Improving email open rates

Your email open rates are the most critical stat in all of GuestJoy.

We want to make sure it is as high as possible in each different scenario.

The subject line: First impressions are everything!

One of the key components of the email is the subject line. There are many rules to follow, and techniques you can try

Subject line length: Do not make your subject line too long! In 2019, 63% of GuestJoy emails were opened on mobile devices - and that means that your subject line would often be cut off, making it ineffective:

Subject line content: We recommend you personalise this to help entice the guest to open the email. Consider the following examples:

Pre-stay:

Regarding your stay at Hotel Tarkus

Sarah, regarding your stay at Hotel Tarkus

Post-stay:

Hope to see you again

Hope to see you again, Sarah!

To do this, you will need to add the Guest first name tag to your email body content first, next, highlight the tag, then cut and paste it to your subject line:

Consider when your emails are sent

Time of day can affect email open rates. Depending on the location of your property, and where the majority of your guests come from, adjusting the time of day the email is sent might be a good thing to try.

Pre-stay emails: Consider sending pre-stay emails during the early evening, when most people are home from work and are likely to have more time to pay attention to your email. Sending the email during a busy working day might mean the guest misses it, or see it but don't have time to read it, then forget about it.

During-stay feedback emails: Asking for feedback during a guest's stay is great, because if they are having an issue that you can fix while they're still at your property, this turns it into a positive for the guest. The key thing here is not to send these emails to guests during the busiest times - i.e. during check-in and check-out times - so that it's more likely somebody will be available to get in touch with the guest as soon as possible.

Post-stay feedback emails: There are a few options here. Most GuestJoy users find they get the best open rates when the send the email on the day of departure, or 1 day after departure. The idea is that the experience is still fresh in the guest's mind. If you are planning to send the email on the day of departure, make sure you don't start sending the emails until the guest will have left your property!

However, depending on your property's location, other options might be more appropriate. For example, many Icelandic properties will send the email 3 or 4 days after departure, because the majority of their guests have a long journey to travel in order to get home.

No matter which way you go about it, we almost always recommend utilising the feedback reminder email, which is usually sent 7 days after the initial email, and only to guests who did not rate their stay. This can help you catch some of those extra reviews!

Improving email click rates

There are 3 main suggestions we have for improving click rates.

Avoid having a "wall of text"

Too much content is not ideal - most people won't read it, especially on a mobile device:

Instead, make sure you:

  • Stick to shorter paragraphs
  • Consider what you really need the guest to know - and remove anything else
  • If you genuinely have more information that you want the guest to know about, consider sending a second email

Avoid having multiple calls-to-action

As tempting as it may be, every extra link you add to your email content reduces the chance that the guest will click the primary call to action of your email - be it opening the concierge, or rating their stay.

If you have a link you really want your guest to visit, it is probably going to be better to send a separate email for that purpose.

Pre-stay emails: Call to action text

Here are some suggestions of what are effective button labels for the pre-stay email, with alternatives separated by a slash / and optional words in parentheses ( ):

  • Customise your stay/experience (here)
  • Visit the Concierge
  • View all offers (here)
  • Start your stay (here)
  • Click to see more
  • Upgrade your stay/experience (here)

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