We recently had the pleasure of attending Learn Inbound’s Digital Marketing event in Dublin city. We soaked up the knowledge and insights of, in the words of Learn Inbound “the brightest minds in digital marketing”, and now we want to pass it on to you. These are our top take aways from the Content and Growth Marketing side of the event.
During her talk on Email Conversion and Copywriting, Joanna Wiebe, creator of Copy Hackers, stressed that email is not dead. In fact, a DMA insight tells us that 99% of adults check email daily. Therefore, the answer to the question, ‘did GDPR kill marketing emails?’ is no, it just set a requirement for them to be extremely engaging. She shared her key steps to creating engaging emails.
Let your customer drive and shape your email by asking a MVS (most valuable survey). Ask a generic question such as ‘What was going on in your life that lead you to our site today?’ A tool such as Typeform allows you to get this feedback, simply embed the survey onto your thank you page. The answers from the MVS should feed 90% of your email content. Use the survey responses as a guide of what type of content your emails should include. This is a great way of getting inside the heads of your potential guests. Use their exact words!
Note the stages of awareness. The stages of awareness splits your audience into separate categories. Those who are problem aware (need a hotel with a conference for a business trip), solution aware (searching for business hotels), product aware (searching for your specific hotel) and most aware with high intent (searching for your hotel with the intention of booking). The way they answered your MVS tells you which category they fall under. Joanna recommends using Trello to group these categories into three: problem aware, solution aware and most aware. Then, create separate email campaigns for each of these groups. According to Campaign Monitor, segmented emails generate 780% more campaign revenue.
Be extraordinary. Easier said than done, granted. However, a few tips she shared is to write for a reaction, not to worry about length, write in the 1st person (but don’t always sign it as so) and make an extra push to stand out every three lines.
Differentiating Your Hotel
Hana Abaza, Head of Marketing at Shopify Plus, spoke about how to drive growth in a chaotic environment, which, safe to say, is relevant to all hoteliers. The hotel industry is a well established one, so hoteliers must prove that their hotel is the best option. Sure, you can differentiate yourself on product, price and quality. However, that would ironically be putting yourself into the same category as the majority of others.
Differentiate your brand by experience. I particularly enjoyed the example she gave. She compared IKEA and STRUCTUBE. Both are furniture companies that offer the same prices, same quality and same effort to assemble. However, look at the difference between stores:
Which one would be a nicer experience to shop in? Or maybe I should ask, which one would you choose to shop in?
As mentioned before, your hotel’s macro benefits are the product, price and quality. Today, this is abstract and meaningless. To differentiate your hotel you must find and promote the space between your hotel’s macro benefit and its function i.e the benefit, why it matters, and how you help.
Persuading Your Guest to See, Believe and Book
Amy Harrison, founder of Write with Influence, explains the four barriers to buying (in this case, booking). The four barriers between your hotel and your potential guest are what the guest sees, believes, desires, and trusts. Now that you know the barriers, the next step is to learn how to overcome them.
To avoid the possibility of losing your potential guest, you must ensure that what they see is clear and easily understood. You must make it obvious what your brand is and what you are offering. Don’t assume that your audience knows the name of your hotel and what industry you are in. A few missing details from your copy can make your special offers or rate plans, as well as your hotel, invisible. State the obvious, clearly explain what it is that you are offering and its benefits and overcome the barrier of seeing.
The second barrier is that of believing. The business traveler may not believe that your family orientated hotel is for them- but little do they realise, your hotel caters for everyone! So how can you combat this false belief? A great way is by testimonials and reviews. A great review of your conference room and speedy internet will show business travelers that they don’t need to be travelling with 3 children to get the most out of your hotel
The desire barrier is easily overcome with the right content. Break down your hotel’s features in terms that use action verbs to simply describe what your guests will really want and emotional benefits to determine what this means.
A good idea of defeating the trust barrier is by highlighting frustrations in your industry. This doesn’t mean calling out the competition. Simply show how your hotel differs to others. For example, ask your guest, do they pay extra for a family breakfast when all their kids have is a measly bowl of coco pops? Well in your hotel, kids eat breakfast free.
We thoroughly enjoyed attending the Learn Inbound event and receiving these advanced tips first-hand from world-renowned digital marketing experts. Each speaker provided proof from testimonials and statistics that these guidelines really do work, so follow them today to successfully attract the right guest at the right time to your hotel!