What it Takes to Make Your Hotel's Emails Worth Opening

By Junvi Ola Principal, Hospitality Content Studio | April 29, 2012

Today, people live in a cluttered email box world. But despite the challenges in overcoming spam and competing with loads of other marketing messages landing in inboxes everyday, email marketing remains one of the most powerful direct-to-consumer marketing tools that hotels can employ. Through consistent email marketing, hoteliers can deepen their relationship with past guests, entice new ones and achieve a strong advantage over their comp set. Plus, the right mix of content can increase sales and convert the reader into a hotel guest now or in the future. How can this be achieved? Here are my 7 copywriting rules to follow to ensure your hotel's carefully crafted email is noticed, opened and read.

Headlines Matter

Take a hint from journalists, they're masters of getting their content read. The secret? It's all in the headline. Your customers will decide in a few seconds, or even less, if your email is worth their attention. People are quick at deleting messages. So, if your subject line doesn't instantly attract, you've missed your chance and you'll end up in the trash bin.

Keep your subject line short. The sweet spot for most email providers is 40-45 characters before they are cut off. Plus, the headline should be attention-grabbing, action-oriented, and peak enough curiosity to lure customers to find out what's inside.

When I'm writing email newsletters for clients, I put every headline through a simple four-step review. I ask myself:

  1. Is it URGENT? Will a reader feel like they need to read this email at this very moment?

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.