Using email marketing at your B&B to boost direct bookings
September 19, 2019
Email marketing continues to be a strong driver for traffic, engagement and bookings. Yet while you intuitively know you should be using it more, email blasts seem more appropriate to laptop sales or e-course launches than they do to B&B marketing.
If you’re wondering, ‘What am I missing here?’, you’re not alone. Hotel marketing is a difficult endeavour on which to embark, and an even more difficult one at which to prove successful. If you’ve put it off for these reasons, it’s time to take a step back, reassess your strategy and implement email marketing to get more direct bookings and build your bottom line. Here’s how you can put it to work at your B&B.
Be careful with images
Showing lovely pictures of your rooms, pool and breakfast area makes plenty of sense. Obviously you want to draw guests to you with images of the vacation they crave.
Be careful, though. Many spam filters look for image-weighty emails that don’t have the text to back them up. If you don’t want to head straight to the junk folder, make sure you also include some great copy telling readers all about those pictures. Otherwise, you’re nothing better than an inbox Instagram account, and that won’t get you very far – if the reader even sees the message at all.
Keep guests updated with clever prose and witty subject lines
We all know that feeling of realising someone shouldn’t be in your inbox anymore. If you don’t want to be the spammy emailer who gets unsubscribed, it’s important to make your efforts subtle and fun. Sure, update them on the weather, the season’s activities and your current steals, but don’t hammer them over the head.
Instead, use witty banter and clever subject lines to reel them in. Want to tell them all about summer activities? Your subject line shouldn’t be “Summer Activities at Lake Washington” unless you’re hoping to help them sleep (then unsubscribe when they wake up). Take a more creative approach, such as “Time to Break Out That Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow … Well, You Get Where We’re Going with This.”
Don’t be afraid to use longer subject lines, either. They’re your first line of attack and most email providers today will show them in their entirety.
Use simple software
Keeping track of your email marketing efforts is hard enough without further complicating things by requiring you go software-less. Instead of winging it, use a smart marketing program that helps you track your opens and click throughs, easily duplicate blasts and modify them without fuss.
Once you get more comfortable sending emails, you can begin to track consumer behaviour with more complicated funnels and automations. Understanding which guests book at which times, how they behave during times such as the Christmas holidays, and what deals generate the best responses will help you keep rooms full in future as well.
More than anything else, though, be courageous! It’s hard to take email marketing seriously, both time and confidence-wise, but don’t be afraid. Your guests will love you for well-timed, helpful emails, so put a smart marketing plan in place and get going today.