Make a Plan
Holiday greetings, promos, events, etc. are ripe email marketing opportunities. Get organized, find a calendar and use it. In addition to your scheduled deployment dates, be sure to block out time for the editing and approval process. Avoid sending your campaigns on high traffic dates when you’ll be less likely to be noticed. Instead, send your campaigns a few days before or, if possible, a week or two before those busy dates.
Call to Action
A Call to Action (CTA) is what you want the reader to do and can be narrowed down to three categories:
- Read Me
- Buy Me
- Join Me
Be sure to define your CTA explicitly for your reader. Choose a clear action that motivates the reader. Keep in mind, the fewer CTAs in an email, the better it will perform. Obviously, meaningful CTAs must stand out from all other text in your design. Understanding your intention at the outset and communicating it effectively will speed up your design process.
Send the right email to the most relevant guest. Dynamic content and personalization is what sets the pros apart from everyone else. Is your email going to a predominantly male audience? Female? Adults 18 - 34? Marital status of married or single? What was the last email they opened? Link clicked? Your readers expect you to know their values, beliefs, and interests. Use the data they have shared to provide the best message that is relevant to their preferences.
Reward repeat guests. Send them exclusive offers, personalized recommendations, and other customized messages that let them know they are special to you.
No matter how great an email is, without a successful subject line, it won't be seen. Avoid 'salesy' verbiage, and instead simply describe the email. The best subject lines reveal what’s inside, as opposed to selling what’s inside. Consider using an emoji to set your special message apart at the start of the subject line. Be concise, direct, and clear with your message. Keep the character count to a mobile friendly 25 characters or less. Tailor the subject line to match the audience you are sending to. A/B testing is the best way to gain insight on what works.
Test, Test and Test Some More
Smart email marketing is based on data more than feelings. Your subscribers have provided you all the tools you need to successfully contact them with messaging that will pique their interest. The best way to determine what works will be to test, learn, optimize and send.
- Consider including a featured image with a link to a gallery of images and videos pre-stay.
- Drive traffic to a dedicated, quality landing page that focuses on conversion.
- Consider incentives to drive customers to complete transactions.
- Segment out the audience who are most likely to purchase as a result of receiving an email.
- Provide the audience with content that renders correctly on smartphones with relevant content according to beliefs and values of this group.
- Use personal data (transaction history, social media activity) to populate content that matters per person in each individuals' email inbox.
- Consider sending promotions to key influencers as a segment – those list members who have a strong social following, active blog, or business network who are more likely to share the deal (if not exclusive to those on the email list or limited).
- Remember to re-engage canceled bookings.
- Consider including an FAQ as a topic for content sent to your existing customer base.
- Empower your reception team to collect more data rather than tasking the guest to do this.
- Initiate strategic use of resend campaigns without changing the content, subject line, or from email. Simply resend the campaign exactly as it was when sent the first time. Exclude those who opened the previous campaign.
- Incorporate a useful element to your emails outside of marketing and transactional – give information to make the guest experience more pleasant – answer questions before they are asked.
- See what others do: Subscribe to local and national competitor emails.