Email Marketing Basics for your Hotel, Hostel, or B&B

With the explosion of social media marketing in 2009, email still remains a king amongst a court of princes in online marketing tools.  No matter what methods you use to market your hotel, hostel, or B&B, building loyal customer relationships is on top of the list of ways to grow your business.

Email marketing is still on top of relationship building.  Email creates a private dedicated moment with your customers.  People are picky about which emails they read.  So, if they open your email, you know you’re going to have their attention.

Email also commands a very high ROI.  Recent reports indicate that email can return as much as 45x the amount you spend on it.  It’s cheap and effective, and can build loyal customers.

Email is not going anywhere.  It is the de facto method of business communication, and will be for years to come.  Serious business people use email to communicate, not Tweets or Facebook.

Email complements social media marketing.  Good content is more important than frequency of postings.  Your email newsletter should be a centerpiece of for your communications, offering practical advice and meaningful insights that your audience finds important.  Social media is used to spot customer trends, mine ideas for future newsletter articles, respond to customer concerns, and find new mailing list subscribers.

Two-way communication is key to your business growth.  Good communication is more than talking about your hotel or B&B.  It includes listening to your guests and inviting them to communicate back with you.  Keep track of the temperature of your customers.  Smart hotels frequently survey or poll their guests in their email marketing campaigns.

Personal touch is invaluable and very effective.  The best performing hotels and hostels of 2009 made genuine connections with their guests, and turned many into repeat visitors. They communicated in a personal voice when they wrote their email newsletters.  It always helps to make customers feel like people, not just subscribers.

Email Problems – Getting Your Mail Delivered

Some hostels and hotels have suggested that the solution to some of their email problems is to have their email forwarded to a “more reliable” email host such as GMAIL.   The problem with this approach is when you want to reply to a customer or supplier email. Do you really want your customers to be receiving email from you from GMAIL? You then have the problem of the customer’s spam filters blocking that email.

The best solution is always to use your own domain name and email from that domain.

Note for those using shared hosting !!! Even when you have your own domain name, and use email with your own domain name, your hosting company’s mail is probably run on a separate server, along with a multitude of other email domains on the same IP address. This can still result in problems getting your mail if there are other spammers on the same domain.

Some might argue that the only solution is a dedicated server, with mail run on a dedicated IP with reverse DNS properly set up. Admittedly, this is not a cheap solution. For all other solutions, problems with sending and receiving mail will no doubt be a problem for years to come.

We have dealt with this problem for years. If anyone has questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.