Guest email lists are key to maximising hospitality email marketing. It is not always straightforward though. In this article, we’ll give you actionable tips that you can use to grow and maintain healthy guest email marketing lists.
What a healthy guest email list looks like
A large guest database is a treasure, but this can be used to its full potential only if the data is clean and actionable. There are several requirements that will elevate the quality of your database:
✔ Valid guests’ information
✔ Rich guests profile affiliated to the contact
✔ Positive marketing preference (or opt-in guests)
Having this right will allow you to directly connect with your guest, using email marketing.
What is an email marketing list?
Email lists are a database of email contacts that you have collected.
Active lists automatically update over time based on filter(s) you have applied. Static lists don’t update – they compile the email contacts you have initially uploaded or filtered.
Once you are happy with your email lists, you can pull off email campaigns that will directly reach your guests in their inboxes. You can build your email lists in different ways. For instance, you can create an active list that will filter all the guests that have stayed over the last 6 months.
This tool allows you to scale and automate your marketing.
Keep a finger on the pulse of your email lists
We don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but as time goes by, your email marketing database degrades; your guests change their email address, they could unsubscribe from your communications etc.
First, to avoid guests unsubscribing from your communications, it’s important that your email campaigns are engaging. Beyond creativity, your offer should bring value to the guests.
Second, your email lists matter because they constitute the bedrock of your campaigns.
Think quality: bad data in your email lists can be a solid obstacle because no campaigns can be sent without a destination. Sending emails to incorrect email addresses will result in a hard bounce – which you should absolutely avoid.
Think quantity: email lists can sometimes be HUGE and difficult to exploit. This can be caused by duplicates, errors, closed addresses, lack of OTAs’ addresses conversion, lack of opt-in guests etc.
A good email addresses database is constant care work.
Ensuring its good health:
- benefits the deliverability of your campaigns, 📨
- allows you to create targeted campaigns at scale and 🎯
- gives you an opportunity to upsell and drive loyalty with your guests. 😍
Objectives and strategy to enhance the data
When it comes to building your data capture strategy, there are 3 points to look at as a hospitality marketeer:
- Valid email addresses: Is the data correct?
- Marketing preferences: Are your guests opted-in to marketing preferences?
- OTAs’ addresses: do you have a strategy in place to convert OTAs’ email addresses?
Building objectives around those 3 points will help elevate the quality of data you are working with. For-Sight’s Reporting Suite gives you access to unique reports helping you to monitor this.
The tools you use
The interplay between your systems is vital. The richness and cleanliness of your email lists depend on:
- the software platforms and applications you use, and
- how they integrate with each other.
Connecting your PMS and other transactional systems to a CRM platform allows you to capture and automatically update guests’ data with vital information (names, address, email addresses etc.) and insights about their interactions with your property (stays, total spend overtime, ancillary revenue, preferences, number of guests etc.).
A centralised CRM platform can provide you with a clean flow of data (itself fed by the multiple software solutions you and your team use) and remove manual work and duplicates.
Our secrets to growing and maintaining your email list database
Dynamic lists automatically feed your database with new insights. Adding filter(s) to those lists is a great way to create targeted campaigns based on criteria relevant to your guest profiles. Going further, in automating your marketing you can use dynamic lists to enrol new contacts into email sequences.
For example, your objective is to upsell couples’ activities. Create an automated pre-stay campaign targeting Honeymoon guests using a dynamic list with those filters: [booked a honeymoon package] AND [arrive in more than 5 weeks]. When your contacts meet these criteria, they will be sent a series of emails promoting couples’ offers, events, or upgrades.
Sending regular campaigns will keep your guests warm (engaged). If your guests go cold, you can create re-engagement campaigns. Send your emails at regular intervals, as discontinuous campaigns may lead to poor conversion rates and guests forgetting about your property.
Creating loyalty programs can give you access to more and better guest data. Guests’ rewards are an opportunity to collect opt-in contacts. Depending on the nature of your program, you could access insights about your guests’ preferences. For example, you’re offering 20% on all your property’s activities for guests staying more than 3 nights – guests will pick what they enjoy the most and you will be able to enrich your guests’ profiles.
Analysing the traffic on your strategic touchpoints is key to capturing data. Touchpoints with high traffic and high engagement are a gold mine. What are the strategic touchpoints? This could be your website, advertising, partnerships, post-stay surveys… High conversion touchpoints can be different from one property to another, and you need to identify them.
Here is an example of how you could optimise your front desk or online check-in points. Those are zones of opportunity to collect data. The team welcoming and assisting your guests have the potential to convert OTAs addresses into valid data, so it is important you give them the resource to do so! Well-informed staff members will have a sense of ownership towards the goals and will strive hard to capture valid email addresses.
Inspiring and engaging with future guests
Before being guests, consumers seek inspiration for their vacations. According to a Statista study, online search is a more popular source of vacation inspiration (51%) than talking to friends and family (36%). You can make your property the next must-visit destination. Creating online inspirational content can help you collect more data:
- A gateway for 2 to win in your Instagram account,
- A series of blog posts about activities to do at your destination,
- A £50 off voucher guests can enter by scanning a QR code at a local event.
- Clean and actionable data is fundamental to utilising your guest email lists to their full potential.
- Automate, automate, automate. Use dynamic lists to grow your email address database and add filters to allow you to create targeted campaigns.
- Transform OTA addresses into valid guest email addresses.
- Loyalty programs can give you access to more and better data.
- Capture your new future guests by inspiring them through online marketing campaigns.