We’ve all experienced it before. Inboxes flooded with excessive amounts of annoying emails, no doubt blasted to every guest who has ever stepped foot in the door or innocently provided their email address online. As potential guests become harder and harder to reach, it is critical for hotel owners and marketers to take a closer look at their email marketing strategy (or lack-there-of).
So how do you make the most of your campaigns and avoid the dreaded ‘unsubscribe’? Here are 5 of the most common email marketing mistakes and strategies you can use to avoid them, improve engagement, and drive more direct bookings.
1. Too Much Information
One of the easiest ways to kill an email’s potential is by filling it with too much text. Rather than a newsletter meant to deliver
information and updates, your emails should act as a springboard, successfully getting potential guests to your website where they can then learn about your property and begin the buyer’s journey. Keeping the verbiage concise and strategic is the first step in improving your click-through rates and effectiveness.
Just like emails with too much content, emails that have too much going on visually can discourage openers from reading. Make sure that your colors don’t clash and your fonts are easily legible. Just follow one simple rule, and you should be good: if you want people to read it, make it easy to read.
2. Non-Segmented Blasts
To make the most of your campaigns, the best strategy is segmentation. The more you can target specific audiences and tailor your content rather than blast a message to your entire database, the more effective your email will be. This is the perfect time to send that last minute event-specific promotion that would be impossible to push via other channels. Say a big game is coming to town and you want to fill vacancies with a reduced rate. Send a specific and segmented email to users within a certain mile radius and unleash email marketing’s full potential.
If segmentation is not possible for you, be sure to feature content that appeals to most of your users, without being so generic that readers lose interest. Be strategic about what you are sending, and especially who you are sending it to.
3. Weak CTAs
An email with a weak Call To Action button will generate a weak response. It could have the most beautiful design, the most carefully crafted copy, and the most intriguing subject line, but if readers don’t know what to do, they will do nothing. The most effective email marketing campaigns include strong, unique, and purposeful CTAs to prompt readers to click. Here are a few tips for creating your CTAs:
- Use Action Verbs – Entice readers with creative and specific verbs, such as ‘Discover,’ ‘Plan,’ and ‘Explore’ rather than ‘Click’ or ‘Learn More.’
- Be Mindful of Design – Make CTAs large and easy to spot by using bright colors with plenty of whitespace around them. Place CTAs in the top half of the email.
- Keep it Concise – Limit the number of words to the absolute minimum to improve readability.
We have also found that including multiple CTAs in an email to appeal to more users can be a successful strategy that can increase click-through rates up to 5X.
4. Low-Quality Content
Another factor that increases click-through rates and overall engagement is the quality of content in the email. Control the first impression openers get by including high-resolution professional imagery of your property at the top of your email. This may seem like an obvious and fairly basic element, but the use of high-rez photos can increase your click-through rate by up to 5%.
Low-quality content creates distrust in readers that is hard to overcome. Be diligent in your editing and make sure your emails contain professional copy void of any spelling or grammatical errors.
5. Non-Responsive Designs
As anyone in the hospitality industry knows, the way consumers interact with properties is always evolving. This does not change when it comes to email marketing. A huge portion of openers operates exclusively on their mobile and tablet devices. Creating responsive email designs that translate correctly to every device is a must. Distorted images, broken links, and out-of-place design elements will turn away users immediately and leave a negative impression of your property. Always be sure to optimize your designs for mobile, tablet, and desktop applications.
Email marketing can be one of the most effective tools for the hospitality industry if it is done properly. We hope that you find these common mistakes and strategies to avoid them helpful in your own digital marketing and can employ these tactics to increase engagement and drive more direct bookings.
Take advantage of this incredible channel of direct communication with your potential guests, and enjoy seeing the difference your email marketing campaigns can make!
About TravelNet Solutions
TravelNet Solutions is a leading provider of integrated ecommerce, technology and marketing solutions to more than 2,000 Hotels, Resorts, Vacation Rental Managers and Alternative Lodging companies. TravelNet delivers a broad range of products including Managed Digital Marketing services and Ecommerce solutions including CRM, PMS, CRS and Cloud Contact Center. TravelNet is also parent company to ResortsandLodges.com, a marketplace for unique lodging.