How Three Little Words Affect Hotel Email Open Rates

One of the ways to get the highest response rates possible on your hotel’s marketing emails or post-stay surveys is to optimize your subject line. Regarding hotel email open rates, many hoteliers have this question: Should you use or avoid certain words in subject lines when sending emails to your guests? What does the data say?

A recent report from Sidekick examined 6.4 million emails sent from their 50,000+ users, including marketers, sales reps, managers, and entrepreneurs. According to the report, here are three words that significantly affect open rates:

1. You

Emails with the word “you” in the subject line were opened 5% less compared with those that did not include the word.

For example, generic subject lines like “Did you enjoy your stay with us?” are 5% less likely to be opened than emails that do not include the word “you.”

Takeaway:

Your guests want to know that you’re speaking to them, personally. A generic “you” without any personal elements sounds like a blast email. Try testing subject lines that include guest names, like “Rachel, we’d love your feedback,” or a specific detail about the stay for true personalization.

2. Quick

Emails with “quick” in the subject line were opened 17% less than those without.

Takeaway:

Creating a sense of urgency in your communications can be valuable (as in with limited time offers), but the word “quick” doesn’t seem to help. Try being more specific in your emails with something like, “Rachel, can you take our five minute survey?”

3. Tomorrow

Emails with “tomorrow” in the subject line were opened 10% more than those without.

Takeaway:

While “quick” had a negative impact on open rates, “tomorrow” is one way to tap into the excitement of an incoming guest. Your guest may be much more interested in opening the email, which can lead to more successful upgrades or amenities promotions.

Please note that while studies like this can give you some ideas to try out, it is critical to do your own testing and figure out what works best for your property or your brand.

Want to drive more direct revenue and connect with guests? Download our free Email Marketing Strategy Guide. Never before has there been a more jam-packed, industry-specific guide to help hoteliers master the art (and science) of email marketing. Over 40+ topics with actionable insights, strategies, and best practices for email marketing.

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