A Brief Guide to Hotel & Resort E-Mail Marketing

By: O'Rourke Hospitality Team

Why It’s Important for Your Hotel

E-mail can be a very important channel for your hotel; especially for creating a better customer experience after a guest has booked a room. E-Mail is the preferred channel for reminders; things like reservation details, check-in times, etc. In fact, 83% of respondents to one survey like to receive these notifications by e-mail!. Of course, you can also use e-mail marketing to incentivize consumers to book a room or take some other type of action.

As you get started on building on your hotel’s e-mail campaign in a web-based program like ConstantContact, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Design

The design of e-mails can vary greatly from hotel to hotel, but like websites, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Calls to Action: Your hotel’s e-mail is a tool that helps your hotel meet its goals; therefore, it should allow visitors to interact with it or your hotel. This could mean providing a clear way to contact your hotel to take advantage of an offer; it could be a link to more content or even a button allowing users to share your message.
  • Clear Layout: Your e-mail should be easy to look at and navigate, as well as being concise in language. And remember, a picture is worth a thousand words!

Settings

Be sure to think about things like the subject line and the “from” e-mail address of your hotel’s e-mail campaign. The “from” address should be familiar to the receiver and the subject line should be enticing enough for the recipient to want to open the e-mail. Think about how many e-mails you receive per day and what might stand out.

List Management

An important aspect of managing your e-mail campaigns is managing your e-mail lists. How did you receive these e-mails, how old are they, are they separated into the right segments, etc. There are many web-based services you can use to help you do this; ConstantContact tends to be a popular platform.

Spam & CAN-SPAM

There are specific laws in place to help prevent consumers from being spammed in their e-mail accounts, among other things. These laws are known as “CAN-SPAM”. Be sure to follow these laws when creating your hotel’s e-mail campaign and, more specifically, managing your lists.

Another thing to keep in mind is that certain things will cause your e-mail to be flagged as spam and make it land in the recipients spam box. These things typically revolve around certain words you place in your e-mail’s subject line or body text.

Measuring Results

There are many metrics you can use to measure your hotel’s e-mail campaign’s effectiveness. Here are a few of them to keep in mind:

  • Bounce Rate: The rate of e-mail addresses that, for one reason or another, was not able to receive your e-mail. This is important because it can provide insight into the quality of your lists. A high bounce rate could mean a poor quality list.
  • Spam Reports: The number of e-mail recipients that have marked your e-mail as spam. A high amount of spam could mean another list issue or that your e-mail doesn’t offer the option for recipients to opt-out of your e-mail campaigns.
  • Open Rate: The percentage of recipients who have opened your e-mail. A “good” open rate depends on the industry and what type of e-mail you’re sending (newsletter, an offer, reminder, etc.). A low open rate could mean that your subject line needs work or your list isn’t targeted enough, among other things.
  • Click-Through-Rate: The percentage of recipients who opened your e-mail and clicked a link in it. A higher click through rate is better and may indicate good interest in taking the action you’ve identified and that your lists are well targeted.

Testing

Like many other aspects of marketing, testing is a critical aspect when it comes to improving performance. What might work for one hotel may not work for another. You can test aspects of your campaign like your design layout, what actions you allow the user to take, using different pictures; the possibilities are endless.

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