Written by: Cristina García
There are online strategies for the hotel industry you can always find information about. SEM, working with AdWords; social media strategy, with which we create communities on social platforms; presence on third party websites; and blogging actions. These are essential, but their main focus is to attract traffic to your hotel’s website.
Without a strategy that works from the inside the buyer's journey, your hotel’s conversion funnel, the traffic you generate will not be converted into direct bookings. That's why we use email marketing. Email is one of the most important elements of a healthy online strategy. Because its goal is to get your sales leads to become your final guests.
In fact, a study by Mckinsey & Company shows us that email marketing is 40 times more effective when it comes to getting guests than social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Have in mind, that you can be very personal with email marketing. That is if you truly know your audience and can send the right email at the right time.
But what are the main keys of a successful email?
You want all communication to follow a line of style that can be associated with your hotel’s brand of, right? That’s why you've worked so hard on your branding strategy. And not only that, your recipients also need a consistency of style not to get lost among the various communication actions you perform.
The copy and the images of your emails should resemble the copy and the images of the landing pages they address to. There must be consistency in design, colors and how to communicate.
Simplify whenever you can. As we discussed in the previous post, user experience is very important. For this reason, avoid introducing elements that may distract from the objective you marked for your email strategy. And have in mind users can check their inbox from any device.
In addition, every part of your email has a purpose. The structure of the emails you send is fundamental. To achieve success with your email marketing, emails must follow a formula that today is infallible. The AIDA formula, acronym that responds to the initials of ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE and ACTION.
AIDA is the formula the copywriter Gary Halbert, expert of the newsletter, used to write effective sales letters. But this formula is multi-functional, since once you know how it works, you can apply it in your hotel’s website content, as for example in the so important landing pages.
Now, how do we apply the AIDA formula in emails?
Does any movie with an open ending come to your mind? Surely it does. Sometimes, these films are the most interesting one. The ones that leave us wanting more. With your emails happens the same. Open ending subject lines are those that have the power to draw the attention of your recipients. Subject lines that speak to a segmented list, obviously.
Its job is to get people to open the email you send. And if you want to increase the opening rate of your emails, you should think of subject lines with a message that can arouse your subscribers’ curiosity.
We know that writing an attractive subject line is not always easy. Therefore, we recommend writing a list and evaluating with your colleagues the ones able to attract more attention. This may be a team effort. Then, select two for the email you are sending and perform A / B tests. This is a good way to test the preferences of the targeted list you send the email to.
There are several elements that can arouse interest and make desirable to consider a getaway or vacation. On one hand the design, which we have talked about above and that should go according to the brand of your hotel. On the other hand, the structure of your copy. We always try to be creative, but if the message is not clear and does not bring value, you can hardly keep the reader's interest.
To prevent them from leaving your email prematurely, you must include information that is relevant to your buyer personas. Do you see how important they are? If they are interested in gastronomy, you could include information about restaurants. If they like music, add a festival calendar of your area. If they are passionate about nature, show them the best hiking trails, etc.
In addition, to make your email’s content desirable you must show what the benefits are. How? If your buyer personas are interested in different leisure activities, they will go to your hotel mainly because, besides the price, its location is ideal to try different restaurants, go shopping and go out to the best clubs.
Now there is only the part in which we must call our recipients to the action, as it raises the AIDA formula. And in order to do so, you must include a CTA in your email. This call-to-action is the button that encourages your reader to take a next step. One step close to the lead conversion into guest. A good CTA clarifies what the reader will get: a downloadable content guide of their interest, an offer, a discount coupon, etc.