You would be hard-pushed to find someone who hasn’t stayed, or attended a function, in a hotel. Hotels house the conference, the overnight concert-goer, the week long training course, and the dirty-weekender. Business and pleasure seamlessly occupy the same space, and all needs are met equally. You have to consider the vast array of marketing opportunities that are created by such a diverse service. Where would you begin? With the bar? The restaurant? The fitness suite?
Of course all facilities are important to share with your subscribers. However, there is only so much you can say from week to week about the static facilities within your hotel. If you are continually writing about the staple amenities, how long is it before you start to repeat yourself?
Creating original content will become more difficult. Retaining your subscribers will be increasingly more challenging. You need to keep your content fresh and interesting.
Here are five 5 simple emails to keep your subscribers engaged.
The ‘What’s on Guide’
Hotels aren’t just buildings occupying an entire island of their own. They are shelters within their communities. Around the walls of a hotel are the football matches, the rock concerts, and the poetry readings. What is going on within your city is just as important as what is going on inside within your walls.
Strike up conversations with other venue owners. Nurture important relationships with people who are in charge of running events in your area. Keep your eyes on what is happening within your city.
Despite how comfortable your beds are, or how juicy the restaurants rib-eye steak is, people aren’t likely to travel from one city to the next for it. Unless they have a reason to go. If it is your email that draws their attention to the fact that Les Miserables showing near you, then they are more likely to book their accommodation with you.
The hotel is ‘looking forward to meeting you’
This courteous email presents further opportunity to contact a future guest. This should contain any last minute information they might need to know, like check-in/out times. You can remind them the opening times of your restaurant, when breakfast/lunch/dinner is served.
You could also use this to throw in a last minute special offer. If there is an event on that your customers may be attending, perhaps you can offer them half price pre-drinks before they leave.
Regardless of what offer you may create, this email presents another opportunity to impress your recipient with the facilities at your hotel. It also may highlight any potential problems with the booking, allowing plenty of time to react and make sure their stay is perfect.
The ‘How was your stay?’
This might seem like teaching grandma to suck eggs, but this is the most important email. This is the email that could stop them ranting on TripAdvisor, or plastering incriminating photographs across social media. Even the best services in the world fail from time to time. The best gift you can be offered when this happens, is the opportunity to remedy the situation. At this point you may be ready to throw a free night, a refund, or any relevant form of damage control. The ‘How was your stay?’ email could gift you this opportunity before the disgruntled customer becomes a keyboard warrior.
Similarly, if they had a great stay, then the customer has the opportunity to praise your hotel or the member of staff that made their weekend memorable. More importantly, this allows you to open conversation with the customer beyond their stay. A happy customer might be willing to offer a testimonial for the website.
The ‘Happy birthday or stay-iversary’
Using a tool like mailingmanager, you have a platform that allows for intricate automation. Automation remembers important things so that you don’t have to. A customers birthday, the anniversary of their stay, even the reason for their visit could trigger an automatic email.
If they are looking for something to do on their birthday, then ensnare their custom with a sweetener. Maybe a half price stay, or a free glass of wine with their meal. Similarly, reminding them of an event they frequented might trigger some good memories, and a small token offer to celebrate your anniversary might be enough to bring them back through your doors.
The ‘last month at my hotel’
Not every email has to contain a sales pitch. In fact, sometimes you might not have anything new to offer. That is fine – email the customers a monthly newsletter.
There is always something you can report. Whether it is the newest employee of the month, or an amusing incident with the cabaret singer from the previous month – there is always something you can put down in a newsletter.
For this email, content is king. A entertaining tone, and captivating imagery are a must to draw the recipients into the personal story of your hotel. Email consistently and regularly keep you at the forefront of the customers mind.
The wrapping up of this article
As I alluded to in my introduction, a hotel presents many marketing opportunities. Email is a powerful tool to ensure that your establishment doesn’t match that of The Shining. If used effectively, then your hotel will continue to nurture an engaged subscribers list. With Halloween and Christmas on the horizon, there are plenty of events you can stuff into your newsletters. You just need to create a little content.