There’s a pivotal moment when you first connect with a potential guest. You’ve successfully captured their attention. Your next objective is to cultivate that initial spark. The fact is, nine out of ten visitors that come to your hotel website aren’t ready to book.
This is when you can turn to the power of lead nurture emails.
Lead nurture emails are tailored (but automated!) messages that perform a strategic dance of engagement and connection via customized offerings, exclusive discounts, and timely reminders. They allow you to stay in touch with potential guests, and gently guide them through the sales funnel towards conversion.
Read on to learn how to employ the power of lead nurture email campaigns to transform fleeting guest interest into decisive bookings and enduring loyalty.
What you will see here
Why lead nurture emails are important
Competition is fierce in today’s fast-paced hospitality landscape, and potential guests are inundated with marketing through multiple channels. But 99% of people still check their inboxes daily. A well-planned lead nurture email series is one of the most effective ways to break through all the noise and connect with your audience, converting mere lookers into enthusiastic bookers.
Cart abandonment campaigns are one example of effective lead nurture emails. When potential guests land on your hotel website, 80% of them browse specific offerings and even add items to their cart, only to abandon it midway. With Revinate Marketing, you can automatically send those potential guests strategic messages, such as a limited time offer or a personalized experience, to recapture their attention and inspire them to complete their booking.
There are many more types of lead nurture emails besides cart abandonment campaigns, though. In an industry where every touchpoint matters, lead nurture emails are a critical tool for fostering lasting relationships with your guests.
How to write a lead nurture email
Crafting effective automated lead nurture campaigns involves several key steps that range from perfecting the timing of your emails and creating guest segments, to infusing messages with personal touches, to maintaining the strength and health of your email database.
1. Mark the occasion
First, you need to decide on the content and theme of your nurture email. Are you creating a pre-arrival series? An OTA win-back campaign? A seasonal offer? Or cancelation recovery?
We recommend starting with a nurture series that can be automated. According to research from VentureBeat, 80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw their conversions rise.
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club had great success automating their warm and cold lead nurture emails, booking over 400 room nights from these campaigns.
2. Timing is everything
The type of campaign and automation you want to use directly influences the timing. After all, what good is a skillfully designed lead nurture email if it arrives at a time when your prospect is prone to ignore it?
There are two common ways to automate your lead nurture campaigns.
A drip campaign is a strategic sequence of automated emails. They engage potential guests by offering tailored content that builds interest and nudges them toward making a booking decision.
Kandima Maldives generated 118 room nights with an automated cancelation recovery drip campaign. They send an email one hour after a cancelation, and a second email five days later, if the initial email isn’t clicked.
A triggered campaign delivers timely emails based on specific guest actions. Examples of this may include a welcome email after a guest signs up for your hotel newsletter, a follow-up email after a guest checks out, and for special occasions like a guest’s birthday or trip anniversary.
3. Strategic segmentation
The next step is segmenting your data so you can create campaigns that are relevant to specific groups of guests. Marketers see up to a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.
You can segment guests based on geographic location, demographics, interests, website clicks, or even areas they lingered over on your website. By grouping your leads based on shared characteristics, preferences, or behaviors, you can serve up customized content that resonates.
Ojai Valley Inn used Revinate Marketing’s hyper-segmentation feature, along with email automation and shopping cart abandonment emails to drive an average of 300 room nights per campaign sent.
4. Precision and personalization
Attention spans are precious commodities, so keep emails customized, concise, and captivating. Personalized email subject lines boost open rates by 50%, and data suggests that the ideal length of an email is between 50 and 125 words.
Single out one irresistible feature or amenity per email that speaks to a specific guest segment. Then sprinkle in personal touches – such as using a guest’s name – for optimal results. As an example, you could create a campaign for the segment of website visitors who browse your food and dining options. If they don’t book within a specified window, it will trigger a lead nurture email that intrigues them with an exquisite city view from your rooftop bar and a customized message reading:
SUBJECT LINE: [NAME], your exclusive invitation: Rooftop Sunset Soiree Awaits!
Hello [NAME], Let the glittering skyline be your backdrop as you sip on hand-crafted cocktails and listen to the soulful tunes of a live jazz performance at our elegant rooftop bar.
5. Seal the deal with a compelling CTA
It’s imperative to conclude each email with a clear, compelling call to action (CTA). This is the moment where you move your potential guests toward a desired action by creating a sense of urgency and excitement that inspires them to act promptly.
In the example lead nurture email above, you might end it with a CTA such as: “Book before [DATE] to receive a special discount for your spot under the stars.”
6. Maintain your data
Your lead nurture email journey doesn’t end after you hit send. To craft impactful lead nurture campaigns that convert, you need to continuously maintain your email marketing database health.
Your lead data will come from a variety of sources, such as phone conversations with your reservations team, website interactions, online booking inquiries, social media engagement, or other third-party platforms. This intel is pure gold for identifying prospects and tailoring your lead nurture messages.
Next comes the important step of qualification — verifying the accuracy and relevance of your data. You must cleanse and deduplicate it so you have a clear, accurate picture of each potential guest, and most importantly, a correct email address. Revinate uses Advanced Profile Synthesis, our proprietary algorithm built on machine learning and AI, to accurately merge your guest data so that even if they book with an OTA, you’ll have one unified, accurate profile.
Lead nurture email metrics that matter
Understanding your metrics is crucial for optimizing your hotel lead nurture campaigns. Think of these metrics as a campaign’s vital signs, providing insight into its health and effectiveness.
Open rate: The open rate indicates the percentage of recipients who actually open your emails. This metric unveils the appeal of your subject line, offering a glimpse into how successfully it piqued a recipient’s interest.
Click-through rate: This metric helps you identify whether the content of your email is striking the right chord with your audience. Through analysis you’ll learn which elements are capturing guests’ attention and driving them to take desired actions.
Unsubscribe rate: This signifies the number of recipients who opt out of receiving further emails from you. It acts as a barometer of dissatisfaction with your strategy’s content and/or frequency of emails.
By using testing and optimization in conjunction with Revinate Marketing, 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts achieved an impressive 26% average campaign open rate.
Lead nurturing is one of the most cost-effective and powerful marketing strategies to expand your sales pipeline. But it’s also about building and nurturing a symbiotic relationship, one that benefits both your hotel and your potential guests. Learn how to craft emails that resonate and drive revenue by downloading our guide, “The basics of hotel email marketing.”