The days of hotels blasting out the same email to their entire database and hoping for a great response are long gone. Today, with so many businesses using email to engage with customers, consumers have been trained to delete messages as quickly as they come in, only stopping to read the ones that capture their attention. Which ones stand out? The ones that feel truly personalized for the recipient. As travel recovery begins, smaller hotel marketing budgets and increased competition will mean that your emails need to perform better. That’s why hotel email marketing segmentation is the latest industry craze.
But campaign segmentation is more than a passing fad. Our analysis, the result of reviewing 226 million emails sent by Revinate Marketing customers, reveals that segmented campaigns see a 20% higher open rate, a 70% higher click-through rate (CTR), and 73% higher revenue per recipient than non-segmented campaigns. (You can find more of our email analysis in our last Email Benchmarking Report.)
In this post, we share three reasons why hotels need to segment their emails, and how Revinate makes it easy.
You can’t send the right email unless you have the right target
Database segmentation is the process of breaking down your database into like groups. Doing so allows marketers to send the right email to the right audience for the best chance at conversion. So rather than just talk about your hotel in the same way to all guests you need to get personal. For example, you might send families a promotion about your childcare options or business travelers a promotion about your enhanced wi-fi.
A great example of using demographic data to personalize an email comes from Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa. With PMS data about which guests travel with children, the resort personalized the promotion to the family segment of their database, with images that clearly show the resort’s family friendliness. A quick glance at the email would let any traveler with kids know that the hotel is perfect for kids.
For the most accurate segmentation, you need access to great data. Today, the best source of guest data for hotels comes from the PMS. What kind of guest data can you uncover in your PMS? Some examples include demographic data, including location and family status, booking behavior, average length of stay, average booking window, loyalty information and more.
Given this rich source of data, it’s important to connect your email marketing solution to the hotel PMS. By connecting your PMS and your marketing solution you can take advantage of guest data in all new ways and get creative in your campaigns.
With extensive PMS integrations, Revinate makes it simple to use your PMS data to segment your database and create the personalized emails that drive bookings. Revinate currently offers integrations with more than 75 PMSs, ensuring a quick and easy set-up and launch.
The pandemic requires agility around email marketing
One thing that Covid-19 taught hotels is the importance of agility. As borders closed due to the pandemic, hotel marketers needed to closely track who was able to travel and who wasn’t. It doesn’t make sense to send a promotion to a guest that can’t take advantage of the offer. As a result, hoteliers turned to geo-location data, only targeting those customers that were able to travel.
Revinate makes it easy for Revinate Marketing customers to use geo-location data to target segments of customers. Simply use the geolocation feature to create segments based on guest location information found in your PMS or uploaded contact lists. In creating your segments, select the parameter ‘Guest Location’ then let Revinate guide you to determine which guests are included. (For example, they can be located ‘within’, ‘beyond’ or ‘not in’ the location.)
Revinate Marketing customers had great success during the pandemic with local segments. Resplendent Ceylon, is a great example of a hotel that was forced to rely on local customers during the pandemic when the borders were closed. Now, as borders open up, they can easily and quickly add new segments to the promotions, focusing on customers from neighboring countries that can reach the hotel by plane.
Booking behavior is changing
With uncertainty around traveling during the pandemic, booking windows are shrinking. Hotel marketers really need to analyze their customers’ booking window to ensure they know when the best time is to send promotions.
Prior to the pandemic, we know that 42% of reservations were made zero to six days before the stay. Today, we know that booking windows are shrinking to one or two days. To capture more bookings, it’s important to segment your customers by booking window and time your emails for each booking window.
Revinate Marketing makes it easy to understand your customers’ booking window. In fact, within the dashboard you can find this information, plus their average length of stay, lifetime stays, and a breakdown by number of nights. All of this data can be used to segment and serve personalized emails, at just the right time, to let your guests know that you ‘get them’.
While it’s true that email marketing has gotten far more data-driven and sophisticated, it hasn’t gotten harder. In fact, thanks to new technology like Revinate Marketing and Revinate Hotel CRM, it has gotten easier. Revinate Marketing is so intuitive and easy to work with that campaign segmentation is just a matter of selecting a segment idea and drilling down until it’s defined the way you would like.
Segmentation is also more accurate today than ever before thanks to Revinate’s new cutting-edge technology, Advanced Profile Synthesis. Advanced Profile Synthesis combines sophisticated artificial intelligence with effective machine learning processes to automatically and continuously cleanse, deduplicate, synthesize, and merge a hotel’s guest data, thus enabling an accurate view of guests for segmentation.
The best news is that Advanced Profile Synthesis doesn’t require any manual work. It works in the background for all Revinate Marketing customers and has a processing engine capable of reviewing millions and millions of guest profiles on an ongoing basis. The algorithm scours contact entries, creates clusters of similar profiles, and analyzes and compares records. When it’s confident it’s found a match, it will merge profiles together. If it’s unsure, it will wait until it has more data and will reassess at that point. This method reduces false-positives and further trains the algorithm so it gets more and more accurate. The more data it processes, the more sophisticated it becomes.
We can wax on about the ease of segmentation within Revinate Marketing but seeing really is believing. Please book a meeting with us today. We would love to show you how you canmake the most of your data and drive more direct-bookings today.