7 Email Marketing Automations for Hotels
Do you run a hotel and want to provide a better guest experience? Add customized automated campaigns for tourists to your email marketing strategy. Find out from the current article which are the top 7 email marketing automations for hotels and how to implement them. You’ll also find out what’s the current state of play in travel and how automation helps you get more satisfied customers and more sales.
More tourists in 2022
After two years when the tourism industry suffered from COVID-19, the number of tourists is on the rise again. In the European Union, the number of overnight stays in 2021 is expected to increase by 1.8 billion compared to 2020 (World Economic Forum, 2022). However, the total was 40% lower than before the pandemic, so with the lifting of the restrictions, we can expect the figures to approach pre-COVID levels again.
In other words, businesses in the travel industry have an opportunity this year to attract even more customers, and email marketing should not be missing from their promotional strategy.
Read more about:
- Email marketing automation for hotels – Advantages
- More conversions for hotels with email automation
- Automated booking confirmation email
- Automated pre-arrival email
- Check-in email automation
- Automated NPS tourist survey email
- Flow of cart abandonment emails for hotels
- Automatic anniversary newsletter
- Automated email important announcements
- Bonus: other email marketing tips for hotels
Benefits of automated email marketing for hotels
Did you know that email marketing is one of the most effective promotional methods for the travel industry? But that automating your newsletter can bring you more customers?
Email marketing campaigns generally have up to 4 times higher return on investment (ROI) than other promotion channels such as social media or search engines (DMA & Demand Metric, 2016).
Furthermore, of all industries, travel has among the highest newsletter open rates of 32.5% and the highest ROI of 53:1, compared to the overall average of 43:1 (NewsMAN, 2021 and 2022).
Higher conversions for hotels with email marketing automation
Campaigns sent automatically by hotels can have an open rate of more than 70%, clickthrough rate of more than 25% and among the best conversion rates of all email types, according to a 2019 report by The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.
Below, we recommend several types of email automation that increase your chances of having your hotel busy all year long.
7 types of automated hotel emails that make a difference
While digitization is fast-paced these days, there are still hotels that aren’t making the most of the benefits of customer email automation. Discover the top 7 types of automated emails for hotels that help you optimize customer communication. Stand out from the crowd and add a plus to your image by offering fast service and reassurance to your guests through:
- setting up an automated hotel booking confirmation email
- automatically sending an email with useful information before accommodation
- automating the check-in email
- sending automated feedback request email
- implementing an automatic anniversary email
Read more about each type of automated email for hotels.
1. Automatic booking confirmation email
The HSMAI report cited above shows that automated booking confirmation or change emails enjoy the highest open rates, 72%, and clickthrough, 25%.
This email is important to provide clear and complete booking information so that the tourist has everything they need to stay at your hotel at their fingertips.
But you can also use this email to increase revenue. Here are some ideas:
- Include information about other services or amenities offered such as pool access, sauna, massage, restaurant, etc.
- Offer a voucher for purchasing additional services.
- Promote local partners (transport services, tours, restaurants, shops, etc.) for a sales commission.
2. Automatic email before arrival at hotel
The pre-booking period is a good time to send an automated newsletter to provide useful information and upsell or cross-sell.
This type of email is impressively effective, with an average open rate of 60% and clickthrough rate of 30%. Considering how many tourists open these emails, don’t miss the chance to build trust and communicate valuable information:
- Booking details, check-in and check-out times, hotel address and transportation arrangements.
- Information about the services offered by the hotel, along with a voucher or discount gift code for those for a fee.
- Suggestions for additional activities such as sightseeing, excursions, organised tours, etc.
- Room upgrade offer with additional benefits available.
Depending on the hotel and how much information and offers you have available, you can create a sequence of 2-3 emails in the week prior to arrival, so that you don’t send out a busy newsletter. Take care to find a good balance between frequency of communication and relevance of information.
