Turn first-time guests into regulars: A how-to guide on email trigger campaigns

Image of a person sitting in a cafe looking at an HMA° email on their phone and the analytics of the campaign on their laptop

Property and marketing managers across the hospitality industry are looking to convert first-time guests into loyal regulars. If that sounds like you, you’re in the right place. This is a comprehensive guide on using email trigger campaigns as a tool to keep guests coming back. Using a customized approach, you can engage your customers, showcase your amenities, and ultimately drive more revenue for your property.

Understanding email trigger campaigns

Picture this: automated emails, tailored to your hotel and guests, sent out in response to specific triggers or events. Imagine a guest books a room at your hotel and immediately receives a personalized email confirmation with a warm welcome and a preview of your amenities. Or perhaps they’ve just checked out and an email lands in their inbox, thanking them for their stay and offering a special discount for their next booking. It’s this ability to reach out to your guests with the perfect message at just the right moment that makes email trigger campaigns so powerful. And the best part? These campaigns can be as standard or as customized as you need them to be, from a basic online travel agency (OTA) campaign to one designed uniquely for your property. The ultimate goal? Building relationships with your guests, making them feel appreciated, and giving them enticing reasons to return.

Choosing the right triggers

Finding the sweet spot for your triggers is fundamental to the effectiveness of your campaign. Think of these triggers as milestones in your guest’s journey with your property. An initial reservation could spark a friendly welcome email, complete with a sneak peek of what your hotel offers. Post-checkout could be the trigger for an invitation to share their experience, followed by a tailored email that offers them an alluring deal for their next visit. It’s all about striking a balance between being timely and relevant. The objective: to connect with your guests in a way that feels thoughtful, not intrusive. Keep in mind, every trigger presents an opportunity to engage. So choose wisely!

Crafting your emails

Now that we’ve chosen our triggers, it’s time to fill our emails with captivating content. Make your guests feel recognized with personalization, give them a peek behind the curtain with informative snippets about your hotel, and grab their attention with engaging material. Whether it’s a heartfelt thank you note or a tantalizing showcase of your property’s features, your emails should have a variety of flavors to keep your guests curious. Don’t forget to sprinkle clear calls to action throughout your content, prompting guests to interact with your offers, provide valuable feedback, or plan their next getaway. And, of course, ensure your emails reflect your hotel’s unique brand. Every email, remember, is a golden chance to nurture your bond with your guests, strengthening their connection to your property.

Implementing the campaign

You’ve pinpointed your triggers and fine-tuned your email content. Now, it’s time to get your email trigger campaign up and running. The success of this venture heavily relies on the efficiency of your email automation system. Powerful, flexible platforms allow you to choose from a series of high-performing trigger campaigns and allow you to build custom campaigns as your triggers become more sophisticated and require more personalization. From the data to the cadence, it’s best if these campaigns are fully customizable based on your unique analytics and performance data. Remember, thoughtful implementation sets the stage for a successful campaign.

Tracking and adjusting your campaign

Once your campaign is live, it’s vital to keep a close watch on its progress. This isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ scenario — quite the contrary! Pay close attention to open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. This intel will provide invaluable insights into what’s hitting the mark and what may need a little fine-tuning. Is an email not getting as many opens as you’d hoped? Maybe it’s time for a more compelling subject line. Or perhaps a particular trigger isn’t leading to the desired action. Don’t be afraid to adjust and experiment. This is an ongoing process of trial and error, refinement, and growth. Keep iterating and optimizing based on your data, always aiming for that sweet spot of guest engagement. Remember, each adjustment brings you one step closer to a more effective, impactful email trigger campaign. So, stay curious, stay adaptable, and most importantly, stay committed to cultivating those vital guest connections.


Ready to explore email trigger campaigns for your property? Connect with your HMA° Intelligent Marketing account team, email us at hello@wearehma.com, or call 831.655.0109 to get started.

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