In an industry like travel, which has its own unique challenges, email marketing has the potential to seem daunting and confusing. Follow these best practices to start sending emails that generate more revenue and lower OTA costs.
Written by Harry Webster
1. Customer service doesn’t start at check-in.
There was a time when the high levels of service expected of a luxury hotel began the moment a guest walked through the door and ended when you bid them goodbye as they checked out – and a hotel’s reputation was staked upon every interaction between these two points being perfect.
These days, customer relationships begin from the first email thanking a guest for booking. Every communication your hotel sends should protect your brand’s values, nurture the relationship with your guests and make them feel as special as the smile on your concierge’s face when they first arrived.
2. Use data to get to know your guests.
The success of your emails directly relates to the quality of your data. The more data you can collect about your guests, the more valuable their profile becomes. As a hotelier, you’re in a unique position to collect rich data about your guests’ spending habits and behaviours, which can be turned into personalised emails that interest and engage them.
3. Personalisation is key to targeting.
According to Econsultancy, personalised content leads to a staggering increase of 42% when it comes to conversions. If you know a guest family has young children, they’re more likely to be interested in booking for stays during school holidays. If someone has significant spend in the restaurant during their stay, they may be more interested in the appointment of a new head chef or a new menu than someone who only visits to use the spa. This information can then be used to serve up personalised content relevant to each guest.
4. Timing is crucial.
If guests held their wedding at your hotel, you’ll know their anniversary date and are well placed to suggest a romantic getaway to celebrate with a well-timed automated email a week or two before. Too late, and they may already have made plans somewhere else.
5. Know the purpose of your email.
The purpose is what you want your guests to do after they receive your email, and this should be aided by your use of personalisation and timing. As with any hotelier looking after their margins, you want guests to book return visits directly through you instead of an OTA. Send an automated email on the day they check out and offer a value-added extra like a bottle of bubbly waiting in their room on next arrival as an incentive to book with you directly.
And they’ll never be more receptive to the idea than as they’re making their way home from a dream break, blissfully relaxed from the spa, well-rested from a perfect night’s sleep, bellies full of delicious food, minds empty of worldly cares and already dreaming of their next visit…
Jarrang are the email marketing specialists for the luxury hotel sector.
If you could use some help sending email marketing campaigns that engage and convert, then we’d love to hear from you, just click here.