As Revinate’s Hospitality Marketing Strategist for Asia Pacific, I love working closely with customers on optimizing their email marketing strategies through Revinate’s hotel CRM suite. Fundamental to any successful email strategy is a healthy hotel database, as the property management system (PMS) is where the most powerful guest data is stored.
It may seem simple enough to maintain and grow a healthy database, but it actually takes quite a bit of savviness and know-how. Keep reading for six tips on how to maintain a clean and ever-growing list of database contacts.
1. Educate and train your team
Your team at the hotel front desk is an important ally for data collection. Guests expect to be asked for their personal information at check-in, so take this opportunity to make sure the information is accurate. I suggest formalizing this process so your team has clear and achievable goals. Educate on how a clean email list drives revenue, and rehearse customer scenarios so your employees are comfortable with asking for the information. Another best practice is to appoint a leader from the front office team to head up this initiative for better accountability and results.
2. Collect emails at hotel outlets
Your guests enjoy their time spent in your restaurants, bars, and spa. Use this chance to collect their contact details since they’re more likely to be interested in receiving hotel marketing emails that include offers on services and amenities.
3. Leverage the power of social media
Your social media platforms are ripe for data collection given their large audiences. Since the attention span on social media tends to be short, be concise and direct when asking for subscribers. For example, consider running a sweepstakes or a contest to collect even more email addresses. This gamified approach works especially well on social channels.
4. Add an email sign-up form to your website
One of the most efficient database growth tools is the email sign-up form that goes on your website. To make this most effective, the form should be prominently displayed. All too often I see hotels making the mistake of burying their sign-up form, missing the opportunity for a relatively easy email capture. I suggest informing subscribers that they will be the first to know about special offers and sales as an incentive to attract and boost engagement.
5. Collect emails via free Wifi access
Are you providing free Wifi access in public areas of your hotel, such as the lobby, conference rooms, and outlets? This is one of the easiest ways to get guests to opt into your email lists organically. Mark name and email as required fields, as well as room number if desired. Then you can send the Wifi password directly to the guest’s inbox, guaranteeing a real email address. Some hotels also give the guest the option of connecting with Facebook to reduce friction.
6. Maintain a clean database
I suggest following these rules of thumb to keep your list clean:
- Remove invalid emails from your list. If you’re a Revinate Marketing customer, the Revinate Marketing platform automatically does this for you.
- Don’t email guests who haven’t stayed on your property for over two years.
- Don’t email guests who haven’t engaged with your communications.
- Never, ever purchase email lists online. It can be tempting, but purchased lists have a low-quality rate and will negatively impact your bounce, unsubscribe, spam, and delivery rates, all hurting your email reputation and future deliverability.
To learn more, check out our deliverability best practices.
The above tips may seem like common sense, but many hotels unfortunately still aren’t operationalizing these practices. A great email marketing and CRM strategy start with a great foundation, and that foundation is your database. With a clean, engaged, and ever-growing database, you can unlock all the possibilities with segmentation, ultimately increasing guest engagement and direct bookings.
Want to learn more about what Revinate Marketing can do for your hotel? We’re always happy to chat!