However, email marketing strategies are not always as effective as they could be. As a large number of companies miss out on potential customers, or drive them away by making simple mistakes, this has an adverse effect on any marketing strategy. Included within these companies are hotels: a large number of hotels and hospitality businesses limit their success by making simple errors which could easily be avoided.
There are a number of ways to polish a hotel’s email marketing strategy in order to attract more customers, increase guests’ experience and keep them returning to the hotel or using a brand. In order to improve your hotel’s email marketing strategy, keep the following eight key points in mind.
1. Include a clear call to action
Email marketing strategies can be limited by not including a clear call to action. A call to action can include asking the customer or potential customer to do something.
Whether it’s asking them to book a special offer, sign up to a newsletter, or inspiring them to visit the website, a call to action is key to activate any type of user. One call to action (and a secondary one to boost the first one) can also be used, such as ‘sign up to receive this offer.’
2. Segment your mailing lists
Email marketing can be limited by not using segment emails. Strategies can be deemed unsuccessful if they aren’t personalized to the specific person reading the email. In addition to this, not understanding the different audiences’ sectors, or not looking at previous data about the guests such as segmentation by families, business or leisure trips, and their past bookings will hinder email marketing performance.
A good email marketing strategy will personalize emails to its audience’s segment, lifestyle and data. This can help to provide personalized offers and perks, which the audience is more likely to act upon and utilize. Email marketing strategies can also utilize geolocation, past spending and online behavior to further improve their marketing strategy.
3. Use multifunctional email designs
Designing emails to only be viewed on web browsers can hinder an email marketing strategy’s performance. Gone are the days when emails were solely read and replied to on desktop computers, it is now suggested than 54% of all emails are opened and replied to on smartphones or mobile devices.
To appeal to all audiences and ensure that the email is read and utilized how it should be, email marketing should be truly visible on both desktop computers and mobile devices. The font size, column layout, overall layout, buttons and links should be visible and compatible with mobile devices and desktop computers. Research suggests that an email which is not compatible with a smartphone or mobile device will decrease click-through rates (CTR) by up to 15%.
4. Focus on the email subject line
The email’s subject line should be of the utmost important in email marketing strategies. If an email has an insignificant or boring subject line, the email will likely not be opened. The subject title is the most important aspect of the email marketing strategy. Individuals receive hundreds, if not thousands of emails weekly or monthly and many people will decide to either read or delete depending solely on the enticement of the subject line. In regard to travel, personalized email subject lines are said to be 40.8% more likely to be read then an unpersonalized subject line email.
In addition to this, subject lines with customers’ names are also more likely to be seen, as are those with short, specific subject lines which give an enticing reason to open the email and provide a sense of urgency. An email which demonstrates urgency is 22% more likely to be opened than one without. For example, urgency could be in the form of ‘get 30% off regular room rates before Thursday.’
5. Avoid collecting email addresses from other companies or by paid submission
As tempting as it can be to acquire email addresses from different companies instead of allowing individuals to sign up on their own accord, this doesn’t help with email marketing strategies. If a potential customer receives an email from a company which they have never signed up to, they are very unlikely to open the email.
It is more likely to get deleted than opened. Only send emails to customers who have specifically signed up to receive your emails. Also, without email consent companies are unlikely to have specific data on email audiences. In addition to this, relevant and well-timed content is more likely to stand out than an email received in the middle of the night.
6. Pay attention to statistics and metrics
When organizing email marketing strategies, make sure you pay attention to metrics and A/B testing after each email campaign. Metrics such as bounce rates, CTR, unsubscription numbers, engagement and the overall campaign success will provide great data and information for the next campaign.
Information such as how recently a guest visited a hotel, their frequency of visits, and how much they spend on average during their stay can also be useful metrics to pay attention to. In this sense, utilizing specific data can make email campaigns more personalized. Keep in mind it is important for this content and data to be updated regularly in order to keep up with trends and contact databases.
7. Remember that email automation is of high importance
Automation of emails has changed the way email marketing campaigns work, allowing companies and hotels to send emails at a pre-scheduled time means someone doesn’t have to sit by the computer and press send. This has allowed companies to preset email campaigns, which has helped reduce error and (by scheduling the email to be sent at a specific time which is most popular for emails to be opened) ensure a higher open rate.
Email schedules can also be utilized to send personalized birthday or event messages with specials, or at peak booking times which can save time and energy. The audience can be segmented into small specific groups to allow for email automation at different times, for example with customers around the world who live in different time zones.
8. Create a compelling email campaign
An email campaign can fail on its own if the subject title, body of the message or the call to action isn’t strong enough. The email needs to have a good subject, a brief message, an enticing subject line, a call to action, and high quality content to be able to generate leads.
Without these features the email campaign will more than likely not produce the right outcome for the company, if any outcome. However, by focusing on these eight key aspects you will be well on your way to improving your company’s email marketing strategy.