In today’s world, there are plenty of fashionable platforms to get your message across, such as social media and mobile marketing; in reality, email marketing – which is more powerful than ever – is often overlooked. Email connects people in a personal environment – their inbox – and serves as a direct line of communication to potential hotel guests. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reports email marketing has a 4,300% ROI. In order to receive an optimal return on investment, hotels need to focus on the following:
- Getting users to open their emails
- Delivering quality content that is applicable to readers
- Igniting interests using a call to take action
Let’s take a closer look at these elements, starting at the point of inception: the email subject line.
Start with Great Email Subject Lines
Everyday we are inundated with emails that have good, bad, and ugly subject lines. (i.e. “Important Information, Please Read!!!” or “LAST CHANCE”). Researchers at Mail Chimp, have determined the best email subject lines are short, descriptive, and provide readers with a reason to open the email. When crafting an email subject line, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Avoid splashy subject lines. Cheesy phrases do NOT increase open rates, no matter how catchy or cute you think the subject line is. Most subscribers ignore these types of emails anyways. Instead, channel your creativity into a short, yet effective subject line.
- Avoid salesy and spammy words in your subject line. In fact, certain words like “free,” “help,” and “reminder” will trigger spam filters. Other email blunders like ALL CAPITAL LETTERS or multiple exclamation points!!! will be sure to send the email straight to the spam folder
- Keep subject lines short. Most people scan subject lines before deciding whether to read or ignore emails, so keep subject lines 50 characters or less and get to the point.
- Mix it up. Most newsletters launch with a high open rate, but gradually decrease over time. Keep your subject lines (and content) fresh and relevant to your audience.
Here are a few examples of effective email subject lines:
- $99/Night Cyber Monday Exclusive Inside
- Escape this Winter
- Treat Mom to a Mother’s Day Weekend Away
- Your Summer Adventure Awaits
Your Email Marketing Needs Great Content
In email marketing, if you have the right content, you can start a conversation and engage with guests. Here’s how:
- Tailor your content to your readers. Customize information based on previously collected data and be sure what you are sending is applicable to the recipients to pique their interest.
- Keep copy clean and crisp. Use short paragraphs and include keywords that stand out to your reader. Use bullet points so people can quickly scan your content for the main points.
- Use visuals. When applicable, use pictures, charts, and clickable links to complement your content.
- Make your emails mobile-friendly! According to Marketing Land, 66% of email are opened on smartphones or tablets. If your emails are not optimized for these devices, you may miss out on a huge number of clicks.
End Your Email with a Strong Call to Action
Most email campaigns culminate with a call to action. Ultimately, your CTA (call to action) is what you want your audience to do after they read your email campaign. CTA’s can be in the form of a hotel booking, a dining reservation, a purchase or a “like on Facebook” – whatever you want it to be! Here are a few things to consider when choosing a call to action:
- Use a clear message. The call to action should be very clear to the reader so they know exactly what they should do. Use a short, active phrase such as, “Book Now,” “Like Us,” or “Sign Up.” Include some text before or after the call to action that explains what readers can expect when they click.
- Choose your link type. Point your call to action to your independent website, booking page, social media profile, or whatever it is you want your audience to see.
- Prioritize. What is the most important thing you want your readers to do after reading the email? Make that your call to action! Take the guess work out for your readers. No one likes to be unsure of what to do next, so make it obvious!
- Do it in style. Apply a styling to your font to make it stand out from the rest of your text. Choose a complimentary color, increase the size or bold the text to draw attention to the call to action. To make things even easier, create a button!
Hoteliers Need to Know This About Email Marketing
Email marketing is incredibly relevant within the hospitality industry. It is one of the most direct lines of communication to customers and can foster a significant ROI when used effectively. Remember, when it comes to subject lines, less is more, keep your content concise, relevant, and mobile friendly, and make the call to action obvious. For example…
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