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Hotel email marketing: Complete guide and examples

By Stacy Kimbell

May 29, 2024

Sending emails is a cost-effective way for hotels to engage with their guests before, during, and after their stay. Hotel email marketing is a potent tactic for providing a great guest experience, cross-selling services, and attracting more bookings.

However, you need to understand the various types of emails and when they should be sent, along with the right strategies to get the best results. That’s where we can help.

In this detailed guide, we have covered everything you need to know about hospitality email marketing, from tips to examples. So, get ready and read this to take your email marketing game to a whole new level.

The basics of hotel email marketing

Before we get to the specifics of how to do hotel email marketing right, let’s first understand the basics.

Understanding hotel email marketing

Just like any other business, hotels can also use emails to nurture leads, acquire new customers, or get repeat business. This practice of using emails to promote a hotel business is called hotel email marketing.

Hotels send emails to current or prospective customers for various purposes, such as:

  • Promoting events, deals, or offers to get more bookings.
  • Staying connected with customers by wishing them on special occasions.
  • Sharing engaging content that could encourage repeat business or help readers make travel plans.

Building an effective hotel email list

You must first build an email list of potential and existing customers to run successful hospitality email marketing campaigns.

Here are some tips for building your hotel email list:

  • Encourage signups during check-in: Train your front-desk employees to encourage guests to sign up for your newsletter or loyalty programs when they check in to your hotel. Explaining the benefits of joining the community, especially the monetary rewards, can ease the process.
  • Get signups from your website: Add signup forms and calls to action throughout your website to get signups from your site visitors. Use persuasive CTA copy and intuitive, user-friendly forms to get more signups.
  • Use lead magnets: Offer industry-specific resources, content, and tools in exchange for the email addresses of your site visitors. This could be anything from a free itinerary to a travel packing checklist for specific destinations. Anything your audience considers valuable enough to give their email information would work.
  • Start a referral program: If you don’t yet have a referral program, start one. Incentivize current customers to recommend your business to their friends and get rewards for each signup, booking, or any other desired action.

Marriott, a popular hotel brand, has a rewards program called Mariott Bonvoy. They reward customers for recommending the hotel to others and give loyalty points for each booking their friends make.

Image via Mariott

The hotel encourages more referrals by rewarding both the referrer and their friends. Each new booking is an opportunity to grow their email list for running hotel email marketing campaigns.

Crafting compelling content for hotel emails

The success of your hotel email marketing campaigns will largely depend on your email content. If it’s relevant and useful to your audience, they’ll engage with it. Otherwise, they’ll stop reading your emails.

Fortunately for you, we’re here to help. Let’s start by discussing the key elements you should include in your emails, and then we’ll show you some real-life examples.

Key components of a hotel email

The content of your emails will and should differ based on the intent. However, there are certain components of a good email that will remain consistent across emails.

Here are the key components of a good hotel email.

  • A compelling subject line that informs recipients of the purpose of an email and intrigues them enough to open it.
  • Preheader text that gives a sneak peek into the email content and further sparks interest.
  • Stunning visuals to instantly grab attention and tempt people to make travel plans and choose your hotel.
  • Persuasive content that succinctly conveys the key message and guides recipients toward the desired next steps.
  • A strong CTA that stands out within the email content and compels people to take action.

Hotel newsletter examples

Here are some great hotel newsletter examples to inspire your email campaigns.

1. Tradewinds Hotel reservation confirmation email

Image via Really Good Emails

Transactional emails are the most common type of emails hotels send to their customers. These inform them of their upcoming bookings and provide details to make their stay enjoyable.

This reservation confirmation email does exactly that. It provides the essential information upfront and has a link that guests can click on to find more booking details.

2. Mariott newsletter with an offer

Image via Really Good Emails

Offering deals and other incentives to existing and potential customers is a great way for hotels to increase bookings.

This email is a great example of that. It offers the hotel’s loyalty program members bonus reward points for booking a 3+ night stay at one of the company’s hotels.

The booking deadline creates a sense of urgency that spurs people to action and make a booking as soon as possible.

3. Vacasa hotel email with stunning visuals

Image via Really Good Emails

This is one of the best hotel newsletter examples for themed emails. 

It’s a perfect summer email that encourages people to take a summer vacation at resorts with great pools. The email’s colors, design (note the waves below the CTA), and visuals all fit the theme.

You can replicate this strategy and send themed emails for various seasons, holidays, special occasions, and more.

