‌ ‌signup‌ ‌form‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ ‌prominent‌ ‌position‌ ‌on‌ ‌your‌ ‌site.‌ ‌You‌ ‌can‌ ‌also‌ ‌use‌ ‌a‌ ‌pop-up‌ ‌box‌ ‌or‌ ‌an‌ ‌exit-intent‌ ‌box‌ ‌to‌ ‌boost‌ ‌subscriptions.‌ ‌ ‌

6.Plan‌ ‌to‌ ‌send‌ ‌a‌ ‌weekly,‌ ‌bimonthly,‌ ‌or‌ ‌monthly‌ ‌newsletter‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌subscribers.‌ ‌For‌ ‌example,‌ ‌Gramercy‌ ‌Park‌ ‌Hotel‌ ‌collects‌ ‌newsletter‌ ‌subscriptions‌ ‌by‌ ‌offering‌ ‌exclusive‌ ‌email‌ ‌deals‌ ‌to‌ ‌subscribers.‌ ‌

2.‌ ‌Segment‌ ‌Your‌ ‌Mailing‌ ‌List‌ ‌

One‌ ‌size‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌fit‌ ‌all‌ ‌when‌ ‌it‌ ‌comes‌ ‌to‌ ‌marketing.‌ ‌To‌ ‌get‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌from‌ ‌your‌ ‌email‌ ‌campaigns,‌ ‌you‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌target‌ ‌each‌ ‌subscriber‌ ‌with‌ ‌personalized‌ ‌content.‌ ‌A‌ ‌simple‌ ‌way‌ ‌to‌ ‌personalize‌ ‌is‌ ‌by‌ ‌adding‌ ‌the‌ ‌person’s‌ ‌name‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌subject‌ ‌line.‌ ‌It‌ ‌attracts‌ ‌the‌ ‌recipient’s‌ ‌attention‌ ‌and‌ ‌makes‌ ‌them‌ ‌more‌ ‌likely‌ ‌to‌ ‌open‌ ‌the‌ ‌email.‌ ‌ ‌

But‌ ‌the‌ ‌name‌ ‌is‌ ‌just‌ ‌a‌ ‌start.‌ ‌A‌ ‌better‌ ‌way‌ ‌is‌ ‌to‌ ‌segment‌ ‌your‌ ‌mailing‌ ‌lists‌ ‌into‌ ‌groups‌ ‌of‌ ‌customers‌ ‌who‌ ‌have‌ ‌similar‌ ‌attributes.‌ ‌Here’s‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌do‌ ‌it:‌ ‌

1. Start‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌basic‌ ‌demographics—age,‌ ‌gender,‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌ ‌

2. Segment‌ ‌according‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌stage‌ ‌of‌ ‌customers‌ ‌in‌ ‌their‌ ‌buying‌ ‌journey.‌ ‌Are‌ ‌they‌ ‌gathering‌ ‌information,‌ ‌ready‌ ‌to‌ ‌book,‌ ‌or‌ ‌repeat‌ ‌customers?‌ ‌

3. If‌ ‌needed,‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌also‌ ‌segment‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌past‌ ‌purchase‌ ‌or‌ ‌customer‌ ‌behavior.‌ ‌For‌ ‌example,‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌send‌ ‌an‌ ‌email‌ ‌to‌ ‌customers‌ ‌who‌ ‌booked‌ ‌a‌ ‌room‌ ‌for‌ ‌their‌ ‌vacation‌ ‌last‌ ‌year‌ ‌and‌ ‌make‌ ‌them‌ ‌a‌ ‌special‌ ‌offer‌ ‌if‌ ‌they‌ ‌book‌ ‌again.‌ ‌

4. You‌ ‌can‌ ‌further‌ ‌segment‌ ‌your‌ ‌subscribers‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌type‌ ‌of‌ ‌room‌ ‌they‌ ‌booked,‌ ‌amount‌ ‌of‌ ‌money‌ ‌they‌ ‌spent,‌ ‌channels‌ ‌they‌ ‌use,‌ ‌and‌ ‌services‌ ‌they‌ ‌avail.‌ ‌

