Hotel Marketing

How to Improve Open Rates of Emails & Newsletters

Creating a newsletter is a waste of time if you can’t get your subscribers to open it. Aim for an open rate of 15- 25% – that means it's outperforming!

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January 12, 2020

Creating a newsletter is a waste of time if you can’t get your subscribers to open it. Aim for an open rate of 15- 25% depending on frequency of emails sent and type of message. If one in five people are opening your emails, it’s outperforming most of the hospitality industry. When struggling to reach this number, utilize the strategies listed below to get more people clicking into your emails.

Write excellent subject lines

A quality subject line can entice readers to click into your post. There’s no “one” way to do this–you can take many different approaches to the style/tone of your subject lines, but follow a few best practices.

First, keep subject lines short. People often check emails during the busy times of their day. If you can’t convey what your newsletter offers in less than a few seconds, subscribers' will move to the next item in their inbox without a second thought. Aim to keep it less than 50 characters and/or nine words.

The main objective of your subject line is to grab your reader’s attention. You can do this by making an intriguing offer/promise, citing a surprising statistic, or even by utilizing humor. However, avoid words that are too spammy and make the email look like an advertisement.

Segment your email list

There are many ways you can segment your email list based on demographics or past behavior. Consider the time of year in which guests stayed, especially if your location’s experience varies significantly based on the season. People will often repeat the same trips in the winter/summer: make sure they’re getting emails from your hotel when they plan their next one.

Loyalty is another important factor when segmenting your email list. Consider offering repeat customers rewards and promotions after a certain number of stays and create an email list of your most loyal guests.

Also consider guests’ past behavior. A boss that booked a private room for a corporate outing may want to have a similar event the next year, and a couple whose wedding you hosted could be interested in being added to your email list to see pictures and other event options. Make sure to cover all your bases with returnable events through your email marketing. If people have a great experience once, they’re likely to be interested again if you reach out.

Lastly, segment based on how frequently a potential guest opens your emails. Those that indicate higher levels of interest should be engaged more frequently and shown all you have to offer.

Improve your email copy

A strong subject line will only take you so far. Once readers open your emails, they need to be kept interested–otherwise they’ll ignore your next one or remove themselves from the list.

In a world with short attention spans, be ruthless in editing out unnecessary parts of your hotel’s newsletter. Get straight to the value and insights you have to offer and proceed with a call to action.

Along with being more concise, look to improve your email copy as a whole. This starts with the preview text. This is especially important for users on mobile devices, where the first few lines of the email will show up under the subject line before the email is opened. Make sure these sentences follow up on your subject line effectively and give readers a strong idea of what the email is about.

Take on a friendly, conversational tone if you want to build rapport with past/future guests. Avoid too much hotel industry jargon and don’t ramble on about rates–just provide honest value to potential travelers.

Interested in learning about more ways to boost your hotel's marketing campaigns? Read more at the 97 Switch Guide to Hotel Marketing.