Filling your hotel to capacity despite the COVID pandemic has hotel marketing managers gritting their teeth. Reaching your guests and providing useful, interesting email content is one of the most important ways to keep your hotel full and email list active (which leads to more guests booking stays at your hotel). Filling your email list and sending out dull, unimaginative, and irrelevant emails will put your prospective guests to sleep (and not in your hotel!). In this blog post, we’ve outlined seven emails you must send your guests to improve your subscriber engagement. This will also help to improve your hotel’s occupancy rate.
Is your hotel using email marketing effectively to market to your guests?
Here are a few best practices for hotels implementing email marketing:
- Pre-stay emails
- Consistent messaging
- Flash sales for hotel guests
- Food and menu choices
- Monthly hotel newsletter
Hotel email marketing can be used to accomplish a variety of goals including boosting engagement and sharing important information with your hotel’s guests.
How COVID Affected Hotel Guests
The hotel industry has been one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to McKinsey, “Our research suggests that recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels could take until 2023—or later. Investors are providing similar views of hotel companies’ prospects, as seen in the underperformance of US lodging real estate investment trusts (REITs).” Hotel guests not only face a prolonged travel ban but are also facing mounting local regulations that limit how many guests can stay in a hotel at one time. COVID has completely changed the landscape of guest stays and vacation getaways.
Travel limitations caused by COVID have increased the need for more touchpoints and for hotel marketing directors to send out hyper-targeted, benefit-rich emails and drip campaigns that will entice past, and prospective, guests to travel again. Hotel digital marketing services often fail to focus on what drives customers to book a stay, so it is important to put these emails into circulation to your hotel email marketing lists.
7 Emails You Must Send Your Guests To Keep Them Coming Back
- Confirmation Email
- Preference Email (or Upsell)
- Pre-arrival Reminder Email
- The ‘Thank You’ Email (folio/receipt)
- The ‘Request For Feedback’ Email (Leave A Review)
- The ‘Loyalty’ Email
- Using Newsletters to Engage Your Audience
Before we begin, keep in mind all guest-facing hotel email marketing drip campaigns must contain at least the following:
- Pre-arrival emails
- Reminder emails
- Requests for feedback
- Post-Stay emails
A confirmation email is the first email a guest expects to receive after booking their stay. This may include details about their order, a photo of the room they booked, cost and any amenities or links to upgrades that are available beyond their original booking.
This is your first chance to “wow” your guests and keep them apprised of any upsells. Your guest will also expect, at a minimum, a confirmation that their room is reserved and ready upon their arrival. Hotel marketing services use this as the first “tough point” in the automated drip campaign. Hotel digital marketing wouldn’t be the same without this email.
Hotel guests will often wait immediately after they booked on your website or via a mobile app to ensure that their booking was actually successful through the receipt of this important email.
Here are a few items that are important to include in your personalized confirmation email:
- The date of arrival
- Room type reserved
- Number of nights booked
- Your hotel’s check-in and check-out times
- MapQuest or Google Maps directions to the hotel
- Price of the stay (including any taxes and/or resort fees charged by the hotel)
Guest Preferences Email (or Upsell)
The next email that your hotel or boutique inn should send your newly booked guest is a Guest Preferences (or upsell) email. This is the email where you can ask your guests what types of individual preferences they prefer (if any). Examples of these preferences include specific comforter sets including material that may not conflict with their allergies. If you have many hotel guests who travel to your location from out of town, you may encounter guests who prefer less thick bed linens or a specific type of cloth or towel in their bathroom.
It is critically important that you understand your target market (your guest population)
and market to these guests using the most relatable copy possible. Hotel marketing services should take the time to carefully draft these preference emails because they can increase customer lifetime value with just a few cross-sells or room upgrades.
Typical preferences that a guest can choose from include:
- Room size
- Breakfast, lunch, or dinner
- Local or international telephone services
- Minibar or other hotel amenities
Pre-arrival Reminder Email
So far, you’ve emailed your guest a Confirmation Email. Now it’s time to help them choose which preferences or amenities they’d prefer during their stay (Preferences Email). Now it’s time to remind your guest of their stay (as your guest may have twenty different things on their mind during their pre-arrival period).
The period before which your guest arrives is one that can make or break their stay, so this is where leveraging powerful automation tools that hotel digital marketing services can provide will make the difference between a high occupancy rate or one that is less than desirable. The best practice is to send a final reminder email 12 days before your hotel guest’s arrival. Hotel email marketing lists should receive plenty of engagement from these reminder emails.
