Direct bookings are the most cost effective way to drive revenue, so being able to effectively engage with past guests over email and ensure they receive your promotions is critical for a hotel’s success. In Lesson 9 of Revinate’s Email Certification Course, Kristina Haga, Revinate’s Senior Hospitality Marketing Specialist, shares tips and best practices for effective database maintenance.
Database maintenance is important for a couple of reasons. First, 30% of subscribers change their email address every year. Second, 18% of a hotel’s database, on average, consists of masked email addresses from Booking.com or other OTAs. If you don’t actively solicit guests for their current email address, you run the risk of your database dramatically degrading each year.
The first step in solving the problem is for hoteliers to understand the health of their database. Revinate Marketing customers have access to a database insight report, which helps them assess the size of their database and how many contacts have associated email addresses. With this data, hoteliers can benchmark their success and focus their staff on continually adding emails and improving the quality of their data.
Kristina suggests that hoteliers follow these best practices to keep their guest database healthy:
- Actively use the arrivals report to see which guests who will be checking in have emails and which ones don’t. If guests don’t have emails, or the emails are masked by an OTA, front desk staff needs to collect that data when the guests are checking in.
- Create Front Office SOPs so that staff knows what information to collect. In addition to emails, staff should ask for city, county, gender and date of birth. This data helps you to segment your database and personalize your emails.
- Ensure that your apps or landing pages that collect emails feed into your database. You’re likely collecting emails for your WiFi and newsletter subscriptions. Make sure these emails make it into your guest database.
- Create front office incentives to increase your data capture. Reward staff members that meet their goals and celebrate their success publicly to encourage others to take email capture seriously.
Looking for more tips around database health? Take Revinate’s Email Certification course today and learn how to effectively merge and deduplicate guest records.