For hotel managers, increasing profits is a never-ending endeavour. You need to know how to promote your hotel to new customers. You need to make your customers come back for another stay. Email Marketing is reportedly the best solution to manage this. Whereas with social media the results can be mixed, if you have a robust email marketing strategy you are likely to get better results. Read on to find out about a few tips every hotel running an email marketing campaign should know!
How to get new Contacts
The first thing you need to do is build a contact list. This can be done using your website. Just asking people to subscribe to your newsletter with an annoying pop up won’t do. Subscribers want to know how you can add value to their vacation experience. So, why not ask something along the lines of “Would you like to be part of our VIP list and get exclusive offers?” This type of question makes your customers feel like they’re gaining access to something exclusive. Something other guests wouldn’t have access to. Your customers are out looking for deals; they don’t want to receive the same offers anyone could get. Make sure you nurture these contacts by sending them genuine exclusive offers – discounts or special packages are just an example.
Getting contacts from your guests
Most guests arriving at your hotel will have used OTAs to get a good deal on their stay. When your guests arrive at your hotel, probably most of them used OTAs to purchase cheap deals. You’ll want to get their contact details, especially now that they’ve been to your hotel and had a wonderful experience. It’s essential to get your guests’ details so they’ll return to your hotel again, without using the OTAs. Return customers are a big part of business for every hotel. If you offer guest WiFi (which is always best), that’s a reliable way to get those contact details and more relevant information using the WiFi access form. We’ll explain how to use that information further along this article.
Sending a confirmation email
It’s important to send a confirmation email to anyone who asks to be part of your mailing list. This way, you get people who are notably engaged in your services. More engaged customers are more likely to open your emails and click-through. This automated confirmation email should have some useful info on it already: maybe mention some of the advantages of staying in your hotel. For example if your hotel has a great view from it, make sure to include a picture. It will be a visual treat for people to remember you by.
Use appropriate segmentation
Once you have a contact list growing, it’s important to know how to make good use of the data you’ve got from them. You can segment, as an example, people who visit your hotel for business and people who visit for vacations; people who visit in spring or in summer or segment them by age and gender. You can use whatever data you’ve captured to segment your audience.. This will mean different marketing emails for each segment. Personalisation based on this segmentation makes your email marketing relevant to your guests’ at a deep level and delivers strong interaction..
Types of segmentation
If you have a few people who are interested in staying at your hotel for business, maybe they could receive emails from you advertising some spaces in your hotel for conferences and promoting the hotel’s restaurants. Perhaps add a little bit about bars and restaurants in the area where your business customers could relax after a long working day.
For the holiday makers, you can send them emails advertising fun activities in the area . Use that chance to share some of the amenities in your hotel as well, restaurants, bars, spas and fitness clubs all have relevant audiences. You can even add a map for your city.
Knowing and understanding what your customers want is essential to deliver an experience that’s especially tailored to them. The importance of segmentation lies in making sure you’re taking care of each guest’s interests and motivations. To get this information, you can add a form when you request their email at your website. If they’re already in your hotel, it’s easy to get that information through the WiFi if you have the right guest WiFi setup. This will give you all the data you’ll need when you bring their contacts into your mailing list. We’ll explain how in just a bit.
When to email your customers
Another useful piece of information is your customers’ date of birth. Having that, you can send them a special offer for their birthday. You can also send some emails in the lead up to Spring and Summer, or before Christmas and New Year… It’s important that these emails showcase special offers that your customers wouldn’t get just by booking through an OTA. You want them to book on a landing page that’s linked through from your emails.
The success of email marketing is determined by your guests: they’re the ones who choose to read your emails and click through. You have to make sure that your email subject will be appealing and stand out from the rest of the offers they receive in their inbox. After your customers open the emails, you need to know how to make sure they’ll read on: you can put a special offer at the top to capture their attention, or use a nice picture of the closest beach. Be enticing, be urgent, and your customers will respond to your email marketing and book through your landing page.
Emailing guests who have booked at your hotel
If a guest has booked a stay at your hotel, you should email them straight after they make their reservation. Show them what they can do at your hotel and nearby. Offer to be available in case they have any questions or special requests for their booking. Make sure your email makes your customers feel special – remember what we said about personalisation.
It’s also important to send your guests an email a few days before their booking date with more information. Especially, how to get to your hotel and what they can do while in the area. Once again, personalisation is key – you need to pay attention to the information they’re providing in your form and segment your guests so that each one of them can get the best out of your hotel.
Then, email your customers after they leave the hotel so that they can tell you what they thought of the experience. This is of the utmost importance: it helps you see if there’s room for improving or if any hiccup in their stay could have been prevented. Swift responses to complaints can help prevent those reviews going on pages you can’t control.
These are our main tips for an effective email marketing strategy. Remember, BLACKBX also offers you an easy way of getting emails for your contact list. BLACKBX is a tool you can use at your hotel, providing a connection to your guests without affecting your hotel’s services. We offer all the technology you need for setting up a guest WiFi, getting customer contacts and more. We also are GDPR-compliant, which means you’ll never have to worry about the contacts or data you get from our platform. Contact us for more information and… happy emailing!