If your hotel hasn’t already run a Mother’s Day campaign in the past few weeks, here’s your last chance! This is a huge opportunity for hotels to benefit from the $21.8 billion that US consumers plan to spend for Mother’s Day in 2016.
The possibilities for potentially successful promotions for hotels are endless. Do your guests want to give Mom a day at the spa? A weekend away? Does your hotel have a restaurant that would be a popular brunch destination for guests who live locally?
Whatever campaign you decide to run, when you send a promotional email to your database, the first thing you have to get them to do is open the email. Your subject line is one of the most influential factors in a guest’s decision whether to open or delete your email.
The goal for the subject line for your hotel’s Mother’s Day email campaign is to be relevant and purposeful to your guests. Mother’s Day is about emotions – gratitude, love, affection, and even encouragement. As such, hotel brands need to incorporate the emotions of the holiday into their marketing efforts in order to achieve the highest level of relevance to their email database of guests.
To help marketers find the right voice for their Mother’s Day-themed emails and identify the most effective subject lines, Yesmail, in partnership with Persado, analyzed over 118K emails sent within two weeks of Mother’s Day over 2014 and 2015.
The findings? Mother’s Day email subject lines that elicit emotion have a 21.5% higher open rate than those that do not.
Here are some of the most successful and least successful emotions that brands used in Mother’s Day emails in 2014 and 2015. This data can help you craft a last minute subject line for your hotel’s Mother’s Day email campaign.
Most effective emotions to consider for your hotel’s Mother’s Day email campaign
Emotional language that communicated Encouragement and Curiosity generated the highest open rates for Mother’s Day-themed emails for both 2014 and 2015.
Top Three in 2014:
e.g. “Give mom the Mother’s Day gift she really wants!”
e.g. “Mother’s Day is Sunday. Shall we save you a table?”
Gratification (note that this is not the same as the emotion Gratitude; gratification entails sentiment over savings or sales)
e.g. “Get 10% off a Mother’s Day trip!”
Top Three in 2015:
e.g. “Don’t Forget Mom – Book now for 10% off”
It’s also interesting to note that in addition to the emotion chosen for the tone of the subject line, the placement of the Mother’s Day reference within the subject line was important to the success of the email. The analysis found that, as a whole, campaigns incorporating Mother’s Day references at the beginning of their subject lines are significantly more effective with an average open rate of 11.2%. This is compared with 9.7% for emails that contain a Mother’s Day reference at the end of their subject lines.
The Yesmail and Persado research also found that placement affected open rates most significantly on mobile devices (as opposed to desktop devices). Mobile open rates for Mother’s Day emails increase 37% if the Mother’s Day reference is at the beginning of the subject line.
Takeaways for hotels
In order to ensure that a Mother’s Day email campaign is successful, hotel marketers should test a couple of different subject lines, starting with two that play on a variety of different emotions like Encouragement and Curiosity.
One easy way to run a test is to group your database into three different segments – two segments of 10% of your subscribers (A and B) and one segment with the remainder (C). First, send two versions of your email with different subject lines to your A and B groups to see which performs better. The email with the better open rate can be sent to your C group, or the remainder of your subscribers. This will ensure that your hotel’s Mother’s Day email campaign has the best success.
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