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Email marketing for hotels works, here’s why
Independent hotels, because of time constraints and often due to lack of tools are unable to optimize communications and the relative opportunities during the time period that goes from the confirmation of the reservation to the arrival of the guest at the hotel. On the contrary, OTAs put these activities first, thus gaining the traveler's trust and creating interaction opportunities.
To the detriment of independent hotels, it is worth pointing out that the core business of OTAs is receiving online bookings, while the hotel's game is played at a later stage, during the stay, when the services are provided to the guest. Often hotels do not take full advantage of opportunities that could prove to be very profitable because of time constraints, priorities and limited resources.
Hotels that do not use email marketing to communicate and interact with their guests are losing a great opportunity. Today, social media and search engines are increasingly saturated with commercial advertisements, therefore hotels have to use diversified strategies and email marketing is definitely a very important tool.
In addition, statistics are clear, currently email marketing is increasingly used by companies to promote products and services through ad hoc offers for the customer:
- the number of e-mail users will grow to 2.9 billion in 2019
- 73% of millennials identify emails as the preferred channel for business communications
- 86% of online consumers want to receive promotional emails on a monthly basis
- compared to other media, emails have the highest conversion rate (66%)
The objectives of email marketing
At the core of email marketing applied by hotels there are two objectives:
• creating a relationship with the guest through valuable communications that improve the customer experience
• the promotion of the hotel towards potential customers who have shown interest in the property but have not made a reservation
In the first case, there is a well-defined process to follow. As we have already stated in a previous article on the guest experience, online experiences influence customer expectations, which in turn affect the experience of their stay. In the digital age, the guest experience begins at the time of booking, as soon as the guest comes into contact with the hotel and not when he physically accesses the property. Being present from the start, when the reservation is made, is the best way to accompany the guest towards his stay.
In addition to improving the guest experience, email marketing is an opportunity to increase the average amount spent by the guest by offering additional services, upgrades and extra activities that contribute both to enrich the stay and increase the profits of the property. Each hotel can choose its own communication mix and the relative contents, usually these are the most commonly used: confirmation emails, pre-stay emails, welcome emails, post-stay emails, holiday and festivities greetings.
The second scenario, instead, involves the implementation of marketing actions targeted to those who left their contacts at the hotel but for several reasons decided not to book. These potential customers have however expressed an interest in the hotel (leaving their email address) and therefore may decide to re-consider booking at the property thanks to ad hoc promotional communications, perhaps receiving an additional discount or a free service on the offer found in the Booking Engine.
Email marketing is a very important resource for hotels, but communications must be coherent and consistent, sharing useful and valuable conent. Managing all these activities without a tool that automates operations is impossible. For this reason, hotels must equip themselves with a PMS system that has an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) application to communicate with their customers and potential customers in an effective and automatic way.
Do you want to enrich your email marketing activities? Fill out the form below, one of our technicians will show you the benefits you can obtain using a management system with integrated CRM.