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 transactional or “service” emails can be turned into revenue opportunities. Whether you are new to email marketing or are looking to refine your email campaigns, learn how you can use email to drive action and increase profits.

Transform Transactional Email into Revenue Opportunities

Challenge: Missing key opportunities to build revenue
Solution: Transform service-based messages into revenue opportunities
Benefit: Potential to upsell and cross-sell current clients

Hotels and inns can use transactional messaging to fulfill an important role in maintaining prospects’ and guests’ opinions of your brand, reinforcing your value proposition, and boosting revenue. According to Forrester, confirmation emails are 17% more likely to be opened than newsletter or promotional emails, and customers are 20% more likely to click through on them. Confirmation emails are often read multiple times and are usually last to be deleted.

Transactional emails are automated service-based emails that are sent based on pre-defined triggers or specific actions your prospects or customers have taken. Transactional emails usually come in a series and the primary purpose is to convey information regarding the action that triggered it. For example, a hotel or inn could generate automated:

  • Customized confirmation email receipts. A real-time communication is triggered whenever someone makes a reservation (confirming details, how to get there, and things they might do when they arrive) that includes relevant related products and services.
  • Reservation reminders directly related to their stay. The welcome email is sent a week before a confirmed guest is due to arrive, with pertinent details that include (within the body of the email) targeted promotions and upsells for room upgrades, spa services and extra amenities.
  • Thank you email with feedback survey after they depart. The post-stay thank you email is sent a few days after the guest has departed, that includes a satisfaction survey asking for feedback on their stay to help you enhance your guests’ experience.
  • Cancellation emails that include special offers for a future stay. A cancellation could trigger a special “we’re sorry you won’t be staying with us” email offering a special rate if the recipient decides to book with you at a later time; or a value offer like an in-room welcome gift or complimentary late check-out. If you operate a chain of hotels, this might be a good opportunity to share details about a sister property that might better suit their needs.

Both the pre- and post-stay emails can automatically trigger other communications based on your pre-determined business rules. For example, if an email doesn’t get opened, it could trigger another email with a more compelling subject line and message. Additionally, you can follow-up with promotional emails letting guests that just stayed with you know about upcoming availability and special discounts.

Since transactional communications receive a high level of audience engagement because they contain essential information and are anticipated and welcomed by recipients, they provide a wonderful opportunity to boost revenue. Treat them as valuable customer touch points and ensure that you keep to the 80/20 rule: this is where 80% of the message is transactional or service-based in nature, and 20% is promotional in nature.

Check back tomorrow for the next post.