Electronic mail (e-mail) provides the hospitality industry a flexible and cost-effective tool for trial and distributing sales as well as promotional messages to their existing customers and prospects. But the biggest and common mistake of email marketers (and often marketing) is that the campaigns are often driven by attaining resort or hotel marketing goals instead of delivering helpful information to their customers who gave them one of the vital attributes in an online world: permission.
For this reason resort managers should be able to use email marketing (by permission) to build relationships with their existing customers. The question is how much do they know about email marketing and its features to make it work. Here are some truths about email marketing (by permission) that you have to remember as you delve into email marketing.
Truth 1: Email is an essential part of our lives
Email is simply one small aspect of an individuals’ online life. Today resort managers use email for diverse personal and business purposes. So it is valuable for you to perceive email not just for mere campaign, single marketing effort or plain selling. Try to think of it as an extension of personal communication and a way of life. This way, you can be sure that your communication efforts especially in designing your messages would create a consistent strong brand impact. As an added result, your customers would develop a sense of personalized loyalty and interest.
Truth 2: Change is permanent even in email marketing
If you can still remember, when email marketing started, the online world is a quieter place. Now the volume of email had soared and junk e-mail or unsolicited bulk e-mail had consumed our once peaceful email world. This change enabled email list development easy however previously embraced best practices did not fit anymore. Thus, it is necessary for you to regularly explore for the most effective way to reach customers via email and hold them up to meet the standards of the modern day’s trends.
Truth 3: Any electronic media message is email marketing
Even today, many resort managers perceive marketing through email as one channel, mobile marketing another, RSS -an addition and social networking as an alternative. Never do they know that through the advancement of the Internet the lines linking these different communication channels had continuously blurred. Currently, each of these medium had become a driver or a channel to the other. It is to be expected that we would eventually rely on “personal messaging” despite the differences of the location or the device.
Simply put, any message sent electronically is considered email marketing.
This truth is crucial for you to know because these once diversified media had become integrated through Internet channels. And they are now calling for permission and selection of message interests/types. This would mean that everything that you assumed about email will also become significant for your future messaging strategies for your resort.
Truth 4: Don't fire non-responders before asking first.
The main purpose of email marketing is to get response but if opt-in did not work then we end upwondering. Yet, email responders may behave in a similar fashion. They may not click on your email or even open it but they saw your brand name and your subject line.
These two entries alone may later trigger a delayed response. But then again, it is beneficial to at least decrease the frequency of emailing non-responders so you’ll not end up pinging them all the time. You may survey them by email or other methods such as polls to study what your non-responders prefer instead of emails. Or you may also try to reduce volume of email messages sent to less-active email-list members. Thing is, you don't have to wipe them off your list- just don't email them as much.
Truth 5: Email marketing is not a stand-alone channel
Many resorts’ marketers assume that email marketing is a stand-alone messaging channel that drives ROI and support relationships. The truth is, in every aspect of our messaging world, the elements of email marketing are present. There are website forms, online and offline capture points that runs, banners steer to landing pages with forms and engine searches to deep pages that promote engagement.
Email is almost fully dependent on other media channels to drive traffic. It is a very successful way to deliver back-end communication, task completion, messaging and driving sales from your customer list. Consequently to take full advantage of email, email marketers should consider other touch points of their email campaign.
Truth 6: Getting the most out of your vendor relationships
It is an actual fact that technology partners can behave with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” mentality. They typically wait for you to ask for support, a needed web feature, or a service before they offer it to you. The problem comes when you don’t know what you need, and thereby you don’t know what to ask. In that event, keeping abreast with the case studies on technology partners’ sites is the solution. You may also ask to be put on an email list for new product announcements and newsletters. It would also help if you have someone from the outside take a look at your operation to yield great improvements.
Long term relationships and partnerships can be great. Still working to touch base with your technology vendor periodically saves the day.
Truth 7: Ignore the rules and taking chances
When everything seems to be in place, then you have no mistake to learn from. If this is the case, ignoring some email marketing rules and going beyond the lines can be ironically effective. Risk taking is associated with growth and they are a part and parcel of internet marketing. Although, this does not mean you ignore the law. But you should think of innovative ways to distribute emails that can appeal to customers and lure them to be your actual guest. Below are some of the most successful “rule-breaking” marketing campaigns of the past:
• Email that have sideways scrolls
• Having an “unsubscribe” confirmation landing page
• Having a confirmation landing page with an option to be subscribed again.
• Sending an email with a blank subject line
Now that you know the seven truths of email – the most powerful tool for marketing, branding, direct response, and building customer relationships, you can use them to evaluate your tools and resources.