The data is clear: If you’re not segmenting your guest database and sending targeted emails rather than generic blast emails, your marketing is much less effective than it could be.
Of the hotels that do send targeted emails, most base their segmentation on available fields in their CRM, their guests’ purchase history, or other digital behaviors identified within their business. Those with marketing automation tools may also base their segmentation on a particular system, like a loyalty program or PMS, that factors in a few other dimensions as well.
But is your hotel getting the most out of segmentation, or are you leaving money on the table?
Here are six common mistakes to avoid if you want to get the most out of segmentation.
1. Not having clean data
Basing decisions on data that contains duplicates, data that’s outdated, or data that’s not normalized makes for inaccurate segmentation. Nothing’s more embarrassing than sending two different promotions to the same person at the same time! Even worse, having a high bounce rate on your emails can hurt your email sender score and affect your deliverability.
Make sure your data is clean, accurate, and streamlined.
2. Defining segments by instinct without backing them up with data
Although segmenting on the basis of guest profiles or personas constructed based on assumptions is a good starting point, especially when you are just starting out, it is unwise to finalize your segmentation without first doing analysis.
For example, defining as profitable a segment that actually brings in the least amount of revenue is a mistake that only looking at actual numbers can show you is a mistake. Therefore, customer data must be analyzed when creating your segments.
If you are lacking data because you are just starting out or you’re running a small hotel, you should conduct tests prior to finalizing your segments. Your tests could include sending email marketing campaigns and looking at results, running limited digital marketing campaigns and seeing what kind of interest they generate, running A/B tests, and so on.
3. Analysis of your guest data is not based on the right goal
The guests in your various segments should be defined and targeted based on your hotel’s specific business goals. Each of those different segments should then be marketed to in accordance with your goals for them.