Industry Update
Opinion Article 9 June 2021

The Importance Of Cadence & Relevance In Hotel Email Marketing

By Jos Schaap, CEO at ROOMDEX

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For hoteliers, email marketing is a powerful medium to communicate with customers, nurture future guests and keep them interested in their property. Not only is email marketing cost-effective but it also provides one of the best ways to generate revenue by extending offers to customers such as upgrades, cross-sells, and experiences. But more emails do not necessarily mean more revenue. Getting the cadence of your email correct will have a big impact on your overall conversion performance.

The power of email marketing can be abused

Whoever first made the statement, "You can never have too much of a good thing," clearly didn't live in the time of email. Few people would dispute the value and importance of email – it consistently delivers the best ROI across marketing channels. In fact,‌ ‌hotels‌ ‌can‌ ‌earn‌ ‌as‌ ‌much‌ ‌as‌ ‌$44‌ ‌for‌ ‌each‌ ‌dollar‌ ‌they‌ ‌spend‌ ‌on‌ ‌email‌ ‌marketing - with conversion rates 3 times higher than social media. With these kinds of numbers, it is not surprising that hotels – or any business for that matter, are keen to use email communications to capture additional revenue opportunities as much as possible. But it’s not that simple.

A frequent mistake that hoteliers make is not understanding the frequency in which their guests wish to hear from them. The average consumer receives a lot of email messages every day. So much so that many consumers feel overwhelmed. According to a study from Campaigner, nearly half (49 percent) of consumers say they receive too many emails from business owners and marketers. In fact, according to the survey results, many consumers would like to receive far fewer emails than what marketers send on average. The Campaigner researchers found that about three in 10 consumers (29 percent) would like to hear from a brand once per month or less.

Effective email strategies are not only timely but are highly personal, targeted, and crafted with the customers’ objectives in mind. Personalization increases email open rates by 26% - whereas emails that are too general and/or include too many offers, links and multiple calls-to-actions (CTAs) lead to confusion and dilutes their potential for success. By aligning your email send cadence according to your customer’s needs and with personalized content, you increase the likelihood that your customers will engage with your hotel.

The guest journey goes from travel inspiration and research, to booking, pre-arrival, check-in, the stay experience itself and even post-stay. These journey milestones represent opportunities for when you may be able to reach out via email but remember that the “what” and “why” of sending emails is intrinsically linked to the success of both individual messages and the overall campaign. While multiple email communications may be justified in the initial inspiration stage of acquiring a customer, once a guest makes a reservation, email content becomes more important than frequency. Between booking and checkout email efforts such as prearrival and on property communications should shift to focus on providing the customer with additional value add services that compliments their stay.

But that doesn’t mean blitzing the guest with a million offers of all types. To create emails that yield results hoteliers need to be narrow and precise in their offers. For example, after guests have reserved their stay and received their booking confirmation, closer to arrival, hoteliers can heighten the guest experience with a personalized pre-arrival upsell email. The purpose of a pre-arrival email is not only to prepare guests for their stay, but also to get them excited about it. Pre-arrival emails provide a great opportunity to offer room upgrades and early check-in. Once a guest has arrived and is on property, messages should focus on promoting relevant on-site services and events, such as dinner and golf reservation – and should be communicated within a time period that reflects the typical booking window for those venues. Similarly, additional communications such as "sign up for loyalty" should be sent from mid-stay onward and if promoting other locations, these should only be communicated after checkout.

Ultimately, the goal of email marketing should be to reach the point where communications don’t feel like marketing anymore but instead where each interaction provides value to the recipient. And while many different communication possibilities might seem overwhelming and near impossible to achieve, leveraging marketing automation removes the stress and provides a simple yet effective way to enhance the customer journey each step of the way.

There is no question that email marketing is a cost-effective and powerful method of direct marketing. However, it can also be hugely challenging to get it right. Email marketing is not about filling inboxes with marketing fluff. Email marketing is all about serving your audience. Smart hotels who deliver timely, relevant content with targeted offers and information, not only stand to gain from increase guest satisfaction but also increase revenues.

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Jos Schaap

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    About ROOMDEX, INC

    ROOMDEX"s hotel upsell software, "Upgrade Optimizer," automates, monetizes and ultimately simplifies the hotel room upgrade process by putting the power of choice in the hotel guest"s hands. Automation is the cornerstone of our pioneering hotel optimization platform. ROOMDEX uses hotel reservation, guest data and its proprietary persona and price algorithms to deliver personalized digital offers, greatly enhancing the guest experience. The hotel upsell tool relieves hoteliers of the labor time required by other upselling solutions while delivering high margin revenue and a substantial ROI.

    The company was founded by Jos Schaap, Pierre Boettner and Denis Bajet, three industry veterans (Ex. MICROS-OPERA (now Oracle Hospitality), StayNTouch, Shiji and Nor1) who together bring over 90 years of hotel software innovation experience in PMS, integrations, revenue management, BI, mobile, self-service and upgrade optimization software. Since founding in spring of 2020, ROOMDEX has signed on more than 65 hotels with 6,500 rooms across the U.S., U.K. Europe and APAC. Website https://www.roomdex.io

    Twitter: @ROOMDEX
    Facebook: facebook.com/roomdexinc
    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/roomdex
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