Especially with GDPR in force, it is worth growing your email newsletter database (with clear consent!) and sending regular newsletters. Whether online or offline, there are many ways to collect qualified subscribers which you can then segment into very useful marketing lists. We created a list of our top 6 ways to grow your hotel’s email database, ranging from permanent signup boxes and laser targeted pop-ups to social media and offline forms.
Setting up your newsletter might seem like a hassle now, but trust me it will be worth it. Regular, well-targeted newsletters allow you to cash in on repeat guests, referred guests and also completely new guests. Email marketing is a great way to update your audience about offers, events and cool changes at your hotel or hostel!
Before you start growing your list though, here are a few key points to consider:
- Bigger is not always better! Or in other words, quality over quantity. You want to aim for a clean, well-kept list with qualified subscribers, rather than a large list of people who are not interested in what you have to offer.
- Clearly highlight the benefits of signing up – immediately! No matter how you collect your data, make sure to very clearly highlight the benefits of receiving your newsletter. Ideally you want users to sign up immediately so offer them some instant gratification. People love free stuff!
- Start segmenting now! A standard mistake is to send the same newsletter to your entire list. But people’s interests and situations are incredibly diverse and a little personalisation goes a long way. Assuming you have the relevant info, you can segment your list in any way you want. A good way to start is to segment by location (Are they locals? Do they live abroad?), family status (Do they have a family? Are they single, or travelling as couples?), or even the purpose of their trip (Did they travel for business or leisure?). If your hotel offers more than “just rooms”, you might want to segment further by interests, such as weddings, spa, conferences, etc.
- Never stop collecting! Below I’ll introduce a few ways to collect your data, and once you have set up your sources, make sure to keep collecting and keeping your database clean and up-to-date.
Now, let’s get started! Here are 6 ways to grow your email newsletter database the right way:
- Have a signup opportunity on every page of your website
With a bit of code you can add a signup box to the top or bottom of your website, meaning that it will be shown on every page of your website. This will give users the opportunity to sign up even if they missed any previous prompts. Ideally this box will be linked directly to your newsletter software, making management super easy!
- Create targeted signup pop-ups
Don’t skip this one, please. Pop-ups have evolved incredibly in the recent years and can now be laser-targeted, which makes them far less intrusive than before. You can set pop-ups only to show when a user is intending to leave your website (“exit intent technology”), target only people browsing from certain geographic areas, or even depending on which website they found you through (e.g. Google or your social media page). Depending on how pop-ups fit into your overall strategy, you can opt for free or paid tools, we’re happy to recommend some options!
- Add your signup link to your email signatures
While this source won’t bring you masses of subscribers, it will ensure to attract people who already know about your hotel and have communicated with you in some way. Remember, quality over quantity!
- Shout about your newsletter on social media
Chances are, your social media and newsletter audiences don’t overlap. So make sure to let everyone on your social media profile know that you have an awesome newsletter – show them what to expect and how to sign up! Most newsletter tools let you share a signup link, but alternatively you can create a simple landing page.
- Run a paid social media campaign
If you are trying to attract new people within a certain geographic area, group of interest or age bracket, you can put some money behind a lead-generation social media campaign. Just make sure to segment accordingly!
- Capture guests’ data offline
If you want to increase the percentage of return stays, capture as much of your guests’ data as possible – of course with their clear consent! You could amend your registration forms to include a newsletter section, or offer free drinks vouchers or competitions in exchange for their signup.