Out of all the tactics marketers will put into action to compete for their audience’s attention this holiday season, email marketing continues to be one of the most important.
If you want to maximise bookings this Christmas, you need to plan out a strategic email marketing strategy to ensure your emails get opened, read and drive guests back to your website to book direct. Here are 5 tips to help you get started.
First Things First; Implement Responsive Design
The majority of your guests are checking their inboxes from mobile devices. So, if your hotel’s email content does not display optimally across devices, you’re already losing your audience at the first hurdle. Do your business, and your customers a massive favour and make ensuring your property’s content is mobile friendly your number one priority this Christmas.
Segmentation Is Key
Segmentation allows you to send only the most relevant content to the right people at the right time, making it a crucial component of email marketing throughout the year. During the festive season, when your guests are more inundated with marketing messages than ever, it becomes even more crucial to reach out with only the most relevant content to cut through the noise.
At the very least, you should segment your guest contact list into broad key groups, including frequent guests, recent guests, lapsed guests and those that are yet to book, and target them according to their behaviour patterns.
Shorter Is Better
It’s the busiest time of year; don’t overwhelm your guests with a deluge of information they haven’t got the time or inclination to read. Keep your festive messages short and to the point. A few sentences outlining your enticing offer, a compelling call to action (with link) and an arresting image, that’s it.
Use Your Subject Line To Create A Sense Of Urgency
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the marketer’s handbook, but it works. Research shows that subject lines which inspire a sense of urgency in the audience can increase open rates by as much as 22% and compel customers to move through the sales cycle at a quicker pace because of the fear of missing out.
Inspiring a sense of urgency doesn’t mean your special deal or promotion has to expire within the next 12 hours, but if your promo’s deadline is too far in advance, your guests won’t be compelled to act quickly. Data from Sidekick shows that including the word “tomorrow” within your subject lines can boost open rates by around 10%, but as always, run A/B tests to uncover the formula that resonates best with your particular audience.
With every other brand and business under the sun vying for your guests’ attention this time of year, one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to give your emails a personal touch. One of the easiest, most effective but still sometimes overlooked ways to do this is simply to use the guest’s first name – if you know it - either in the subject line or the body of the email (or both). If you have any extra information about your guests’ likes and behaviours from your analytics data you can put to use, all the better.
How will you be driving direct bookings through email marketing this Christmas? Let us know in the comments below!
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