You don’t need to hear it again: it’s easier (and cheaper) to retain a previous guest than it is to obtain a new one. And one of the most important components of retention marketing is email. In today’s blog we’ll look at how you can leverage what you already know about your guests to create engaging email content that keeps them happy and coming back for more.
Priority Number One: Segment Your Email List
The below email types and best practices are only effective if you understand your guests, their behaviours, and crucially, where they are in the booking cycle. To do this, you need to have completed the crucial first step of segmenting your contact list to ensure you reach out to the right people with the right email content, at the right time.
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to get started. These are the basic email types you should master as part of your retention strategy.
The welcome email
Most guests expect to receive a welcome email after signing up to your mailing list for the first time. This brief introductory message sets the tone for your communication going forward. Don’t forget to:
- Include “Welcome”, “Hi” or “Hello from Hotel X” in the subject line
- Personalise the email with the guest’s name
- Include your property’s unique value propositions – what are the features that make your hotel stand out from the competition?
- Humanize your brand and demonstrate your commitment to customer service by highlighting customer support
The nurture email
The aim of this kind of email is not explicitly to sell rooms, but instead to build your relationship with your guests and keep your hotel front of mind when it comes to planning their next break. Nurture emails should:
- Inform your audience: keep guests up to date about latest features/renovation projects at your property, as well as letting them know about interesting local events, attractions and travel tips
- Show off the human side of your business: by sharing stories from staff and guests, behind the scenes videos and photos.
The sales/promotional email
- Include a strong CTA: Design the email content so that the CTA is dominant and stands out from the other text.
- Create urgency: drive guests to book quickly by emphasising that your offer is available for a limited time only.
The Abandoned Booking email
This type of email is specifically designed to prompt guests to complete unfinished bookings.
- Send an initial gentle reminder:Your first email should simply remind guests of the uncompleted booking. Send it shortly after the abandoned booking to re-engage guests who may have just become distracted during the booking process.
- Offer a discount:To entice those guests who still don’t finish their booking, send out a follow up email a few days later, offering a special promo or limited time discount.
- Highlight your hotel’s best features: make use of booking abandonment emails to reemphasise your property’s best facilities and key features – whether it’s your location, pool or special discount at local restaurants for guests. Don’t forget to remind them of any advantages you offer for booking direct.
How does your property use email to engage and retain guests? Let us know in the comments below!