OTAs and airlines are well known for sending emails with helpful information and lucrative offers. They constantly remind us that they are there if we need them. But for some reason you rarely see similar messages from hotels.
This is because the vast majority of the hotel’s digital media efforts revolve around securing the booking – very little is done after the booking has been made.
After analyzing more than 50,000 emails sent by hotels, we’ve found some interesting patterns.
Hotels which engage their guests by sending out targeted pre-arrival and post-stay emails, with a follow-up action in a mobile concierge app or self-service portal, can see a multitude of benefits:
- More personalized guest experience
- Improved first impression
- Increased revenue of ancillary services (upselling rooms, services, restaurant, rental, tours)
- More reviews
Yet many hotels are reluctant to talk to their customers. Some guests are already receiving information from OTAs, and some managers are nervous about sending similar information.
But, OTAs are promoting their own brand with offers from their partners. The hotel’s goal is to make guests feel welcome to their property and highlight all the special features compared with the OTAs’ cookie-cutter approach.
Luckily, with a proper communication strategy, these issues can be addressed.
Tips for successful communication strategy
- Understand your guests’ digital journey.
What are the expectations in pre-, during- and post-stay stages? Your goal is to strike a balance between your needs as a hotel and your guests’ needs. For example, in the initial pre-stay contact you might want to upsell products and services, but guest might be more interested in detailed directions about how to get to your hotel or reassurance about parking.
The key to success is targeted actions. Don’t just send out nice content, send out content that leads to a specific action: order, review, book, share, ask help etc.
- Message size
We have surveyed the engagement ratio of emails from many hotels and the rule of thumb for length is, less is more. If you keep it under 1500 characters and put additional content on the external page, it will be easier to read without lengthy scrolling, particularly on phones.