I may be in the minority, but I look forward to receiving emails from certain businesses. When I wake up, reach over for my phone and dive into my email, the first thing I do is delete. (No email marketer wants to hear this, but it’s true.) I mostly delete emails from brands I don’t recognize or those with whom I don’t have a connection. If I have done business with a brand, I’ll open the email and spend a few seconds scanning the content. If it’s a brand I love, I’ll take more time.
Here’s what I’m looking for:
(1) Does the brand acknowledge my loyalty?
Napa Valley hotel, Senza, recently sent me an email with the subject line, “Ready for Your Return”. I had stayed at the hotel in the beginning of the year and so I knew this email would be relevant. It was.
Lesson: Make it very clear in your subject line and in the body of your email that you understand exactly who you are targeting with your emails. Make your guests feel special and not like one of the masses.
(2) Does the brand send offers that make sense to me?
When I receive a ‘getaway’ promotion from a hotel in my email, the hotel had better be located near-by. I’m not going to fly across the country for a quick getaway. But if there’s a great promotion and the hotel is a quick drive or easy flight away, it might warrant an impulse purchase.
Lesson: Use geo-targeting to send different offers to different people, depending on their locations. With many people still hesitant to fly amid the pandemic, hotels can focus on their drive-to travelers and encourage them to book a stay. Your international guests likely won’t travel now so don’t send them offers until borders open back up. However, a well designed newsletter that includes hotel playlists or special recipes could serve to keep your hotel top of mind. Here are some fun examples.
(3) Does the email aesthetic make me long for the brand?
Hotels have done an amazing job over the last decade of building memorable brands. The Roger Smith Hotel in NY, for example, has a tech-forward, hipster aesthetic. The Amangiri? Exclusive luxury with a relaxed vibe. When I get emails from these hotels, I expect to be transported, just for a minute, to the property. The images, the voice and even the layout need to be aligned with the brand. If not, I feel disconnected.
Lesson: Email should be an extension of your brand. Your emails should connect with your audience and make your guests feel like they just stepped into your lobby. Make sure that your email marketing platform allows for both branding and great technology. This means that you should have easy customization of email templates to ensure that your brand can shine.
If your hotel didn’t ace these three lessons, it’s probably because your email marketing solution isn’t easy to use and doesn’t offer a way to easily segment your database. When that happens, marketers resort to spray and play techniques, sending one email out to the entire database. And we know that doesn’t pay off. In fact, according to our datasegmented campaigns see a 20% higher open rate, a 70% higher click-through rate (CTR), and 73% higher revenue per recipient than non-segmented campaigns.
Email marketing should be a core element of every hotel’s marketing strategy, especially today. 2021 will (hopefully) be a recovery year for the industry and hoteliers need to focus on their most cost efficient channels. Email, without a doubt, is the most lucrative channel for driving new bookings. It’s resource efficient, it doesn’t require paying fees to a third party and it can be automated to save time and improve conversion rates.
If you’re ready to get serious about your email program, Revinate Marketing combines the power of a Hospitality CR with world-class email marketing. It is helping thousands of hoteliers drive revenue and get closer to their guests.
If you’re looking for a partner to help you get the best results from your email program, please contact us.