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Get Personal with Your Email List

By O'Rourke Hospitality
June 2010

You have a solid list of email contacts that you’ve built up over years, but do you have any other information about the recipients besides their email address? Did they travel with kids, on business, for a particular conference or on a romance package? All of these little details can help you improve your email marketing results and your relationships with your guests. Today’s tech-savvy travelers are used to personalized, targeted messaging and they are expecting you to deliver the same level of service to their inboxes.
A recent e-Dialog survey of US and UK internet users revealed that email recipients are interested in emails that show the company’s knowledge of their likes, dislikes and if they were a returning customer or not.

If you do have some of this personal information about your guests it is time to start segmenting and creating emails around specific traveler types. Here are a few ideas to get you moving in the right direction.

Identify Segments - Take a look at the calendar from last year. Map out particular conferences or events that may be happening again this year. How about weddings? One-year anniversaries are a happy time to send out special romance deals.    Did you run any popular children packages? Target those folks with a kid-friendly promos and watch the tikes toddle through the doors. Internet users love deals so hit up past guests with a fantastic “Thank You” rate to come back and they will.

Be Consistent When Highlighting Interests - From your subject line to the imagery and text within in the emails, keep your targeted group in mind when developing creative. Your road warriors may not respond well to photos of the pool filled with kids and your returning families won’t find a romantic candle-filled suite appropriate for pillow fights.

Close the Loop - Most marketers believe that their job is done once the email has gone out. But to really wow guests and remind them that you have their interests in mind you need to follow through. Make sure the front desk staff is aware of specialized email promotions that have gone out so they can actively look at the profiles of those checking in and offer them the appropriate amenities and services according to their likes and dislikes.

Clean Up Your List - You can’t get a good idea of who your guests are and what they like if you have a list littered with duplicate names and ancient email addresses. Make de-duping and updating your contact info a habit so that you have a better sense of the actual data you have.

Is Your CRM Light on Details?

It is never too late to start collecting more information on the likes and dislikes of your customers.  There are a few easy touch-points to hit up guests for more personal data.

-Reservations Desk - Adding a few questions to the end of your reservations script can make a huge difference in being able to segment your customers for email marketing purposes.

-Front Desk - Check in can be the perfect place to fish for details. It may add a few seconds onto your average check in time but it will be well worth it. Offering guests an incentive to fill out a quick card for you can also do wonders for data collection.

-Online Reservations - While you don’t want to delay potential guest from hitting that “Buy Now” button, you can still ask for a bit of info on the confirmation or “Thank You” page or even follow up with them in the confirmation email.

If you would like to learn more about Hotel Internet Marketing please call O’Rourke Hospitality at 978-465-5955 or visit the website

O’Rourke Hospitality

Also See: Smartstay Leads the Hospitality Mobile Platform with Branded Hotel Apps in Five Countries; Visit O'Rourke Booth #1234 at HITEC 2010. / June 2010

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