By Catherine Torbey
Email marketing is a necessity when forming your hotel digital marketing strategy. It is a direct line into the personal inboxes of your customers. Whether they are past guests or have signed up as a subscriber, they have already shown interest in your product. If you can create an effective email marketing campaign, building on your relationship with the customer and sharing valuable information with them, this can be extremely beneficial in increasing direct bookings and revenue.
We have put together the top 5 ways to optimise email marketing for your hotel.
1. Know Your Audience
When first creating an email campaign, it is important to know your audience and understand who you are targeting. Not all your email subscribers will be the same person with the same interests, therefore why would you send them all the exact same email? Sending a specific campaign to the wrong type of customer will result in low open rates and an increase in unsubscribes.
In order to best optimise your email campaigns, it is important to audit your email lists and segment the audiences. These may be segmented into categories such as location, interests, or check-in dates. The list can also be segmented into those who have and haven’t been opening your latest emails. This allows you to send a special message to those who haven’t been as interested, and can give them a special offer to become more engaged and drive them to convert.
2. Content is Key
Now that you have segmented your audience, the next step is to create attractive and valuable content. There is no benefit to sending an email campaign unless you have a reason for it. Whether it is a promotional offer or announcement, give the customer a reason for opening the email and to then click through to the website.
Some key ways to optimise your email content are:
3. Don’t Forget the Subject Line!
Whilst you are busy creating awesome content for your email, it is easy to overlook one of the most important aspects of all – the subject line! Unless you are able to convince your customer to open the email in the first place, then the content you are creating has no value.
Think of your own habits when scrolling through your email inbox. Amidst the many emails that are sent to your inbox each day, what makes an email actually stand out to you? What types of subject lines convince you to open an email?
When writing your subject line, it is best to keep it clear and concise. Be creative, enticing the customer to want to keep reading. If you are promoting a limited offer, create a sense of urgency in the subject line. FOMO is real, and if customers know that they only have a short amount of time to receive an offer, they are more likely to open the email and then click through.
4. Optimise Your Email for Mobile
In our increasingly digitalised society, people are utilising their mobiles more and more to check emails, visit websites and make purchases.
It is important when creating your email campaign, that you create a template that is mobile-friendly. This includes ensuring the images are visible and properly fit to the page on a mobile, the text is readable and the buttons are clear and easy to click.
The best way to check these features and know that everything is working correctly, is to send yourself a test email and open it on your mobile device. You don’t want to risk losing customers who opened the email, but consequently deleted it after it didn’t function properly on their mobile.
5. Test and Learn
Finally, one of the most effective ways to optimise your email campaign is to test and learn.
Test and learn means to split your audience list and compare different versions of the same email, of which a particular element of the email is different.
For example, you can test:
By splitting your audience and testing these elements, you are able to analyse which variation of the email results in a higher open rate and higher click through rate. This can then help you understand what your audience wants, and you can use this information to plan future email marketing strategies.
You can also send your email campaigns on a different day of the week and at a different time of the day, and analyse whether this has an effect on your email open rate.
The more you test different elements of your email marketing campaigns, the more you will learn about what works best with your customer!
Fastrack provides independent hoteliers with the right tools to increase hotel loyalty, and a marketing strategy that is more cost effective than developing campaigns to attract new guests. Contact us today if you're wanting to get the most out of your hotel email marketing.