Email Marketing: A recipe for success
Email marketing has become one of the most effective ways to increase revenue. Targeted email messages are a great way for innkeepers to advertise and sell special events, last minute specials, and even specific dates like birthdays and anniversaries. The proliferation of this marketing technique is largely due to the low cost and speed with which you can deliver your message. In fact, email marketing increased more than 270% from 2000 to 2001. In 2001, 30 million permission-based messages were sent, expecting to grow to 150 million in 2005.
The recipe for a successful email marketing campaign contains several “key ingredients” that require special attention: choosing software, collecting email addresses, creating a template, composing content, and tracking results. By following this basic recipe, you will add a delectable way to increase your revenue and keep in touch with your customers.
First, choose your email marketing software. You will need to decide how much of the campaign you will be doing yourself. Choose a software program that has the needed features: seamless import of data (addresses) into database, ability to create specific groups based on demographic information, and detailed tracking to determine effectiveness of each campaign.
Collecting email addresses and your list is the next step. The database of email addresses, or list, is the life-blood of any email marketing campaign. The list must be as large as possible to ensure the best results possible. However, the list is worthless if it isn’t composed of "qualified" members. Look for qualified subscribers in areas you might not otherwise think of such as, guest books, booking software, and business contacts. Allow users to sign up for your campaign directly. A form on your home page or a dedicated newsletter page is best. Ensure that your software enables double-opt in of members, deletion of "bouncing" members, and a functional "Opt Out" message on each newsletter.
After you have chosen software and collected your email addresses, it is important to add a great-looking newsletter template to the mix. Your template should be attractive and leave an area that will easily highlight the "Client Call to Action". Your template should be in HTML format (no attachments), contain graphics, and look like your web page.
Click here for examples of good templates.
Your email marketing message should serve as a portal to your website! Composing effective content is crucial to a profitable e-mail marketing campaign and should focus on two main factors: substance and timing. No substitutions, please! Always include your Inn Name in the subject field. Create catchy titles like “Hot Deal” or “Third Night Free” to entice viewers to open your email. Make sure your message includes discounts or special offers. Links in your message will generate traffic to your website and enable advanced visitor behavior tracking. Be thoughtful about which links to include. By including links to additional information about specific Packages, and Specials you will be able to see what your readers are most interested in.
Consistently, personalized emails get a better response, and a higher percentage of sales. Research shows that personalized emails generated 43% more click-throughs than a non personalized message. Additionally, there are significantly fewer unsubscribers among those who receive personalized emails. Try not to omit this simple but important ingredient. Your software should handle this detail for you.
As with any good recipe, timing is important. Generally speaking, messages sent on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are the least productive. Emails sent on a Friday result in at least 23% more sales than those that are sent out on any other day. You would not serve breakfast at 2 pm would you? Make sure that you deliver this tasty dish when your customers are hungry for it!
Increased bookings and revenue will ultimately define the success of your email marketing efforts. By following a great recipe and combining the right ingredients with proper timing, you will be assured a successful marketing campaign. This recipe is a dazzling addition to any innkeeper’s repertoire; serving up an abundance of opportunities to reach both new and old customers. Bon Appetit!
Blizzard’s E-mail Marketing services offer a powerful marketing technique at a low cost, while reaching your entire customer base. The cost for Blizzard’s E-mail Marketing services is $300 annual fee for e-mail newsletter software, and $150 regular set up fee (name & email collected) or $300 custom set up fee (name, email and other demographics are tracked). The regular set up includes 3 hours of setup time, and the custom set up includes up to 5 hours of setup time.
Click here for examples of good email marketing messages.