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Pre-Arrival Email

Sending pre-arrival email and post email to your guests has become a must-do activity. This is the easiest and cost-effective method reaching guest. You can improve the first impression your hotel leaves, increase service revenue and get more feedback. But unfortunately many PMS (Property Management Systems) aren’t really up to the task. If you are planning to implement emailing, here are some pointers for you to maximize the effect.

Content

We have surveyed the open ratio of emails from many hotels and the rule of thumb for length is, shorter is better. Try to keep your email under 1500 characters. Don’t pack too much information there that can be easily added to a webpage. Most people read emails on their phones which means too much scrolling.

Whatever you do, make sure emails are personalized. No one likes receiving email “Hello guest”.

Personalized e-mails have shown to have a 25% higher open rate and 51% higher click rate. (skift)”

Layout

No one wants to read ugly or malformed email. The keyword here is TESTING. Test how your email opens across different email readers.

Text-based emails are efficient, but they don’t convey the emotional aspect of your hotel.

When adding images and colors, it can become true artwork but be aware, one can’t simply use all the same fancy options as designing web pages. Email clients are older and pickier. Also keep in mind, that there a lot of versions out there: from Outlooks and Thunderbirds to Gmails and Hotmails, from desktop to tablet to mobile. In each place, email behaves a little bit differently. This can result in undesired effect. To overcome it, use ready-made layout frameworks. They speed up your progress significantly.

When to send

Here at Guestjoy, we have tested many different patterns, but for pre-arrival email, usually 3 days in advance works the best but for post-stay email 2 days after departure. This achieves the highest relevancy thus most impact. Try to target your emails in the morning.  This can be tricky as your guests are coming from different time zones.

Tracking

There are three main metrics you should track when evaluating the effectiveness of your emails.

Open ratio – How many of the guests actually open your email.
This should be at least 60%.

SPAM – How many emails are marked as SPAM
Any incident is bad. Continuously track, if any of your guests flagged your email as spam. This could snowball very easily as other guests won’t see your emails anymore

Action ratio – How many guests do the desired action
Every email you send out has a goal: deliver a message, click to a link, write a review. If very very guests do the desired action, you’re wasting your effort. A good ratio is 30%

Summary

Creating good looking and informative emails can seem a simple task in the beginning but in reality, they contain many hidden aspects can really hinder your goals. But when done properly, the results can be excellent.

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