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3 Quick Ways To Drive More Bookings From Hotel Email Campaigns

November 9, 2016 • By

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Even with all of the attention and focus given to Facebook, Google Hotel Ads, metasearch and other tools du jour… let’s not forget the tried and true workhorse of hotel marketing – email!

Smart hospitality marketers know that email marketing is still an essential method for driving bookings. However, it’s just as easy to be complacent with email marketing, using “spray and pray”techniques that only result in fatiguing your list and encouraging people to opt out. Here are three essential components that every hotel marketing email must have to drive conversions:

ESSENTIAL 1: Be Mobile Friendly

Statement of the obvious right?

Think about it: What is the first thing you do when you wake up? If you’re like most people, you grab your phone to sift through your email inbox. In fact, more than 65 percent of emails are now opened on a smartphone or a tablet. Hotels that don’t optimize marketing emails for mobile devices face a steep penalty. Research shows that 71 percent of people will immediately delete an email if it’s not displayed correctly for their mobile device. Ignore the needs of  mobile readers and you’ll likely lose them for good.

Not only should the email design be mobile-optimized, your content should also be created with the mobile audience in mind from the very beginning. Think short copy, bold headlines and images, large call to action buttons and plenty of white space for easy scanning.

ESSENTIAL 2: Craft an Irresistible Subject Line

Your guests’ email inboxes are overcrowded places these days. While it may seem like a small part of your hotel email campaign, your subject line has the biggest impact on that email’s success. You either win or lose with your subject line, there is no "good enough." Afterall, an email is worthless if it sits unopened, and the best email is the one that actually gets opened.

Studies prove that 35 percent of email recipients will open email solely based on the subject line. Not only does your subject line have to be compelling enough to grab attention, it has to be relevant and worthy enough to be opened. Keep them simple and clear, convey urgency and resist the urge to be too creative and ambiguous. Instead, you have to hint at what is waiting for the guest inside. If you’re promoting a "3rd night free" special, then your email should say just that. Use a subject line such as, “Limited Time: 3rd Night Free,” instead of a confusing “3 Times the Fun!”

Also, subject lines are most effective when you segment your email list. You should already have a separate email list for travel trade, transient and group business, however it’s best if you keep drilling down. So, build niche lists by geography, travel type (romantic, family, business, etc), or even meeting type. This way, you’ll be able to tailor your subject lines to match these audiences.

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ESSENTIAL 3: Have a Compelling Call to Action

A common failure of unsuccessful emails is the lack of an obvious and meaningful call to action (CTA). A CTA is a no-nonsense, clear message that tells your audience what you want them to do. Think about what you want your guests to do, then tell them that explicitly. This can include, "Book now," "Explore our suites" or “Start your adventure.” Otherwise, the email will sit there, languish or be immediately deleted. Never assume your audience will know, want, or feel propelled to take the next step on their own.

Further, make sure your CTA is correlated to the recipients level of interest: if you are blindly emailing people who have never heard of your property before… its doubtful they will respond to a “Book Now” CTA. Instead, gently invite them to “explore the property” or “check rates.”

It’s also important to make the CTA stand out from all other text and graphics in the email. Many people scan their emails on-the-go. So, place the CTA prominently, with a compelling graphic or button.


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Direct Bookings, Email Marketing, hospitality, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Marketing Blog

Back to School Means Back to Basics for Hotel Marketers

August 26, 2014 • By
Tambourine: Hotel Marketing Technology Remember when all you needed was a cool lunchbox and a No. 2 pencil to be ready for the new school year? Those were the days! Now you’re a hotel marketer and your list of needs seems endless. As we head into the Fall season, which for many means businesses conferences, wedding bookings for spring and holiday party planning, you’re bound to be busier than ever. However, when you look at your marketing activities, you might notice that it resembles your old school schedule:

English 101: Tell a Compelling and Succinct Story

Back in English class, you learned to grab readers early and engage them. Your marketing messages have the same goal. Back in the day, it was your teacher’s job to read your work. Now, your customers can easily click to a competitor or OTA site. Keep your messages succinct and interesting to arrest your prospects and keep them coming back.

