Simply put, among the many marketing channels, today, email marketing is a proven marketing channel used globally by businesses of many sizes.

In fact, globally, the email marketing market was valued to be at $7.5 Billion in 2020. And by the year 2027, the email marketing market is projected to increase to about $17.9 billion. - Statista.

But the problem is, many businesses do not understand how to tactically email people, and how to develop their email marketing list of recipients.

So how do you develop a hotel’s email marketing list? Here are a few terrific strategies for a hotel to develop that email marketing list, and start driving up bookings, goodwill, brand advocacy, and the other business goals of a hotel.

Email marketing isn’t about sending unsolicited email to people anywhere in the world. It’s about developing a relationship with the reader. Sure cold emailing has it’s benefits, however, just like cold calling, cold emailing is something many people detest, which therefore may result in a decline in you hotel’s reputation, and your mail server and domain being blacklisted for spamming.

Sending out the bulk mail isn’t hard as it sounds, but the building of that email marketing list, is something a large number of people may not have a clear idea of, and is what we’re going to dive into today.

When developing an email marketing list – in other words, when collecting/growing the list of recipients – the first thing that needs to be understood is the recipient himself/herself.

The easy way for a hotel to understand the recipient is to start with drawing up a breakdown of guest segments.

Let’s do up a working example to help you out...

Guest Segmentation:

  1. Tourists

  2. Business Travellers / Event Attendees

  3. Families

  4. Health & Wellness Travellers

By segmenting guests as such, a hotel can typically understand the type of guest they’re emailing. This is important because we can now work on sending specific desirable emails, to the specific type of guest we’re targeting.

It is also helpful, because now, we can get a clearer picture of how and where we may obtain their email addresses legally with their consent. Thereby turning cold emails, into warm desirable emails.

Warm desirable emails, therefore, are more probable, and likely to be opened, read, and clicked.

Which then, can result in increased hotel-guest interaction in the relationship, and understandably be a driver of direct hotel bookings, brand engagement, goodwill, and so on.

So now we’ve segmented our guests. So where, when and how do we legally obtain their email addresses?

For this, we need to understand guest activity. And then marry the guest segmentation data, with the guest activity data.

For every point increase in satisfaction from their preferred loyalty program, guests are: 12% more likely to return to a hotel chain, 21% more likely to share positive reviews.” - Deloitte.

A guest touchpoint, we’ll loosely define it as the point of interaction between the guest and the hotel.

Guest Activities (Roughly Mapping the Guests’ Journey):

  1. Tourists [Segment 1]

    • Online direct booking / Browsing

    • Check-in / Check-out

      • Registration / Handover

      • Lobby

    • Stay

      • Bedroom

      • Restaurant

    • Tours

  1. Business Travellers / Event Attendees [Segment 2] – (Includes Tourists’ activities except for Tours)

    • Business travel booking – Private vehicle

    • Meeting rooms

    • Attending events or trade shows in locality

  1. Families [Segment 4] – (Includes Tourists’ activities)

    • Kid-centric activities

  1. Health & Wellness Travellers [Segment 5] – (Includes Tourists’ activities)

    • Excursions

    • Locality specific activities- Sailing, Mountain Climbing

Now that we’ve identified suitable guest activities, it’s easy to see how each of these activities highlight specific touchpoints in the guests’ journey.

So here’s how we can now successfully obtain guest email addresses with their consent.

Examples for obtaining emails at Guest Touchpoints and growing the Email Marketing List

  1. Online direct booking / Browsing on hotel website

    • Email subscription popup offering a coupons, special offers, and deals on subscription.

    • Mid-article subscription forms with “Like what you read” texts, to subscribe to more similar articles.

    • Subscription checkbox on booking to subscribe to special deals and events happening, to “stay in the know”.

  1. Registration / Handover Touchpoint

    • An inviting subscription checkbox on registration of a guest, to receive special deals and other promotions, and updates on happening events.

  1. Bedroom Touchpoint

    • QR code on Pillow Menu to subscribe and learn more about hotel deals or to purchase a premium hotel pillow from a partner brand.

    • QR code on a sightseeing magazine to plan a sightseeing trip on the hotel website and subscribe to stay updated on events in the vicinity.

  1. Restaurant

    • QR code on Restaurant Menus to subscribe and obtain special offers, secret recipies, new menu items.

These touchpoints, we’ll use them to obtain segmented guest email addresses allowing us to have a database of possibly hundreds to thousands of email addresses, through which we can send interesting desirable and unique newsletters to each segment.

When guests subscribe, give them the option to choose the types of newsletters they’d like to receive.

By understanding the guest segments, you will have a clear idea of the type of newsletters to pitch to a prospective subscriber. Thereby aiming at increasing the likelihood of a subscription.

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