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October 10, 2013 / BSP Marketing

Secrets to an Effective E-Newsletter for Hotels

For a hotel to survive in the modern marketplace, leveraging the Internet is simply a must. Almost every hotel has a website, and many have some type of presence on social media. Moreover, the vast majority of hospitality businesses have started to rely on Internet travel sites, which allow customers to find and research potential accommodations before booking a room.

Secrets to an Effective E-Newsletter for Hotels

While this is a good way to reach new customers, it is also an important way to retain customers. After all, when customers book rooms online, hotels automatically have access to one of the best methods of communication: an email address.

People use email for work and leisure now. It is probably the most commonly used type of communication in the modern world. With an email address, hotels have instant access to consumers in a medium that is fast, simple and affordable.

This is why so many hospitality businesses are turning to e-newsletters. In the past, businesses in the hospitality industry often used regular newsletters through the bulk mail system. By contrast, e-newsletters save time and resources while also having a wider audience. In this light, it is only common sense for hotels to use e-newsletters. However, in order to make a real difference with an e-newsletter, it is important to use it correctly.

After all, an e-newsletter is only good if people read it. Most email accounts are inundated with junk mail, making some customers wary of opening another e-newsletter. In order to overcome this disadvantage, it is important to create an e-newsletter that stands out from the others. To create a successful e-newsletter for your hotel, consider these four tips.

1. Make it matter. People are not going to spend time reading an e-newsletter unless it has content that matters to them. If the content is simply a regurgitated sales pitch, chances are readers will tune out and click delete. Worse yet, they may attempt to unsubscribe. To combat this risk, the e-newsletter needs to have content that is relevant to them.

What does this mean? The e-newsletter should provide actual insights. Explore what different room packages have to offer. Highlight some of the more unique aspects of the facility that most customers may not know about. It is even a good idea to spend some time discussing local attractions or favorite restaurants. Better still, offer special deals via the e-newsletter, making it an effective marketing tool.

2. Make it interesting. It may be tempting to hurriedly throw together an e-newsletter and click send without any second thoughts. However, that can be a huge mistake. If people are going to engage with the content, it has to be presented in an interesting way. There are too many other options online. If the e-newsletter does not hold their attention, customers will go on to different things.

To make the content interesting, there are a number of things that can be done. Start by developing quality text. This does not necessarily have to be from a professional writer, but it should be someone with a strong grasp of language. Try to develop an e-newsletter with a strong voice. Consider using storytelling for some of the articles. It is even possible to incorporate first person articles from employees or guests.

Then, be sure to copy-edit. It may seem like a small thing, but small typos and misplaced commas can and do reflect poorly on the quality of the facility. Additionally, try to use good pictures and original graphics. However, always be sure that the graphics are not too big or they may be hard to load on slower connections.

3. Make it simple. Modern consumers are overloaded with content. With the Internet, TV, mobile devices and more, almost everyone is faced with more information than they could ever possibly know what to do with. Because of this, always keep an e-newsletter simple. People are not going to sit down and read a novel on their email. However, they may be willing to skim a well-crafted e-newsletter that only takes them five minutes to go over.

In order to keep things simple, remember to streamline the content. Each edition of the e-newsletter should have one central focus, and everything should be geared to that focus. More importantly, readers should know immediately what that focus is and should be able to see the connection all the way through. Too much information will simply distract readers and make the e-newsletter less effective.

Therefore, when designing the content, focus on one location, one employee or one special perk.

4. Make it real. There are too many people trying to sell too many things. If the e-newsletter sounds like another generic sales pitch, readers are likely to disengage. However, if the e-newsletter feels authentic or even intimate, it has the potential to engender lifetime relationships with customers.

This means that the content should sound natural. It should sound like it is written by an actual employee of the facility. The tone should reflect the hotel. If it is a family friendly facility, be sure to talk about the fun kids have during their stay. If it is an upscale resort, use more refined language that highlights the decadence of the facility. Mostly, readers have to feel like the management is reaching out to them, not just as customers but as people. If an e-newsletter can do that, it will not only gain readers but loyalty as well.

These four tips should provide strong guidelines to help structure any e-newsletter for the maximum effectiveness. Ultimately, it is important to take the time to do an e-newsletter correctly. Just remember that while an e-newsletter may be a type of marketing, it should never feel that way to customers. To build a readership, the content has to matter and be engaging. To do that, keep the content simple and make it authentic.

Therefore, never let your hard work end up in the spam folder. Take the time to do it right, and let the results speak for themselves.

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