Do you know that according to the Tippie School of Management, “53% of all travel is booked online”?
What comes to your mind when you think about the hospitality industry? Well, according to me it is all about food, travel and photos. Yes, all these favorite elements come together to conquer the business sector. Hospitality sector is marking its importance in the B2B industry with immense possibilities and opportunities. It started growing with technology and well, all options in the hospitality industry are at your fingertips now. However, like other fields, hospitality industry is facing immense competition. And the possible solution for overcoming this situation is planning a perfect marketing campaign which will help you come out in flying colors.
Do you know that “Email marketing has an average ROI of 3,800 percent? For every dollar invested, the average return is $38” (Salesforce). Also, “More than 34% of the people worldwide use email. That’s about 2.5 billion people. It’s predicted to increase to 2.8 billion email users in the next 2 years” (Radicati Group). Fascinating isn’t it?
According to all these strategies, it is clear that email marketing is the most popular marketing strategy which can help a marketer attract more leads and increase brand awareness. Let’s check what miracles email campaign can do in the hospitality industry.
Email marketing plays a key role in the journey of marketer.
- An attractive and a well written email can inspire an individual to visit a particular place, or even try out a new dish from a new restaurant
- An effective CTA can direct the user to the website for booking their trip
- You can communicate and give updates to the user about the booking through emails
Why Email Marketing?
Email marketing has always been the effective medium for both businesses and private communications. The death of email marketing is the biggest misconception that exists. Statistics show that “The number of email accounts in 2017 was 3.7B and is projected to grow to 4.1B by 2021. 72% of consumers prefer promotions through email, compared to 17% through social media” (Source).
- Email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences, which is followed by colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders.
- 86% of business professionals prefer to use email while communicating for business purposes.
- 59% of B2B marketers say email lists are their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.
In the hotel and hospitality industry, a range of hotels are thinking beyond conventional strategies and pushing the boundaries of multimedia marketing; after all reaching the target audience is what every B2B marketer wants.
Now, let’s check some effective email campaign tips for the hospitality industry.
1. Get a responsive hospitality email list
Email marketing is all about reaching out to the target audience; and how can that be achieved? Well, a responsive and segregated email list can solve this problem. It is hard to make one since it needs a lot of time, effort and money. The industry is changing day by day and a marketer won’t have enough time to invest on making an email list.
There are plenty of platforms out there which provide responsive and validated email lists to boost your B2B marketing campaign. A well reputed website can provide you with a well updated email list which consists of contact details of your target audience – be it a hotel service provider or a travelling agency. The ultimate goal of a marketing campaign is to attain more leads and ROI. With an accurate email list, you can easily reach your goal.
2. Make segments
Hospitality industry includes many sectors such as
- Event planning
- Theme parks
- Cruise Line
Segmentation will help you get an idea about what people want. If one of your audience is into travelling, it won’t make any sense to send him an email about theme parks. It is best to act according to your audience’s need. Give them options which are related to their areas of interest. Send emails about transportation and lodging to a traveler; it is a win-win for both your audience and you as a marketer in the hospitality sector.
- Segmenting email lists and customizing email campaign messages are the most effective personalization tactics for 51% and 50% of marketing influencers respectively (Ascend2, 2016).
- Recipients are 75% more likely to click on emails from segmented campaigns than non-segmented campaigns (MailChimp, 2017).
It is true; all the studies reiterate the same – email segmentation will work for sure.
3. Focus on content
Emails are all about content and to be honest, no user will show interest in reading your email if it does not grab their attention. Your email content should stand out amongst other emails. How does one achieve that? Here are some tips.
- Give them a warm welcome
- Get them interested
- Concentrate on your message
- Give an interesting subject line
- Make it simple
- Wrap it up smoothly
Studies show that “Nearly half (47%) of marketers say they sometimes test alternate subject lines to optimize email performance” (MarketingProfs, 2016).
Content need lots of twitching when it comes to hospitality industry. You can start with a warm welcome by mentioning their name and add interesting subject lines and headings. Try to make it simple and short without deviating from your message and give a pleasant ending to your message. Don’t forget, if your content is not up to the mark, trust me, it is directly going to the spam folder.
Do you know that “Emails that included the first name of the recipient in their subject line had higher click through rates than emails that did not?” (HubSpot, 2014).
4. Personalize your mail
A common mail to everyone won’t do the job. Statistics shows that 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement (eConsultancy). Let us see how:
- Start by mentioning their name on the email
- Ask questions and create curiosity
- Use location and time
- Match the emails with landing page
Make use of all the personalization techniques and always remember that personalization is more than just mentioning the name.
