10 Ways to Increase Bookings & Sales With Email Marketing for Hotels

With the increase in brands and franchises in the hotel and tourism industry, competition can be fierce. Now more than ever, hotels have to invest in social media marketing and digital strategies. Going 2020 and beyond, travelers now expect hotels and agencies to provide a digital experience.

Emails not only inform customers, but they help to retain them, about 80% of business professionals, believe that it keeps customers around for longer. Having an email marketing campaign gives you the power to attract, retain, and encourage repeat customers.

Sale Cycle found that 73% of marketers rated the ROI of email to be "Good" or "Excellent." Not to mention consumers check personal email for an average of 2.5 hours each weekday while at work. You might even be guilty of checking your email after work as well.

Today I'll be showing you 10 ways to increase your booking and sales with email marketing for your hotel.


1. Use Welcome Emails to Introduce Your Hotel

Once you've captured an email from your potential customer, don't wait to send your most important email, the welcome email! Approximately 76% of people expect to receive a welcome email immediately after subscribing to your list.

Waiting more than 24 hours to send your first welcome email puts you at a higher risk of being forgotten by your subscriber. To avoid that, send your welcome email immediately or within the first 18 hours of sign up.

A welcome email sets the first impression for your lead; it's also a helpful reminder that they've visited your website for bookings and deals.
The average open rate for a welcome email is 50%. That makes it 86% more effective than standard newsletters, so your hotel’s welcome email has to come with a bang!

Tips When Crafting a Welcome Email

  • Don't Forget the Welcome: A lot of pressure comes with crafting the perfect welcome email, but don't get so distracted trying to promote your hotel and it's services that you forget actually to welcome your new email subscriber. The word "Welcome" or "Happy to Have You" shows that you value your subscriber and the time they took to give you their email. Always remember to welcome.

  • Add Breath-Taking Images of Your Hotel: Once again, your welcome email leaves a lasting impression after customers leave your website. Be sure to remind them why they handed you their email in the first place, your amazing resort, rooms, and landscape. Show off your hotel's best features with professional images.

  • A Reason to Come Back: Some people might leave your website because they're looking for good hotel deals or just got busy and distracted along the way. Place a deal, bundle, or give them a brief history of what makes your hotel different from the rest.

  • Create a Welcome Email Series: Sometimes, one email isn't enough. WordStream found that, on average, a welcome email series drives more revenue than having a single welcome email or none at all.

If you already have a welcome email, but you're not getting the conversions you'd like, here are 5 real reasons nobody's opening your emails.

2. Send Deals and Discount Emails

Emails containing a coupon have a 14% higher open rate, a 34% higher unique click rate, and a 27% higher transaction completion rate compared to those without coupons or promo codes.

Emails with deals and discounts always get opened because people love a good deal far more than they'd like to admit. Here's the reason why:

  • About 42.3% of Americans subscribe to email lists to receive savings and discounts.

  • Seven out of ten people reported using an emailed discount in the previous week.

  • Around 75% of consumers report scouring their inboxes to look for relevant discounts.

Tips When Crafting a Hotel Discount Email

  • Discounts and Deals Are All Year Round: Start sending discounts and bundle deals in your emails during slow seasons to drive foot traffic to your hotel. Send Bundle or Hotel Packages during peak seasons to sweeten the deal.

  • Always Offer Limited-time Offers: Nobody wants to miss out on a good opportunity. By driving a sense of urgency and triggering fear-of-missing-out (FOMO), limited-time offers nudge consumers to make a quick decision about a potential purchase.

  • The Power of Subject Lines: Your subject line is the gatekeeper of your email, so place your discount and deal front and center in the subject line to entice your reader to open your email.

3. Use Travel Influencers for Email Marketing Campaign

Partner with a travel influencer or blogger for your next email marketing campaign. Did you know that content shared by influencers receives 16 times more engagement than paid/direct advertisement from a brand?

Reach out to a travel blogger or influencer that has a significant email subscriber list (you can request the numbers when you do your influencer outreach). Then ask the influencer to share a special deal from your hotel exclusively for their followers in a series of emails, or with a dedicated email campaign.

Tips When Working with an Influencer for Marketing Campaign

  • Keep Track: Use UTM tracking code with your hotel discount URL so you can track how people are directed from the influencer's email to your website, and converted.

  • Give Your Seal of Approval: Send over an approved copy or review the copy that the influencer will be using in their emails. Influencers do need creative control, so try to meet halfway. This step is to ensure that your deal is communicated clearly.

  • Help the Influencer Create Content: If you want the influencer to create content and effectively market your hotel, provide them with a discounted or free stay for the weekend. Allow them to do what they do best, create engaging content. They can promote your hotel images on social media and in the email.

4. Send Follow Up Emails for Reviews & More

Emails are also great for current customers who've stayed at your hotel. Hotel reviews can make or break a hotel's reputation. The same rules apply online. Bright Local found that 91% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Instead of waiting for people to share their amazing experience, take the initiative, and ask for it.

Send follow up emails asking for reviews or feedback. You can either redirect them to your site, yelp page, social media, or ask them to fill out a survey for your personal use.

Pro Tip: If you have a loyalty point club, you can introduce it in your follow email to remind customers that the next time they stay at your hotel, they can get points to use for other services and features or access to discounts.