You can also include:
- Hotel or nearby events that will occur during your guest’s stay
- Possible last-minute upgrades or cross-sell opportunities
- Hotel news or interesting facts about nearby tourist attractions
Contact FrescoData to learn more about our Hotel Email Marketing Services and how we can help you increase your email engagement.
Post-Stay Emails Hotel Marketing Services Need To Send
The ‘Thank You’ Email (folio/receipt) Brings Hotel Email Marketing To Life
How many times have guests left your hotel without a “thank you” email or reminder for them to book their next stay at your hotel? Does your hotel email marketing strategy even include this item? Do you leverage important memories or events your guest had during their experience to improve your hotel’s net promoter score or to increase the possibility your guest will tell a friend about their amazing experience with your brand? Does your hotel digital marketing team deliver post-stay emails like these? Think about some of these questions as you refine your marketing strategy going forward.
You could also include the following in future campaigns:
- Coupons for future stays
- Recommendations for other services (rental cars, flights, and hotel memorabilia
- Personalized thank you note (hand-written or computer-generated work well depending on your clientele. Remember, it is the thought that counts)
Many hotel marketing services usually forgo the important task of personalizing emails and drip campaigns which ends up drastically reducing subscriber engagement.
The ‘Request For Feedback’ Email (Leave A Review)
We all know how important past guest reviews are for hotel occupancy rates. It doesn’t matter if we are discussing small boutique hotels in seaside towns or the 100-room Hiltons or Marriotts of the world servicing VIP clientele, be sure not to forget this important customer feedback tool.
This email is your chance to get the most important housekeeping item out of the way: guest reviews. Your goal is more than just a 5-star review but meaningful, actionable feedback to improve your future guests’ experience. Hotel email marketing cannot function without feedback from past guests.
When it comes to email marketing, especially for hotel digital marketing services, it’s important to discuss hotel email list segmentation based upon how many times a guest has visited your hotel and engaged with past email content.
Include some of this email copy (text) within your Request For Feedback email message:
- “We value your feedback”
- “You are one of our most important guests”
- “Based on other reviews, we integrated it into our guest experience.”
- “Don’t just tell us the positive aspects, help us improve our brand.”
Hotel marketing services and even their clients forget that loyalty loops are important, too.
The ‘Loyalty’ Email
Loyalty programs and “the loyalty loop” are powerful tools that should always be present in your hotel’s digital marketing toolbox.
The loyalty loop is part of the decision-making process of a customer or is a subset of one of the stages of the customer journey (the buying stage). Loyalty is an important part of hotel email marketing campaigns and all hotel marketing services must include this within their marketing strategy.
The loyalty loop includes:
- Buy (a and b below are stages of the Loyalty Loop)
- Buy again
Loyalty Loop Bonding: Get Customers To Bond With Your Brand
This stage can happen through carefully crafted emails that are created to build a bond between you and your guest. This could include a loyalty program or a points program. These plans build a sense of family or a connection between your brand and the guest. In order for clients to be more loyal, your customers must be top of mind in your hotel’s digital marketing strategy.
Loyalty Loop Advocating: Get Your Guest To Absolutely Advocate For Your Brand
Are your customers booking again and again? Have you built up the first loyalty loop stage only to hear about customers failing to mention your hotel during happy hour or at the water cooler?
Brilliant noise defines the Advocate stage by saying, “If they have bonded with the brand and trust it they will recommend it [to] their friends. At this point, if guests decide to make a repeat purchase or a similar item or service, they are likely not to go back out to look for alternatives.” Hotel marketing services should take the time to focus on what works and what keeps customers booking rooms.
So how exactly do you help your hotel guests make this mental switch? The first step would be to overwhelm the guest with a positive experience and integrate touchpoints and feedback throughout their stay at your hotel.
Additional strategies to turn wayward guests into absolute brand advocates include:
- Create compelling shareable content
- Engage your most loyal customers and build out a loyalty program with lots of amenities and targeted perks
- Highlight your competitive differentiators in email content to past guests
- Develop a unique and enticing referral program for your most loyal guests
Using Newsletters to Engage Your Audience
Monthly newsletters also enhance your customers’ engagement with your hotel brand. Hotel digital marketing services are advised to include as many touchpoints as possible to maintain guest engagement, which should then turn those loyal guests into brand advocates. Talk to your hotel digital marketing services coordinator to ask about how to add this to your customer journey.
