While many property management systems auto-generate simple transactional emails, proper email marketing software for hotels does so much more than the basics. A full-featured hotel guest messaging solution makes it easy to communicate with future, current, and past guests. Hotels need to use email marketing to stay competitive and relevant.
It may seem overwhelming, but email marketing does not have to be difficult. There are two basic types of emails your hotel should be sending.
First, automated emails that send based on a specific trigger, such as when a guest creates a new booking or signs up for an email list. These are some of the most important emails, and an email vendor familiar with hotels should help set them up for you. For example, Fuel Travel creates five triggered email templates for our hotel clients.
Second, is email marketing campaigns. This includes one-off promotional emails about upcoming offers, as well as ongoing brand awareness campaigns that include as many messages as you want.
If your hotel hasn’t set up any email automation systems, here are three reasons why it is important for every hotel to do so:
- Guest engagement – email marketing software for hotels elevates your basic transactional emails into something that gets guests excited about their stay. Dedicated email marketing solutions let you embed images that will help them start imagining their trip.
Guests expect to hear from you via email. 70% of consumers prefer email over any other form of outreach. Sending email messages to your guests is not only welcomed, but it’s also encouraged.
- Improve up-sells – pre-arrival emails are a key way to increase revenue per reservation at your hotel. Hotels using pre-arrival emails reported that 98% of their upsells came via emails before arrival rather than at the front desk.
- Streamline front desk arrivals – get your guests ready for arrival with a contactless arrival process started via email. Even if you still require guests to come to the front desk to pick up their key card, you can have them pre-register via email before. This saves your staff valuable time and effort and keeps lobby lines short.
Guest satisfaction, revenue, and operations are just three ways that email marketing software improves hotel performance. There are many ways to use both triggered messages and email campaigns. A dedicated and hotel-specific email platform is essential to getting these up and running.
Free, basic email platforms like Mail Chimp will limit the number of emails you can send out each month. And more importantly, they won’t connect to your hotel-specific tools. The right system connects directly to your property management system to use guest data for triggered and ongoing campaigns.
Here are six ways to use email marketing software at your hotel:
ONE: Effective pre-stay confirmation emails
A robust email platform will make your pre-arrival emails more efficient, more welcoming, and higher performing. Upgrading from basic text-only confirmation emails will improve open rates and click-through rates.
Reduce cancellations with confirmation emails that reassure guests. Remind them why they chose your property with relevant media and promotions. Supply answers to FAQs and start the guest journey off on the right foot.
TWO: Welcome emails
The confirmation email should just be one out of a set of emails you send before arrival. If you’re not sure where to get started, we have a guide on How to Write Impactful Hotel Welcome Emails.
Avoid coming across as pushy, and send out relevant emails timed based on their stay. Hotel-specific software will take their reservation data and time-out emails exactly right, without any work from your staff.
THREE: Create a subscriber list
Email marketing software can help your hotel set up a sign-up form on your website, from which you can gather emails. Start creating a list of emails you can market to with a deal sign-up form on your homepage or even in the footer of your website itself.
Email marketing software makes this process simple. It can give you the code to place on your website for the form, and then will aggregate the emails into a dedicated “subscribers” list. Send your most loyal and engaged guests (or potential guests) emails with special promotions, offers, and relevant content.
FOUR: Use segmentation to get personal
Email marketing software for hotels makes it easy to get segmentation right. If you’re not familiar with this term, ‘segmentation’ refers to the ways you can break up your overall database of contacts into distinct groups. Click here to dive deep into hotel email marketing segmentation.
Personalized messages perform better and see better open rates. To create personalized messages, you’ll need to use guest data, both from individual transactions and over their lifetime as a guest at your property.
FIVE: Build loyalty and trust
If you want to start, or continue to, build loyalty and trust for your past and future guests, email is the best place to start. Communicating regularly with guests via email is reminds them of their stay – either one they booked recently or booked long ago.
Of course, you don’t want to bombard your guests with irrelevant emails. Keep emails fresh and timely to keep your property top of mind when they’re booking their next trip. For example, remind guests about seasonal events in or near your property. Use email to make your property a trusted local expert.
SIX: Track outreach and performance
Curious about how well your property met expectations? Use email marketing software. Guests are unlikely to stop by the front desk and provide actionable feedback, but they will over email. In addition to getting feedback via triggered emails you should be sending to your hotel guests a marketing platform will give you lots of measurable insight.
Use email marketing reports to see what time of year guests engage with your emails the most, what interests them, and what subject lines generate clicks.
Email marketing software for hotels drives results
Give your hotel the tools to succeed with an email automation solution that has hospitality-specific integrations and functionality.
Fuel Travel’s Guest Messaging Solution connects to your PMS, with drag-and-drop email templates for transactional emails and marketing campaigns.