Email marketing is an excellent and efficient way to connect with and spread a message to an audience. In the hospitality industry, email marketing can be used to communicate with current, loyal, and potential guests. You may be wondering to yourself, “Why should we start email marketing campaigns” or “How would email marketing benefit me?” Simple. Email marketing for hotels will help drive room nights, encourage bookings on special offers, show off your hotel’s story and location, and foster relationships with guests.
#1: Drive Room Nights
Did you know that, according to Campaign Monitor, “for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI?” That is pretty wild. Depending on your campaign, it can basically pay for itself.
Take advantage of this opportunity to increase your room nights. Your potential or returning guests could be sitting at their desk right now and daydreaming about taking a much needed vacation. Enter their mindset or dream by putting your hotel’s name and message in their inbox. Show your readers why they should stop what they are doing and start planning their stay with you.
Your email’s content should feature your hotel’s top selling points like popular amenities, unique accommodations, and prime location. Think about what would encourage the potential guest to book a room night at your hotel. Accomplish this through a variety of ways like creating separate callout boxes to draw readers’ eyes to these specific items and make them stand out from the rest of the email content.
In the below example, we directed our readers to the contemporary guest rooms, rooftop dining, and the experience that they could have while staying at this hotel.
One other extremely important factor to the success of your email… link to your hotel’s website! Find pages on the same topic as the email sections you are discussing to send readers to. These pages may include the rooms page, home page, dining page, local area page, etc. You can also direct your readers to your website by including a larger call-to-action button either on the top or bottom of your email. Remember to add campaign tracking to your links so you can determine how successful your campaign was in driving traffic to the website and checking rate.
#2: Promote a Special Offer
If your team is looking to increase bookings on a particular package or needs help with gaining last-minute stays, use email marketing as a source to promote a special offer. As we briefly discussed in the previous section, email marketing is a way to connect with and target customers in the dreaming and planning stages of the 5 stages of travel. (Keep in mind you should already be marketing this promotion on your website and through your social media to increase your touchpoints.)
It was also found by MarketingSherpa that “72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media.” Take this knowledge and design a campaign solely on promoting the hotel’s offer and driving readers to the specific page on your website featuring this offer.
One way to visually appeal to your readers is by designing a single image to showcase the offer and then also include copy below the image with further information. This helps provide context to the image and connects with the call-to-action at the bottom.
#3: Share Your Story or Exciting News
Email marketing for hotels is another opportunity to showcase your team’s personality or share exciting news going on at the hotel. Use the power of storytelling in your email! Think about who your audience is, along with what is something your hotel is proud of and wants your readers to know about. Has your hotel recently undergone renovations? Have you added a new amenity or aspect to the hotel? Why were these changes, like design decisions, made? Was it to brighten up the rooms or make your lobby more modern and inviting? Share these moments to make your reader feel like a guest experiencing the hotel and what to get excited for during their next stay.
Use email marketing as a way to communicate your team’s personality and other happenings. Share awards that your hotel has received, team members of the month, new employees, and more. If your hotel is geared towards a specific type of traveler, you could aso include a message tailored for them.
In the next example, this hotel featured a shout out to their leisure business travelers and included recommendations of upcoming area events to go check out and dates that are selling out quickly. This portion of the email content shows the unique and personable side of the hotel to potential guests. The hotel is showing that they care about their leisure business travelers and want them to not have to waste their time either looking for things to do or when to (or not to) book.
#4: Showcase Your Location
Similar to your hotel website and social media marketing, showcasing your hotel’s prime and convenient location can be expressed through email marketing. Use your email as another way to sell your hotel and your hotel’s location. Why should guests travel to your city? What makes it interesting, relaxing, fun, and different?
This section in your email should speak to the travelers interested in exploring and wanting to live like a local. Highlight events, series, restaurants, and other attractions your guests should go check out that reflect the city’s culture or what it would be like to really experience the city.
Create an upcoming events section in your email, if it matches the email’s goal and flow, to discuss and promote popular city-wide or local events. For a “pro tip,” share events that are near or easy to get to from your hotel and are also featured on your hotel’s website or can easily connect with pre-existing site content. After all the whole purpose of selling your location is to increase bookings at your hotel.
If your email layout does not have a specific section dedicated to upcoming events or the area in general, find a way to sprinkle it in within your content. For example, show off restaurants, museums, stores, or any partnerships you may have by writing content on the general topic and recommend your readers to go check out that specific place. If a big sporting event is coming up, but your hotel is not within a close proximity to the game, implement a similar tactic and encourage readers to dine and watch with you.
#5: Reward Your Loyal Readers and Guests
Remember email marketing can – and should – be fun. Thank your loyal readers and guests for continuing to subscribe and read your email. This tactic is also a great way to foster your relationship with your readers to continue to follow and maybe even encourage their friends or family to also subscribe to your email. To really show your appreciation, include a special offer, contest, or reward for your readers.
Determine if there are other areas within your hotel that could use some additional exposure or extra help driving interest. To increase traffic and awareness to your on-site restaurant, offer your readers a coupon for a free or discounted item at the restaurant.
To increase reservations during a particular timeframe, provide your readers with an incentive that no other guest could participate in if they did not receive that email. For example, offer your readers to reserve a stay for a chance to be entered in a limited time drawing.
Keep in mind you can also reward your readers by also asking them to do something to benefit the other (other than asking for room nights). Encourage interaction from your readers by asking them to actively engage with your content in order to receive the reward or be given the opportunity to potentially receive the prize. In the below example, this hotel partnered with a local company to offer a free night stay with a helicopter tour to one lucky guest, if they took a survey.
Your reward can be small or grand as long as it is appealing to your target audience and aligns with your goal. The takeaway is to find ways to thank your guests for their loyal support and retain their following and trust in your hotel.
Sign, Seal, Email
Email marketing for hotels can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Determine what your goals are for your overall email marketing campaign and tie it in with your other digital marketing efforts for a holistic approach. Remember that each campaign does not have to have the exact same goal or strategy.
The points we reviewed today are just the top five reasons why your hotel needs email marketing and why it will benefit your hotel. Reach out to us today to learn more about our email marketing approach and how our tactics will help you succeed.