New reports about the prevailing corona measures are always eagerly awaited and even if hotels and restaurants will obviously have to wait a few more weeks, a gradual easing of the restrictions is becoming apparent. However, it is already clear that borders will remain closed for the time being. In addition, social distancing and security measures will continue to be a constant companion in daily life for months to come. For hoteliers, all this means of course that people will spend most of their holidays in their own country. For this reason, we have been firmly convinced for several weeks that there will be a real boom in local recreation and regional travel activities. For the foreseeable future, this also means that overnight guests will be particularly sensitive about the risk of infection at their holiday destination. In case of doubt, they are more likely to book the hotel that can convince them the most of its compliance with certain safety standards. In this article we have therefore compiled a list of how you should now align your email marketing to meet these new requirements.
Use geo targeting for newsletter dispatch
Geotargeting is a marketing method in which advertisements, content and campaigns are tailored to existing and potential guests using geographical data (e.g. postcode) to create location-specific experiences. Currently, this method can be exciting for your newsletter distribution in many ways. If, for example, you currently offer a delivery or pick-up service for the meals from your hotel restaurant, you can send a special newsletter with a corresponding note about your service offer for guests in the immediate vicinity. With regard to the time after the tourist travel ban, you can also create newsletters whose content and geographical focus is directed at a target group within a maximum driving distance of 2-3 hours.
Show your guests that you are already taking appropriate safety precautions
Remember again: If in doubt, guests are more likely to book the hotel that credibly informs them that it complies with certain safety standards. In this context, the list of possible starting points is endless: waiving cash payments, adapting check-in and check-out processes, reducing contact points through technical automation, wearing face masks, expanding the range of care products in the bathrooms, dispensing with buffets, etc. However, it is not enough to implement these measures, they must above all be communicated to the guests! In order not to miss the crucial moment, you should start already now to create helpful and interesting content for your existing and future guests. In this way, you can make it clear what protective measures you have taken and how you are concerned about the health of your guests and employees. Create blog posts, video messages or image series that you can then share via your newsletter and other channels.
Collect email addresses - NOW is the ideal time
Potential guests are now online, because currently you have more time than ever before. They are researching and exploring, even if they can no longer make concrete plans, as they did before. Nevertheless, now is the ideal time to collect the email addresses of these interested guests and to contact them again as soon as they are ready to travel again. In our contribution to the five immediate measures for your hotel website we mentioned that you should integrate an (Exit Intent) Pop Up on your website, for example to inform about current offers. Expand this pop-up now to collect additional email addresses. In this context, companies like Hotelchamp, for example, have (initially) developed free Corona offers for hotels.
Example E-Mail Capture (Source: Hotelchamp)
Place special offers
Use the newsletter to place special offers and draw attention to them. In the following you will find some ideas:
- "Book now & decide later" offers
- Vouchers in various designs (e.g. for a gourmet evening after the crisis, for a birthday)
- Letting hotel rooms as leased office space
- Delivery and collection offers from your hotel restaurant
- A piece of hotel for your home (e.g. sale of your own wine)
Be creative and tell stories
Storytelling is a method of conveying information through the use of stories. In marketing, the catchiness and emotional impact of stories are used to anchor messages even more strongly in the memory of their recipients. From our experience with clients, we know that many hotels have a lot of stories to tell. For example, from successful athletes who have prepared for major sporting events in the hotel's own facilities. Combine these stories with tips for your guests (e.g. fitness exercises for at home).
Author: Philipp Ingenillem - Online Birds Hotel Marketing Solutions