You probably know it from your own experience: rarely does a day go by that we do not receive at least five advertising emails in which cleaning companies want to convince us of their latest wooden floor cleaning product. These days we do not open 9 out of 10 of these newsletters. But why? Because we rarely believe that the content is relevant to us, and we are overloaded with low level, and low quality offers. Therefore we think it is not worth the effort of a click.
Successful guest newsletters
Turn a simple email into an appealing guest newsletter that stands out from the crowd, and adds value to your guests. This also helps you as a host: guests who feel well informed and connected with you will be much more likely to book again with you in the future or recommend you to their friends or family!
What you as a host must observe in guest newsletters:
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR/DSGVO, in place since 25th May 2018) decrees that you can only send newsletters to persons who have expressly given their consent. The recipients must allow their personal information to be stored and used for the purpose of sending the newsletter. This means for you: You need the approval of all your guests via the so-called “double opt-in” procedure. Users log into a mailing list with their email address and confirm the activation from a second email that is sent to them. This happens automatically with our easybooking JULIA. But what about your regular guests, telephone bookings, or those who have booked through booking.com, etc.?
There are both free and paid newsletter services online. These help you to manage email addresses, create templates, and analyze measures such as opening rate, clickthrough rate, or bounce rate. You should try out different online services for their abilities and use what suits you best!
First impressions count! If the subject of a newsletter grabs our attention, we open it sooner. It is just a question of how to attract the attention of readers from within the daily flood of emails!
Ask your guests direct questions, they promise added value through the newsletter. Be a little cheeky or provocative in the wording.
- Short & crisp: Use a maximum of 50 characters, because the subject line displayed to the reader is often limited.
- Twice is not always best: If your name is already shown as the sender, it does not also have to be in the subject line.
- Variety: Always using the same subject lines, such as “current news from the Kings Hotel” will bore your guests.
- Communicate benefits: Give your guests an incentive for the added value they will receive through the newsletter – “10 tips for relaxing on holiday” or “Relaxing on holiday? This is how it works!”. However, it is important to keep your promises and give readers the added value in the content of the email!
- Avoid spam mailings: there are certain phrases that are intercepted by email programs and will be delivered directly to the spam mail folder: “low cost”, “free offer” or “best price” are some examples of what to avoid. Spelling mistakes and characters such as using too many exclamation marks in a row can also have an unprofessional effect on readers.
You have a lot to do, and the time of your guests is limited. So your guest newsletters should not be too long! If readers are willing to scroll once or twice, that’s a success. So make your newsletter content brief and to the point – do not repeat yourself and do not use unnecessary filler words.
If you, as an accommodation provider, would like to establish a bond with your guests and supply them exclusively with your latest information, then send your newsletter regularly! But remember: a weekly or monthly publication also needs a corresponding lead time! So think about the planning for this, and create a schedule for topics, content, and delivery dates. A recurring reminder in your diary can help with this process: take time to plan-out your guest newsletter, and it will make a better impact and yield better results.
Do you want a reaction from your guests? Then give them a “call-to-action”. This invites your readers to carry out an action and can forward them to your website, or a dedicated page on there, or to a contact form. Make sure that you only have one – or a maximum two – call-to-actions per newsletter – otherwise your readers will not know what you really want from them.
Here, too, the data protection law applies: in every newsletter readers must be given the possibility to opt-out. Most often these “opt-out” links are placed in the footer of a newsletter, where readers can remove themselves from the newsletter recipient list with one click.
It is a fact of life that for whatever reason individual recipients will want to opt-out of your newsletter. When this happens you have to ensure that these people receive no further emails of this type – otherwise it could be expensive for you if you fall foul of a GDPR fine. Most newsletter services will have a so-called “blacklist”, where you can enter email addresses which should be excluded from future deliveries – so make use of this feature.
Automated guest communication with JULIA
Our virtual receptionist – JULIA – takes care of guest communication as part of the enquiry and booking process: potential guests are guided through the direct booking route on the accommodation provider’s website, JULIA sends offers by email in seconds, automatically sends offer reminders, sends pre-arrival “looking forward to welcoming you” emails, sends bills and “thanks for staying with us” messages once guests have departed.
Do you want to find out what else JULIA can do as a complete enquiry and booking solution for your accommodation business? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we look forward to hearing from you!