5. ‌Even‌ ‌basic‌ ‌segmentation‌ ‌is‌ ‌better‌ ‌than‌ ‌no‌ ‌segmentation.‌ ‌You‌ ‌can‌ ‌expect‌ ‌better‌ ‌results‌ ‌even‌ ‌if‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌personalizing‌ ‌your‌ ‌emails‌ ‌just‌ ‌on‌ ‌age,‌ ‌gender‌ ‌or‌ ‌location.‌ ‌

Fortunately,‌ ‌most‌ ‌email‌ ‌management‌ ‌programs‌ ‌support‌ ‌mailing‌ ‌list‌ ‌segmentation.‌ ‌You‌ ‌can‌ ‌simply‌ ‌add‌ ‌subscribers‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌group‌ ‌and‌ ‌start‌ ‌reaching‌ ‌your‌ ‌customers‌ ‌with‌ ‌more‌ ‌personalized‌ ‌content.‌ ‌

3.‌ ‌Set‌ ‌Up‌ ‌an‌ ‌Email‌ ‌Lead‌ ‌Nurturing‌ ‌Sequence‌ ‌

If‌ ‌you‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌adopt‌ ‌email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌strategy‌ ‌to‌ ‌achieve‌ ‌lasting‌ ‌and‌ ‌long-term‌ ‌results,‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌bond‌ ‌with‌ ‌your‌ ‌audience.‌ ‌That’s‌ ‌where‌ ‌an‌ ‌email‌ ‌nurturing‌ ‌sequence‌ ‌comes‌ ‌into‌ ‌play.‌ ‌A‌ ‌nurturing‌ ‌sequence—sometimes‌ ‌also‌ ‌called‌ ‌an‌ ‌email‌ ‌flow,‌ ‌drip‌ ‌campaign,‌ ‌or‌ ‌email‌ ‌series—is‌ ‌an‌ ‌automated‌ ‌series‌ ‌of‌ ‌emails‌ ‌that‌ ‌a‌ ‌visitor‌ ‌receives‌ ‌when‌ ‌they‌ ‌subscribe‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌mailing‌ ‌list.‌ ‌Here’s‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌set‌ ‌it‌ ‌up:‌ ‌

1. Use‌ ‌an‌ ‌email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌tool‌ ‌(such‌ ‌as‌ ‌MailChimp,‌ ‌AWeber,‌ ‌Drip,‌ ‌or‌ ‌GetResponse)‌ ‌to‌ ‌plan‌ ‌and‌ ‌automate‌ ‌a‌ ‌drip‌ ‌campaign.‌ ‌

2. Decide‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌length‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌sequence.‌ ‌The‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌emails‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌sequence‌ ‌depends‌ ‌upon‌ ‌your‌ ‌product,‌ ‌service,‌ ‌and‌ ‌strategy.‌ ‌It‌ ‌should‌ ‌be‌ ‌2-3‌ ‌emails‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ ‌minimum,‌ ‌but‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌much‌ ‌longer.‌ ‌

3. Design‌ ‌your‌ ‌welcome‌ ‌email,‌ ‌which‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌first‌ ‌email‌ ‌the‌ ‌subscriber‌ ‌receives‌ ‌as‌ ‌soon‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌sign‌ ‌up‌ ‌for‌ ‌your‌ ‌mailing‌ ‌list.‌ ‌Welcome‌ ‌email‌ ‌from‌ ‌Sir‌ ‌Hotels‌ ‌

4. Statistically,‌ ‌the‌ ‌welcome‌ ‌email‌ ‌has‌ ‌the‌ ‌highest‌ ‌open‌ ‌rate.‌ ‌It‌ ‌is‌ ‌your‌ ‌biggest‌ ‌opportunity‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌a‌ ‌great‌ ‌first‌ ‌impression.‌ ‌ ‌

5. Build‌ ‌trust‌ ‌by‌ ‌sending‌ ‌your‌ ‌audience‌ ‌links‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌most‌ ‌popular‌ ‌blog‌ ‌posts,‌ ‌videos,‌ ‌and‌ ‌reviews.‌ ‌

