Email Drip Campaigns For Your Hospitality Property
Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing mediums. It delivers a consistently high return on investment at a low cost. If you’re not doing Email Marketing, you should really start. Most properties have some sort of email marketing strategy, usually a bi-weekly or monthly e-blast that goes out to their database. However, there is a different type of email marketing that can be an effective tool to battle OTA’s for mindshare with new customers.
Drip Email Marketing is the process of capturing an email subscriber and sending them sequenced emails over a period of time. We started experimenting with this strategy for our customers back in 2016. It quickly became a highly effective means to build an email database and drive direct bookings of new people that were not quite ready to book on the website on the first visit. We call this practice Conversion Optimization, but really, it is drip email marketing.
The first thing you want to do when setting up a drip campaign is to implement a way to capture email subscribers on your website. We recommend using a tool like Opt-in monster. Once you have set up your pop-up to capture email subscribers, you will want to connect it to an email service provider. It has to be a service provider that allows you to sequence emails. We typically create 5 emails and send them over a 30 period of time for our customers. We like to change up the messaging to be relevant to seasonal changes, changes in strategy at the property level and via other outside factors. Here is an example of one of our 5 email sequences that proved very effective for one of our customers (notice the content is not all deal related)
We deleted some information for obvious reasons, but you can see here, the first email has a 55% open rate with a 25%+ click-through rate. 20 days after the first email, we delivered the 5th email in the sequence and generated a 27% open rate with a 5.25% click-through rate. You can also see unsubscribes are very low.
It is a good practice to change emails and messaging throughout the year so that you are staying relevant for the new email subscribers. Once that email sequence is complete, you can add the new subscribers to your primary email database.
Drip email marketing is low cost and drives a really good ROI. Here is a screenshot below of the results of a drip email campaign for one of our clients.
Results from November 1- November 30th 2020
We hope you find these strategies useful and helpful! As hospitality marketers, it’s important that we pick the right strategies, it’s not always the best idea to try and do everything or to jump on every flashy new trend. There are certain things that are tried and true and generate bookings consistently, year in and year out, and then there are new channels that come along and make an immediate impact, then fizzle out. Our recommendation is to test things, dip your toe in the water, see what works for you, then maximize that channel for all its worth, or until you hit a diminishing return.
Most of the time, it comes down to execution, who do you have to execute your marketing strategies? Do you have the right in-house team or the right agency partner? Do you have the right technology helping convert the travelers once they get to your website? Do you have a reservation team that is really good at converting calls and doing outbound follow up and lead management? If so, then market away and watch the revenue roll in. But if you don’t have your technology, website, sales and revenue management in order, our recommendation is to start there. No sense in wasting good marketing dollars if they don’t turn into heads in beds.
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