Science 101: Experiment for breakthroughs

In school, you spent the year learning basic scientific rules and concepts. You learned to apply these principals in the lab. You learned the scientific method for learning what works and what doesn’t. You learned to test your own hypothesis. The same applies when you have a theory on how to improve your marketing. Until you experiment for yourself, you’ll never know if your theory is correct. Make sure your marketing programs are measurable and repeatable.

Math 101: the common denominator of success

Unlike other subjects, math is black and white. You either know the answer or you don’t. You can not avoid filling in the blank after an equals sign. Similarly, hotel owners want solid math skills from their management teams… they expect their sales and marketing leaders to contribute to revenue in a measurable way, communicate in number-speak and be accountable for tangible results.

History 101: is history repeating itself?

“History repeats itself,” as the saying goes. We can learn from the past. Similarly, your hotel’s past results also provide valuable lessons for the future. If every weekend in December and January has been slow for the past four years, its easy to see that this coming year will be the same unless you do something to fix it. If every weekend is busy, but you don’t adjust your rates to maximize your yield, you lose out on potential income.

What was your favorite and least subject in school?

Do you feel yourself gravitating to one area of your marketing because of it? Look at your marketing plan… are you ignoring your weaker subjects? Let us know in the comments below.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 30th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

 
 

Back To Basics, hotel marketing, Hotel Marketing Advice, Marketing Advice, Marketing Blog

6 Sales and Marketing Metrics Every Hotel Owner Cares About

August 20, 2014 • By
Tambourine: Hotel Marketing TechnologyYour sales & marketing should be more effective. You know it. But you don’t know how to fix it. It’s a common problem. You fight hard to squeeze more juice out of all your marketing channels. Yet you feel like Sisyphus, the Greek king who was doomed to push the same boulder uphill for all eternity. Fortunately, your struggle doesn’t have to last forever. You can get the boulder up the hill. You simply need to figure out why it keeps falling back down.

The six key metrics every owner wants to hear about:

There are many opinions on the key metrics for hotel S&M teams. And they can vary depending on your property’s location and key segments, but here are the six we recommend monitoring:
  1. MCPB (marketing cost per booking): tracks actual production vs the cost of each S&M channel
  2. Revenue variance from target: this metric reflects your actual results vs the revenue goals (by segment) memorialized in your annual S&M Plan.
  3. Sentiment score on TripAdvisor: using a reputation/social media monitoring tool allows you to measure guest satisfaction/sentiment, this reflects product acceptance or alerts you to product deficiencies. A bad product will outweigh all your other S&M activities.
  4. DRR (direct revenue ratio): measures % of online revenue coming direct vs expensive third-party sources like OTAs. If you’re not getting 40%+ direct, you have work to do!
  5. RevPar Index vs compset: This traditional benchmark is still a key indicator of your team’s performance vs the compset.
  6. Website conversion rate (from unique visitor to converted bookings): Revenue originates from potential guests researching your property online. As your hotel’s digital front door, your website influences your guests’ impression more than any other marketing asset. Converting a higher percentage of visitors is critical to reducing your cost of revenue and MCPB (For a deeper dive on the ways hotel websites can negatively impact revenue follow the link.)

How and where do you measure it all?

Simple new technology is available to centralize all your KPIs in a colorful visual dashboard. When all your marketing activity is synced online in one place, team members can access it, regardless of location. It should look like this: https://track.tambourine.com/demo

Why is tracking marketing metrics so difficult?

Tracking your metrics is easy, but doing it consistently… now that’s hard! Many of you are hitting your busy season. The hotel is booked at top rates. Hallelujah! You’re so busy you don’t need to watch your numbers, right? Well, no. Your sales and marketing metrics drive performance at the hotel. It’s easy to let them slide when you’re busy, but when the season ends, you’ll be stuck playing catch up. About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 30th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com


Marketing Metrics, MCPB, Revenue Variance, RevPar, Sentiment Score, Tracking