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Mastering Email Marketing in Hospitality:

A Comprehensive Guide for Industry Success

In the bustling world of the hospitality industry, email marketing emerges as a crucial bridge connecting hotels, resorts, and travel services with their ever-evolving clientele.

Unlike transient social media posts or the broad brush of traditional advertising, email marketing offers a unique canvas for crafting personalized narratives that resonate with each recipient. It’s not just about promoting a room or a service; it's about weaving stories that invite potential guests into a world of comfort, luxury, and memorable experiences.


As the industry thrives on personalization and exemplary service, email marketing becomes an invaluable tool. It allows for direct yet unobtrusive communication with guests, whether they are planning a leisurely getaway, a business trip, or a special event. Through well-crafted emails, hospitality businesses can showcase their amenities, special offers, and unique selling points in a way that aligns with the interests and preferences of their audience.

Moreover, in an age where consumers are bombarded with countless marketing messages, email stands out for its personal touch. It can be tailored to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and past stays, making each communication feel less like a generic advertisement and more like a note from a thoughtful host.

Let’s Look at the Stats: Email Marketing
Effectiveness in Hospitality

The effectiveness of email marketing in hospitality is not just anecdotal; it’s backed by compelling data. Consider these insights:

High Engagement Rates

Email campaigns in the hospitality sector enjoy an average open rate of almost 26%, surpassing many other industries. This indicates a strong interest from recipients in the content shared by hotels and travel companies.

Impressive ROI

For every dollar spent on email marketing, the average return on investment in the hospitality sector can be as high as $38, showcasing its efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Customer Retention

Email marketing has been found to play a pivotal role in customer retention, with personalized email communication significantly boosting repeat bookings.

These statistics paint a clear picture: in the hospitality sector, where customer experience is paramount, email marketing is not just a strategy but a cornerstone of sustained business success.

This guide is designed to be your compass in navigating the intricate world of email marketing within the hospitality landscape. No matter where you are in this journey, this comprehensive guide will provide you with insights, best practices, and actionable tips.

From crafting compelling email content to analyzing campaign performance, each section is tailored to elevate your email marketing game and, in turn, enhance your guest's experience and loyalty. Welcome to a journey that transforms how you connect, communicate, and cultivate lasting relationships with your guests through the art of email marketing.

Understanding Your Audience

The cornerstone of any successful email marketing campaign in the hospitality sector is a deep understanding of its audience. Knowing who you are communicating with is essential to tailor your messages effectively.


Leisure tourists seeking memorable vacations


Business travelers looking for comfort and convenience


Event planners scouting for suitable venues


Couples planning romantic getaways or weddings

Recognizing the distinct characteristics
of each group is crucial.

While traditional demographics like age, gender, and location are important, delving deeper into psychographics—understanding guests' lifestyles, values, and interests—is vital. This deeper understanding enables more nuanced and effective communication.

Building Your Email List

In the hospitality industry, where personal touch and direct relationships with customers are key, building a robust and effective email list is a cornerstone for successful marketing. Here are some tactics that will ensure you’re building your email list effectively.


On-Site Collection


Encourage guests to sign up for your newsletter during check-in or check-out.


Include an option to provide an email address on feedback forms and comment cards.

Online Collection Methods

Place email sign-up forms prominently on your website, especially on the booking confirmation page. Make sure these forms comply with GDPR and other regulations. Be transparent about how you'll use their data, and include an easy option to unsubscribe in every email.


Use your social media profiles to promote your email list, offering exclusive content or special offers as incentives.

Partnerships and Collaborations

Work with local businesses or travel agencies and offer joint promotions, where customers can opt-in to receive emails from both parties.

Offering Incentives

Provide a tangible benefit for signing up, such as a discount on their next stay, a free guide to local attractions, or exclusive access to special events.

Hot Tip

Don’t forget to clean your list regularly. Periodically clean your email list to remove inactive subscribers and incorrect email addresses. This helps in maintaining a high engagement rate and email deliverability.


With Benchmark Email’s Smart Sending feature, we automatically clean your list for you by removing unengaged emails. Check it out by signing up for a free account today.


Segmenting Your Email List for Personalized

One size does not fit all in email marketing. Segmenting your email list allows you to send targeted messages that resonate with each group. This strategy not only enhances engagement but also boosts the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Criteria for Segmentation

Segmentation can be based on various criteria, such as booking history, preferences shown in previous stays, feedback provided, and engagement with past emails. For instance, guests who frequently book spa services can receive tailored offers for spa packages.

