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 marketing challenges hoteliers face and explore how email is still the most effective solution to meet these challenges.
Today’s blog post highlights how to optimize email deliverability and performance. 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.
Maximize Email Inbox Delivery
Challenge: Poor inbox delivery
Solution: Regular maintenance and good email list hygiene
Benefit: Maximizes deliverability and enhances performance
Over time an unmaintained mailing list can result in complaints from recipients resulting in an Internet Service Provider (ISP) blocking your email from your recipients’ inboxes. Good list hygiene practices will help you avoid spam traps and keep your bounce rates low—both of which are key drivers of your sender reputation. To maximize email deliverability and performance, follow the best practices for list maintenance and hygiene below:
- Evaluate if inactive users should be deleted. If a recipient has not opened a single email in the last year, try re-engaging them with a win-back campaign. If this method fails, they should be removed from the list.
- Remove generic addresses. Sending to generic addresses, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, very often results in unintended people receiving email and oftentimes generates complaints with the ISPs.
- Correct misspelled domains. Look for bounces from recent campaigns and correct misspelled domains. Simple typos such as alo.com for aol.com, gmal.com for gmail.com, and .con for .com can be easily corrected.
- Institute a stricter opt-in process. Sending an “email blast” to recipients who have not participated in a permission-based “opt-in” campaign will seem intrusive and they are likely to either unsubscribe or not engage. Get permission before sending email.
- Add a whitelisting request. Ask recipients to add your email address to their safe recipients or safe senders list (whatever the name may be in their email client). Whitelisting your email address keeps their email security system from filtering out your message. Place a simple link at the top of each email (e.g., reservation confirmation, welcome email, etc.) where it will catch their attention. You can also add this request to your join form.
- Don’t use email@example.com as your From address. Using a ‘no-reply’ email address can prevent you from achieving maximum email deliverability. ISPs (such as Yahoo! and Gmail) take into account their users’ engagement and reply habits within their spam-detection algorithms. If a user actively replies to a specific address often enough, it will automatically be added to their list of trusted senders. Generally, messages from senders that appear in the recipients’ contacts list won’t be marked as spam, and will reach their inbox.
- Remove duplicate addresses. Use a service that will automatically remove undeliverable email addresses and duplicate addresses from your database and, before sending an email campaign, do a search for people who unsubscribed and add them to your suppression list.
- Ask subscribers to confirm their email address. Asking the subscriber to enter their email twice will significantly reduce typographical errors, and signals to the subscriber that you are taking steps to ensure data quality.
The most effective way to increase deliverability rates and increase your ROI is to practice good email list hygiene and regular data maintenance. The better your email deliverability, the more trusted your email sender reputation becomes, resulting in more opened emails, click throughs and conversions…all of which impact your bottom line.
This post concludes my 5-day series on hotel email marketing. I hope you found the series informative and helpful.