There are a few different types of newsletters that you could build into drip campaigns including:
- An employee of the Month
- Hotel Happenings
- Nearby tourist destinations
Your hotel email marketing team should focus on email audience segmentation to improve engagement KPIs and to reduce the urge for users to unsubscribe.
Email Audience (Semantic) Segmentation & Drip Campaign Best Practices
FrescoData uses a powerful tool known as semantic segmentation. Hotel digital marketing services definitely don’t go into this depth of detail to segment guests. Semantic Audiences refers to an intent-based segmentation technique that is capable of ingesting hundreds of thousands of “triggers” across all websites. It is done by selecting 5-7 essential keywords suitable for our client in order to attain a weighted keyword cloud. This can help you really target your buyer’s interest. Semantic Audiences is present in the majority of international countries.
Our multilayered omnichannel approach combines developing innovative creatives with carefully targeted email and social media campaigns to guarantee you the best rates of attendance in the industry.
Avoid Spam Lists Like the Plague
Dire Consequences Exist Due To Lack of User Permissions
Spam reports can devastate your organization. Not having permission to send emails to a set of email addresses can send your organization into a dark black hole you may never emerge from. You can be delisted or “blacklisted” which makes it impossible for your subscribers to ever receive any of your emails ever again. This can be a reason for low Open Rates as well as high Undeliverable Rates.
More About The Dangers of Denyltists & Spam Filters For Your Boutique Hotel Email Marketing
FrescoData’s email strategies and lists always append data to user-permission lists. MailChimp, one of the world’s largest email autoresponders, notes that “people who haven’t given you permission are more likely to report your email campaigns as spam, and less likely to engage with your campaigns or make purchases.” Spam filters send your email into oblivion. This can cause an entire hotel marketing drip campaign to end up being useless. Don’t let it happen to your team! Hotel marketing services should keep these tips top of mind to avoid getting delisted and ensuring their content isn’t marked as spam.
Avoid Appearing on Denylists
Denylists are easy to land on if you don’t have explicit permission from your subscribers. Use these quick tips to avoid this dangerous trap:
- Use double opt-in
- Abide by your Autoresponder’s Terms of Service
- Avoid third-party lists like the plague
- Reconfirm your subscriptions regularly
Whether you are a small boutique hotel or a large multinational hotel, times are changing and COVID has shifted how hotel guests consume information and where they travel and stay. Let’s face it: every campaign matters, every message means something to you, and you need to make sure it gets in front of the eyes of your prospect when they need it most. Denylists prevent this from happening.
Contact one of our Hotel Marketing Specialists to learn how FrescoData can help you attract and delight prospects in order to turn them into returning guests.
The FrescoData Difference: Hotel Marketing
We specialize in helping both mainstream and boutique high-end hotels by:
- Providing the right email strategies & database for the right audience
- Generating more leads while spending less time and money
- Improving the Sales Conversion rate
- Generating repeat guests
FrescoData’s industry-leading email marketing lists of hotel professionals facilitate marketers in retaining, growing and reactivating current and prospective clients. The hotel industry encompasses restaurants, hotels, inns, motels, lodging, event planners, cruise liners and more. With the growth in global tourism, the hotel industry has become one of the most organized sectors across the globe and is growing at a fast pace. This sector attracts huge investments and offers enormous growth prospects for enterprises. The hotel industry acts as a source of revenue for many countries and is an important contributor to a country’s development. Partnering with FrescoData’s targeted email lists results in highly targeted hotel marketing campaigns.
All the lists on FrescoData’s databases are opt-in and have been legally compiled according to each country’s marketing regulations.
FrescoData – Database synchronized for effective Marketing
The hotel industry is enormous and the marketing strategies vary from one type of service to another. The hotel industry has traditionally been dependent on word-of-mouth strategy for promotions. Now, with advancements in technology and the increasing use of the internet all over the world, email marketing has proven to be a potent tool for business promotions within this industry. FrescoData proves to be a one-stop facilitator for providing comprehensive email lists while assisting in enhancing and enriching existing internal databases.
FrescoData’s Hotel Email Executives List is Amicable for Your Business Growth
FrescoData’s Hotel Industry Email List is sourced using lists of trade shows attendees, hotel events, hotel magazines subscriptions, guest-based surveys, directories, etc. The Hotel Email and Marketing Lists are categorized on the basis of Job Roles and Countries for convenience. Given the enormity of the hotel sector, our quality team has put in their best efforts in keeping our hotel industry Email List and Marketing List accurate. FrescoData helps you reach the important decision-makers in the hotel industry.
All of FrescoData’s lists are verified by our data researchers and are updated twice a year.