Email Marketing For Hotels

Email Marketing For Hotels: An Ultimate Guide With Powerful Tips [2024]

Are you struggling to boost direct online bookings for your hotel? You’re not alone.

Many hotel owners face this challenge and often they rely on third-party booking sites that cut into their profits.

But here’s the good news: effective email marketing can save you from the struggle.

In fact, hotel email marketing delivers an impressive $36 ROI for every $1 spent, making it the most profitable marketing channel.

So, if you’ve got a great hotel, now it’s time to make sure your potential guests know it.

This article is your guide to using email marketing for hotels to drive more direct bookings and I’ll share practical tips and strategies that you can start using right away.

Let’s get started.

What Is Hotel Email Marketing?

Hotel email marketing is the idea of using ’emails’ as a viable option to promote your hotel to guests who maybe visiting your neighborhood anytime soon.

The idea is to infuse email marketing into various aspects of your business activities to convince more prospects to book rooms in your hotel while maintaining a healthy relationship for long-term advocacy.

Studies have shown that hotel email marketing is 40 times more effective in acquiring new guests compared to Facebook and Twitter combined.

You may send emails about your latest packages, showcases of your hotel rooms, or new promotions with special rates. Plus, you may set up email automation for booking confirmation, welcome or onboarding emails, request for review, insist on recommendations etc.

Key Benefits Of Using Email Marketing For Hotels

Email marketing comes with three key benefits to help you grow your hotel business.

1. Personalized Engagement With Clients

If you have collected emails through specific email campaigns with a targeted approach, then you will be able to personalize the emails and the offers that your clients will love.

According to Epsilon, personalized emails have a 29% higher open rate and a 41% higher click-through rate compared to generic emails

The level of personalization you can use will depend on how you collected your leads.

For example, suppose you ran a lead generation campaign where people filled out a form to get a discount during the holidays. There, you had specific questions such as budget, preferred food, best time of the day for a walk, etc.

In this case, your follow-up email can be personalized depending on what the prospect answered in the form. You can also tailor a few recommended packages that the client can look to avail based on his budget and preferences.

2. More Online Bookings

Promotional interaction with clients over email will help with branding and make potential clients consider your hotel when making their next tour to your neighborhood.

Thus, it will result in increased online bookings.

At the same time, you can also run promotional campaigns when you have special rates so that you can land a few bookings directly via email.

Exclusive offers (not available on the website) or last-minute deals are often great ways to entice more online hotel bookings via email.

3. Higher Customer Retention

Apart from promotion, you can also send weekly emails with showcases of your hotel’s specialties and highlights of what the latest guests experienced in their last visit to your hotel.

Plus, you will have the option to identify your past clients and offer special coupons to them via email to come back again the next time they visit a nearby location.

You will also be able to initiate emails with thank-you notes, feedback requests, and social follows after someone checks out.

This will help to maintain a continuous relationship with your guests and get more repeat customers (provided that you provide the best service at an affordable cost).

How to Collect Hotel Leads For Email Marketing

Now, you know how beneficial email marketing is for your hotel business. But where do you start?

Well, the first step to effective hotel email marketing is lead generation. And there are several ways you can collect leads. Some of them will get you potential clients that you can convert quite easily, while others will need some long-term effort.

So, let us look at a few ways you can collect leads to get more hotel bookings online.

1. Run A Special Discount Campaign Upon Form Submission

You may plan a special discount campaign where you will offer a discount to people after filling out a form.

Basically, you can create a 2-step lead funnel with a landing page and a thank you page.

Hotel lead generation funnel.

On the landing page, you may use a form with additional questions such as budget, preferred food, special features expected in a hotel, favorite traveling time in the year, etc., besides asking for the names and emails. In return, you may promise, let’s say, a 30% discount on your packages during the summer vacation.

This will help you plan on email campaigns afterward, promoting your packages within their budgets and highlighting the features that they said they prefer.

**You could use other forms of offers as well, such as a free premium dinner or an extra night added to the package. As long as it’s better than the original package, it will work just fine.

Once you have the funnel ready, you may promote it on social media, run Paid Ads, and share on social communities related to travel & tourism to get potential traffic to the landing page. Eventually, the discount will get you more leads and help you land more bookings with your hotel email marketing efforts.

2. Use A Virtual Tour To Get Potential Leads

A great way to hook clients is to use the latest technology. You may create a virtual tour of your hotel and place it on your landing page for visitors to take a look at. Additionally, incorporating IoT solutions for hotels can enhance the guest experience and streamline operations, allowing you to leverage cutting-edge technology comprehensively.

