Digital marketing can be a whirlwind, and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the data and forget that you’re ultimately dealing with individuals. So here’s a back-to-the-basics primer on some digital marketing fundamentals for hotels, and how hotels that make the most of those principles are moving into the future.

Email marketing is still relevant. You must use urgency and scarcity, well, scarcely, or they’ll lose their punch and annoy your potential guests. The channels you choose to promote your hotel should match your guest personas.

This advice and more is covered in today’s Friday Five, and once you’re sure your hotel is making the most of what the digital world has to offer, go and take a peek at what Airbnb and reduced lead times mean for your hotel.

RE: Email Marketing is Still an Opportunity for Hotels

As a hotel marketing or sales professional, if there was one piece of data that you could obtain on your prospects and clients, what would it be?

Their email address.

One of the most important aspect of communicating with people in the digital realm, yesterday, today, and in the near future is email. Without it, each hotel is just another option in the sea of information that travelers have to sort through. With it, hotels build a bridge that allows the opportunity to nurture an ongoing relationship, and build continuous value directly to the traveler.

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How to Solve Hate Selling in Travel in 4 Simple Steps

Travel’s unique relationship with hate-selling — a combination of high-pressure sales and fear of missing out — puts travelers on the defensive when they’re just about to make a big purchase.

Fees aren’t always bad, but the combination of FOMO and constant begging for money leaves a bad taste with customers. While the science behind conversion marketing leads to higher revenue, it’s vital that hoteliers and marketers alike remember how to be human.

Here are four ways you can bring your focus back to consumer experience.

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5 Lies Hotel Marketers Need to Unlearn

We all know the world is changing. Hotel marketing is changing, and guest expectations are changing. Today, guests expect hoteliers to reach out to them on their terms. And it’s more than simply blasting them with messages through every channel you can find. Your guests expect you to be there when they want you and back off when they don’t. They expect you to remember what they told you at one point and anticipate their needs at another.

Here’s a reminder of the importance of building a guest persona, choosing the right channels and using your data effectively.

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Airbnb Is the Next Big Hotel Distribution Channel

Airbnb is having an impact on the hotel market.  Boutique hotels are feeling the pressure, and chain-scale brands are revisiting the amenities wars of the past (responsible for increasing the operating costs in the industry over the past two decades).  Even so, it is clear that the “spare room” lodging alternative will never be an appropriate solution to many of the stay occasions/reasons for travel which drive hotel revenues today.

This piece argues that, instead of fighting, hotels should be jumping into this opportunity with both feet.

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For Hotels, a New Reality of Booking Lead Times and Path-to-Purchase

Performance marketing agency Sojern looked at hotel search and booking trends and found that two major behavioural changes are rising in the consumer hotel world: The path-to-purchase, from first search to final booking, is lengthening and booking lead times, or “book to stay” windows, are getting shorter.

Thanks to this data, we can now paint a clearer picture of a buyer’s path-to-purchase, and that path turns out to be more complex than we ever imagined.

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