The thing about most industries today, the hospitality industry included, is that they focus a lot on social media when they are designing their marketing campaign and conducting customer service. In such a world, it’s easy to forget all about your email marketing campaign. However, to be truly successful during your marketing, you should mix up your strategies. That means having a healthy mix of email marketing to complement your social media campaign.
In the hospitality industry, what you want to do is increase the amount of direct bookings, encourage engagement with your brand, and build loyalty in your guests. To do this you need to target your communications well. Email marketing helps you to do this because it is easy to automate and cost-efficient. That makes pretty ideal if you’re a busy hotelier who has a hard time finding time to do something extra elaborate.
If you’re having trouble writing convincing marketing copy for your emails, you don’t have to worry. Just get some good assignment writers to do it for you and focus on the bigger picture.
That said, there are lots of other tips you can apply to make your email marketing campaign remarkable. Here are 8 actionable tips for the hospitality industry.
1. Your email list should be organic
When you’re communicating with prospects, there is one rule you should always remember: DO NOT SPAM. Make your email campaign permission-based. That way, you know you’re talking to someone who is already interested in what you have to say.
When you grow your email list organically, you’re already doing your engagement levels a ton of favours. You’ll also avoid breaking the law. Remember that the fact that a guest gave you their email address when they were making reservations doesn’t mean they want you to send them marketing emails in the future. You should therefore always ask.
You can do this by adding a sign-up form on your website, which people can opt-in into. You could also do it physically by placing notes in the welcome cards you put in your guestrooms. The notes will invite the guest to opt into your email list.
Also, just like you give your guests the option to opt into your email list, you should also give them the option to opt out of the email communication. Make sure you include a clear ‘unsubscribe’ button in every email you send your subscribers.
2. Don’t forget your mobile users
With the proliferation of smartphones today, a good number of your guests will open your emails on their mobile phones. That means you should make sure your emails look just as good on a mobile phone screen as they look on a desktop or laptop screen. If you don’t do that then you can forget them reading your emails past the title.
There are lots of places you can learn how to optimize your email for mobile and you will quickly find that it’s pretty easy. You could, for example, use a provider that offers great responsive templates. Also, try to keep your paragraphs fairly short and your image files small.
Another thing you should consider is encouraging your readers to share your messages with social sharing buttons, which is a great way to mesh together your social media campaign with your email marketing campaign.
3. Schedule your emails
If you want your email marketing campaign to be successful, then you should take the timing seriously. Come up with a schedule for how you’ll send your emails and then stick to that schedule. If you do it too frequently then your customers may get annoyed. Do it too scarcely and they you might slip out of their minds.
In the hospitality industry, you will typically send your clients pre-stay emails, such as confirmation and pre-arrival emails, and post-stay emails, such as emails where you thank them for staying. All of these help them to feel special. In addition to these emails, you can send them an optional sign-up for a newsletter or an offer for a free drink as a thank you to them for signing up to your email list.
As you go forward, keep in touch with your subscribers whenever you have something to say that they will genuinely find interesting and useful. The trick is to know what times are right for sending emails.
4. Automate your campaign
You’re going to have to send lots of emails to your clients in the hospitality industry. These will include special offers, newsletters weekly or monthly, welcome emails for new sign-ups, pre-stay and post-stay emails, and many more. There are too many emails for you to be able to do it manually. The solution is to automate the process.
You can easily integrate your campaign with your PMS so that you manage the entire campaign with customizable templates, list management, promotions on social media, tracking, and so on.
When you automate your email marketing campaign, you take most of the work out of your marketing and free up your time for other things.
5. Keep your emails personalised
Sure, you can automate the whole process, but that doesn’t mean sending out a single generic mass email. Your clients won’t appreciate that. If you want to build relationships with your clients and encourage them to engage with your brand, you should try to personalise the email as much as possible.
Take guests who come back for your spa services, for example. They would probably appreciate being informed of any new attractive spa packages. You should try to tailor emails for clients who will find them most useful. You should also always address the email to the individual to whom it is being sent.
6. Content is king
In the hospitality industry, good content is simply content that your clients find useful. It could be anything from discounted rates to insider information and tips on how they can plan their next holiday.
Your customer, both the existing and potential ones, will appreciate being the first to know about the latest packages you are serving or what kind of new amenities and services you have on your premises. Think about who your target market is and what they would find interesting.
7. Use feedback to your advantage
The emails you send your clients to thank them for their stay can be a great opportunity to make them feel special and get feedback. You can include a simple checkbox survey where you ask for their feedback on your amenities and services. That way you know what to improve on in the long run.
8. Track your campaign
How will you know if your campaign is successful? You should track everything, from the click-through rates to the open rates to the inquiries, bookings, and confirmations.
You should also test as much as you can. Find what works and stick to it. By constantly testing, you get to evolve your campaign to match the audience you’re trying to engage.
A well-crafted email marketing campaign will not only, improve your engagement levels and, ultimately, sales, but will also make your clients feel extra special. There is something absolutely personal about an email that cannot be reproduced on social media. Use the campaign just the right way and you will be able to connect with your audience in ways that would have otherwise been impossible.