How Hotels Can Use Guest Data to Personalise Email Marketing

By Brittany Rudkin

When Taylor Short of Software Advice, a Gartner company, wanted to know more about using hotel guest data to create more engaging email experiences, he turned to Holistic’s Founder and Senior Consultant Kath Pay for advice.

“Email marketing remains a valuable and effective method to reach and entice hotel guests with personalized details. Hospitality companies have tons of data, but often don’t know how to use it,” Short says.

“I reached out to Kath Pay of Holistic Email Marketing for her expert knowledge and strategies. From identifying valuable data to the frequency and timing of campaigns, Pay offers insights that help hotels craft emails that engage guests on a personal level.”

1. Act fast.

Kath explained one important concept hotels must grasp to be successful:

“[Immediately after they book] you’ve got an engaged guest. Everything you do here should be customer-service- oriented — a transaction has taken place and now you’ll want to build upon the experience you promised them.”

2. It’s all about the guest.

Hotels must also focus on helping customers meet their personal objective, which, in turn, helps you meet your business objectives, she said.

“Instead of asking ‘what can we upsell?’, think about the customer: what’s going to enhance their visit?” she said. Offering menus for memorable restaurants nearby or providing personal greetings from the hotel owner or general manager are ways a hotel can let guests know they are welcomed and appreciated.

“You’re helping them, and while you won’t make money from them in that moment, they will be thankful,” Pay says. “Then they’ll be more likely to book a spa package later on.”

3. Levels of guest data

Kath also lays out the three levels of data that hotels can use to personalise their email messaging. These include informed data, which you gather from previous guests and use to create large general segments, and transactional data showing how and why guests travel, which you can use for more focused email targeting and triggered messaging.

The third level is behavioural data. Learn what it is and how to use it, and see Kath’s examples and recommendations, in Short’s post: “How to Use Guest Data to Personalise Your Hotel Email Marketing,” on the Software Advice blog.

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