5. Do Co-Promotion Emails with Travel & Tourism Companies

It's not unheard of that hotel's partner with travel agencies to offer people better deals and discounts. Why not reach out to local spas, tourism attractions, and other complementing companies.

Earlier, we spoke about how people are consistently looking for deals, why not give them a bargain for their buck but doing a co-promotion. Co-promotion is a combined marketing effort of two or more brands focused on a single goal (i.e., drive traffic, sales or brand awareness).

With the combined efforts and email list of your brand, you can reach more people all at once.

Tips When Crafting a Co-Promotion Email

  • All for One, One for All: Brands that are co-promoting together should have the same amount of branding in the email, one logo or statement should never look more prominent than the other, or it'll seem more like a compromise rather than an agreement.

  • Share Results: Once you've sent your emails to be sure to track your conversion rate, click-throughs, and sales. Your results show if your co-promotion is doing well or need an extra boost on other online platforms.

  • Follow Up & Deadline: No co-promotion lasts forever; ensure that your co-promotion deal has a deadline or requirement to get people rushing. Remember, FOMO is your best friend. Otherwise, people will take their sweet time to use your deal.

6. Segment & Personalize Emails for Higher Conversions

Statistics show that segmented campaigns are more effective compared to non-segmented ones:

  • 14.31% higher opens.
  • 0.64% higher unique opens.
  • 100.95% higher clicks.
  • 4.65% lower bounces.
  • 9.37% lower unsubscribes.

When you segment and personalize your emails, you provide a more catered experience for your subscribers. When they open their inboxes, instead of seeing a general email, they'll see an email that’s customized to their need and wants.

With artificial intelligence and data collection, you can send emails tailored to your reader's location, interest, country, demographic, and interest on your website. You can even send hyper-personalized emails showing readers rooms from their last visit, along with a deal.

Or, if you're reading is located somewhere cold, you can send a personalized email with offers at your warmest hotel location.

7. Host a Hotel & Travel Contest via Email Marketing

The average click-through rate for email is 2.5%; however, the average click-through rate for hotel and resort contest email is 6%. Contest and giveaway emails have a higher open and click-through rate compared to regular newsletters.

A hotel contest can help you to attract new customers, drive bookings, and increase your social media presence. As a hotel or resort, you want to ensure that the prize encourages future purchases and accommodations. For that reason, you never want to give away cash or something generic that participants could get elsewhere.

Here are some hotel and resort giveaway and contest ideas:

  • A 2-night stay with access to VIP services at your hotel
  • A romantic dinner at the restaurant in your hotel
  • A hotel and spa package for couples
  • A hotel and travel package including flights, car rental, day trips/adventures, etc.

Need help writing your contest rule? Let Wishpond's Contest Rule Generator do the work for you. Create detailed guidelines in minutes, publish them on Instagram or your contest landing page.

8. Email Your Customer Reviews & Testimonials

With the help of social media, online searches, and influencers, today's travelers are more informed, and they know that they have unlimited choices.

Trust You found that round 95% of customer are reading online reviews before they book their accommodation. Guest reviews can drive in higher revenues for your hotel.

Add customer reviews and testimonials to your next email campaign and show off all your happy customers. You can repurpose reviews found on your social media profiles or comments from online or word of mouth surveys.

9. Send Booking Abandonment Emails

Let's say a website visitor is interested in booking your luxury suite, but along the way, maybe their boss came in or they got distracted from a call, they forgot to confirm their booking. Send them a booking abandonment email to remind them to pick up where they left off.

Booking abandonment is at an all-time high of 81.3%. people are always looking for better hotel deals and sometimes when customers are ready to book, they aren't booking with you.

The key to retargeting and nailing your booking abandonment email is to personalize it. Gather your customer's data from their last session and send an email where they left off. Have their booking date, hotel, location all in place. The only thing you want them to do is adding their payment detail and click "book."

As a bonus, always try to add a discount or perk (like free breakfast or spa treatment) to tempt them from going to your competitors for a better deal.

10. Send Birthday and Holiday Emails

Everyone loves a treat for their birthday or something special for major holidays. For birthdays send a hotel email with a special discount or package a week or two before your customer's birthday, so they book their stay ahead of time.

For holidays, you should start sending emails a few weeks in advance. Major holidays like summer, Christmas, and Fathers/Mothers day are the biggest holiday seasons for hotels. Capitalize on the feeling and experience travelers are looking for during the holiday.

During the holiday, people want a change from the cold, family, or dull day to day life. Use your hotel's holiday email to show them why your hotel is the perfect escape.

Summary

Crafting the perfect email is only half the work. It's your subject line that holds the real power. Your subject line can be the first and last thing readers see. It influences whether they open your email or not. So spend time crafting your email subject line.

At Wishpond, we know firsthand how beneficial email marketing can be for a brand's success. So we created a beginner's course to help you learn standard email marketing terms and the best practices to improve your return on investment (ROI) from emails, all in under an hour.

You'll also receive free workbooks to apply each lesson at your own pace, with detailed notes. You can also reach out to your instructor at each stage of your lesson to solidify your understanding.

Related Articles

Written by Victoria Taylor

Victoria is a Marketing Generalist at Wishpond specializing in all things digital marketing and social media marketing. In love with blogging and Taco Tuesdays. Follow her on Twitter @vicknwsbest.