Seasonal and Behavioral Segmentation

Consider also seasonal segmentation, targeting travelers with appropriate offers, like winter getaways or summer retreats. Behavioral segmentation, such as targeting guests who frequently open your emails or those who haven't booked in a while, can also be highly effective.

Utilizing Guest Data for Targeted Campaigns

In today’s data-driven world, using guest data to inform your email marketing campaigns is a game-changer. However, it’s imperative to handle this data ethically and in compliance with privacy laws like GDPR.

Data-Driven Personalization

Use guest data to personalize your communications. This could mean sending personalized offers based on previous booking history or suggesting activities based on guest interests. For instance, a guest who previously booked a golf package might be interested in your upcoming golfing event.

Predictive Analysis

Advanced techniques like predictive analysis can help forecast future guest behavior based on historical data. This insight can shape more proactive and anticipatory email marketing strategies, ensuring that your messages are not just relevant but also timely.


Designing Your Email Campaign

One of the most important steps when it comes to email marketing for the hospitality industry is actually designing your email campaigns.

Best Practices

When designing your hospitality campaigns, there are some important things to keep in mind that will keep the process smooth and effective.

Captivating Subject Lines

The journey of an effective email campaign starts with a compelling subject line. It should be engaging, reflective of your brand's voice, and tailored to spark curiosity or offer value. For instance, “Unlock a Secret Deal at Our Tropical Retreat” can be more enticing than a generic “Special Offer for You.”

Brand Consistency

Consistency in design and tone with your brand is crucial. Use your brand colors, fonts, and style to create a familiar and professional look. This consistency helps in building brand recognition and trust.

Clear and Concise Content

In hospitality, the focus should be on creating an inviting atmosphere. Your email content should be clear, concise, and focused on the experience you offer. Avoid clutter and lengthy paragraphs. Instead, use bullet points or short, engaging descriptions that highlight your unique selling points.


With Benchmark Email’s Smart Design feature, you can create a branded email in under 5 minutes. Smart Design takes your brand and your goals to delivers unique, engaging email content - in just a few clicks! Try it today by signing up for a free plan!

Importance of Mobile Optimization

As more and more people read their emails on mobile devices, mobile optimization is a must for any email campaign. Let’s break down what this looks like.

Responsive Design

With the majority of emails being opened on mobile devices, ensuring that your email design is responsive is not optional; it’s essential. Your emails should look good and be easily readable on all devices, from desktops to smartphones.

Test Across Devices

Regularly test your emails across different devices and email clients to ensure formatting remains intact. An email automation tool, like Benchmark Email, or tools like Litmus can be helpful for this.

Fast Loading Times

Optimize images and media to ensure they load quickly on mobile devices. Slow loading times can lead to high abandonment rates.

Using Visuals Effectively

When using visuals in your email marketing, it’s important to follow a set of rules to ensure they render well,  look nice, and contribute to your message.

Use High-Quality Images

Use high-quality, professional photos of your property and services. Images should evoke the ambiance of your hotel or resort, showcasing its best features. For instance, a stunning photo of a sunset view from a balcony can be more impactful than just describing it.

Incorporate Videos

Videos can be a powerful tool in email marketing for hospitality. A short video tour of your property or testimonials from satisfied guests can create a more immersive experience.

Alt Text and Descriptions

Always include alt text and brief descriptions for your visuals. Not only is this beneficial for SEO, but it also ensures that if images or videos don’t load, your message still comes across.

Balancing Text and Visuals

Strike a balance between text and visuals. While visuals are compelling, your message should still be clear, even without them. This balance is key in creating an engaging yet informative email.


Content Creation

When it comes to putting together your emails, some may argue that the content is the most important part (and the hardest). Here’s a quick guide to help you along.

Crafting Compelling Subject Lines

Your email subject lines are the first thing your audience sees before they decide to open your emails. Here are some tips to ensure they land well and encourage more opens.

The First Impression Counts

The subject line is the first impression your email makes. It should be captivating enough to stand out in a crowded inbox. Think of it as the headline of your story – it needs to be intriguing, clear, and relevant.

Personalization and Relevance

Personalize subject lines where possible. Using the recipient's name or a reference to their last stay can increase open rates. For instance, "John, Your Exclusive Offer Awaits!" feels more personal and engaging.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Optimize images and media to ensure they load quickly on mobile devices. Slow loading times cAim for subject lines that are concise yet powerful. A good rule of thumb is to keep it under 50 characters to ensure it’s fully visible on mobile lead to high abandonment rates.

