This is a guest post by Nathan Midgley, chief editor at Melt Content
A few months ago, Revinate invited us to collaborate on a starter guide to email marketing for hotels. We wanted to do a bit more than offer some tips and examples, so we came back with a wider framework – complete with a wheel graphic to guide you through the process.
To get the complete package you’ll need to download Revinate’s Guide to Email Marketing, but here we share three of the key principles behind the framework:
1. Get your motivation right
At the heart of the framework is a single guiding concept: ‘Motivation’. In most cases, this will be a customer goal linked with a business goal. For instance, you might want to help guests to celebrate special occasions (customer goal) by upselling spa packages and tasting menus (business goal).
Formulating your guiding idea sounds easy, but it’s one of the trickiest parts of the process – and the most important. You’ll often find that one side of the equation comes easier: for instance, you might have an obvious business goal but no sense of how it links up to customer goals. Before moving forward, you need a clear sense of who you’re trying to target, what you want them to do, and what success looks like from a commercial point of view.
2. Data before creative
With Motivation figured out, it’s tempting to jump straight into creative. While it doesn’t hurt to have some ideas, the EMF encourages you to focus on data first. Reviewing the data segments at your disposal lets you go into the creative process with a better idea of who you can target, and how precisely you can target them. Be prepared to do some simple auditing – you need to select segments with enough current, accurate data behind them to meet your goals.
Depending on how granular your customer profile is, you can then use your healthiest data segments alone (e.g. customers under 40 years old) or in combination (e.g. female customers under 40 years old who book direct and enjoy sports). And if the data segments you want to use aren’t looking healthy, at least you’ve identified the problem and can take steps to fix it.
3. One goal, many strategies
The EMF’s content strategy checklist isn’t exhaustive, but it covers some of the key categories to consider, from straightforward property updates to booking abandonment emails. Just like data segments, you can use these strategies singly or in combination to meet your goals. Let’s say you’ve made some changes to your restaurant. You might hit foodie customers with a simple property update email, and customers who have abandoned a booking with a reminder message, sweetened with details of your new menu. Different strategies, different data, same core Motivation.
(If you were wondering why our graphic is a wheel, now you know. The wheel format puts Motivation at the heart of the process, but leaves the rest of the journey wide open.)
The Email Marketing Framework and EMF wheel are a custom versions of Melt Content’s Content Marketing Framework, which you can download at meltcontent.com/CMF.