6. Make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌that‌ ‌each‌ ‌email‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌sequence‌ ‌adds‌ ‌value‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌reader’s‌ ‌life.‌ ‌

7. Automate‌ ‌and‌ ‌test‌ ‌your‌ ‌sequence‌ ‌by‌ ‌subscribing‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌own‌ ‌mailing‌ ‌list.‌ ‌

Need‌ ‌help‌ ‌creating‌ ‌a‌ ‌killer‌ ‌email‌ ‌sequence?‌ ‌Contact‌ ‌us‌‌ ‌for‌ ‌managing‌ ‌highly‌ ‌effective‌ ‌email‌ ‌campaigns‌ ‌on‌ ‌autopilot!‌ ‌

4.‌ ‌Follow‌ ‌Email‌ ‌Marketing‌ ‌Best‌ ‌Practices‌ ‌

Let’s‌ ‌quickly‌ ‌look‌ ‌at‌ ‌a‌ ‌few‌ ‌tested‌ ‌and‌ ‌proven‌ ‌email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌best‌ ‌practices‌ ‌that‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌huge‌ ‌impact‌ ‌on‌ ‌open‌ ‌rates,‌ ‌clicks,‌ ‌and‌ ‌conversions.‌ ‌

1. The‌ ‌open‌ ‌rate‌ ‌solely‌ ‌depends‌ ‌upon‌ ‌your‌ ‌subject‌ ‌line,‌ ‌which‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌important‌ ‌part‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌email.‌ ‌Make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌you‌ ‌write‌ ‌catchy‌ ‌and‌ ‌intriguing‌ ‌(but‌ ‌relevant)‌ ‌subject‌ ‌lines.‌ ‌

2. Subject‌ ‌lines‌ ‌that‌ ‌deliver‌ ‌the‌ ‌highest‌ ‌open‌ ‌rates‌ ‌contain‌ ‌‌under‌ ‌50‌ ‌characters‌ ‌--‌ ‌around‌ ‌30‌ ‌is‌ ‌ideal.‌

3. Do‌ ‌not‌ ‌overcomplicate‌ ‌the‌ ‌subject‌ ‌line.‌ ‌Follow‌ ‌the‌ ‌K.I.S.S.‌ ‌principle.‌ ‌

4. Use‌ ‌the‌ ‌five‌ ‌key‌ ‌elements‌ ‌when‌ ‌crafting‌ ‌your‌ ‌email‌ ‌subject‌ ‌lines.‌ ‌These‌ ‌are‌ ‌Curiosity,‌ ‌Urgency,‌ ‌Relevancy,‌ ‌Value,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Emotion—remember‌ ‌CURVE!‌ ‌

5. Test‌ ‌your‌ ‌subject‌ ‌lines‌ ‌by‌ ‌running‌ ‌A/B‌ ‌tests.‌ ‌Most‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌latest‌ ‌email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌tools‌ ‌come‌ ‌with‌ ‌A/B‌ ‌testing‌ ‌features.‌ ‌

6. Emails‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌customer’s‌ ‌first‌ ‌name‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌subject‌ ‌line‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌proven‌ ‌to‌ ‌drive‌ ‌better‌ ‌open‌ ‌rates.‌ ‌

7. Get‌ ‌the‌ ‌timings‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌emails‌ ‌right.‌ ‌For‌ ‌example,‌ ‌sending‌ ‌a‌ ‌special‌ ‌offer‌ ‌within‌ ‌24‌ ‌hours‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌signup‌ ‌can‌ ‌deliver‌ ‌significantly‌ ‌higher‌ ‌open‌ ‌rates‌ ‌than‌ ‌if‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌offer‌ ‌is‌ ‌sent‌ ‌after‌ ‌a‌ ‌couple‌ ‌of‌ ‌days‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌subscription.‌ ‌ ‌

