Connect with guests and drive efficiency with email marketing automation
Email marketing is a cornerstone of hospitality marketing. Many hoteliers consider email marketing to be a time-consuming effort with different one-time campaigns. But there’s a faster, easier, and more effective way.
Step into the life-changing world of email marketing automation. By using automated email marketing campaigns, you can deliver personalized messages to guests, improve engagement, drive bookings, and increase guest loyalty – all with streamlined processes working in the background.
What you will see here
- Hotel marketing automation: one-time vs. automated campaigns
- 5 ways email marketing automation boosts efficiency
- Top tips to get started in hotel marketing automation
- Email marketing automation is a powerful tool
Hotel marketing automation: one-time vs. automated campaigns
There are 2 primary forms of email marketing. One-time campaigns are the most common. These may include monthly newsletters, alerts about property updates, or new packages you’re promoting. It’s easy to fall into a one-size-fits-all approach with these – sending a generic blast to your entire database. But sending out too many of these “spray-and-pray” emails may lead to high unsubscribe rates. This is something you definitely don’t want.
An alternative is to include email marketing automation in your mix. These are proactive campaigns that are automatically sent out to a highly targeted audience based on specific predefined triggers or events. You set them up once and they continue to run in the background for months or even years. And due to the ability to segment and personalize these emails, hoteliers experience an average of 71% higher open rates over one-time campaigns.
Some examples of hotel marketing automation emails include:
● “We Miss You” emails are sent out after a set period of time to inspire a return visit.
● Booking confirmation emails help drive ancillary revenue through upsells and upgrades. You can capitalize on the fact that your guests will pay more for room attributes such as specific views, room types, and room location.
● Welcome emails are sent upon arrival. These help ensure guests know about hotel amenities and services, cutting down on repetitive phone calls to your front desk staff.
● Post-stay emails may include post-stay surveys, or “win back” campaigns to entice guests to book directly with the hotel on their next visit.
● Cart abandonment campaigns are triggered if a guest leaves your website before completing the booking process. You can include an incentive that inspires them to return and finish.
Additional ideas for automated emails triggers include celebrating a booking anniversary, birthday, holiday, loyalty, newsletter signup, etc.
As much as 83% of hoteliers are concerned about shortages in skilled labor and 60% are concerned with staff productivity issues. Implementing automated email campaigns help address these issues by simplifying your marketing efforts and minimizing challenges due to reduced staff. Automated campaigns also help drive revenue.
For example, EOS Hospitality used Revinate Marketing’s email automation to drive an average of $32k in direct revenue per campaign.
5 ways email marketing automation boosts efficiency
The use of marketing automation tools among European organizations has increased in recent years and is expected to grow 12.5% annually. This is largely due to the growing adoption of email marketing automation technology.
Here are 5 ways this tech can help boost efficiency in your hotel marketing efforts.
1. A more productive workflow
Well over half of marketers use automation to boost productivity. Instead of constantly recreating the same type of email messages, an automated solution saves time by letting your marketing team schedule repeat campaigns in advance.
A great example is sending out upgrade offers to incoming guests. Instead of manually sending offers after searching for available inventory, you can automate the entire process by integrating your email system with your PMS. This leaves team members free to work on higher-level tasks, such as developing creative, new marketing strategies.
A solution with easy-to-customize templates also facilitates GDPR compliance by letting you set up necessary elements in advance, such as including clearly defined opt-in and opt-out options.
2. Instant personalization
Your hotel guests want emails that are personalized. Research shows that 78% of UK consumers are frustrated by irrelevant communication from brands. With an automated hotel marketing solution that integrates with your CRM, you can ensure personalized messages are consistently sent to individual guests by name, and that each one is signed by a relevant team member.
For instance, an email promoting a spa special can come from a favorite masseuse, or a question about pillow preferences can come directly from the head of housekeeping. This helps you effortlessly build stronger relationships with your guests, increasing their loyalty and earning repeat business.
3. Segment and scale seamlessly
With an integrated system, newly added guest information is automatically cleansed, parsed, and used in marketing automation. Individual guests can be automatically assigned to relevant guest segments and begin receiving targeted emails triggered by specific criteria in their profile such as demographics, shopping behavior, interests, and booking history.
As an example, once you have a guest’s birthday, it can be incorporated into an automated “Celebrate your birthday with us!” promotion. This can lead to higher engagement, conversion rates, and profitability.
4. Optimize lead nurturing
At least 34% of marketers recognize that marketing automation solutions improve lead generation and nurturing efforts.
Once prospective guests agree to receive email communications from you, you can send an automated series of emails that provide answers to FAQs, showcase hotel amenities, and provide helpful destination information. You’ll begin building relationships and converting leads into bookings.
5. Improve marketing campaigns faster
An advanced hotel marketing automation solution lets you easily track and measure the performance of your email campaigns. Since you can monitor open and click-through rates, and revenue generation in real time, you can quickly identify what’s working well and what’s not. And when it’s not, you can immediately make adjustments using real-time feedback to improve specific campaigns going forward.
Top tips to get started in hotel marketing automation
1. Define your goals. Whether the goal is lead nurturing or to drive direct bookings, before setting up any automated marketing campaign, be clear on what you plan to achieve.
2. Use a system that integrates with your PMS, CRM, and other hotel systems as you aggregate rich guest data in one platform.
3. Use clean, de-duplicated data. Misspellings and inaccuracies drawn from guest profiles negatively impact campaign results.
4. Choose a solution with the ability to add and/or remove multiple segments in a single campaign. For instance, you don’t want to send an automated “We Miss You” email to someone who has already booked a future stay.
Email marketing automation is a powerful tool
With a growing appetite for travel in Europe, it’s essential to find tools that help you operate efficiently and maximize revenue strategies. Email marketing automation is a powerful tool to streamline your marketing efforts, generate more bookings, and build customer relationships.
See the impact automated campaigns had globally and across regions in our 2023 benchmark report.