Hotel lead generation using a virtual tour.

Make the tour engaging with navigation control to move into different areas of your hotel and add additional details via tooltips or click-to-view content such as room dimensions, available room services, etc.

Include a contact form for people to request more information or request a callback for booking.

This is a great way to collect leads that are interested to a great level and will require less effort to convince via follow-up emails.

**You may even consider adding a booking form directly within the tour, but that is less likely to convert.

P.S. You may easily create a hotel virtual tour using WPVR.

3. Use A Email Pop-up On Your Website

You may set up a simple lead form as a pop-up and request people to sign up to be notified about your future promotions.

While this approach is not highly effective in the hotel business, it will still give you some leads.

4. Maintain A Social Media Community

You may build a social media group, such as a Facebook group, about travel & tourism or tourist spots in your area.

Here, you can exclusively run campaigns and request people to join your email list to get notified about your next big offer during the vacations.

In fact, simply promoting the tourist spots around, along with some pictures of your hotel to show a comfy residence, will help to grab the attention of many tourists.

5. Create A Local Guide Or Handbook For Tourists

The main struggle most tourists face is they are unaware of how they will cover all the destinations they plan to visit after arriving at the location. Seemingly, they know where they want to go, but it’s quite difficult to deal with the locals when it comes to finding transport and directions.

You can become a go-to solution with this.

Simply create a handbook or a guide where you teach foreigners where they should be visiting and how they can find the right mediums to get there. Plus, you can point out different activities to conduct and various foods to try out. In the process, you could include your hotel as the best place to reside during their visitation.

Next, build a 2-step lead funnel with this handbook as the lead magnet. On the landing page, promote why this handbook is so essential and a must-have guide for tourists. Request people to get it for free simply by submitting their names and emails. When they opt-in, they should be directed to a Thank you page where you ask them to follow your social media pages and check their emails to get the free handbook. At the same time, you should initiate double opt-in, i.e., a confirmation email to check if the prospects used their real emails.

After email confirmation, set up an email automation to send the handbook to them. Follow up with an automated email after a day or two to highlight your best packages and possibly a discount.

For this entire process, you can rely on WPFunnels which lets you create a lead generation funnel within some easy few steps.

WPFunnels- Lead Generation

This approach will work quite well if you are targeting tourists.

Now that you know how to collect leads, let us look at how you can implement effective hotel email marketing strategies to get more bookings.

5 Hotel Email Marketing Ideas To Get More Bookings Online

As mentioned above, how well you can use email marketing for hotels will depend on how you collect leads. Your campaigns will be reflective of the quality of your leads.

Following are 5 hotel email marketing examples, along with instructions on when to use them. Explore these options to learn great ways to increase online bookings.

1. Promotional Campaigns and Exclusive Offers

If you have used a lead funnel to collect personalized data from your prospects, then it will open up the opportunity for you to craft curated campaigns for every individual.

For example, if someone has answered that he has a budget of $200 per night, then you may send an email with package offers that are around this amount. If a potential guest chooses that he expects a swimming pool in the hotel and you have one, then you can send an email with packages that include access to the swimming pool.

You may either automate these emails by creating custom segments or plan on sending these campaigns manually when you are ready to offer good deals to your prospects.

The key to the success of these emails will be segmenting your leads according to your planned promotions.

For example, if your hotel email marketing strategy is making an offer for the summer vacation, then you have to segment leads that showed interest in traveling during that time. You can do it by adding a question to your lead form, such as “When do you think you would like a tour next time?” with options such as “Summer vacation,” “New Year’s break,” “Early spring,” etc. Depending on their answers, you may put them into separate lists in your lead management tool.

Once you have the leads segmented, running personalized campaigns will become super easy.

Here’s an example of a personalized campaign from KIMPTON hotel for hotel email marketing:

Promotional Hotel Email Marketing Campaign
Source: Postermywall

2. Pre-arrival Emails

Sending Pre-Arrival Emails is a smart step because it makes the check-in process easy and also makes guests happy and more likely to come back. It’s best to send these emails a few days before your guests arrive.

This gives them a friendly heads-up and all the info they need, making them feel special and well taken care of from the start.

