July 15, 2014 • By Joe Haydn
Maybe you’ve heard the statistics. Email marketing is 40 times more effective than most social media. 77% of consumers prefer receiving marketing messages through email campaigns. You know you should be benefiting more from your email campaigns, but your emails don’t get the kind of response they should. Does everybody else know secrets you don’t? Actually, no. While there certainly are some simple secrets to improving your email campaigns, it seems many hotel marketers don’t know them or don’t use them. And their apathy gives you a great opportunity.
Implement the following and take full advantage of your hotel email marketing campaigns.
- Boost slow periods by targeting repeat guests: Use your PMS data to identify perennially slow periods. Then, set up an email list targeting guests who could help you increase your business. For instance, your pace report shows your spa is slow every weekday during the summer. Create an email list for guests who spend above average amounts in the spa. Send out special promotions encouraging them to come back and bring a friend.
- Get the most out of high demand times: Again, look to your PMS data to increase your yield. It’s easy to assume you’re going to bring in money during certain times of the year. If January is your season, you may be tempted to sit back and let the rooms book up naturally. However, you can increase revenue by sending date-specific emails to previous high spenders at your F&B outlets and amenities. It’s great to have a high occupancy rate, but it’s even better when guests are ready to spend more in your outlets.
- Thwart OTAs by collecting emails at the front desk: If guests book with OTAs, you may not get their email address online. Ask for it at the front desk. Explain you like to send out exclusive deals to your VIP email list and ask them to join. Then, the next time they book they’ll go straight to you and skip the OTA.
- Encourage them to give you an email address before they book: The best time to get them on your list is before they book a hotel. Add a simple Special offers/Deals” sign-up bar to your website. Then, offer them an incentive to sign-up.
- Use time triggers: Everyone likes an email that relates directly to their personal needs. This not only builds loyalty, but it encourages them to open further emails.
Some typical triggers include:
- right after they book
- a few days before they arrive
- a checkup during their stay
- a thank you after their stay
- 9 months or so after their stay...reminding them to book with you again this year.