Six Reasons why Email Marketing is a Powerful Force for the Hospitality Industry Hospitality Industry
Increase Hotel sales by using smart E- Mail marketing tactics and why small to mid-size properties should definitely adopt this communication channel!
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by Shaurya Singh
April 18, 2017
Shaurya Singh is a founding partner in successful real estate start-up The Perch Service Apartment in India. A professional golfer and an MBA in marketing from the FT World ranked #26 –Indian School of Business, and a regular contributor to top Digital Marketing and Hospitality blogs.
| Shaurya Singh
has written 2 articles for PromotionWorld.
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In an age where social media has taken over the mantle as a marketing channel, email marketing still continues to be the preferred link between the business and its customers. The advent of smart phones allows everyone easy access to their emails whilst on the move.
Let us examine the merits of email marketing per se. There are at least five reasons why the hospitality industry should incorporate email marketing as an integral part of their annual marketing plans:
- Email marketing is a low cost alternative to direct mail. The information can be rapidly disseminated to your targeted audience within a matter of minutes rather than days if using direct mail.
- Great ROI as in for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 for your investment1
- Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media2
- Well-executed email campaigns can drive traffic and boost revenues for the property.
- Provides the opportunity to engage with your guests on every aspect of their journey from check-in to check out.
The email metrics provide a great indication of how well the campaign has performed compared to those used through traditional forms of marketing including social media.
According to research, forty-eight percentof customers prefer to communicate via emails over the other forms of communications such as phone (18%), website (19%), in person (13%), chat (2%), texting (0%) and finally social networking sites (0%)3it begs the question as why so many hoteliers of various dimensions are not exploiting this affordable and effective marketing channel? So if you are not on board already, then here are four reasons why you should:
- Email marketing helps to cultivate better relationship with your customer than social media
With new technology being introduced at a rapid rate, email marketing is still the most effective route to acquire and engage with new customers. It capitalises on the opportunity for the hotelier to offer personalised service from the time the guest books in, nurturing the relationship during the stay and long after.
When the guests receive their automated pre-arrival booking confirmation email, there is usually a time lag between the periods the guest books their hotel room and their arrival date. This ‘pause’ in that period should be taken advantage with the hotel sending a ‘welcome email’ with reminder dates of their booking, key hotel information as well as the opportunity to upsell breakfast or dinner to increase revenue. Other helpful tips such as weather information and events taking place in the city offer the guest an all-inclusive experience.
2. Reducing distressed room inventory
Email marketing should not be restricted to just pre and post stay. It is ideal for reducing distressed inventory in the face of group cancellations or during a low booking season. Empty rooms can be a source of a huge revenue headache for hoteliers. Email campaigns can be an effective rescue mission when combined with a robust customer database, well-defined message and a tempting offer.
Distinct from any other media, a well-executed email campaign can go from immediate engagement to generating online revenues straight away. It is also share-able by recipients forwarding the email to family and friends. The huge plus for email marketing is that it allows the hotelier to acquire new opt-in customers that go beyond the targeted database.
3. Boosting Social Media Audience Through Email Marketing
Hoteliers can increase their social media reach via email marketing. The pre-arrival email is the best opportunity to promote your social media platforms to your guests and to encourage them to sign up and interact with the hotel. Hotel offers or news not only reaches the fans but also extends to the fan’s followers.
4. Email Marketing helps to reconnect with lapsed guests
From time to time, send re-engagement email campaigns to encourage lapsed customers to remind them of the brand and to become active again. This strategy is especially important for smaller hotels, service apartments and the like.
By using the data points you can harness insights about your customer’s stay behavior through conducting the Recency, Frequency and Monetary (RFM) analysis:
- Recency- how recently did the guest stayed at the hotel?
- Frequency-how often does the guest use the hotel?
- Monetary-how much did they spend during their stay?
These data points can provide evidences of the hotel’s most lucrative customers as well as those customers that need persuasion in using the brand again.
5. Loyalty Memberships aided by Email Marketing
In this digital age, email marketing is a massive benefit to hoteliers when communicating special offers and promotions to reward loyalty members. Some carry bar code embedded with extra points within the emails to enable members to redeem offers. This makes carrying the membership loyalty card quite redundant. Data obtained from the points’ redemption allows the hoteliers to craft more creative campaigns for their members in the future.
6. Guest after care
Your relationship with your guest does not end after they have checked-out. In fact a post stay email follow up will provide information about their experiences during their stay. This rapport building opportunity opens doors for repeat business by simply implementing an automated post stay email system. The messages could range from a simple thank you to having them subscribe to the loyalty program and the mailing list. Whether the customer’s review is good or bad, there is a chance to delight or repair the relationship with an offer to win-back custom leading to increased loyalty and referrals.
Smart Hoteliers know that email marketing is one weapon that they need to have in their marketing and sales arsenal. It acts as a direct distribution instrument driving bookings away from other online intermediaries, right into the hotel’s bottom line.
No doubt there are Internet marketing hurdles to overcome such as spam, information over-clutter and customer’s short attention span. Email marketing is evolving at the same momentum as the changing technological landscape.
The formula for a winning email marketing campaign is about data hygiene, and delivering the appropriate content to the right target audience at the right time.
The future sees email marketing becoming less convoluted system wise, producing easy to understand metrics to help marketers drive more engaging and revenue generating campaigns in less time than ever before.