Hotel marketing strategy: COVID friendly email subject lines
In last week’s blog post, we talked about how email marketing can help you boost your revenue and win back bookings from OTAs. As hoteliers turn their attention to recovering from a very challenging year, doing more with less is going to be increasingly important. For this reason, everything that hoteliers spend their time working on needs to count, from placing ads to creating new partnerships to responding to online reviews. In this blog post, we help hoteliers make the most out of every email. We will share the best COVID friendly email subject lines from Revinate Marketing customers around the globe.
Before we share the email subject line examples, let’s talk about why subject lines are so important. According to our Hospitality Marketing Expert, 47% of email recipients open emails based on subject lines alone. You could have the most compelling email ever created but if you don’t make the subject line exciting your email will never be opened. Here are some ways to make your subject lines compelling enough to open:
Hint at Discovery
Humans are naturally curious creatures so create a subject line that hints at discovery to grab your audience’s attention. Try to frame your subject lines in ways that show there is something to be discovered, such as “Here’s the only reason you need to visit Maui this summer.”
However, be careful not to hint at something that doesn’t get followed up on within the body of the email itself. If you over-promise and under-deliver, then you will taint your credibility and your recipients will be less likely to engage with your next email.
A study conducted by the Email Institute found that establishing a sense of urgency and exclusivity can generate a 22% higher email open rate. When people feel a sense of urgency, decisions are more likely to be made and faster. A great example is “The clock is ticking on our biggest sale of the year!”
However, creating a sense of urgency is only effective when it’s backed by relevance and value. People don’t want to feel like they’ve missed out on a great offer, but if your promotion has more blackout dates and restrictions than available dates, once again, your credibility is on the line.
Including quantifiers in your subject lines is a great way to draw the eye of recipients to your emails. Subject lines with numbers e.g. “5 reasons to visit us this fall” see, on average, a 45% higher open rate. Numbers are also a great way to create urgency. Try combining the two tactics to craft a subject line that gets noticed. Example: “Hurry! Only 5 days left to book for 30% off!”
Personalize and Localize
Including a guest’s first name or the city in which they live makes your email feel more intimate and helps to strengthen your connection with that guest. A personalized subject line improves email open rates by 22%.
Brands see a 45% increase in unique open rates when they include an emoji. We love emojis because they stand out in a crowded email box, convey emotion and can replace a lot of words. Sharing a summer getaway promotion? Meet your new friend, 🌞. Valentine’s Day promotion? 😍 says it all.
Use Eye-Magnet Words
Certain words grab a reader’s attention more than others. We love words such as introducing, new, announcing, soon and alert because they capture a reader’s attention and make them want to learn more. Use these words in the subject line to drive intrigue and clicks.
Ask a Question
Increase open rates by asking a question. Questions help spark recipients’ curiosity and stand out in a crowded inbox. Again, make sure your email delivers the answer to the question. If your subject line is “How about a little R&R this summer?” for example, then your email body content should follow the R&R theme.
Let’s briefly look at the flip side. What should you stay away from in your email subject lines? Here’s a short list of gotchas:
- All caps. No one wants to be yelled at, even in email.
- Exclamation points. They’re over used and feel spammy.
- Verbiage that’s too salesy.
- Unrealistic discounts. No one believes you’re discounting by 75% off so keep it realistic and people will click.
- Awkward cut-offs. Make sure you test your subject lines across different devices and browsers to ensure the subject line appears as you intend it to.
Now, let’s examine some hotel email examples, specifically, subject lines that have been proven by our Revinate Marketing customers to work.
A recent hotel email marketing campaign sent out by Northcore, UK generated a whopping £70,000 in revenue. The subject line read: At Last… It’s Time To Start Making Plans. The email was personalized to UK residents and the subject line hinted at the fact that local government regulations are changing. The subject line capitalizes on the way Brit’s are feeling at the moment and the email pays off with information on reopening and links to book at the restaurant and hotel.
Here’s another great email subject line from a hotel email marketing campaign that the Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa sent out recently. It read: Jackson Hole Powder Alert. Notice the magnet word and the sense of urgency that it conveys. Anyone that skis knows that powder doesn’t stick around long, so you have to act when there are powder days.
The Gleneagles Hotel in Ireland provides us with another compelling hotel subject line idea: 10% Off Gleneagle Gift Vouchers. There’s no guessing what this email is about thanks to the clear use of numbers. The hotel email marketing campaign was sent to locals while the hotel was still shut down due to the pandemic but the email campaign encouraged locals to purchase gift certificates for the upcoming holiday season. Following COVID-19 best practices, the hotel continued to engage guests and drive excitement around the holiday season. The campaign drove 16 reservations within the week it was sent.
Finally, Australia’s Abbey Beach Resort knows that sending emails to an engaged audience will drive more revenue than sending emails to a cold database. So, when the marketing team was planning promotions for an upcoming long weekend, they focused on past guests with recent email engagement and personalized the subject line to locals. It read: Escape to the South! The strategy paid off with a 25.2% open rate, a 3.6% click rate and a significant amount of revenue generated during a two week period.
Looking to learn more about hotel email marketing? Book a meeting today to chat with an email marketing expert or follow our social media for more helpful tips and best practices.