In the NewsMAN gallery, you can find different email templates suitable for the hospitality industry that you can customize and use in your own campaigns. Here are just a few examples:
3. Check-in email automation
Once the tourist arrives at the hotel and the check-in process is complete, send them an automated email with useful information such as:
- Instructions for using the Wi-Fi network.
- Details for accessing purchased services: dining hours, rules for access to different areas, schedule, phone numbers, etc.
- A list of additional services offered by the hotel or partners.
- Answers to frequently asked questions from reception staff.
This type of email provides the guest with all the information needed for a pleasant stay, right from the start, and also makes the work of the hotel staff more efficient, as they will have to respond less frequently to the usual requests and questions.
4. Abandoned cart email series hotel booking
In the fever of searching for the best accommodation deals, tourists frequently abandon the booking process. At the same time, they forget to save the details they found.
So it’s always a good idea to get back to potential customers with a stream of email reminders. In the case of hotels, this online booking reminder email is the classic abandoned cart email.
Within the email marketing service you use, create a cart abandonment automation and set up a series of 2 automated emails. The first will be simple booking reminder and availability reconfirmation, and the second will be with voucher included.
Example of cart abandonment automation for hotel created in NewsMAN platform, with series of 2 email reminders.
5. Automatic email NPS survey
Customer feedback is important in any industry, but in the hotel industry it is vital. Not only does feedback from those who have stayed at your hotel influence the buying decision of others, but it helps you take immediate action to quickly improve the guest experience.
For example, after implementing the NPS review survey and analyzing the responses, the Four Seasons hotel chain was able to improve its net promoter score by 7 points, increase employee interest in the feedback it received, and decrease negative reviews by 38% (Medallia, 2019).
Make sure the email marketing service you use allows you to send an automated NPS review email. With NewsMAN, you do this in a few simple steps:
- Decide how soon after checkout you send the NPS survey.
- Choose an NPS review newsletter template from our gallery and customize it with the drag & drop editor.
- Write a friendly text asking for the guest’s opinion about your hotel, the facilities offered and the interaction with the staff, like in the two examples below.
- Include hotel branding and save the automation.
Once these steps are done, all customers will automatically receive the NPS email, the data entered will be saved for each one, and NewsMAN will automatically create three segments of subscribers: detractors, passives and promoters.
6. Automatic anniversary newsletter
By anniversary newsletter, we don’t necessarily mean the birthday email – although you can do that too if you want, offering a special discounted experience such as a massage, spa day or romantic dinner.
Anniversary newsletters can also be sent automatically a year after the most recent booking, for example. Let’s say in March the tourist booked a stay at a seaside hotel for July. March of the following year is a good time to send them a newsletter with an offer for the coming season. If she had a pleasant experience, chances are she’ll stay again.
For those who prefer new experiences and choose another destination, include a voucher or discount code that can be sent to friends or family. Here you can use the information from the NPS survey to find out which customers are willing to recommend you to others.
7. Automatic email important announcements
Whether there’s been a change in the hotel’s entertainment schedule or you have minor pool maintenance, let guests know via email. Any relevant information for guests should not be forgotten to communicate it quickly via email. They will appreciate it and your hotel’s reputation will grow.
Other email marketing tips for hotels
In addition to creating automated emails to hotel guests, here are a few other things to keep in mind for effective campaigns:
- Segment your subscriber list. According to HSMAI’s report on email marketing in the hotel industry, segmentation can bring 5 times more conversions than sending the same campaign to the entire database.
- Communicate constantly with your travelers to turn them into loyal customers. Don’t limit yourself to sending emails only during the season, but plan a regular newsletter with useful information.
- Alternate the types of emails you send. In addition to offers, send educational or entertaining emails.
- Analyze the results of your email marketing campaigns to find out what’s working and where there’s room for improvement.
- Vary and test different email subjects, photos, call-to-action buttons, send days and times, etc.
If you want to create effective email marketing campaigns and have the automation described above, as well as other useful and easy-to-use features, try NewsMAN for free.