The Importance of a Newsletter for your Hotel – Strategies for Using Subject Lines, Images, and a Call to Action
Developing an effective online marketing strategy for your hotel is essential if you want to attract paying guests and stay competitive with your peers in the industry. At Hotel Managers Group, we have been helping managers market and promote their hotels for more than a quarter century. We understand the power of online marketing, and today, we want to focus on the significant interest a hotel can generate by having a good newsletter.
Make your newsletter interesting and informative
It is not enough to send out a newsletter that only talks about your great swimming pool or the delicious free breakfast that you offer to your guests. That information should generally be reserved for your hotel’s website. News means that you are presenting something new. Your newsletter can include such things as an announcement that you are adding a brand new exercise room or that guests can now enjoy free WiFi. Give the reader something of value. Tell them about an upcoming festival near your hotel or the best place to get pizza when they are in town.
A content-rich newsletter will have your readers looking forward to reading your newsletter each and every month. When you make them want to open the next e-newsletter that arrives in their inbox, you have succeeded in creating a valuable marketing tool that can translate into more sales for your hotel.
Building a subscriber list
When visitors come to your website, you should have someplace on the site where they can opt-in to receive your free monthly newsletter. Entice them to sign-up and subscribe, by peaking their curiosity. You could briefly touch on some of the stories in this month’s publication and make them want to subscribe to get the full story.
Hotel Managers Group thinks it is important to go further than just soliciting subscribers to sign-up for your newsletter they happen to land on your home page. A friendly front desk clerk can do wonders by simply asking each guest if they would like to receive a free newsletter. Your hotel could even have a dedicated screen, somewhere in the lobby, where guests can leave comments and sign-up for the newsletter.
It is all well and good to get people to opt-in for your newsletter, but you also have to make sure that they remain interested in your hotel months after they subscribed to your newsletter. It is human nature for guests to be more interested in what is going on at a hotel shortly after their stay as opposed to a year later.
An uninspiring subject line may cause someone to just send that email notification to the delete file. People are busy and routinely pick out the few emails that catch their attention and delete the rest. In order to achieve the maximum opening rate, it is crucial that you always have a catchy subject line.
Sending an email with the subject line, “DeLuxe Hotel Newsletter for November” is not nearly as attractive as sending out one with the subject line, “Free Turkey when you stay at the DeLuxe Hotel in November.”
What makes a good subject line?
Hotel Managers Group has devoted countless hours to studying the best techniques for creating a strong subject line to get people to open your newsletter or any other type of email communication used to market your hotel. There are many different approaches you can take to write a captivating subject line. If you need help getting people to open your newsletters that are delivered to their email boxes, try some of these proven winners.
• How To email subject lines tell the reader that opening the mailing will be of some value or benefit to them. A good example might be 5 ways to stay in shape while you are away from home.
• Question email subject lines encourage you to look further to get the answer to an intriguing question. As an example, your subject line could read How do savvy travelers get room rates 25 percent lower than you do?
• News email subject lines inform you and make you want to learn more. For instance, the subject line could readDeLuxe Hotel completes $10 million dollar renovation.
• Targeted email subject lines focus on certain groups. An example would be Special family rates make summer vacations more affordable than ever.
• Teaser email subject lines are often the most intriguing. You might want to read on if the subject line was 10-year-old hotel guest credited with saving a life at the Deluxe Hotel.
Subject lines that make you want to open an online newsletter always stimulate a reader’s curiosity. While it is somewhat subjective as to what individual’s like best, avoid anything negative. Don’t use a news email subject line to report that hotel guest drowns in swimming pool. Always keep it positive. Add some humor, make it a little quirky and be creative to intrigue your subscribers and make them want to read your newsletter.
Adding images to your newsletter can be very helpful in illustrating the subject matter that you are presenting to the reader. There is still plenty of truth in the expression that a picture is worth a thousand words. What you must be careful of not doing is to overwhelm the reader with too many pictures and especially with pictures that are not relevant to the message you are trying to get across.
If you want to tell people that your hotel is only minutes from the Staples Center, where the Lakers play, don’t show a picture of some kids playing basketball at a local playground. Instead, use a cool picture of Kobe Bryant dunking the basketball over Kevin Durant in an NBA game on the Staples Center basketball court. You should always strive for a good balance of images and words to make your newsletter more readable.
To give people a reason to come back again and read your newspaper, you have to be diligent about constantly creating fresh and interesting content. You can not keep saying the exact same thing and hope no one will notice. Current news is always better than dated material. Talk about new things going on at your hotel, events happening around your property and add maybe add in a profile of one of your employees at the hotel.
Call to action
The call to action is where it all happens. It is the way that you can start earning a return on all of the hard work you put in to create content and develop a good newsletter. Monetizing your newsletter is more of a subtle process than prominently displaying a big red button on the page that says click here to make a reservation.
You need to focus on adding value to a person’s decision to click. Instead of a “click here” button, have a “click here” button that comes with the promise of an instant 25 percent savings on your reservation. It may not be so subtle, but research shows that having multiple links that take the viewer to the same place helps improve the click-through rate.
Psychologist will tell you that urgency and pressure causes people to act. While you don’t want to turn your newsletter into an “in your face” ad like one of those late-night and very annoying infomercials, it is okay to put a time limit on an offer.
How often should you send out a newsletter?
There is no set rule for how many times per year you should send out a newsletter. A newsletter is not like a weekly circular for the grocery store. It is not like an annual report informing shareholders of the financial outlook of a corporation. We would suggest once a month, but bi-monthly or quarterly might also be an appropriate choice.
Bionic Sisters Productions can do it all for you
Bionic Sisters Productions understands that not all hoteliers have the time, inclination, or skilled staff to create a newsletter that will work. With the goal being to have the newsletter to attract interest, and eventually more business, to your hotel, we can develop an effective newsletter for you.
We can advise you on the best ways to start a hotel newsletter and maximize its effectiveness and we also offer a complete start-to-finish service that will create the newsletter for you and get it out to your potential customers. Signing up for our fully managed service will allow you to save time and focus on other areas of hotel management. Take a look at the total package.
• Placement of an email sign-up widget to help build a mailing list
• Management of the list, including requests to unsubscribe
• Uploading current email address list and removing inactive subscribers
• Professional design and layout of your newsletter
• Copywriting and editing of content
• Before sending out to people on your mailing list, we give you the opportunity to verify and approve the content.
• Check performance metrics anytime
Bionic Sisters Productions has a long history and proven record of success with internet marketing. We understand what works and what does not work. Our complete newsletter service will enhance the value of your overall internet marketing efforts. We are ready to help you take the next step toward improving your hotel’s brand awareness and encouraging more travelers to choose your property on their next visit to your city.