Many hoteliers are all too aware of the power which e-mail marketing has to win over their target audience and turn subscribers into guests, yet many fall into common bad habits which can rob even the most well-planned e-mail marketing strategy of its effectiveness. Here are some of the most common e-mail marketing mistakes made by hotels big and small – and tips on how to turn things around and ensure your mail shots generate reservations.
Mistake No. 1: Forgetting to design for mobile devices
Your e-mail marketing efforts must use mobile-ready templates in order to be worthy of inclusion in your digital marketing strategy. Research shows that travellers are increasingly using smartphones and tablets to research, plan and book trips including making hotel bookings – you must factor this in when strategizing online marketing solutions. This is especially prevalent amongst the millennial generation which Google believes now plans and purchases travel products including hotel rooms entirely on mobile devices. Whilst e-mail marketing can be great for your ROI and boost bookings substantially, a template which displays poorly on mobile devices will have a hugely detrimental effect on an increasingly mobile readership of potential hotel guests.
How you can fix it: Use only mobile-ready templates and check the appearance of your e-mails on mobile devices prior to dispatching to your e-mail marketing list to avoid losing subscribers and sending guests to rival properties.
Mistake No. 2: Not using a killer subject line
The subject line of your e-mail is the first thing recipients see, so it had better be good enough to make them want to open. In a crowded inbox, nobody likes ‘spammy’ titles, but it’s no use being too discrete with your offering, either – there must be sufficient motivation to click.
How you can fix it: Keep your subject line short, specific and compelling. Studies suggest that adding a sense of urgency increases opening rates by some 22%, so if promoting an offer such as a discount, a free night or limited time sale, ensures your messaging gets the attention it needs to make a positive contribution to your RevPar. Split testing your messages on a control group can help and most online marketing solutions with email will offer this functionality.
Mistake No. 3: Abandoning your CTA
Calls to action are a key component of truly great e-mail marketing practice. Readers want to know what it is they’re being presented with – and without a clear CTA, this could easily be lost. This could be something as simple as inviting the read to check availability on your booking engine.
How you can fix it: Ensure your main proposition is kept at the forefront of your e-mail marketing copy, with any subsidiary offers in the background, and don’t confuse your main message with too much unrelated copy. Use a strong call to action such as book now.
Mistake No. 4: Not Segmenting Your E-mail List
Different offers and content will appeal to different customers, and a well-segmented e-mail marketing list takes full account of this. A leisure traveller will have different interests to a business traveller for example, so segment lists to make sure your emails resonate.
How you can fix it: Check guest data for a better indication of who your customers are behind the numbers, and implement a guest segmentation strategy to optimise your click-through-rate and make the most of your online marketing solutions.