Content Ideas

Still struggling to put pen to paper? No worries, we have some ideas that may get things rolling.


Everyone loves a good deal. Highlight special promotions like discounted stays, upgrades, or seasonal packages. Ensure these offers are enticing and present clear value to the recipient.

Event Announcements

Inform your guests about upcoming events at your property or in the vicinity. This could be anything from a new spa opening to a local cultural festival. Events create a sense of urgency and excitement.

Loyalty Programs

Use emails to promote your loyalty programs. Explain the benefits and rewards of joining, and personalize it by showing how many points they might have or what they could redeem them for.

Seasonal Offers and

Seasonal offers, such as winter ski packages or summer beach deals, can be very appealing. Regular newsletters updating guests about new features, renovations, or staff highlights can also keep your brand top of mind.

Storytelling + Emails = Engaged Customers

When creating content for your emails, it’s important to factor in the storytelling element. When you tell a story, you not only bring organization to your emails, but you are able to engage your audience and pique their interest in your offer.

Here are some tips to ensure your email storytelling doesn’t miss the mark.

Create a Connection

Storytelling is a powerful tool that can create a deeper connection with your audience. Share stories about your brand, and the local community, or highlight guest experiences. This humanizes your brand and makes your content more relatable.

Use Visual Storytelling

This tip ties into our previous points regarding visuals in your emails. When you use images and videos effectively, you’ll be able to complement your storytelling. For instance, a beautiful image of a guest enjoying a special moment at your property can be more compelling than words alone.

Tie in Emotional Engagement

Aim to evoke emotions through your stories. Whether it's the joy of a family vacation, the tranquility of a solo retreat, or the excitement of an adventure getaway, tapping into these emotions can make your emails more engaging and memorable.

Be Consistent in Narratives

Are you sensing a theme? Ensure that your stories align with your brand’s values and message. Consistency in your storytelling reinforces your brand identity and builds trust with your audience.


Measuring Success and Analytics

How will you grow if you aren’t able to tap into how well your emails resonate with your audience? When it comes to measuring success, here are some areas to keep in mind:

Key Metrics to Track

Monitor various email metrics to ensure your messages are not only being delivered but they’re a hit with your recipients. Here are some metrics to track:











These metrics provide insights into how engaging your content is and how well it drives your desired actions.

Analytical Tools

Utilize tools like Google Analytics, along with built-in analytics in your email marketing software, to gather data. These tools can help you understand the behavior of your audience and the performance of your email campaigns.

Refining Future Campaigns

Use the insights gained from analytics to refine your strategy. Identify what works and what doesn’t. Experiment with different subject lines, content formats, and sending times to improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns continuously.


Email Automation: The Tool You Need

Let’s face it: you can’t really achieve any of the strategies and tips mentioned above if you don’t have an email automation tool. However, selecting email marketing software isn’t as easy as it may seem. Here are some tips to follow:

Chose the Right Tools

The foundation of an effective email marketing strategy in the hospitality industry lies in choosing the right automation tools. Go for software that offers a range of features, from list segmentation to automated campaign triggers.

Look for Key Features

When selecting your tools, prioritize features like user-friendly design interfaces, detailed analytics, integration capabilities with your CRM system, and advanced segmentation options. Automation should make personalizing and scheduling emails more efficient, not more complicated.

Make Sure it Integrates with Your Booking Systems

Opt for software that can integrate seamlessly with your booking and reservation systems. This allows for real-time data utilization, making your marketing efforts more targeted and relevant.

Why Choose Benchmark Email?

Simplicity and Ease of Use:

Our platform is straightforward and won’t trip you up with tons of bells and whistles. Using Benchmark Email is the easiest way to design and send marketing emails to your hospitality customers.


Our software is constantly being evaluated by our experienced team to ensure we’re delivering features and tools tailored to the specific needs of our hospitality users.


Our software is up-to-date with the latest in email marketing, with features that ensure your hospitality business remains competitive. With our Smart Content feature powered by OpenAI, writer’s block is a thing of the past. Just provide a prompt, and with Smart Content, you can create personalized content and engaging offers.


Your success is our success. We provide all our users with extensive reporting features so they can see how successful their campaigns are and how well they’re resonating with their audience.


Our customer service team is always available when our users need them. They work closely with our customers to understand their goals and needs, providing personalized and attentive customer service.


Get Started with Email Marketing

Ready to take your hospitality business to the next level? Get started today and explore how our easy-to-use software can help you drive sales and build customer loyalty. Let's work together to make your hospitality brand a success!