Email marketing is among the most cost-effective ways to advertise your hotel. A part of Big Data collection, it allows you to stay in touch with previous guests, get feedback, upsell, and encourage direct bookings.
The last few years have seen a new trend in customer service and support via chat platforms like WhatsApp. Undoubtedly, they are in tune with the current technology zeitgeist and should be a part of your hotel’s digital marketing strategy.
However, through email marketing, you can share far more content, including visuals, than chats, which is much better in visibility and less invasive if used sporadically.
How to plan your hotel email marketing strategy
Email marketing is quite dynamic in its appeal and, thus, is not a one-shoe-fits-all deal. As a result, to successfully implement such a plan, you must work alongside a hotel marketing agency that can guide you along the way.
The main point is that every email you send out has a purpose. In most cases, it will have components that lead to sales and an increase in revenue. However, you also need a campaign that goes beyond promotions and helps build your hotel’s brand and reputation.
Guide for hotels to plan an email marketing strategy
Below is a step-by-step guide to planning your emails.
You’ll notice that writing an email with a purpose requires thoughtful effort. Therefore, utilizing the service of a hotel marketing agency like Adigital can save you precious time. Simultaneously, Adigital brings years of experience in the field and an enthusiastic team whose sole aim is to see your business grow.
What is the primary purpose of the email?
The first step in writing an email is deciding on the purpose of the communication. Typically, hotels send out emails for the following reasons;
Most hotels send their guests a pre-arrival email containing necessary information such as booking details, directions, and information about facilities. You can also ask guests about any specific requests they might have in this email.
An upsell email can be a part of the pre-arrival email or a separate one altogether. It discusses hotel facilities, allowing customers to make early bookings for spa treatments, restaurant reservations, and more.
An in-stay email is another marketing technique to upsell hotel services. Hotels send these to guests who are presently residing on the property.
An email that encourages customers to book rooms and might include special offers.
An email sent shortly after the guest’s departure to gather additional feedback.
The bi-weekly or monthly hotel newsletter is a more detailed email that includes everything from hotel news and events to special deals and information about the city.
Who is your target audience?
A wonderful benefit of email marketing is that you can categorize your database. Therefore, it is possible to send a separate email to only a certain number of customers.
Based on the purpose of your email, you should decide on the target audience. For example, when sending an email promoting Valentine’s Day deals, you can focus more on couples who have previously stayed at the property.
Similarly, it’s a great idea to email families before the yearly school holidays. Such an email can highlight hotel facilities for children and adults.
Write an impactful subject line
Writing an eye-catching subject line is unquestionably an art. It should instantly make the guest want to click and read the email.
At the same time, the subject line should summarize the gist of the content and come across as professional. This means avoiding emojis and exclamation marks as much as possible.
Start with a friendly greeting
While being professional in your approach is important, the hotel email should instantly create a bond with the reader.
For that, personalize the greeting and don’t leave it generic. So, instead of saying “Hello, Sir,” go with something like “Hello, Mr. Adams.”
Use visuals and branding elements
Irrespective of the reason for an email, your hotel’s branding needs to be a part of it. Ensure you prominently add your hotel’s logo, tagline, and name at the top of the email.
You can solidify the brand by mentioning the same at the end, along with customer support and contact information.
At the same time, the email body should have several visual cues to capture the reader’s attention. These can range from professional photos of the hotel’s rooms, facilities, and restaurants to those of the city you are in or even links to videos.
Structure the main body properly
The main body of the email must follow a proper structure. Points to keep in mind include;
- The content should have an aim and relate to the subject line.
- The font and size are clear and easy to read.
- Content should consist of short sentences and paragraphs.
- The email should be both PC and mobile-friendly.
Add a Call-To-Action button
Admittedly, the main aim of any email marketing campaign is to help increase sales and revenue eventually.
Depending on the reason for the email, it is thus necessary to have a Call To Action button. You can limit CTA to only a few places for the more informative emails.
CTA phrases and buttons that typically work well are;
- Book Now
- Know More
- Subscribe Now
- Claim Your Offer Now
- Contact Us
- Make Your Reservation
- Plan Your Holiday
- Check Availability
- Treat Yourself to X% Off
- Follow Us on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter
- Get The Latest Rates
Share your contact details
Once again, to make the email more personal, it should end with the name and designation of the responsible staff member, such as the Head of Guest Relations. If you are a small hotel, it can even come from the proprietor/owner, which has a far better impact on the guest.
Now, mentioning the hotel’s contact details at the end of the email is the obvious thing to do. However, you should also include the work contact details of the sender.
This lets the customer speak directly with the person and ask anything specific to the email without explaining everything to someone in customer support.
Furthermore, always adds social icons at the end so that readers can click on the links and follow you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube as well.
Place an “unsubscribe” option
As much as we would want all our guests to receive emails forever, it is common courtesy and ethically essential to offer them the opportunity to unsubscribe.
Moreover, having a customer unsubscribe to your email is much better than having them mark it as spam, which has long-term marketing repercussions.
Send a test email
Sending a test email to yourself is vital. It allows you to double-check whether everything from spelling and design to the email’s format is okay.
Analyze the results
One of the main reasons to hire a digital marketing firm is that they can help analyze the Big Data you collect from email marketing.
Some of this data includes finding how many people read the email, which links customers clicked the most, and whether the email’s CTA buttons worked.
Based on the analysis, the agency can edit and change future emails, incorporating aspects that lead to more interaction.
Email marketing requires plenty of planning. You should not leave writing such types of communications until the last minute. It would be best to have a strategy in place, with emails ready weeks or months in advance.
Moreover, based on email analysis, you can develop a more robust strategy consisting of the best days and particular times to send an email.
Other aspects of planning include;
The number of emails – How many monthly emails do you want to send?
Content – This involves coming up with creative copies that are different. After all, no one wants to read similar-sounding or looking emails every time.
Deals – Emails often include special discounts, like around festivals. However, you must send these emails before the event to get early bookings. So, when promoting Christmas, you might have to send an email with Christmas deals sometime in late October.
At Adigital, we believe email marketing is an essential tool that can particularly help smaller hotels increase direct bookings. Most importantly, it requires minimal budgetary investment, is easy to implement, and results in long-term revenue growth.