Written by: Cristina García
Many hoteliers prioritize the need to create a website that meets all requirements and a digital strategy that takes into account the SEO and social media platforms to get traffic. But traffic is not everything when your intention is for users to access your booking engine. Because you need more direct bookings, right?
To get more travelers to book on your website you need to be able to feed their interest. Social networks are fabulous platforms for generating content of value, however, this content can be lost among all those comments that force you using social media as a customer service channel.
For this reason, you must use an email marketing strategy. Because email is more effective when it comes to getting guests. It is one of the most personal ways of communication and it allows you to boost your direct bookings. Plus, you have control of the communication from a contact base that already knows your brand. And it is also one of the cheapest ways!
There are many ways your potential customers can become part of your hotel’s contact database. This is part of the conversion stage within a good inbound strategy. On the one hand, users may think that your content is totally appropriate, that adds value to them, and subscribe directly to your newsletter. If this is so, congratulations! You already mastered content creation.
But on the other hand, your users first intention may have been to get a downloadable, that is, a content offer such as a guide to the best beaches, the best hiking trails, etc. If this is the case, get to the point. To ensure you get a real contact, explain that this offer will reach your email inbox and make clear from the beginning that you will continue to send information.
To do this, use at least the small print. Yes, that microcopy in which you can also specify the frequency of your newsletter and in which you can detail the type of content the user will receive. Think that what you really need is a database with quality contacts. The number of contacts is not so important when it comes to getting customers, because this will not lead to an optimal conversion rate. Therefore, it is also necessary that you include the unsubscribe option.
Without this information, you would end up expanding your base with contacts that are far from being potential customers. This would affect your email marketing campaign effectiveness and their opening and click-through rates. In addition, keep in mind that if users reject your emails or mark them as spam, the providers of this service can send them directly into junk.
Now, to create a copy that your recipients want to consume you have to personalize. It is a priority to target your specific email marketing strategy. To meet specific needs with content that can bring value. Because if you do not include relevant and personalized information you will not be able to retain your potential client.
For this it is crucial dividing your email marketing campaigns. You probably have a variety (large or small) of ideal client types. In this case, are you really waiting to segment? Think that emails sent to segmented lists receive 62% more clicks. For this reason, it is essential to divide the contacts you get into groups or segments based on similarities and trends.
To avoid your email drop out rate you have to deeply know your base of contacts: your potential customers. To customize the content, you must first segment. And in order to segment you have been able to create ideal guest profiles. Customers that will access you through your different online channels. Those most influential.
Through your CRM you can know what type of content is interesting for a specific profile of potential client. Create an engaging copy by writing about the topics you know for sure will work. If a segment is made up of a pair of profiles that have in common their preference for the festival season and this you know based on what they have consumed, take advantage of this information.
Otherwise, if you create the same content for all your potential customers, you will not generate any kind of engagement or conversion. And it is precisely what you need with your emails: an appealing hotel brand to earn direct bookings. And another way to attract with your emails is using the names of your recipients in the subject and the body. Because people act twice as fast when they feel that the email is only addressed to them.
Maybe you think that landing pages have nothing to do with email marketing. But actually they are fundamental. In order to convert potential customers into final guests, that is, to get more direct reservations, we are working in the hot zone of inbound methodology: conversion. And the landing pages are the conversion pages par excellence.
On the one hand, it is where users exchange their contact information for your content offer. Think wisely. Let’s say they read your blog post, they found your guide on the best gastronomic restaurants in the area, and they arrived at a landing that doesn’t give any value. Would you fill a form with your name and email in a specific page that does nothing?
As you can see, your email marketing campaign depends, in part, on the success of these pages. Also, with the landing forms you can also know a little more about your users. Ask for information that does not compromise them too much, because we already know that less is more. But, for instance, if the gastronomy is important for the tourism that your hotel represents you can ask some specific questions that will help you to segment more.
On the other hand, landing pages are also the sections where you can direct your contacts once they have clicked in your email’s link or CTA. A link that leads them to an offer or other related content. This way they will only focus on one task, they one you mark in your email. Thus your contact is less likely to get distracted from the objective.
In this case, both the email and the landing page must be able to reinforce the decision of the potential client when it comes to acting, that is, to take a step towards the booking process. To do this you have to show the benefits of your brand. How? Betting on content that shows you care about their interests, their needs.