4. Airbnb feedback collection email

Image via Gmail

Collecting customer reviews is extremely important for hotels and hospitality businesses as it provides social proof to potential customers. Most people check user reviews and ratings while booking hotels and often reject options based on these.

Sending emails to quickly get customer ratings and reviews is a great way to collect valuable social proof. 

This email by Airbnb does exactly that—it provides an easy way for customers to provide feedback on their recent stay. The rating scale makes things simple.

The email also emphasizes the importance of reviews before asking people to click on the link to provide a detailed review.

5. Tripadvisor retargeting email

Image via Really Good Emails

Sometimes, people check out a hotel but leave without making a booking. You can target these potential customers through retargeting email campaigns.

The email above is an excellent example of a retargeting email. It reminds the user of the recently browsed hotel and urges them to book it before the prices increase, creating a sense of urgency to get prompt bookings.

Adding the image of the hotel and customer reviews eases the decision-making process.

Email types for the top-notch guest experience

There are numerous types of hotel email marketing emails you can send. Each has a specific purpose and optimal time for sending. Let’s discuss some of the most important ones for email marketing for hotels.

Pre-arrival emails

These are sent after a user makes a hotel reservation before the reservation date. The purpose of these emails is to confirm the reservation and provide booking details.

Here are some use cases of pre-arrival emails:

  • Confirm a reservation and send the booking details.
  • Provide customers with all relevant information related to their reservation, such as inclusions and the cancellation policy.
  • Thank customers for choosing your hotel and letting them know that you’re ready to welcome them when they arrive.

Use these emails to connect with your customers and provide a great experience with your company, even before they visit your hotel.

Welcome emails upon arrival

Hotels and similar businesses send welcome emails after a customer checks in to their property. These emails are a great way to let them feel welcomed and provide them with the resources they need for a pleasant stay.

Some things you can include in welcome emails are:

  • Wifi name and password for internet access.
  • List of services, both free and paid, that they can get during their stay.
  • All the important phone numbers they’ll need, such as that for the hotel reception or housekeeping.
  • Information on the dining and shopping options available at the hotel or resort.
  • Details on the operating hours for gym or spa services, if applicable.

During-stay engagement emails

While most hotels send a welcome email and leave it at that, some go beyond that and engage with customers during their stay.

During-stay emails are perfect for cross-selling your other services or offering valuable information to customers that can enhance their travel experience.

Here are some things you can include in these emails.

  • List activities you offer that they can participate in during their stay, along with any ongoing discounts or offers.
  • Travel tips and information on nearby tourist attractions, if applicable.
  • Invitations to any upcoming events at your hotel or nearby tourist attractions.

Post-stay follow-up emails

These hotel marketing emails help you engage with your guests after their stay at your hotel is over. 

The goal is to keep your brand on top of their minds for the next time they make travel plans. Such emails are also great for collecting customer feedback and leaving a positive impression.

Here are some tips to create impressive post-stay emails:

  • Thank guests for their stay and ask for feedback on things you can improve.
  • Collect reviews and ratings for your property and provide an incentive for guests to leave a review on your preferred platform.
  • Invite them to join your loyalty program to get discounts on future stays and other rewards.
  • Ask them to follow you on social media for the latest updates and travel inspiration.

Image via milled.com

Re-engagement emails for past guests

Unlike the post-stay emails, which are sent soon after a guest checks out, these are sent later to re-engage past guests. These are typically guests who have not stayed at one of your properties for a while and need a nudge to choose you again.

You can include some of these elements in your re-engagement emails:

  • Share the latest updates about your properties, such as new openings, renovations, and new amenities.
  • Promote ongoing deals and offers and incentivize guests to book a stay soon.
  • Use upcoming events to encourage repeat bookings.

Special occasion and birthday emails

One of the easiest ways to stay in touch with past guests is to wish them on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.

Such emails help you stay in touch with your guests and make them feel special. This helps build strong customer relationships and fosters brand loyalty, which encourages repeat business.

Image via milled.com

Feedback and review request emails

These types of hotel email marketing emails are sent to collect user reviews and ratings. 

Any marketer knows the importance of user reviews in providing social proof for prospective customers. These are especially important for hotels as ratings and reviews are important decision-making factors people consider when choosing a hotel.

So, make sure you ask each guest to rate your property and leave a review. Incentivize them by offering in exchange for their review.

Choosing the right email marketing software for hotels

Now, you understand the importance of hotel email marketing and the types of emails you should send. But which email marketing solution should you choose?

We’ll help you with that in this section.

