Email Marketing Ideas for Hotels

Your hotel’s newsletter does not have to be about promotions and special deals only. There’s simply so much more that you could be sharing. Let’s take a look at some email marketing topics for hotels and five tips to help your newsletter stand out.

Have you noticed that the cost-per-click for even the most generic hotel industry search terms seem to constantly be on the rise?

They aren’t exactly ‘cheap’ these days. And, realistically, they’re probably not going to be much cheaper in the future either.

Newsletters, on the other hand, are incredibly cost-effective by comparison. They can yield a return of $45 – $51 for every $1 spent on email advertising.

That’s because subscribers are high quality leads.

They’ve opted in – that is they’ve chosen – to receive your news, updates, and special offers—they actually want to hear from you! You have this golden opportunity to communicate regularly and directly with your target market.

As such, newsletters are a great way to build long-term relationships with past, present, and even future customers. Timely, relevant, and interesting content can be what convinces travellers on the fence about where to stay to choose your hotel. It can also bring about repeat stays.

That is why with the right planning and prep-work, hotels can benefit greatly from email marketing.

Newsletter ideas for hotels

Your hotel’s newsletter shouldn’t only be about promotions and special deals.

Why?

Because focusing purely on discounts could result in subscribers thinking that you’re only worth booking if and when you’re on sale. And you don’t want that, do you?

Instead, use your newsletter to provide subscribers with useful and interesting content.

Below are a few ideas that hotels can use for their email marketing.

Please note that the screenshots below are from the hotels’ respective websites. I don’t know if those topics are, or have been, featured in their newsletters but they are great examples of quality and relevant content for subscribers, which is why I’ve included them here.

1.    Inspire with your location

You can use the newsletter to highlight your hotel’s location. Whether that’s the city you’re in or what makes your specific neighbourhood so special, there’s plenty to talk about.

Screenshot of the Lord Elgin Hotel's "summertime in Ottawa" landing page.
The Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa has a dedicated “Summertime in Ottawa” landing page for fun events that visitors can enjoy in the summer – such experiences can be highlighted in a hotel’s newsletter

You could:

  • feature local attractions;
  • share secret spots (restaurants, bars, photo spots, etc.) that only locals know about;
  • give guests ideas on what they can do in and around your location;
  • and inform them of any upcoming local events that may be of interest such as summer festivals, concerts, special shows, and so on.

Those are just a few ideas. I’m sure you can think of many more!

2. Go for a culinary theme

Use your newsletter to draw attention to seasonal specials (Christmas events, Mother’s Day brunch, etc.) or special culinary events at your hotel, such as a wine-and-cheese pairing event or a visiting chef really worth dropping in for.

Screenshot of Spiral Restaurant's "Flavors of the World: Jewels of Thai" culinary event at the Sofitel Manila.
Events like Thai cuisine experience with a guest chef at Spiral (at the Sofitel Manila) would do well promoted via newsletter.

Inspire potential guests—make their mouths water!—by featuring the gastronomic delights that await them at your hotel.

You might even want to turn the spotlight on other notable culinary experiences in your area, to drum up excitement for a visit and to let subscribers know that there are plenty of delightful dining options near your hotel.

Screenshot of the Treehouse Boutique Hotel's "eating out" page.
Treehouse Boutique Hotel in Cape Town isn’t afraid to share the culinary spotlight with other notable establishments in their area – in fact, they’ve dedicated an entire page to it. Consider sharing dining destinations outside your hotel with subscribers.

3.    Special offers, promotions, discounts

This is really self-explanatory, so there’s no need to write much about this. Whether it’s low-season offers, seasonal promotions, limited-time-only packages, or other discounts, you’re bound to have special offers that you’ll want to share with your subscribers.

Also, let’s face it, subscribers probably signed up for your newsletter precisely for this information.

4.    Promote special events at your hotel

Your newsletter is the perfect way to keep loyal customers and subscribers informed of the various upcoming events, festivals, conferences, and other  activities of interest that will be taking place at the hotel.

Events that are particularly interesting for guests and that are open to the general public can help drum up interest well in advance and increase participation.

For example:

Screenshot of the InterContinental Bangkok's Mooncake Festival event
Special events like the InterContinental Bangkok’s limited-time-only Mooncake offer could be promoted through the newsletter.

5.    Use it to follow up

Your newsletter is also a great way to thank guests for their recent stay as well as to ask for a review or to rate their experience.

Alternatively, provided you don’t ‘abuse’ it, you could even use the newsletter to follow up on abandoned or cancelled bookings. Make sure you don’t come across as annoying or clingy though.

Five email marketing tips to help you get started

Now that we’ve gone over some ideas and examples of hotel newsletter content, let’s take a look at five email marketing tips to help you get started.

1.    Always have a plan

Just like any other component in your marketing arsenal, a newsletter needs proper planning. In other words: Plan for it the way you would for any other paid marketing initiative.

Know what you want your newsletter to accomplish and prepare accordingly. Have a strategy in place to achieve those objectives. This includes figuring out the type of content you’ll be creating, the timing of content delivery, the design and images you’ll be using, and so on.

PRO TIP
Don’t leave content development or preparation to the last minute. You’ll want to have a quarterly plan and the content to go with it ready – save for minor adjustments – in advance.

2.    Segment your readers

Want your newsletter to get read? Make sure you segment your subscriber list. Then create and deliver ‘personalized’ messages according to each segments’ interests.

Put simply: Don’t send the same message to everyone. Find out what subscribers want most and customize your mail accordingly.

For example:

Screenshot of Rosewood Hotel's email sign up page, which gives subscribers the option to choose their interests.
Rosewood Hotel’s email sign up page gives subscribers the option to choose their topics of interest

3.    Make use of landing pages

It’s hard enough to get subscribers to open emails and read the content. That’s why, once you’ve successfully managed to get the reader to click through to wherever you’ve planned to take them, make sure they don’t regret it.

That is, make sure you’ve created focused, relevant, and clean (attractive) landing pages that lead the reader to take that final action, such as book a stay at the property.

If you’re redirecting readers to your hotel’s blog or the website, make sure you’re redirecting them to the correct page – ideally with a singular focus, to avoid confusion – and that there are no broken links to ruin things.

PRO TIP
Your landing page should focus on one specific topic with a precise audience / segment in mind. Every component of that page – text, images, colours, call-to-action, design, and item placement – should be designed to drive visitors towards taking one unambiguous action. Confuse them and you’ll lose them.

4.    Don’t forget an irresistible call to action

You want subscribers to do more than just read your email. You want them to take action. To do that, you’ll need an irresistible call-to-action that is also clear and to the point. Don’t be afraid to test different calls-to-action out.

5.    Don’t be boring

I mean, no one likes boring, right? You’re in an industry that allows you to be amiable and less formal – take advantage of it! Develop content that is interesting and easy to read. You want to inspire, convince, and convert readers – not put them to sleep.

For additional tips to get your newsletter read, click here.

Need reader-friendly newsletter content for your hotel’s target audience?
From idea generation to content development – I’m here to help!