The hotel industry is on an upward trend (before Covid-19 struck). Competition is stiff, as each accommodation brand elbows each other when it comes to marketing and promotions. The big brands have all the resources to spend on this, but how about independent hotels? How will they get a share of this dog-eat-dog industry without spending a fortune?
The answer is email marketing.
Email marketing is the least expensive of all marketing techniques. The beauty of it is you get to communicate to your target customers in the sanctuary of his office cubicle or his home workstation. Studies show that this marketing strategy gives a return ratio of US$40.00 to US$1.00. That’s a higher results ratio than other advertising channels such as television, radio, or social media.
To ensure an exceptional ROI, it needs a thoroughly planned and executed marketing strategy. Email marketing is a science that each independent hotel team should master to get its investment value.
Steps to Successful Email Marketing
Below are some essential steps that you need to remember when starting your hotel’s email marketing.
- Build Your List
Everyone starts with an email list. It is the backbone of your marketing.
You may start with your existing database. Please make sure you get clients’ permission before including them to the email marketing list. You may do this by sending them messages with an opt-in button. This way, you are sure that your emails have a high deliverable factor.
To grow this database, you need to get new subscribers. An email software can create a signup form and integrate these forms into different spots on your website. It may be on your footer, on the Inquire or Contact Us page, or the usual practice is a pop-up page.
You may incentivize website visitors to sign up by, for example, offering discounts to the first round of drinks on their next visit.
- Practise segmentation for easy targeting
A simple way to explain email segmentation is to send out the right message to the correct group of people at the right time. We are all individuals with different needs, interests, and habits.
Hotels cannot lump their subscribers together and send out uniform messages. If you segregate, you can create sub-groups and then send them messages that are relevant to them. For example, a businessmen group will appreciate a newsletter highlighting the hotel’s newly-renovated meeting room or their meeting package. And to the female working women group, your resort’s new spa or after office yoga class may be attractive to them.
Practicing segmentation increases your hotel’s email open rate, thus, also increasing the possibility of customer engagement.
- Engage with personalized messages – before and after their visits
Pre-arrival emails let your guests know you’re expecting them. Because of the personalized name and arrival date, guests feel a warm welcome.
Other details that you can include in the pre-arrival email are:
- Hotel address and contact details
- Weather forecast
- Information on your food and beverage outlets
- Places of interest in your city
Pre-arrival emails are a super-effective way to cross-sell.
After the guests check out, the hotel should send a post-visit email to:
- Thank guests for their stay
- Ask for feedback
- Encourage them to return soon
- Invite them to follow your hotel on social media platforms
- Invite them to join your hotel’s loyalty program
It costs 5-7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain one. Sending these personalized emails will surely help you with customer retention.
- Celebrate Special Days with your Subscribers
Hotel loyalty programs are not just for earning points. It serves as the hotel’s way to reward the people who have been loyal in giving their business and even recommending your brand to their close friends and families.
To these people, it is a small gesture from the hotel to reward them with a free cake on their birthdays, a free upgrade when they check-in, or a 50% discount for him on when he brings his family for lunch on Fathers’ Day.
All these rewards are explained in detail via email.
- Share useful information, not just discounts and deals
By nature, people are very visual. They remember 80% of visual images compared to 20% of written words. Therefore, invest in good pictures of not only your hotel, but your landscape, sunsets, and other natural wonders surrounding you.
If you have a beach resort, nothing evokes more desire than a picture of a beachfront landscape with palm trees swaying to the wind. You can also showcase images of a tourist site in your city or your newly-renovated rooms or a Guest Chef and his food creations to promote your F&B outlet.
What you want is to give your subscribers some relevant information, tickle their excitement, and then go to your website to click on the Call-To-Action button.
To summarize, we want to capitalize on email marketing due to its low-cost, high-yield results. Your client database is the most essential ingredient. Use personal data and preference to segment your market and send relevant info. Personalize your guests’ journey to ensure their customer experience is enjoyable to produce repeat business.
Sound simple? If you need tutorial in any of the above steps, at Hobal Luxury Collection we can help you. Please contact us at email@example.com.
Willy Hobal / www.willyhobal.com