Your priorities have no doubt changed and shifted over the last few months. With all the new developments you’ve been implementing and different considerations you’ve had to take on board, let’s continue to keep a keen eye on the proven methods of communicating with your guests and prospects, one of these being: email marketing.
‘Email marketing’ as a term might sound a little outdated to some, maybe because it’s been around for so long. It’s really not! In fact, it’s only becoming more and more of a preferred and sophisticated channel for interacting with guests and prospects. Here are some pretty solid stats to back this up:
- 99% of us check our email every day
- 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
Personalise, personalise, personalise
If email marketing has upped its game, so should you. It’s no longer good enough to send a blanket mail to your entire database with no consideration for who’s receiving what – an email focused on family offers might not be very relevant to someone who’s previously booked a girly spa weekend with you. You have the power to segment your contacts and use personalised messaging to engage your readers.
You can start segmenting your contacts by creating customer personas. Create these based on all the information you collect when someone checks in.
We chatted recently on our partner podcast series with Will Howes of Revinate, a hotel CRM platform that helps to consolidate your data and provide you with a better understanding of your guest segments. With such improvements to the hotel tech stack in recent years, it means you can really start to refine your data and ensure you’re 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’re putting time and effort into an email marketing strategy, best check all the details. Remember that little thing called mobile? Our latest 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. Keep in mind that 73% of companies today prioritize mobile device optimization when creating email marketing campaigns.
Another way to optimise your emails is by using the right kind of imagery. Your images speak more words than the words themselves! Make sure they complement the message you want to get across.
Your CTA is so important too. Are you directing readers to the right landing page? Are they being directed straight to the offer once they click on it and show their interest? 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.
Subject line: crucial
Your subject line is the first thing your readers will see. Do NOT underestimate the importance of this one line! It has the power to pull in readers if you decide to make it compelling enough. A great subject line that gets to the point, makes sense and isn’t too long winded, can be the difference between an average click through rate and an impressive one. And one more thing – if you can personalise the emails with names, even better. If you have your subscriber’s first names on your database, it can be done!
Keep an eye on your stats. What are they telling you?
Checking up on your email marketing performance is just as important as actually sending the emails in the first place. Why? Because this helps you to learn, refine and improve, which will lead to an increase in bookings. Pay particular attention to your open rate and click through rate as these will tell you the most about whether your subject lines, timing and email content is 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 get your open and click through rates as high as possible, and like we mentioned before, the best way to do this is by personalising your email communication.
The Net Affinity booking engine full 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.
This is another way of refining who receives what, and it’s done in a non-invasive, very natural environment. If you want to learn more about our booking engine, get in touch!