Here’s how this campaign is conducted:

  1. Start by collecting all the essential information your guests might need, including check-in times, room details, and nearby attractions.
  2. Next, tailor the email to address each guest’s specific needs and preferences, making the message feel more personal and considered.
  3. Prepare an email with these details and set an email automation to send it out to guests a couple of days before they arrive.

Here’s an example of how a pre-arrival email from THE AMPERSAND HOTEL may look like:

pre arrival email

The goal of this email is to ensure the customer feels well taken care of, which is a strong requirement for customer retention in the long run.

3. Emails After Hotel Check-out

After a guest checks out, that’s not the end of the relationship. You may continue connecting with the customer to set him up to return or advocate to other potential clients.

You may set up email automation with your system so that the moment a person checks out, an automated email is sent to thank him for choosing your hotel, along with a feedback form link.

If the feedback is provided via the first email, then it’s great. If not, schedule a second email to be sent after 3 days with a request to submit feedback.

And then, 7 days later, send another email with a request to advocate your service to others, maybe by sharing your website or social profile on their social media or by inviting others to like your social pages.

You may even consider offering a 10% discount to anyone who will book rooms via his referral. This is not a direct benefit for the guest himself, but people are always excited to help their friends & families out with good deals. So this discount will help to spread the word.

From then on, you may prepare weekly or monthly newsletters to showcase your services and promotional offers in the future to try and bring him back while doing a good deal of branding to become the go-to hotel when he visits this area again.

Here’s a great example from BELMOND hotel.

After checkout email

4. Emails To Highlight Your Hotel Specialties

You may plan a nurturing campaign by sending a series of emails where, in each of them, you highlight one of the specialties of your hotel.

For example,
In one email, you may highlight the grand view your hotel offers.
In the second, you may highlight the best delicacies you offer during breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
In a third email, you may share some of the special zones in your hotel, such as the swimming pool, billiards zone, indoor sports facilities, caravan service, etc.

Here’s an example of how these emails are:

You may even get creative and often share glimpses of how others are enjoying their stay at your hotel from time to time. This you can do via social media, email, and YouTube videos.

This will help keep potential clients updated on your facilities and may consider booking rooms when visiting your location.

5. Travel Guides & Tips For Potential Guests

This is rather unpopular but works well for your hotel branding.

You may prepare a series of emails with guides on where people should visit your neighborhood and tips on spending a reasonable amount will having the best experience.

Within this series, you may include an email where you suggest a list of hotels to lodge at, and your hotel will be part of this list. Here, for each hotel, include data on the package cost and the flexibility people will get to travel to nearby attractions.

If your hotel is one of the good choices, people will consider checking your hotel out as a potential option.

Here’s an example of a travel guide email:

6. Offer VIP Memberships And Long-term Benefits via Emails

Memberships to hotel VIP programs are common for large, popular hotels. If your hotel is located near an explorable location for tourists & adventures, then these VIP membership offers are a great attraction.

And one of the best ways to introduce your hotel VIP program is via email.

In this case, you may consider your VIP program a product and go for a complete product launch email approach to attract people who love traveling.

Start by creating suspense that a special offer is on the way for adventurers and travelers to lodge at your hotel. Then, reveal the VIP program while making sure the program indeed offers more value for money. Eventually, when you launch the program, you may notify your leads via email and your social media channels. If the offer is good, you will get several member registrations.

However, this hotel email marketing approach will only work if you launch the hotel VIP program during a buzzing time of the year, let’s say a month prior to the summer vacation.

Example of hotel email marketing for VIP membership program from EXCELSIOR HOTEL.

Offer VIP Memberships And Long-term Benefits via Emails

7. Special Event Invitation Email

During any special event or festival, you may host special events at your hotel. You may use email marketing to invite people to your event with the offer and process to take part.

For example, Halloween is almost here. So, you may decorate your hotel according to the occasion and grant public access to everyone in the general areas. Plus, you have arranged a special Halloween party with a live concert & dinner, where people may join by purchasing affordable tickets.

This will help to get more recognition from the locals, and people will consider joining your special party.

Now, here’s where email marketing comes into play. You may send a series of 3 to 5 emails prior to the event to get as many people to sign up as possible.

Sure, you may run paid Ads and social media campaigns, but the most effective approach will always be emails, as that will let you send a direct invitation to their inbox. If planned properly, this can lead to most of your tickets being sold online, and several rooms will be booked before the event date.

The same can be done during Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, etc.

