Email marketing can have a huge impact on your hotel’s brand awareness, occupancy and ADR, and that’s why you need these five simple, but effective tactics, from Revinate’s senior marketing strategist Anisha Yadav.
Revinate is a company headquartered in San Francisco that helps hotels know more about their guests, so they can deliver personalised experiences. With this in mind, they collect information that provides and promote data-driven relationships between hoteliers and guests.
Anisha Yadav is the senior hospitality marketing strategist at Revinate, responsible for optimizing customer success with Revinate Marketing. Anisha spent eight years in revenue management serving as the regional director of revenue management for Commune Hotels and Resorts and the Director of Revenue Management for Taj Hotels.
Here are Yadav’s five most important email marketing tips to increase your hotel’s ADR:
1. Offer upsells and upgrades with pre-arrival emails
According to Yadav, this is one of the easiest and most dependable ways to drive higher ADR. She highly recommends that a few days before the reservation, hoteliers must send pre-arrival emails to guests with a strong CTA, linking them to room category upgrades.
This is a good strategy to let your guests now that they’ve been thought of, even before they check in to your hotel. More importantly, for your hotel, this will push them into getting paid room upgrades, rather than complimentary upgrades.
In addition, amenity upsells also generate revenue and enhance the guest experience. Your amenity options such as daily breakfast, local excursions, early check-ins, and late check-outs, should also be included in your pre-arrival emails.
2. Promote direct bookings
“To drive direct bookings, first and foremost, you should create a seasonal marketing plan to help reduce reliance on online travel agencies (OTAs) and their lofty commission rates,” advises Yadav.
In order to achieve this, you must setup recurring campaigns that target former guests who booked through an OTA and reward guests who have booked directly. You can also send post-stay emails within a month of the guest’s departure, to keep them coming back.
Connect with your guests directly, so they can get back to you directly, too. It’s good to get bookings from OTAs, but they shouldn’t be the primary source of your bookings.
3. Know your seasons and adjust accordingly
Another good practice is to identify the ups and downs of your specific market and adjust your strategy for each season.
For example, during peak season, you can focus on driving rates by offering high-value promotions and eliminating all rate discounts. On the other hand, you can attract guests by offering rate discounts when demand is low. This is a basic strategy and you can use email campaigns to promote this effectively.
“As a hotelier, you need to identify the peaks and valleys of your specific market and customize your offers accordingly.”
4. Get personal for higher conversions
I can’t stress personalisation enough because this is one trend that won’t be going away anytime soon (or maybe ever). And how do you provide personalisation? The answer is through the use of data.
Getting personal with guests on emails will help increase your hotel’s conversions with guests. Imagine if you can let them know that you know their birthdays, life events, food preferences, etc. They’ll feel so much comfortable in choosing your hotel.
“For example, guest demographics, weekend versus weekday, average booking window of the market, repeat versus loyal guests, and other data points can help hyper-personalise your email marketing.”
5. Pay attention to guest feedback
In hospitality (or any industry nowadays), it’s crucial to build a trusted reputation. In a study that was concluded recently by Revinate, more and more people have been reviewing hotels online. So, in order for hotels to maximise this phenomenon, hoteliers must be swift and vigilant when it comes to responding to reviews, whether they be positive or negative.
Responding to these comments will give your hotel a voice, therefore building relationships with guests, and in return, boosting your ADR. Aside from replying to reviews, hoteliers can also send personalised emails, thanking guests and letting them know their reviews are appreciated.
“The correlation between your online reputation and ADR may not be obvious, but your reputation is a driving force behind revenue,” concluded Yadav.