Industry Update
Opinion Article23 October 2015

RE: Email Marketing is Still an Opportunity for Hotels

By Shawn Williams, President & COO - Spring Metrics

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As a hotel marketing or sales professional, if there was one piece of data that you could obtain on your prospects and clients what would that be?

Visitors' current income?

Education level?

Email address? Absolutely.

One of the most important aspect of communicating with people in the digital realm, yesterday, today, and in the near future, is email.

Without it, each hotel is just another option in the sea of information that travelers have to sort through. And without it, hotels rely on guests to start the communication with them first and build the relationship on their own.

With it, hotels build a bridge that allows the opportunity to nurture an ongoing relationship, and build continuous value directly to the traveler.

Now you may be thinking, "well that's great but we have emails when they book with us directly", or "we capture it at the front desk". Both of which are correct, and fantastic. However, those interactions occur after they've made a decision to do business with you. What about opportunities to build a relationship before those decisions are made?

Let's consider it this way...if the booking rate is 1.5% online, that means 98.5% of visitors to the site during that timeframe came, and left, without taking an action. Employing a simple email capture strategy can allow for opt in rates between 2% - 10%, meaning you've reclaimed a potential relationship with up to six times as many people as before.

It's known that travelers visit 22 or more sites over a period of many weeks prior to making a decision. During that time, folks take into consideration their different options, amenities, locations, etc.- so it's not dependent solely on price. It's based on value.

Let's say a visitor gets to your site via an article that highlights the "Top 10 Resorts for a Romantic Getaway this Winter". You know that article has been driving traffic to your site, and more than likely those folks are evaluating their options. If you were to capture their email address, and provide additional information on your "getaway" package the following day, would that be of value to both the visitor, and to your property?

In a similar situation, when someone is browsing your site's promotion page and you notice they are in-state travelers via behavioral targeting, you know they qualify for your "in state resident" promotion. In the case they've overlooked that particular promotion on your site, wouldn't it be great to give them a heads up with a personalized email?

The examples carry on to behavior based on device type used, pay per click campaigns, and more. It's important that we take advantage of those resources available to us, to employ strategies to maximize that traffic like emal marketing, and measure those results. All the while, focusing on the value brought to the table for the traveler and creating an experience before they even walk through your doors!


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Shawn Williams

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