Online marketing ultimately aims to build and sustain a fruitful, long-lasting relationship with your hotel’s prospects and clients. This generates revenue as well as maintains loyalty towards the brand.
However, a relationship is only possible when two sides agree to engage with one another. While many marketing activities are undergone just to reach that agreement, there is one particular case where you already have it! These are the e-mail marketing campaigns, one of the most powerful instruments which any hotel business should take advantage of!
What makes e-mail marketing campaigns so attractive for your hotel?
The first thing would be that your target has already specified its desire in communicating with you. Whether they subscribed to the newsletter after exploring your hotel site or they left their contact details after staying at your place, they’re interested in having the relationship.
Secondly, you hold great freedom and choice in setting the type of communication approach. Yet this does not equal to simply sending out information: you need an e-mail maketing plan that tackles all the steps in the relationship building process with your targets.
The 4 types of email messages you should send out:
• Welcome message: Carefully opening the door for them virtually into your world is a first step. Let them know that, from now on, you’re already at their service. The welcome message should be an appetizer: thank the guests for joining in and briefly describe your hotel. Furthermore, try to offer an insight of the benefits they now have: tailored offers, promotional updates, information on events in and nearby the hotel and city as well loyalty packages etc.
The ending of this first communication contact should hint at the relational aspect and encourage dialogue: have a call-to-action, like ask what they would be interested in receiving (a friendly questionnaire is just one idea) and make sure to leave them all contacts so they can reach to you whenever they wish to.
• Regular email messages: These are the messages you going to use a regular basis, be it once a week, bi-monthly or monthly. However, it’s not just about sending, sending, sending. So how can you create a whole experience for your future and present guests? Great copywriting and visuals are needed to assure high engagement. Photos of the hotel and its services work wonders: they create an aspirational feeling in the viewers to be there.
Giving a plus-value is also needed: make your subscribers aware of the benefits they have, like being the first to hear of promotional offers.
• Thank you message: So far you have presented your offer and guests have experienced your services. But how can you make them engage further? Follow up on their stay and encourage dialogue! Asking for custom feedback empowers the clients in this relationship: prove that you will take their opinion into consideration.
The thank you message can also pave the way for providing testimonials for your hotel, either on your site or on others such as TripAdvisor. Even better, ask the former guests to present your hotel to their own networks (family, friends, business partners).
• Remember message: every relationship needs to be cared for in order to survive. Don’t let your clients become one of those friends you haven’t spoke to in a long time. Rather, keep them close. How can you do that? Update them on last minutes, promotional offers, and let them know about the new events. Keeping the relationship going means that these clients will come back again sometime and what’s more important: they can become your ambassadors in their own networks.
All in all, staying in touch with your present and future guests requires a carefully thought strategy. What and how you communicate with e-mail marketing eventually creates a recognizable identity for your guests: it creates your brand personality. In real life, you need social skills. In the virtual one, you need great marketers. If you would like to find out how your own e-mail marketing plan should look like, you can call on our advice any time.