Email marketing is an excellent tool for hoteliers to stay in touch with their guests and prospects. Travel related email campaigns retain a loyal audience and create direct revenue opportunities with past, present, and future customers. In this five part blog series we will address common challenges hoteliers face and explore how email marketing is the most effective solution to meet these challenges.
Today’s blog post highlights how automated email marketing is effective at improving customer retention. Whether you are new to email marketing or looking to refine your email campaigns, learn how you can use email to drive action and increase profits.
Improve Customer Retention
Challenge: Low customer retention rates
Solution: Use email as an automated awareness and retention tool
Benefit: Effective tool for creating top-of-mind awareness and increasing repeat business
Out of sight, out of mind! The best way to increase customer retention is by automating your guest retention program to keep in front of your customers even after their checkout. Automated emails keep your inn or hotel in the forefront of your customer’s minds, and once they are setup they are deployed without any effort from your staff.
Here are 5 tips to improve customer retention:
- Keep them engaged throughout the year. Even if your guests are only likely to visit you once a year, keep in touch with them throughout the year so that when it comes time for them to book their next trip, your hotel or inn is firmly in their mind.
- Ask for feedback on their stay. Do you know if your guests were truly satisfied? Send them a post-stay survey to gather feedback on their stay. Invite comments on the quality of their experience, the services offered and any suggestions for improvement.
- Reward their loyalty with special offers. As you begin to learn more about your customers, you can segment them by the amenities they value, their demographics, stay patterns and room preferences. A well-timed, customized message could include a special offer and may be just enough to have that guest re-engage with your hotel.
- Gain a deep knowledge of their needs, behavior, and preferences. Listen to what’s important to your guests; understand them by capturing lifestyle data and tracking personal preferences. Are they business or leisure travelers? Do they like a particular room? A particular amenity? Leverage this feedback to send them targeted marketing messages about what they value and to build loyal customer relationships.
- Give them something personally relevant. In advance of their arrival, send guests pre-stay emails reconfirming their bookings to make them feel welcomed. Ask them for any preferences they might have for their stay. For example, if you can make dinner reservations for their first night or if they have dietary restrictions. Note their birthdays and anniversaries, and invite them back to your hotel or inn with a special promotion.
By engaging guests and gathering feedback, you’ll gain a better understanding of their needs and motivations, allowing you to strengthen your brand by presenting them with relevant, timely and personalized email communications. Done the right way, email marketing can help hoteliers build brand awareness and create direct revenue opportunities with past, present and future guests.
Check back tomorrow for the next post.