For most hotel marketing strategies, email begins the second a guest clicks “book room”. From there, a follow-up confirmation is sent with the details of their stay, and there may be a few emails as the dates come closer. However, this is extremely expected. It’s not really driving your marketing strategy and isn’t contributing to you booking more guests. Put simply, it’s reactive and isn’t really “marketing” in the sense that it’s after your guests have decided to book a room.
When you take a proactive approach, your email campaigns begin before your guests book the room. Here are a few reasons and ways to implement proactive email marketing campaigns for your hotel.
Proactive Marketing Gives You Control
Between competing with yourself on OTAs and trying to get guests to choose you over your competition, it can be difficult to reel in guests with your marketing. Saving your email campaigns until after they’ve booked isn’t the most effective way to deliver value to your prospective guests, and switching this up could help them choose you over your competitors.
When you reach out to your prospective guests before they book a stay at your hotel, you position yourself as a top option in their mind from the get-go. Chances are, you’re one of the only hotels that is reaching out and providing them with the information they’re looking for.
This gives you an edge by giving you the slightest amount of control and you can direct future guests to valuable content and other information that can help them choose you.
Personalize Their Experience
The experience you provide your guests starts way before their scheduled check-in time. In fact, it starts the second they land on your website or see your hotel show up in an OTA listing. The earlier you can capture their attention and win their email address, the better.
Give users the chance to download a valuable content offer such as a brochure on local attractions or a guide to a certain attraction your hotel has. This should be interesting and appeal to your ideal guest to effectively capture their information, as well as a potential travel date.
You can also incentivize email signups with an exclusive member club. For instance, users could create a profile on your site for potential room upgrades, complimentary services, and access to other amenitites at a discounted rate.
Any way you can capture your prospective guests information before they decide on a hotel the more you can personalize the booking experience. The first step to personalizing their stay, is to get them to choose you.
It Keeps Users Off OTAs
Online travel agencies are great and all, but they’re taking a large chunk of your profit. While they’re likely one of the biggest sources of referral traffic to your site, the trick is to keep interested guests on your site instead of these online giants.
When you take a proactive email approach, you can stay in front of your guests without having to rely on your OTAs, thus lowering your marketing costs and increasing your ROI.
When you deliver value directly to their inbox, you show that you care about their stay, and want to give them an experience they’ll never forget while OTAs are only focused around driving bookings. When used correctly, email can be your saving grace for driving direct bookings.
Empower Your Guests to Make the Right Choice
In 2018, your guests are more educated than ever. If they want to find reviews on your hotel, they’ll be able to find the good, bad, and ugly in a few clicks. This is why it’s important to stay in front of your prospective guests from the second they land on your hotel’s website until they decide to book.
Your hotel marketing in 2018 must empower guests to choose your hotel as the best chance for a memorable experience at the best value. Even if it’s not the cheapest option, staying in front of your guests throughout their entire experience will increase the value they get.
Remember, when it comes to hotel marketing, the most effective way to increase bookings is to take a proactive approach over a reactive approach. Don’t wait for your guests to choose you over the hundreds of other options they have. Go out there and start showing them why you’re the best option.
Capture some of their information such as their planned travel dates so you can tailor their booking process around different events in town. This will also give you a timeline as to how long you should be marketing to them.
Ultimately, you want to get in front of your prospective guests as soon as possible and give them the valuable information they’re actively searching for. Understand the booking process so you can feed them answers before they ask the questions. This will set you up for success and make their entire experience less stressful and more enjoyable.