8. Make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌you‌ ‌double-check‌ ‌all‌ ‌spellings‌ ‌before‌ ‌you‌ ‌click‌ ‌send.‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌critical‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌the‌ ‌spellings‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌person’s‌ ‌name‌ ‌and‌ ‌company‌ ‌right--and‌ ‌make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌your‌ ‌field‌ ‌names‌ ‌match,‌ ‌too.‌ ‌You‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌the‌ ‌hotel‌ ‌that‌ ‌sends‌ ‌out‌ ‌emails‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌dreaded‌ ‌<First‌ ‌Name>‌ ‌written‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌subject‌ line!‌ ‌

9. NEVER‌ ‌USE‌ ‌ALL‌ ‌CAPS‌ ‌anywhere‌ ‌in‌ ‌your‌ ‌email’s‌ ‌body‌ ‌or‌ ‌subject‌ ‌line!‌ ‌You’ll‌ ‌cause‌ ‌many‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌readers‌ ‌to‌ ‌unsubscribe‌ ‌if‌ ‌you‌ ‌do.‌ ‌

5.‌ ‌Monitor‌ ‌and‌ ‌Track‌ ‌Your‌ ‌Email‌ ‌Campaigns‌ ‌

You‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌track‌ ‌the‌ ‌results‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌email‌ ‌campaigns‌ ‌if‌ ‌you‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌waste‌ ‌your‌ ‌budget.‌ ‌Tools‌ ‌like‌ ‌MailChimp,‌ ‌Benchmark‌ ‌Email,‌ ‌Bloom,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌can‌ ‌help‌ ‌you‌ ‌track‌ ‌these‌ ‌campaigns.‌ ‌But‌ ‌before‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌use‌ ‌these‌ ‌or‌ ‌any‌ ‌other‌ ‌email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌tools‌ ‌effectively,‌ ‌you‌ ‌should‌ ‌know‌ ‌what‌ ‌metrics‌ ‌to‌ ‌track.‌ ‌Keep‌ ‌your‌ ‌eyes‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌following‌ ‌metrics‌ ‌to‌ ‌find‌ ‌out‌ ‌what’s‌ ‌working‌ ‌and‌ ‌what’s‌ ‌not.‌ ‌

1.Open‌ ‌Rate:‌‌ ‌The‌ ‌open‌ ‌rate‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌percentage‌ ‌of‌ ‌recipients‌ ‌who‌ ‌click‌ ‌on‌ ‌your‌ ‌email.‌ ‌Most‌ ‌email‌ campaigns‌ ‌average‌ ‌a‌ ‌‌little‌ ‌over‌ ‌30‌ ‌percent‌.‌ ‌

2.Click-through‌ ‌Rate:‌ ‌‌Email‌ ‌click-through‌ ‌rate‌ ‌refers‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌people‌ ‌who‌ ‌click‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ links‌ ‌included‌ ‌in‌ ‌your‌ ‌email.‌ ‌Every‌ ‌email‌ ‌campaign‌ ‌should‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌specific‌ ‌goal‌ ‌and‌ ‌should‌ nurture‌ ‌the‌ ‌readers‌ ‌to‌ ‌achieve‌ ‌that‌ ‌goal‌ ‌by‌ ‌tactfully‌ ‌embedding‌ ‌links‌ ‌or‌ ‌calls-to-action‌ ‌in‌ ‌each‌ email.‌ ‌

3.Conversion‌ ‌Rate:‌‌ ‌Conversion‌ ‌rate‌ ‌depicts‌ ‌the‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌people‌ ‌who‌ ‌take‌ ‌the‌ ‌action‌ ‌that‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ goal‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌campaign.‌ ‌In‌ ‌other‌ ‌words,‌ ‌you‌ ‌‘convert’‌ ‌a‌ ‌user‌ ‌each‌ ‌time‌ ‌you‌ ‌succeed‌ ‌in‌ ‌achieving‌ ‌the‌ ‌goal‌ ‌of‌ ‌your‌ ‌campaign.‌ ‌You’ll‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌configure‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌for‌ ‌tracking‌ ‌the‌ ‌email‌ ‌conversion‌ ‌rate.‌ ‌

