The coronavirus has negatively impacted the hotel industry in different ways, but one of the many online marketing methods that is proving to be more important than ever is email marketing.
With travel restrictions in place for many countries, email marketing and maintaining a customer database is currently a huge advantage, allowing hoteliers to segment past guests and other subscribed customers who live within their region and tailor their marketing towards them in an effective way.
If you haven’t got a database in place, or need to know some of the best ways to securely obtain your guests’ information, here a few top tips from us at eTourism.
Grow Your Mailing List
As a hotel manager looking to drive as many bookings as possible, you should always be aiming to build your mailing list, as email marketing is an invaluable way to target loyal guests and new customers with effective campaigns that can be as general or as tailored as you like.
Thankfully, there are many ways to collect your guests’ information and it doesn’t have to be as intrusive as it sounds.
In addition to having email and address as a requirement on all online and over the phone guest bookings, you can encourage new subscribers through compelling social media campaigns, website special offers, “VIP” content invites and other call to action methods that will require your audience to happily provide you their email.
As email, contact and address can change quite frequently, it’s vital to encourage customer data collection as the last thing you want is for your marketing campaigns to fall flat on outdated data.
Maintain Your Marketing Database
Correct formatting and regular maintenance are crucial to keeping a comprehensible guest database in spreadsheet form that’s ready to use when it’s time to send out your newest marketing campaign.
This includes clear and easily referable name, email, address and contact details in effectively formatted sections, additional subsections for past guests and their booking frequency, and visible indicators for possibly obsolete data as well as customers who have made the decision to unsubscribe (make it your challenge to get them back!).
Additionally, useful property management software for hotel, motel and resort owners, such as REI Master, are invaluable tools at your disposal when it comes to managing and exporting customer data, and provide a range of benefits that include cloud accessibility, hassle-free collaboration, safe online backups and increased data security for your guests.
Give Your Guests Value
With a solid database in place, you then have the ability to segment and target a select audience that best fits your marketing campaigns as well as your guests’ needs - whether it’s a brand new promo, a special offer for past guests or a large-scale campaign that you need a vast majority of your customers to know about.
As for email marketing itself, it’s of the utmost importance to keep your subscribers interested with valuable and compelling email content, making use of eye-catching subjects, personalised and tailored content, frequent updates and little behind the scenes insights that will overall strengthen CRM.
It’s also well worth having a friendly automated welcome email in place - one that’s direct and organic - and, if you’re eager to take your hotel business to the next level, a customised email marketing funnel that gradually informs and encourages your guests to make both first, and repeat, bookings.
Are you actively encouraging data collection to improve your marketing database? Let us know in the comments below!