Compared to other marketing channels such as social media, direct mail or paid search, email delivers the highest returns on investment for hoteliers.
But the contents – and timing – of emails sent by hotels often determine how well any given campaign will perform.
According to Revinate, a software and data analytics company for hotels, segmented campaigns and transactional emails result in high engagement, and reducing how frequently emails are sent could result in higher open rates and conversions.
The findings are part of Revinate’s inaugural Hotel Email Marketing Benchmark Report, which analyzed more than 77 million emails from its customers in the EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific regions.
The report finds segmented emails – which typically pull customer data from a hotel’s property management system – result in a 20% higher open rate, a 70% higher click-through rate and 73% higher revenue per recipient than non-segmented campaigns.
One-time campaigns, which include newsletters, room offers and events or announcements, see an average open rate is 16.1%, a CTR of 2% and a 0.3% conversion rate.
Regionally, one-time campaigns from hotels in EMEA perform best, with an average open rate of 18.5%, a CTR of 2.7% and a conversion rate of 0.63%.
Asia Pacific and North American hotels have an average email open rate of 16.8% and 15.6%, respectively, and North American campaigns have a higher CTR (2.2%) and conversion rate (0.53%) compared to Asia Pacific (1.4% CTR; 0.25% conversion).
Interestingly, though campaigns from EMEA properties see the highest engagement and conversions, hotels in the area send about half as many emails as properties in North America – indicating outreach to fewer, targeted groups may be a successful strategy.
The report also finds one-time campaigns highlighting events or announcements have the highest open rate (18.7%), while emails promoting room offers are the most likely to lead to conversions (0.36%).
Automate and Upsell
Automated campaigns, including welcome, confirmation and pre-arrival emails, have higher engagement metrics than one-time sends. The highest engagement rate is seen with transactional emails such as booking confirmations, which see an 80% open rate and a 17% CTR.
Welcome emails timed to guest check-in have an average open rate of 50% and a CTR of 13% and function as a strategic time for hotels to promote additional food or service offerings.
Overall, pre-arrival emails have an open rate of 61.9% and a CTR of 21.3%, and emails from hotels in Asia Pacific have the highest pre-arrival open rates and CTRs, followed by properties in EMEA and North America.
According to the report, almost 98% of upsell revenue is made through pre-arrival emails. Breakfast deals bring in the most upsell revenue, followed by offers for advanced parking. Early check-in, late check-out and airport transportation offers are also popular.
Hotels that send upsell campaigns two to four days before guest check-in see the highest upsell conversion rate.
Other high-performing automated campaigns include OTA winback emails, which encourage past OTA customers to book direct on their next visit, as well as “We Miss You” and birthday emails.