Example of a special event invitation email:

Best Practices for A Successful Hotel Email Marketing

Implementing best practices for hotel email marketing can significantly boost your results. Here are specific strategies to ensure your hotel marketing campaigns are effective and engaging:

  1. Segment Your Audience
    Divide your email list into specific groups based on booking history, preferences, and demographics. This lets you send targeted emails that resonate with each group, enhancing your hotel marketing campaigns.
  2. Personalize Your Emails
    Use the recipient’s name and tailor the content to their interests and past interactions. Personalized emails have higher open and click-through rates, making your hotel marketing more effective.
  3. Optimize for Mobile
    Ensure your emails are mobile-friendly. A significant number of users check emails on their phones, so your design should be responsive and easy to read on smaller screens.
  4. Craft Compelling Subject Lines
    Write clear, concise, and engaging subject lines. Avoid using all caps or excessive punctuation. Aim to spark curiosity and interest in your hotel offerings.
  5. Use Clear Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
    Each email should have a clear and compelling CTA, such as booking a room, taking advantage of a special offer, or exploring hotel amenities.
  6. Include High-Quality Images
    Use visuals of your hotel, rooms, and amenities. Ensure the images are high quality and load quickly to capture attention and promote your hotel effectively.
  7. Test and Optimize
    Regularly test different elements of your emails, such as subject lines, CTAs, and images. Use A/B testing to determine what works best and continuously improve your campaigns.
  8. Automate Where Possible
    Set up automated emails for booking confirmations, pre-arrival information, and post-stay follow-ups. Automation ensures timely and relevant communication with your guests, streamlining your hotel marketing campaigns.
  9. Respect Privacy and Preferences
    Always include an easy way for recipients to unsubscribe or update their email preferences. Respect their choices and avoid sending too many emails.
  10. Monitor Performance Metrics
    Track metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. Use this data to refine your strategies and improve future email campaigns.

By following these best practices, you can create effective hotel marketing campaigns that drive more bookings and build stronger relationships with your guests, ultimately enhancing your hotel lead generation efforts.

You have just learned how you can actively use hotel email marketing to reach more potential clients. Now, you need to choose the right tools to help you execute your hotel email marketing activities successfully.

= Reliable Email Marketing Software For Hotels =

To execute these campaigns, you will need a reliable email marketing tool that will offer you features such as lead segmentation, customized email design, email automation, and lead capture form.

Following are a few email marketing software for hotels, that you may consider using.

  1. Mail Mint
    Best for hotels that have a WordPress website. This plugin offers an easy UI and all the necessary features mentioned above. Plus, you will be able to connect it to OpenAI ChatGPT to write high-quality emails easily.
  1. MailChimp
    If you are focused on running simple promotional email campaigns occasionally, you may consider using MailChimp.
  1. Brevo
    An email marketing tool that comes with segmentation and lead capture features. Their SMPT is quite popular for most small and medium-sized businesses.
  1. ActiveCampaign
    More suitable if you want to automate your emails for bookings, confirmations, and follow-ups.
  1. Drip
    Use this tool if you want to run personalized email drip campaigns for potential guests.

If you want to initiate bookings online, using one of the following Booking tools will work well.

  1. Bookly
  2. Checkfront
  3. ResNexus

= Other Reliable Tools To Help With Successful Hotel Marketing =

You may use one of the following tools to support your hotel email marketing efforts.

  1. WPFunnels
    A great tool to create lead generation funnels in WordPress. You should definitely consider using it if your hotel website is made using WordPress.
  1. EventIn
    If your website is made using WordPress and you want to sell event tickets online, then this will be a great plugin to look into.
  1. ContentStudio
    Using this tool, you may schedule social posts for all your social profiles from a centralized platform.

Author’s Note

Email marketing for hotels can be a game-changer for you if you are determined to grow your hotel business online.

The hotel email marketing strategies you learned in this article are designed to help you get results along with your other marketing activities, which means you do not have to change your complete marketing process. You may add an extra marketing layer to increase your hotel bookings online.

So, go ahead and actively use email marketing to attract more potential guests to your hotel.


You may want to learn more about how to write proper emails to help you successfully launch your next hotel email marketing campaign. Here are a few guides you may read to improve your email marketing skills:

Elevate your hotel’s success now!

Cheers!

Sakiba Prima

Sakiba Prima, the Content Editor at WPFunnels is passionate about making WordPress work wonders for your business. With a flair for simple yet effective sales & marketing tactics and handy tooltips, she turns complex ideas into easy reads.

Sakiba Prima

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