1. Customer Service doesn’t end when the customer leaves the venue
Implementing automated email marketing triggers to customers not only enables direct feedback, but also continues to demonstrate the level of customer service you provide. If dining at a restaurant, or enjoying a meal – this can be as simple as a thank you, or even better – an overview of what wine they drank, and where they can find it (which may be your online store, or an affiliate bottle shop). Further, a little thank you goes a long way in creating a memorable experience for the customer.
*Integrating your POS system with your email marketing platform, makes this even easier. Your waiter could even ‘send’ a personalised thank you that next morning, with a reminder of that great bottle of red they enjoyed the night before. Even better if that bottle of red is available at your own bottle shop!
2. You are more than just what you sell.
Hospitality and Tourism industries are more than just sales, you are selling experiences, associations and interactions which should be nurtured and maintained over time and context. Whilst emails and other campaigns can be seen as a sales and promotional tool, it is also a dialogue with your subscribers, in telling the narrative of who you are – not just what you offer. Continue to demonstrate what you represent, and who you are, through this platform for recognition, loyalty and positive association.
3. Utilise Digital Membership & Rewards
It’s true, we’re going paperless. And email is largely to blame!
This is the most efficient, automated and proactive approach to engaging with your loyalty members/VIP’s and other exclusive groups (including stakeholders). It’s another way to personalise your emails, offer special promotions, insider news, or reward those who visit you most. With other tools, such as bar code embedment within the emails, the membership is fully digital. Even better, you are able to access data and reports on all these activities to further ensure you are communicating with the right customers, in the right way, at the right time.
4. Event Management and Campaign Planning
Using email as an event management and campaign tool is perfect for hospitality venues. Some examples and best practices include:
– Integrating ticketing and event booking systems, as well as social media, into emails to provide an organised, full-circle approach to event management.
– Build the campaign journey with anticipation, from start to finish including reminders, countdown, and post-event feedback.
– Collate information on what events interest who, and target future emails to those who may be interested – instead of sending every email to all of your database and potentially losing subscribers who feel they are being spammed.
5. Create a dialogue with your customers, before they walk in the door.
There is always something new and exciting within the hospitality and tourism industries, sometimes the hardest part is ensuring the right people know about it!
Use your emails, and target the right people, with what they want to hear. Some examples:
– What is your beer of the week/month? Loop in the brewery or expert too!
– What is your sommelier’s latest picks? Does it match an item on your menu?
– Any secrets from the chef, or specials for the week? Maybe a chef’s hot tip?
– New menu? Secret menu?
– Special invitation to try the new menu? Another chance to reward your special members
6. Post-Visit Feedback
Getting feedback from the customer is important for your ongoing improvement and success, but also ensures you are interacting with your customer, even after they leave. This post-stay/visit interaction can be an automated, and triggered email, which means no effort from the marketing team – but could provide important insight into why they stay. Perhaps they visit a hotel each time there is something on in that area, such as a play or musical (in-which you should really put that in your calendar!), or perhaps, they travel for work, in which you can anticipate the needs of your business client and provide a level of service which makes their decision of where to stay an easy one.
7. Automation, Triggers and Integration with POS
Creating automated and triggered messages is one of the simplest, and most effective, tools of email marketing. It intimately engages with your customer, and creates a positive relationship from the get-go. In hospitality and tourism, this is no different. Some examples include:
- Welcome – when signing up to an online newsletter, or after the first visit/stay.
- Happy Birthday, Anniversary, Happy New Year etc. All small details which are automatically implemented, but could include a little gift – easily done, and highly effective.
- Personalise based on particular interests (wine/spa/hotel facilities etc.). Using the data you have on your customer, if a new package or item comes up in this area, send it straight through to those who WANT to know!
- SMS marketing can be incorporated here too. Whether it be a quick ‘hello, can’t wait to see you!’ or a special VIP promotion… It is an unrivaled level of engagement, and at a low cost too
8. Integrate partnerships & Sponsorship within your marketing strategy
Working with brands, promoters and other businesses is an important part of the hospitality and tourism game. Whilst you choose partnerships that reflect well on your own brand and values, it can be hard to communicate back the successful results. Due to the high engagement, reports and ROI in email marketing – it can be a great way of creating an organic and seamless partnership with a brand and engaging it within your marketing strategy. Similarly, having access to the data of who has read, engaged and clicked through (or purchased) based on your email makes it even more efficient and simple. For example: hosting an event with a partnering alcohol company? You send a thank-you note to all who participated, with a list of all the wonderful beverages they enjoyed, and a link to where they can find it! Simple, helpful, engaging and relevant.