4. Unsubscribes:‌‌ ‌Users‌ ‌will‌ ‌unsubscribe‌ ‌from‌ ‌your‌ ‌mailing‌ ‌list‌ ‌from‌ ‌time‌ ‌to‌ ‌time.‌ ‌Maybe‌ ‌they‌ ‌find‌ ‌your‌ ‌content‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌irrelevant‌ ‌or‌ ‌subscribed‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌mailing‌ ‌list‌ ‌by‌ ‌mistake.‌ ‌Your‌ ‌email‌ ‌client‌ ‌will‌ ‌tell‌ ‌you‌ ‌the‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌unsubscribes‌ ‌and‌ ‌you‌ ‌should‌ ‌try‌ ‌to‌ ‌minimize‌ ‌it.‌ ‌

5. Spam‌ ‌Complaints:‌‌ ‌Most‌ ‌people‌ ‌will‌ ‌not‌ ‌report‌ ‌your‌ ‌emails‌ ‌as‌ ‌spam‌ ‌unless‌ ‌they‌ ‌are‌ ‌either‌ ‌very‌ ‌low‌ ‌quality‌ ‌or‌ ‌pushy‌ ‌about‌ ‌your‌ ‌sales‌ ‌goals.‌ ‌MailChimp‌ ‌and‌ ‌other‌ ‌email‌ ‌marketing‌ ‌tools‌ ‌provide‌ ‌you‌ ‌with‌ ‌reports‌ ‌about‌ ‌spam‌ ‌complaints.‌ ‌

Bonus:‌ ‌Pay‌ ‌Attention‌ ‌to‌ ‌COVID‌ ‌Safety‌ ‌in‌ ‌Your‌ ‌Emails‌ ‌

In‌ ‌the‌ ‌week‌ ‌ending‌ ‌October‌ ‌31,‌ ‌occupancy‌ ‌of‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌hotels‌ ‌‌dropped‌ ‌to‌ ‌44.4‌ ‌percent‌,‌ ‌showing‌ ‌a‌ ‌29‌ ‌percent‌ ‌year-over-year‌ ‌decrease.‌ ‌It‌ ‌may‌ ‌take‌ ‌months‌ ‌or‌ ‌even‌ ‌years‌ ‌for‌ ‌life‌ ‌to‌ ‌return‌ ‌to‌ normal‌ ‌and‌ ‌people‌ ‌to‌ ‌feel‌ ‌safe‌ ‌while‌ ‌visiting‌ ‌your‌ ‌property.‌ ‌You‌ ‌can‌ ‌use‌ ‌emails‌ ‌to‌ ‌communicate‌ ‌your‌ ‌response‌ ‌to‌ ‌COVID-19‌ ‌and‌ ‌set‌ ‌your‌ ‌customers‌ ‌at‌ ‌ease.‌ ‌

Need‌ ‌help‌ ‌setting‌ ‌up‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌for‌ ‌email?‌ ‌

Contact‌ ‌JoshMeah‌ ‌&‌ ‌Co‌‌ ‌for‌ ‌running‌ ‌highly‌ ‌effective‌ ‌email‌ ‌campaigns‌ ‌on‌ ‌autopilot!‌ ‌

 ‌An Actionable Guide to Email Marketing for Hotels

Why Hotels Cannot Afford to Ignore Email Marketing

Email Marketing Offers the Highest Return on Investment for Hotels

You Can Create Laser-Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns

Improve Your Services by Collecting Customer Feedback

Email Marketing Enables Hotels to Pitch New Offers and Improve Sales

Email Marketing Helps Hotels Stay on Top of their Customers’ Minds

Email Marketing Helps Drive Traffic to Your Website

How to Get Started with Email Marketing for Hotels

1. Build Up Your Mailing List

2. Segment Your Mailing List

3. Set Up an Email Lead Nurturing Sequence

4. Follow the Email Marketing Best Practices

5. Monitor and Track Your Email Campaigns

Bonus: Pay Attention to COVID Safety in Your Emails

Email Marketing Offers the Highest Return on Investment for Hotels

Believe it or not, businesses can earn as much as $44 for each dollar they spend on email marketing. That’s a return on investment (RoI) of 4400 percent! You can’t earn that much in any other marketing channel. 

