If you’re like most hotel marketers, you dedicate most of your marketing chops to building your hotel’s brand, luring travelers to choose your hotel with carefully chosen copy, internet hotel advertising and engaging marketing campaigns. But, what happens after the guest checks out? This is where a majority of hotel marketing staff drop the ball. Most hotels send out a generic, yet polite, thank you email that weakly ask for feedback. It’s impersonal and doesn’t have a strong call-to-action (s) that entices the guest to continue their relationship with you.
Several hotel reservation systems offer the post-stay email as an optional feature. And most hotels that do take advantage of the email simply use the standard, pre-written verbiage the system suggests. My recommendation is to never settle for the standard or pre-defined copy that is given to you.
The power of the post-stay email is HUGE and all it takes is knowing on how to use this email effectively to add more value to your guests, garner positive reviews, and improve guest retention. All of this equals one thing: More bookings! Here’s how to make the most out of the post-stay email’s benefits to get more business:
Write As If You’re Addressing a Friend
The post-stay email is the biggest step your hotel can make towards high guest retention, so write the email from scratch and aim for future interaction. Don’t use the cookie-cutter sentences that you see other hotels using. Your guests know those statements don’t mean anything. Instead, put some personality into it. Write the email as you would if you were addressing a friend. Mention what your hotel is doing to improve their experience, such as any upgrades or renovations in the works.
Make It Easy to Share
Sharing on social media is now an intrinsic part of the traveling experience. Travelers are constantly writing reviews on TripAdvisor, and posting their vacation photos onto Facebook and Instagram. Invite your guests to share their own pictures on your hotel’s own page and provide a direct link to do so.
Keep It Personal
Forgo the general, no-name emails. Have your post-stay emails signed by an actual staff member (most likely your GM or front desk manager) and offer at least two ways to get a hold of that person. This shows a true open-door policy between hotel management and guests.
Mention Current Packages and Promotions
You never know when your guests are planning a return visit. Make sure all of your post-stay emails mention current promotions to take advantage of next time. If attractive enough, these promotions could easily sway their decision to book a stay with you again.
Showcase One of Your Notable Features
Remind them why your hotel sticks out from all the others. Casually mention your prime location, the size of your beds, the fluffiness of your pillows, the calming fireplace in your lobby. These visuals will trigger them to recall the details of their own trip and make them want to go back.
Ask for Feedback
Most guests return from their trips only to quickly forget their experience with you. Capture their thoughts when they’re still fresh. Provide a direct link to your TripAdvisor page, or ask them to email their feedback directly.
Reach Their Friends
Give them a reason to tell their friends about you. Make it enticing. Don’t simply say, ‘Tell your friends about us!’ Instead, make the offer attractive, such as offering 15% to their friends for a limited time using a specific discount code.
Showcase Your Rewards Program
Let your guests know the benefits of your rewards program, this is especially important if your guest came through an OTA and needs an extra nudge to see the value and experience you offer.
Written by Junvi Ola.