Email marketing 101: How to make your hotel the go-to place for everyone

Email marketing can make your hotel the town buzz, but not if you don’t know how to use it to your advantage. This blog will discuss the top tried and tested email marketing strategies for hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts!

Running a hotel is hard. You must keep healthy cash flow levels and ensure your facilities are prim and proper. While those factors are crucial for retaining customers, how do you bring customers in? That’s where marketing comes in.

Every hotel relies on a mix of marketing strategies, including social media marketing, conventional marketing like TV ads, content marketing, and more. A critical component of this marketing mix is email marketing. Often, marketers assume that email marketing is obsolete and doesn’t work, but that’s far from true. In fact, it can do wonders for your hotel if you know how to use it correctly. Here’s all you need to know to launch the perfect email campaign to promote your hotel.

A visual email is a successful email

Visuals are the most important component of your email when it comes to retaining the reader’s attention. How many sales emails have you seen lying around your inbox with just long blocks of words? We bet you didn’t even read them and most likely tossed them into the trash folder.

Since no one wants to probe through walls of bland text, the best way to catch their attention is to use visuals, graphics, and GIFs. However, it’s also important not to overuse them as it’ll reduce their impact. Your email should be a good balance of words and visuals. Also, don’t forget to use fonts and colors that reflect your brand identity.

A good way to craft the perfect email is by using an online graphic design tool like PosterMyWall, which contains several pre-built email templates. Simply choose a design and start editing using its online drag-and-drop tool — you’ll be done in a few clicks!

Subject lines are the hook

When crafting an email, remember that you only have one shot at making a good first impression on the reader. Therefore, you must have a compelling subject line because that’s the first thing anyone looks at before opening an email. A dry and boring email subject line would make a potential customer toss your email into the trash folder without opening it.

For instance, instead of saying, “Book your hotel at a 20% discount,” you could say, “Find your nest with your early bird discount.” The latter immediately stands out and has a tinge of creativity, which automatically catches the reader’s attention. It’s quite possible that you stray away and get too vague, so make sure you don’t do that. And lastly, you should never mislead the reader into opening your email with an irrelevant subject line — that’s the easiest way to lose a potential customer forever.

A call to action is a must-have

One cardinal mistake many email marketers make is not inserting a call to action (CTA) button in their emails. Suppose you get 2 emails from 2 hotels you might want to stay at during your upcoming trip. One of the emails has a CTA button at the end saying, “Book your hotel at a discount here,” with a hyperlink. In contrast, the other one (equally visually appealing) lacks the CTA button — which hotel do you think the customer would most likely book their hotel in?

The thing is, your potential customers aren’t going to wait or scroll around your website to find answers. They expect you to bring the point of sale to them because it saves them time. That’s what a CTA does basically — it tells the potential customer exactly what to do next to use your discount and book their room. Don’t forget to hyperlink your CTA button with the specific landing page (discount page of the booking page).

Ever heard of market segmentation?

Most hotels don’t have a singular target audience. Even if your hotel is booked mostly by tourists, some local students or families might want a place to live for a couple of weeks. So, you have different shades of the target audience. This is what market segmentation is all about — picking out different strands of your target audience and crafting an email for each segment respectively.

Market segmentation maximizes your email campaign’s impact in all audience segments, not just one. If you send one email to everyone, you’ll end up catering to just one segment of your target audience. And when you ignore the other segments, they’ll likely lose interest in what you have to offer. Unfortunately, most marketers don’t use market segmentation to their advantage, mainly because it’s a tedious and time-consuming process.

The 80-20 rule still works!

You might assume email marketing is all about marketing. Quite the contrary — it’s about standing in your customer’s shoes, identifying their pain points, and offering a solution that only you have. That last part is where marketing comes in, usually as a sleight of hand. According to the 80-20 rule, 80% of your email should be value-based and educational, while only 20% should be reserved for sales.

That’s for a good reason. Imagine reading an email that constantly advertises itself as the best hotel with a perfect track record and this and that. You would probably not trust that hotel due to being oversales-y. That’s what most emails are like, but you don’t want yours to be that way. So, ensure your emails actually resonate with the customer’s frustration of not being able to find a good hotel and good prices or some other problem. That’ll help build trust, and until that happens, you can’t offer a sales message.

Some concluding thoughts

While we’ve seen dozens of hotels benefit from the above-mentioned email marketing strategies, you must remember that each enterprise is different and has a unique target audience. Therefore, there’s no universal magic formula that works for everyone. You have to experiment with and test multiple strategies to find which ones work best for you. And lastly, don’t forget to A/B test your email campaign before rolling it out fully.

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