You Can Create Laser-Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns 

Email marketing allows you to personalize down to the customer’s first name. You can also segment your mailing list and target different groups of consumers—such as new buyers, repeat buyers, or loyalty program members—with content tailored to their needs.

Improve Your Services by Collecting Customer Feedback

Did the customer have a good time while staying at your hotel? Did they like the food, rooms, services, and ambience? Email marketing enables you to communicate directly with them and find out their preferences, likes and dislikes, allowing you to provide better services and improve the customer experience.

Email Marketing Enables Hotels to Pitch New Offers and Improve Sales

Dynamic hotel brands send their customers different marketing offers to keep them engaged. Email marketing is the most inexpensive way to inform your new and old customers about events, dinners, exhibitions, concerts, and other public programs being held at your hotels.

Email Marketing Helps Hotels Stay on Top of their Customers’ Minds

An Adobe Email Consumer Survey indicates more than half of millennials ages 18 to 24 check their email while still in bed in the morning, and 43 percent of millennials ages 25 to 34 report doing the same thing.  By staying in touch via email, you can stay on top of your customers’ mind. They’ll be more likely to call you when they need to book a table, room, or ballroom next time.

Email Marketing Helps Drive Traffic to Your Website

If you’re like most other hotels, you have a website that always needs more traffic. Email marketing can change that. You can feature different promotions on your website and inform your customers via email.

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How to Get Started with Email Marketing for Hotels

Email is the most cost-effective channel for reaching your customers with personalized content and improving occupancy. Here are 5 steps you can take to create email campaigns for your hotel.

1. Build Up Your Mailing List

Before you can run email marketing campaigns, you must have a list of subscribers who have opted in to receive your emails. Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Import email addresses from your existing data. Check your CRM, booking records, or guest book -- you probably already have customers’ email addresses and add them to your mailing list.
  2. You should not send emails to people who have not explicitly agreed to receive emails from your hotel. If you do, you might be violating GDPR, CCPA, or other consumer privacy laws in your region or state.
  3. It’s surprising to see how many hotels do not have an email subscription form on their websites. If that’s you, you can use email marketing software such as MailChimp, Mailer Light, or Constant Contact to create a signup form in minutes.
  4. Make sure to offer an incentive to your visitors for signing up. Examples include early check in, exclusive deals and discounts, hotel upgrades, and maybe even a chance to win a hotel voucher.

The IHG Group offers a bunch of benefits for subscribing to their ‘Reward Club’

  1. Place the signup form at a prominent position on your site. You can also use a pop-up box or an exit-intent box to boost subscriptions. 
  2. Plan to send a weekly, bimonthly, or monthly newsletter to your subscribers. For example, Gramercy Park Hotel collects newsletter subscriptions by offering exclusive email deals to subscribers.

2. Segment Your Mailing List

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to marketing. To get the most from your email campaigns, you need to target each subscriber with personalized content. A simple way to personalize is by adding the person’s name in the subject line. It attracts the recipient’s attention and makes them more likely to open the email. 

But the name is just a start. A better way is to segment your mailing lists into groups of customers who have similar attributes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start with the basic demographics—age, gender, and location.
  2. Segment according to the stage of customers in their buying journey. Are they gathering information, ready to book, or repeat customers?
  3. If needed, you can also segment based on past purchase or customer behavior. For example, you can send an email to customers who booked a room for their vacation last year and make them a special offer if they book again.
  4. You can further segment your subscribers based on the type of room they booked, amount of money they spent, channels they use, and services they avail.
  5.  Even basic segmentation is better than no segmentation. You can expect better results even if you are personalizing your emails just on age, gender, or location.

Fortunately, most email management programs support mailing list segmentation. You can simply add subscribers to a group and start reaching your customers with more personalized content.

