Contrary to popular belief, email marketing for the hotel industry is far from dead. In fact, when used effectively, email marketing can catapult a hotel’s bookings into the stratosphere. Other than attracting bookings all year long, email marketing for a hotel can also serve as a powerful communication tool. It can also get your hotel website’s content the views it deserves instead of your content gathering dust on your website while being seen by nobody but yourself and your staff.
When looking at email marketing for the hotel industry we would advise that you consider the following carefully:
Your email signatures are powerful
Does your hotel send more than a few emails every day? You might have good-looking email signatures, but are they serving any purpose other than to provide contact information? Email signature marketing is one way to promote your hotel website’s best marketing content, attracting more traffic to your website, more eyes to your content like blog articles or seasonal promotions, and hopefully more guests through your doors.
All guests love promotions
Who doesn’t love a good promotion or discount? Email marketing is one highly effective way of promoting your hotel’s promotions and specials to existing or past customers. What’s more, email marketing delivers your personalized, value-loaded marketing messages directly to the reader’s inbox. If you’ve got a promotion running, send a newsletter. Hosting an event at your hotel? Send a newsletter. If you’re running a competition, send a newsletter.
It’s important to recognize privacy
The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act, much like Europe’s GDPR framework, emphasizes the need for hotels and other businesses that are executing marketing to ensure the privacy of their guests’ personal information. This includes ensuring that your email databases are securely stored, where no hackers can steal guest information, and ensuring that each newsletter or email sent to guests includes an opt-out option should they wish to stop receiving your email communication.
Everything works in moderation.
Like most things in life, email marketing for the hotel industry works well in moderation. In other words, avoid overloading your database of email contacts with multiple newsletters at a time. Because that’s a one-way ticket to unsubscribes and a shrinking database (not to mention a bunch of irritated guests). Consider kicking your email marketing efforts off with a quarterly or monthly newsletter, and throw in the odd personalized email, like wishing your guests well on their birthdays or on the anniversary of their stay.
Databases should be segmented
If you had to look at your hotel’s email databases right now, would they be filled with just guests? Probably not, since your hotel will have also gathered the details of suppliers, staff, and other stakeholders. Hotel email marketing should be personal, and the marketing messages you send to your guests won’t be the same messages you send to other stakeholders. Personalize your email newsletters by segmenting your databases and tailoring your messages for each audience.
Here are a few ways your hotel can segment data to personalize your email marketing approach:
This involves segmenting your email contacts based on their demographic characteristics like their age, their gender, where they are located (city or country) and their occupations.
Behavioural segmentation requires segmenting email contacts based on their past behaviours, like their booking history, their spending patterns, and loyalty to your hotel.
This type of email database segmentation involves segmenting your customers and other stakeholders based on their lifestyle characteristics, their values, and their personalities.
Purchase-based segmentation implies segmenting an email database based on each contact’s purchase history and the type of hotel room, or accommodation package, they typically book.
This type of segmentation involves segmenting customers, suppliers and other partners based on their intentions. For example, whether guests more frequently book leisure or business trips.
By segmenting email databases, your hotel can easily create targeted email campaigns that speak directly to the needs and interests of different stakeholders. This can go a long way to helping increase engagement, improve communication, bolster brand loyalty and drive hotel bookings.