Email is one of the most effective and powerful ways of communicating with your customer base, especially in a world full of consumers who expect to be communicated with on a 'personal' level.
With nearly half of consumers feeling as though they receive too many marketing emails, it makes sense that if you decide to use the medium, you should focus on quality rather than quantity. Think about it - if you get it right by sending a highly targeted, personalised and therefore relevant email, you'll find it harder to annoy your customers. What is also great about email marketing is that it is a marketing medium you, as a hotelier, own and have full control over. When you create data-driven email campaigns, you will end up capturing higher ROI.
Still need convincing? Here are some stats to convince you:
- 99% of us check our email every day
- 60% of retail, e-commerce, and consumer goods and services companies are personalising emails based on past purchases
- 59% of Millennials primarily use their smartphone to check email
- 74% of Baby Boomers think email is the most personal channel to receive communications from brands
- Data analysis from Revinate shows 98% of all upsell revenue came from pre-arrival emails
- 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers
- More than half of us check our email before doing anything else online
- Email reaches about 85% of the people you send it to
- Email is shown to be 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than either Facebook or Twitter
- 72% of people prefer promotional content by email, compared to social channels like Facebook
Like mobile and metasearch, personalisation is no longer something that is a 'nice to have' - it's pretty crucial for success. It's no longer very effective to send blanket mails out to your entire database with no consideration for who’s receiving what – you must segment and target your audiences correctly using things like gender and age but also loyalty, frequency of stays etc. An email campaign pushing a family offer will not be very relevant to singles looking for a friends getaway. You have the power to segment your contacts and use personalised messaging to engage your readers.
The next thing to consider is how the right hotel stack can benefit your email marketing strategy and strengthen your campaigns as much as possible.
Having a hotel CRM platform that helps to consolidate your data and provide you with a better understanding of your guest segments is key. With such improvements to the hotel tech stack in recent years, you can really start to refine your data and know you are making the best of it so it’s not just sitting there untouched with lost potential. Organising your data and beginning to personalise your emails will help you to establish strong and loyal relationships with guests.
If you have put time and effort into an email marketing strategy, best check all the details. The average user spends four hours and 48 minutes using their mobile phones every day and device trends show that mobile revenue is continuing to go up and up – guests are no longer just reading your content on their phones, they’re booking on them too. Optimising your email and website content for mobile is so important.
You can start optimising content by making sure your email campaigns have right kind of imagery. Images speak more words than the words themselves. Make sure they complement the message you want to get across.
Your CTA is very important too. Are you directing readers to the right landing page? Are they being directed straight to the offer once they click? The same advice applies for your emails as it does across platforms – minimise the steps involved on the journey to purchasing. Give your guest or prospect an easy time, don’t make them work for it.
Your subject line is the first thing your readers will see. Don't underestimate the importance of this one line! It has the power to pull more readers in if you decide to make it compelling enough. A winning subject line gets to the point, makes sense and isn’t too long winded. It can be the difference between an average click through rate and an impressive one. If you can personalise your subject line with names, that's even better. If you have subscribers' first names on your database, it can be done.
Checking up on your email marketing performance is just as important as actually sending the emails in the first place. Learning from the data can help you refine and improve, which will lead to an increase in your bookings. Pay particular attention to your open rate and click through rate as these metrics will tell you the most about whether your subject lines, timings and email topics are successful.
Research benchmark open and click through rates to get an idea of how you are fairing on a broader scale. After awhile, you will start to notice patterns and will be able to experiment with different types of content, language, styles and even timings to see how your rates are influenced by these factors. The goal is to get your open/click through rates as high as possible, and the best way to do this is by personalising your email communication.
The Net Affinity booking engine fully integrates with Mailchimp which means when someone makes a reservation on your site, they’re given the option right then and there to opt in to special offers and different types of communication.
Don't use Net Affinity's booking engine? Sign up for a free demo here.