If your hotel is only sending out basic confirmation and post-stay emails with reservation details and nothing else, you’re missing out on a valuable revenue opportunity. Pre-stay welcome emails have high open rates: your guests are excited about their stay and looking for more information.
Pre-stay emails are an opportunity to engage and delight your potential guests, and a chance to increase incremental revenue. For that reason, we recommend sending out at least 2-3 pre-stay emails.
Some eye-catching stats that show the importance of sending out better hotel emails:
- 70% of consumers prefer email over any other communication channel
- 8 out of 10 people open welcome emails
- For hotels using email marketing, 98% of upsell revenue came from pre-arrival emails
The cadence of when you send these emails will depend on how far out a guest books their stay. The confirmation email must come immediately after the booking is completed, but promotional pre-stay emails should be spread out between booking and arrival to generate excitement.
Optimizing the confirmation email
A basic confirmation email is essential, with the transactional details of their reservation. Sending out a simple email that only includes stay details and nothing else is leaving money on the table. The confirmation email is your first direct communication with new guests.
While transactional details should be the focus of this email, this is also an opportunity to promote other features of your hotel. Make the introduction to your message specific and welcoming. Don’t overload them with information up top.
A customized template allows you to include a short prompt at the beginning to get guests thinking about special requests or additional amenities. At the end of the email, you have another opportunity to add some additional information or links. The confirmation email is also a great place to start promoting your mobile app, if you have one.
Keep it simple! The majority of the content in your confirmation email is pulled directly from your property management system.
Most property management systems, including Chorum PMS, can send out a simple confirmation email. To customize your confirmation emails to include promotional material and more visual elements, you’ll need a specialized email marketing platform that integrates with your PMS to pull booking and guest data to populate and personalize your welcome emails.
Basic email marketing systems, such as MailChimp or Sendinblue, will not integrate with hotel software. You need a dedicated, hotel-specific solution. For example, Chorum’s Guest Messaging Solution has a two-way integration to pull data and create better confirmation emails.
Optimizing additional pre-stay emails
The confirmation email should be focused and transactional. But after that, we recommend sending at least two follow up pre-stay emails. These emails are your chance to drive significant additional revenue. If a guest has booked one month or more in advance, you may consider having more emails ready to send out to keep their upcoming trip top of mind. You can also send the same content twice, as guests may not open the first one.
As stated before, according to a study of hotel’s using email marketing, 98% of upsells came from pre-stay emails.
There are a lot of dynamic ways to promote up-sell opportunities via email marketing. Pre-stay welcome emails can provide guests with additional information about your property. Aside from room upgrades, the most successful upsell categories include:
- Early check-in and late check-out
- Food and beverage
When creating and customizing your pre-stay emails, make sure to promote these if applicable. Using an email editor that is easy to update and maintain allows you to keep your pre-stay emails fresh and relevant. You don’t want to include outdated information or sunny summer photos during the winter!
One strategy is to sell upsells as offers exclusively available to confirmed guests. For example, this hotel puts a room upgrade option at the top of their email, above related attractions.
Guests are not just looking for the cheapest rate any more, they want the full hospitality experience. These days, the guest journey starts long before they arrive. Email is your chance to start positioning yourself as the expert to make their stay exceptional.
Your pre-stay emails should excite them about their upcoming trip. They are your best chance to get them to consider upgrades they may not have known about during the initial booking process.
The day before arrival
If guests book considerably in advance, you may have time to send them a few pre-stay emails. And no matter when they book, we recommend sending a dedicated email the day before their check-in date.
This email should focus on any last-minute special requests or changes, and it should remind them of your contactless check-in options, either via web or mobile app. If you don’t have any contactless options, provide check-in information (with a reminder about early check-in, of course!).
The key to optimizing your welcome emails
Being able to create and update welcome emails comes down to having an email editor that is easy to use and maintain. Chorum’s Guest Messaging Solution is designed to be used by hoteliers with no email marketing experience. No HTML or coding experience, just drag and drop layout elements, upload photos, and write the email text to create dynamic email templates.
Learn more about how Chorum helps hotels get started with email marketing!