Guest preferences, survey feedback and purchase behaviours collected can also help anticipate a guest's needs before staying at the hotel. A quick and effective strategy hotel marketers can turn to when needing a revenue boost is deploying an email push campaign to the hotel's past guest database. Without collecting email addresses from every guest at check in, two-way communications with guests becomes a challenge, and getting to know each guest on a micro level is moot.
6 tips for growing your hotel database organically, resulting in heightened revenues and an overall enhanced guest experience:
1. Connect the hotel PMS directly to the email service provider
Integration between the hotel property-management system and its email service provider is key to database automation. A hotel's database can grow by more than 500 percent in one year by taking manual data input out of the equation. Every reservation provides key information about guests, including stay preferences, revenue generated, room type booked, reservation dates, demographic info and more. The hotel's customer-relationship management provider and/or ESP should automatically pull this information directly from the PMS, enabling marketers to create special reports or marketing campaigns.
2. Provide an incentive for customers to join your subscriber lists
3. Capture missing emails and have incentives for your reception team to ensure emails are accurate and filled in
The hotel CRM, ESP or PMS should provide an arrival report with detailed information about each guest with a reservation, including the email address field and the guest's past stay history. Run the arrivals report and highlight the following:
- Missing email addresses per each guest
- Misspelled OTA addresses (such as ,com instead of .com)
- Generic email address created by the agent, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make certain that the front desk team captures the missing, misspelled or erroneous email information when each guest arrives. For every person checking in that already has an email on file, confirm the email address in the system.
Set a goal for how many emails the property wishes to collect each month. If the front desk staff reaches that goal, reward them. It can be as simple as a pizza party for the shift/department, or it can be a solo prize, such as a gift certificate to the agent who collects the most email addresses. Establish an annual bonus plan for the front desk agents and general managers, making it a part of their yearly goals.
4. Follow through on your email lists by providing exclusive special offers and promotions, promote sharing with family and friends
Be sure to send out emails every month to your lists to keep them up to date with your specials, and events in the area. The more interesting the content of your emails, the more people will read and share the information. By offering exclusive deals for past guests for them to share with family and friends, extends the readership of the newsletters. Monthly emails also build your brand in the eyes of your past guests, making you more memorable than the OTA’s. This also makes it easy for past guests to click on an email you have sent them to book.
5. Create surveys and contests to grow the database and gather unique information
Surveys and contests are a simple and quick way to grow your hotel's database organically and gather additional information about guests. Run contests on social media or the hotel's website, and be sure to include demographic-related questions along with the basic contact information.
If the contests are simple to enter, they will increase your response rate. Provide an incentive to fill out a contest form, especially if you plan to include additional questions. Develop a contest around the target market you want to reach. If you want to gain more leisure business centered on families, create a family photo contest to reach that target market. Once the contest ends, use the new database for marketing during peak travel times for families. Always share the information gathered with all departments.
6. Use our free app on your iPad to capture email addresses
Pebble Mailer offers an elegant little app that turns your iPad into a beautiful subscribe form. We can now create a customised iPad App for you to capture subscribers for your email database or use to promote a competition without the need to be online. You can add in photos, colours, logo and words. Free download from the iTunes store (Subscribe Me).
Works offline - Collect addresses without an internet connection and then they will automatically sync to your account next time you’re connected. When you get connected after being offline for a stint, a nice “Syncing” message will display when any subscribers you captured are synced back to your account.