Email Marketing: The Basics To Get Started
Open rate, ESP, data integration … With its jargon, email marketing can seem quite intimidating. But don’t worry, we’re here to explain it to you. This is because, when used correctly, email marketing drives more conversions than any other channel. So now is the time for you to start profiting from it. No matter the size of your business, the basics of email marketing that we cover in this article can be used for all kinds of accommodations.
We show you the procedure.
Step 1: Choose an Email Service Provider (ESP)
You are going to have to choose an Email Service Provider (ESP), a system through which you will send your emails. If you already have a hotel management system (such as Base7Booking), check if this feature is included. If not, there are many different providers to choose from.
We recommend that you try a free ESP first, no matter the size of your hotel. Then, while you have developed your database and gained some experience, explore some of the affordable options available that include additional features. You are bound to find an ESP that will meet your needs.
Take a look at the table below to compare some of the more popular ESPs. Keep in mind that many of them offer a free trial or free use up to a certain number of emails sent or subscribed. Take the time to review the different billing plans as well.
|Free – medium||· Mailchimp||
|Medium – high||· Campaign Monitor
|High – very high||· Salesforce
Once you have chosen an ESP, you will need to familiarize yourself with the country’s privacy and data protection laws to ensure that you have permission to contact your customers. Your ESP should be able to tell you about this as well.
Step 2: Import customer data
The information you keep about your customers is the basis of all your future email marketing activities. The more information you have, the more you can personalize your emails! To get started, you need to save their email addresses somewhere. If you want to send an email like “Your stay is approaching”, you will also need their booking information and travel dates.
Whether you save this guest data in an Excel file, in your hotel management system or elsewhere, the next step is to integrate it into your ESP. There are several ways to easily import your data. Your ESP can guide you there step by step.
Once it’s saved securely in your ESP, it’s time for you to harness your creativity and use this data for your campaigns. This is where email marketing becomes fun.
Step 3: Design and send an engaging campaign
In order to run an effective and timely email marketing campaign, you need to identify who you are targeting, how and when to reach them. Your integrated customer data will help you achieve this. For example, you can send an email to your hosts a little before their arrival to give them a chance to change the type of room. This simple campaign shows how effective email marketing can be. You make your customers eager to stay with you and manage to up-sell at the same time.
Segmentation is a friend who wants you well. You can, for example, filter the database of your customers to select those who live in a certain radius around your establishment and send them an e-mail of the type “Getaway for the weekend”. Or, use email tracking to target recipients who regularly open your emails promoting special offers and are interested in them.
In a future article, we’ll go over the different types of hotel email marketing campaigns. Check the blog regularly to learn more.
Once you’ve designed your campaign, all you have to do is click “Submit”.
Étape 4 : Suivre vos campagnes
The success of an email marketing campaign can be measured by different metrics. It all depends on what you are trying to identify. The basic indicators generally provided by ESPs are:
- Open rate: the percentage of recipients who open your email. This shows if the recipients are interested in receiving emails from you and if your subject line is engaging.
- Click-through rate: the percentage of recipients who click through your email. This is what lets you know if the content of your email is powerful enough to make the reader want to click and take the action specified in the email.
- Bounce rate: The percentage of recipients whose email server rejected the email. There are several reasons why your email is bouncing, with spam the most likely. This indicator therefore indicates if there is a problem with your campaign or your reputation as a sender.
- Unsubscribe rate: the percentage of recipients who unsubscribe after receiving your email. You should check this indicator because it indicates whether users are interested in your emails or not. If this rate increases, it shows that your recipients are not satisfied, perhaps with the content or the frequency.
But what you want to know above all else is the percentage of people who do what you asked in your email. If you run a small hotel, you can probably measure the success of your email marketing campaign by the number of customers who contact you directly after sending your emails.
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