Segmentation and personalisation are key to successful email marketing. They may sound like big words, but actually are quite easy to execute, even for small, owner-operated properties.
Well-targeted email communications can get you better results than any other marketing tool. They’re cost efficient and easily automated, which is perfect for busy hoteliers. Here are some tips to get you on the path to email marketing success.
Gather Your Data Organically
The basis of email marketing success is sending them to guests who WANT to hear from you. Be ethical in how you grow your database so you stay on the right side of the anti-spam law and have better results.
Some ways to acquire emails are:
- Setting up a simple sign-in form on your website.
- Including an opt-in checkbox, or a link to your sign-up form, in your post-stay survey or pre-arrival confirmation emails.
- Placing cards in guestrooms and around your property to encourage sign-ups.
Segment Your Database
Throw that mega contact list out. Start defining your audience by segmenting them based on how they signed up, interests, etc.
Use your PMS data to segment your contact list by corporate clients, spa users, family travellers, etc. to be sure you are sending the right content to the right customers. You don’t want to send corporate discounts to family vacationers; sending irrelevant information is a sure-fire way to lose subscribers. Also, address emails to the individual and sign off from an actual person – this can be automated via your PMS or mail service tool.
Create an Engaging Email
Boring content will only result in a depleting database. Think about why people have signed up to your email and what they’d like to hear. Some people sign up to know about your deals and discounts, some may like to know about local events, while others may just have signed up because they’d like to hear what your property has been up to.
Test different kinds of content with various segments you’ve created. See what works so you can match a segment to the right type of content.
Don’t try to say too much in one email. Keep it short and snappy. Pay attention to design – it must be mobile optimised. Include lots of visuals – you’re in the business of selling dreams.
Something most marketers ignore is the landing page on your website, reached when someone opens your email and clicks on the link/s you’ve provided. If you’re talking about a special honeymoon package, make sure your link from the email takes the user to a page that features this package and allows to book easily.
Always keep your user first and make the booking process as easy as possible.
Don’t Become a Groupon
Not everyone wants deals. Remember your audience segmentation. Some of them may have other interests that you can use to drive conversion. Sending endless deals and specials emails is not the best way forward.
How often should you send an email?
There is no right answer to this. Again, something you need to test and discover for yourself over time. Definitely, don’t skip more than a month and avoid sending more than two emails in a month.
Working to a schedule will help you manage your frequency and understand what works and when.
Get the Right Tools
Don’t send emails from your own server. Instead, go with tools that let you send emails the right way, give you excellent analytics, and help you grow your list effectively.
Most PMS providers have advanced options that integrate data so you can manage emails via them. If you’re not using a PMS, check out MailChimp. It has an easy interface, is intuitive, offers many templates and won’t let you spam.
You’re busy. Automate where possible to save time without compromising on results. Pre and post-arrival emails, welcome emails and sign-ups are some campaigns that can easily be automated. Just set them up and forget.