You’ve probably heard of the K.I.S.S. rule – Keep It Simple, Silly.
All too often, hotel marketers make things way too complicated. Marketers often force potential subscribers and loyal guests to jump through too many hoops, all to get them to access information and offers they desperately want guests to consume.
But, it’s becoming increasingly important to collect as much data about your guests as possible.
So, how should hotel marketers get guests to opt-in and collect that valuable data without overwhelming potentially loyal customers?
Progressive profiling is key
Instead of asking guests to fill out a long form with their name, phone number, email address, home address, and so on, ask for just an email address to begin with.
This serves two purposes. First, you’re more likely to get the information, because it takes less than ten seconds. It’s not much of a burden on your customer to provide his or her email address. Second…
Emphasize the value
…it’s an opportunity to argue your value proposition. You can say, “Hey, we want to learn more about you, so we can start to personalize our messaging and services. We want to keep you up-to-date on events and offerings that are most relevant to you.” And all it takes at the start is an email address.
The first email is critical
Once you have an email address for your guests, the next step is to send that first email. The welcome email – the first email you send after a subscriber opts-in – tends to have a very high engagement rate. In fact, according to Experian, welcome emails see more than 3x the transactions and revenue per email over regular promotional mailings. It makes sense if you think about it: You just signed up. It’s an email that you want AND expect. Win-win.
The welcome email should be simple, direct, actionable, and sent within 24 hours of the guest’s subscription.
Collect more data to prove the value
You should be continuing to collect data on your guests as they interact with your hotel. If you can collect that email address at booking or check in, you should tie the email address to other data in your systems. Did the guest request a room upgrade? Did she request a particular bottle of wine at dinner? Did he book an appointment with the spa? All of this information can be used to personalize communications and services later. And, relevancy in communications is the key to keeping guests engaged and keeping the opted-in to your communications.
Ultimately, growing your opt-in list is about making it easy, emphasizing the value, and then later proving the value with relevant communications. Don’t make your guests fill out a long form. Take as little of their time as possible, and always have an answer for their question, “What’s in it for me?”