Trigger emails have 152% higher open rates when compared to traditional emails (Neil Patel)
5. Give fresh and interesting ideas
Hospitality industry is filled with competition and there will be a lot of similar emails in the user’s mail without any doubt. Everything ranging from hotel booking to transportation can make the user go bonkers and if your email adds on to the same, there is no doubt that it is going to the trash. So, how can you overcome this?
- Give interesting ideas
- Give your customers something special than what others are offering
- Don’t force them, let them choose from various options
- Ask them suggestions and do surveys about what they want next
6. Include images
Images can speak a lot more than words do, even when it comes to hospitality industry. A marketer can express his whole idea within a picture.
- Using quality pictures of landscapes builds interest in users
- Using pictures of hotels and rooms can give a clear cut idea to the user to choose you over your competitors
Let the images speak for themselves and you as a marketer can avoid writing long descriptions.
Using too many images can send your email to the spam folder but in hospitality industry a marketer should use images to convey the message, so how can you avoid being thrown into the trash folder? Here are some tips for you:
- Don’t use too many images
- Message and call to action should not be trapped within images
- Provide title text and alt text for your images
- Keep the image files compressed and small in size
Did you know “As the number of images in an email increases, the click through rate of the email tends to decrease? (HubSpot).
7. Keep your emails out of spam folders
As I mentioned earlier, every user’s email list will be filled with unwanted emails and maybe if your email is not performing enough, it will also end up in the spam folder. Here are some tips to avoid that.
- Test emails before sending
- Add interesting subject lines
- Don’t use spam trigger words
- Offer plain text and HTML
- Make sure that the spelling and grammar is correct.
- Always respect un-subscribers and add unsubscribe link.
Well, anyway according to recent studies, “Spam email is more likely to bypass security filters today than it was in the recent past” (The Radicati Group, 2016). So, don’t let your email be confused with spam emails.
8. Try to use only one CTA
Did you know that “CTRs are 47% higher for B2B email campaigns than B2C email campaigns?” (Source)
As you know, CTA (call to action) is the key to the success of the email marketing. Call to action buttons are the only things that allow users to subscribe and visit your website by sharing and forwarding links. One can get connected with the social media platform of the particular website.
- Click through Rate 54% of marketers say increasing engagement rate is their top email marketing priority. (Ascend2)
- 11 a.m. ET has the highest click through rate for emails. (HubSpot).
- Marketers who send emails on Tuesdays get the highest open rates. (Wordstream, 2017).
You need to be careful, as many CTAs will confuse the user further. You don’t want that. Moreover, every CTA is directing the user to the same page. So, how should you use a CTA effectively in the hospitality industry? Here are some tips.
- Use simple and effective CTA
- Use good phrases
- Add CTAs that balance multiple buttons (not more than 2-3) on one page
9. Make emails mobile-friendly
Do you know that on average, people spend 4.7 hours on their mobile devices daily?
In this era, who does not have their mails synced on their phones? Not many of us will use our laptops to check mails. So, it is important that your mail should be mobile user friendly. Here are some facts about mobile friendly emails:
- Almost every report on email open rates concludes that mobiles are responsible for at least 50% of all open clicks. (Campaign Monitor, 2018).
- Mobile users check their email three times more than non-mobile users. (Campaign Monitor, 2018).
- 35% of business professionals check email on a mobile device. (Convince & Convert, 2018).
About 3 in 5 consumers check their email on their mobiles and 75% of them say that they use their smartphones most often to check emails.
Do you know that “52% of customers are less likely to engage with a company because of bad mobile experience? (Campaign Monitor, 2018).
10. Track and measure your success
Measuring the success of email marketing is a key factor in hospitality industry. You will have to check the following as a marketer:
- Click through rate and conversion rate.
- Bounce rate and Growth rate.
- Email sharing/forward rate.
- Over all ROI and Subscribers list
- Unengaged subscribers.
- Number of new/total lead generated.
- Unique opens, unique clicks and total clicks.
- Number of emails send.
You can track the success of the email marketing on a daily basis and this will provide you all the information including the days which will give you high click through rates.. The result will show you both the weakness and strength of your marketing campaigns.
Do you know that “15% of marketers surveyed say their company still does not regularly review email opens and clicks. Only 23% say they have integrated their website and emails to track what happens after a click. (MarketingProfs)
To wrap it up
The hospitality industry is growing day by day; and so is the importance of email marketing campaigns. Many marketers admitted that email marketing is one of the effective marketing strategies which provides them with a good number of leads, conversions and ROI. We have discussed in detail about email marketing tips for the hospitality industry. There are a couple more factors for you to check including
- Make the un-subscription procedure easy.
- Don’t include much colors in the text.
- Add social media buttons which will help the user to share and forward your links.
What are your thoughts about email marketing campaigns for hospitality industry? Let me know in the comment section.