Marketing for hotels is more sophisticated now than in years past. Before, hotels could advertise in newspapers and magazines, especially travel-related magazines, and offer incentives to travel agents and agencies in exchange for recommendations. Nowadays, however, most hotel guests use the Internet to choose their accommodations and make their reservations. In order to reach this world of savvy online travelers, therefore, hotels should make strategic use of marketing lists.
Every email communication with guests should offer them a chance to sign up with your marketing list. When guests make online reservations, most hotels and motels send them an automatic email confirmation. Don’t squander this opportunity – somewhere prominent in that email, insert a button they can click in order to sign up. Offer them an incentive for doing so – maybe a small discount at one of your shops or restaurants, or a link to a list of expert travel tips. On your hotel website, display this button as well, so the people who check out your site, but have yet to actually stay with you, can opt onto your list.
Another effective tool for growing a hotel marketing list is to start a travel blog, or a blog for tourists who visit your area. You can assign an employee who is particularly adept at social media marketing, someone who’s also a good writer, to handle this assignment. If you offer fresh and compelling content on a regular basis, and use good search engine optimization techniques, then you are likely to establish a substantial readership. And if your sign-up button is easy to find on this blog, and a clear incentive for signing up is provided, you might find that your marketing list grows significantly in a short period of time.
How is A Hotel Marketing List Used?
You must also figure out how exactly to use your marketing list. One technique is to send out an email every time your hotel has news to share. If you’ve won an award, let people know. If you’ve remodeled the lobby, include photos of the renovation and the results. Many people love to think back on their vacations, especially when they’re in the middle of a stressful workweek. Therefore, when they open your email and see photos of the place where they stayed, fond memories of that trip will come flooding back, and they might discuss your hotel with friends or colleagues, prompting those people to make a reservation at your hotel at some point.
In your marketing emails you should always try to offer content which people could use in their daily lives. That is, you could:
- provide a recipe from one of your cafes.
- list tips for beating long lines at airports
- have one of your spa employees explain how to give someone a massage at home.
- Have one of your swimming pool lifeguards offer First-Aid information
Be creative – see what you and your employees can come up with. If you have email content that’s both useful and entertaining, you can then ask the people who receive those emails to forward them to everyone on their contact lists.
Finally, if you buy marketing lists from companies that specialize in compiling those lists, try sending an email only to people who live locally, or within a few hours’ drive of your hotel. Offer those people a special, substantial discount – you can sell it as a weekend getaway, or a newlywed package, or something along those lines. In many cases, room discounts are not especially effective at drawing in customers from far away, but oddly enough, evidence suggests that such discounts will often convince people who live locally to spend a night or two.