3. Set Up an Email Lead Nurturing Sequence

If you want to adopt email marketing as a strategy to achieve lasting and long-term results, you have to bond with your audience. That’s where an email nurturing sequence comes into play. A nurturing sequence—sometimes also called an email flow, drip campaign, or email series—is an automated series of emails that a visitor receives when they subscribe to your mailing list. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Use an email marketing tool (such as MailChimp, AWeber, Drip, or GetResponse) to plan and automate a drip campaign.
  2. Decide on the length of the sequence. The number of emails in a sequence depends upon your product, service, and strategy. It should be 2-3 emails at a minimum, but can be much longer.
  3. Design your welcome email, which is the first email the subscriber receives as soon as the sign up for your mailing list.

Welcome email from Sir Hotels

  1. Statistically, the welcome email has the highest open rate. It is your biggest opportunity to make a great first impression. 
  2. Build trust by sending your audience links to your most popular blog posts, videos, and reviews.
  3. Make sure that each email in the sequence adds value to the reader’s life.
  4. Automate and test your sequence by subscribing to your own mailing list.

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4. Follow Email Marketing Best Practices

Let’s quickly look at a few tested and proven email marketing best practices that have a huge impact on open rates, clicks, and conversions.

  1. The open rate solely depends upon your subject line, which is the most important part of your email. Make sure you write catchy and intriguing (but relevant) subject lines.
  2. Subject lines that deliver the highest open rates contain under 50 characters -- around 30 is ideal.
  3. Do not overcomplicate the subject line. Follow the K.I.S.S. principle.
  4. Use the five key elements when crafting your email subject lines. These are Curiosity, Urgency, Relevancy, Value, and Emotion—remember CURVE!
  5. Test your subject lines by running A/B tests. Most of the latest email marketing tools come with A/B testing features.
  6. Emails with the customer’s first name in the subject line have been proven to drive better open rates.
  7. Get the timings of your emails right. For example, sending a special offer within 24 hours of a new signup can deliver significantly higher open rates than if the same offer is sent after a couple of days of a new subscription. 
  8. Make sure you double-check all spellings before you click send. It’s critical to have the spellings of the person’s name and company right--and make sure your field names match, too. You don’t want to be the hotel that sends out emails with the dreaded <First Name> written in the subject line!
  9. NEVER USE ALL CAPS anywhere in your email’s body or subject line! You’ll cause many of your readers to unsubscribe if you do.

5. Monitor and Track Your Email Campaigns

You have to track the results of your email campaigns if you don’t want to waste your budget. Tools like MailChimp, Benchmark Email, Bloom, and Google Analytics can help you track these campaigns. But before you can use these or any other email marketing tools effectively, you should know what metrics to track. Keep your eyes on the following metrics to find out what’s working and what’s not.

  1. Open Rate: The open rate is the percentage of recipients who click on your email. Most email campaigns average a little over 30 percent.
  2. Click-through Rate: Email click-through rate refers to the number of people who click on the links included in your email. Every email campaign should have a specific goal and should nurture the readers to achieve that goal by tactfully embedding links or calls-to-action in each email.
  3. Conversion Rate: Conversion rate depicts the number of people who take the action that is the goal of your campaign. In other words, you ‘convert’ a user each time you succeed in achieving the goal of your campaign. You’ll need to configure Google Analytics for tracking the email conversion rate.
  4. Unsubscribes: Users will unsubscribe from your mailing list from time to time. Maybe they find your content to be irrelevant or subscribed to your mailing list by mistake. Your email client will tell you the number of unsubscribes and you should try to minimize it.
  5. Spam Complaints: Most people will not report your emails as spam unless they are either very low quality or pushy about your sales goals. MailChimp and other email marketing tools provide you with reports about spam complaints.

Bonus: Pay Attention to COVID Safety in Your Emails

In the week ending October 31, occupancy of U.S. hotels dropped to 44.4 percent, showing a 29 percent year-over-year decrease. It may take months or even years for life to return to normal and people to feel safe while visiting your property. You can use emails to communicate your response to COVID-19 and set your customers at ease.

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