In today’s technology-driven world, a common part of our morning routine is reaching for a mobile phone, followed by checking emails. The importance of an effective email marketing strategy for hotels is undeniable. The use of email marketing is one of the most economical and valuable methods of connecting with an audience. It allows you to build a relationship with both past and future guests, as well as providing you with the opportunity to have multiple touch points with them. However, we are all aware of how many emails we get bombarded with on a daily basis. How can your email stand out from all the rest? Keep reading for five, effective ways of optimising your email marketing strategy and consequently increasing your email’s click-through rate.
1. Keep it Personal
One of the quickest ways of losing subscribers is by sending them a general email that does not interest them. The phrase ‘different strokes for different folks’ is definitely one which should be considered when emailing consumers. For example, a ‘girly spa getaway’ deal is not going to appeal to the business-man who is looking for a one night stay mid-week. Make sure you segment your list of subscribers by creating customer personas. This can be done by conducting surveys to collect general information about them, such as age and reason for travel.
Alternatively, an email provider can automatically segment your guests based on the particular offers that they click into or the site pages they visit. If you are promoting an unmissable offer that you would like all of your subscribers to be informed of, you can simply tailor it to suit each market segmentation. For example, if your hotel caters to families, be sure to add in some information about your kid-friendly facilities. Also, don’t forget the importance of geo-targeting. Modern email marketing tools will help you to prioritize each subscriber’s time zone.
2. CTA (Call to Action Buttons)
The human attention span is rapidly decreasing. Today, the average person has an attention span of 3-5 seconds, compared to 12 seconds in the year 2000. Your emails need to be kept up to date to tackle the feelings of impatience and indifference that are easily aroused in consumers today. These feelings are usually evoked from an overload of information, options and steps to purchase.
That’s where the CTA button comes into play. Cut down on irrelevant content and place a clearly defined and visible CTA button in your email. Use active language with verbs such as “Click Me”. Surround it with white-space, fill it with a colour that will stand out and make sure it actually looks like a button. Stick to the unwritten ‘3 click rule‘ and link the CTA to a landing page. This will allow your potential guest to find what they’re looking for within three taps of a finger/clicks of a button.
3. A Striking Subject
The subject line of your email is a major determining factor of whether or not it will be opened. The power of scarcity cannot be underestimated in this regard. It is only natural that if we are faced with the prospect that an offer is of limited availability, the offer will appear more compelling. Create a sense of urgency by setting a deadline or offering something scarce to convert your subscribers to guests. However, you can not use this tactic for every email you send out.
Alternatively, brainstorm for an original, quirky subject line that will pique the interest of your subscribers. Avoid using caps, exclamation marks, numbers and slang. These can lead your email to be perceived as junk mail. Today’s consumers have higher expectations and are usually deterred by repetitive sales emails. Another way of catching the eye of your recipient is by including their name in the subject line – everyone likes to be acknowledged!
4. Modified for Mobile
There are now 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world, with the average user spending more than 3 hours on one daily. Needless to say, you can no longer presume that your email is being viewed on a desktop. This means that ensuring your email is completely mobile-friendly is a must. Many of you may already be using tools such as Mailchimp which provide you with the option to apply a mobile-style to your email. However, there are other factors that you need to consider to ensure that your email is 100% mobile-friendly. For example, a desktop inbox can display 60 characters of a subject line, whereas mobile devices show only 25-35. Keep your subject line short and sweet to ensure it doesn’t get cut off!
Also, ensure that the most important content is placed above the fold, with a readable font and optimized images. Mailchimp allows you to send a test-email, allowing you to review the email on both desktop and mobile and enabling you to improve it where necessary. This promises an enhanced reading experience for the recipient, regardless of what platform they use to view it!
5. Be Authentic
Sorting through emails is a time-consuming, draining task. The reality is, your email will need to stand out and be authentic for it to be opened and digested. However, with the bombardment of information and advertisements that consumers are being exposed to today, it can seem almost impossible for your email to be distinct from the rest. So what is the best way of ensuring that your email will be acknowledged by its recipient? The answer is simple- by building a rapport with your subscribers.
A way of doing this is by sharing the benefits that your hotel will provide to them, rather than simply listing the features of it. Another tip is to change the email content around, ensuring that not every email you send to them is a promotional one. Send an email to past guests asking for feedback and send real-time thank-you emails to your latest subscribers. These will help to build trust and provide a lasting impression with your subscribers, making them more inclined to open the next!
Email remains one of the most effective ways of communicating with your audience. However it can be difficult to stand out. By following these tips, your email marketing strategy will be optimised and consequently your open and click-through rates will increase. Let us know if you have any email marketing tips in the comments below.