There is no doubt that automating your hotel’s email marketing efforts can create remarkable productivity, allowing you to scale your efforts without losing accuracy. But, you don’t want your automated messages to feel automated. To build personal, one-to-one relationships with your guests, you need your marketing to feel personal.
Email marketing automation technology can be an outstanding tool for establishing these valuable relationships with your guests. But, as your marketing outreach scales up, you need to remember the following email marketing best practices to avoid losing that essential personal touch.
1. Sender Personalization
Some hotels are sending messages from “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” for email marketing automation purposes. Some are also signing messages with “Best respects, Hotel Name.”
In other words, the personalized factor is missing. Since personalized emails are more effective, you should be sending out messages from a real person–one who stands for the values of your hotel, as well as the appropriate message you’re trying to convey.
For example, an email asking a guest to leave feedback could come from the General Manager of the hotel. An email advertising a spa special could come from a favorite masseuse. Or, an email asking a guest about pillow preferences could come from the housekeeping manager. It’s all about conveying a sense of the personal touch in your communications.
2. Gather Detailed Information about Guests
It’s really hard to contact your guests as individuals if you don’t know anything about them. The very first thing to do is gather fundamental contact information (name, telephone number, and email). To get guests more comfortable with sharing this information, be transparent about what it is you intend to offer them.
3. Effective Engagement Measurement
Engagement measures how effective your content is, and whether it’s really connecting with your guests or not. If an email does poorly, try tweaking a few things next time. Consider matching the offer to the segment of your audience that you send to. You can also shorten your subject line, or the body of your email. Change your call-to-action. All of these things can affect engagement with your hotel’s marketing emails.
4. Audience Segmentation
Speaking of segmenting your audience, get this: It’s critical. Not every guest is the same. You need to cater to diverse types of guests, as every guest has distinctive needs to address. Sending one blast email won’t create a personal relationship with each guest. For example, if you are marketing internationally, segmenting according to geographic location is essential. A message written in the wrong language or an event invitation sent to the wrong continent will be totally ineffective.
5. Divide Customers into Buckets
At its core, personalization means connecting with a human voice. But when it comes to email marketing, this is a bit of a paradox, as the purpose of automation is to communicate with guests at scale. Every guest is a bit unique, but you can create a few categories to make your communications feel more personal. For example, items like age group, marital/familial status, and location are all good places to begin. But, you can get deeper. Look into interests like sports team affiliations, especially if you have a professional or popular college team in your hotel’s location. Find things like these that your guests have in common, and then build out a complete hypothetical prospect who is demographically like your guests. The more detailed, the better.