Features to look for in email marketing software

Here are some of the most important features to consider when choosing email marketing software for hotels.

  • Automation: Look for the ability to run various types of hotel email marketing campaigns on autopilot. The more automation triggers a tool offers, the better. Also, ready-to-use automated workflows are an added advantage.
  • Segmentation and personalization: Choose a solution that offers advanced segmentation to help you run personalized campaigns. Check the types of segmentation a tool offers and select the one that best fits your needs.
  • Analytics: Compare the width and depth of email analytics offered by various software solutions. Give preference to those that offer in-depth analytics and comprehensive reporting.
  • Integrations: A good email marketing tool should integrate seamlessly with other tools you use, such as your hotel CRM. This ensures that you have all customer data at your fingertips and can use it for segmentation and targeting. Check the integration options various tools provide to make a choice.

Email marketing software recommendations for hotels

Based on the above-mentioned criteria, here are our top three recommendations for email marketing software for hotels.


Image via Omnisend

Omnisend offers 30+ ready-to-use automated workflows that make hotel email marketing simple for you. With its six segmentation criteria and 30 prebuilt segments, you can run targeted and personalized marketing campaigns.

The best part is that it will also help you optimize your campaigns through A/B testing and robust analytics.


Image via Mailerlite

Mailerlite is an easy-to-use tool for sending email newsletters. Its email verifier helps you maintain clean email lists, and the segmentation options are basic but good enough for simple email campaigns.

Though it doesn’t offer ready-to-go automated workflows, it offers 15 automation templates that you can customize to create your own.


Image via Brevo

If you want a simple email marketing tool for sending transactional emails, such as reservation confirmation, Brevo is perfect for you. It even optimizes sending times to help you send emails at times when people are most likely to engage with them.

Advanced tips and tactics for hotel email marketing

Check out our top three expert tips to help you plan and run high-converting hospitality email marketing campaigns.

Personalization techniques in hospitality email marketing

Personalization is key to driving engagement with email marketing. It makes recipients feel that an email is written just for them and is not part of a bulk email campaign, which boosts engagement.

Here are some tips for running personalized hotel email marketing campaigns:

  • Always refer to each guest by name.
  • Use information from their past or upcoming stays to show that the email is created specifically for them.
  • Leverage segmentation to personalize email content by making it relevant to each recipient.
  • Send personalized offers based on a person’s history and interactions with your brand. For example, if someone prefers weekend getaways, give them a weekend getaway package at a discount.
  • Create dynamic emails where images, content, and CTAs differ for different recipients.
  • Offer travel tips, event invitations, and other information based on a guest’s booking.

By personalizing your emails, you can grab recipients’ attention and get them to open and read your emails. This improves the chances of them taking the desired action or next steps, boosting your email conversion rates.

Implementing effective call-to-action strategies

Calls-to-action have the singular power to make or break your hotel email marketing campaigns. Keeping everything else the same and merely changing the CTA can lead to different click-through rates for your emails.

It’s not just the CTA copy that matters, though, but also the placement, colors, font, and more. 

Let’s discuss some tips for creating email CTAs that convert.

  • Use strong action words to encourage people to take the desired action. Also, be specific and use CTAs like “Book now” or “Make a reservation”, instead of using generic CTAs like “Click here.”
  • Make your CTAs stand out in the email body by using contrasting colors, fonts, and other design elements.
  • Experiment with CTA placements at the top, middle, and bottom of your emails to see what works best for your audience.
  • Keep it short and to the point, clearly conveying the key message without distracting.

Follow these CTA strategies to get the best results from your hotel email marketing campaigns.

Testing and optimizing hotel email campaigns

Lastly, the most important strategy to optimize your email marketing campaigns is to test what works and what doesn’t.

Leverage A/B testing to test various elements of your emails, from subject lines to visuals. Most email marketing software solutions offer this feature, so it should not be difficult to implement.

Make sure you don’t go overboard and test only one element at a time. 

Here’s an illustration of A/B testing in action. As you can see, the second CTA drives more conversions, so it should be kept while the other should not be used anymore.

Image via Omnisend

By repeatedly testing various elements of your emails, you’ll be able to find the winning combination of things that work. This will help you get the best results and return on investment (ROI) from your hotel email marketing campaigns.

Wrap up

There you have it—a complete guide to hotel marketing, including tips, examples, types, and more. Use this guide to optimize your hotel email marketing campaigns. 

Make sure you leverage the various types of emails and send them at the best times to get the most engagement. Choose a good email marketing tool that can help you automate your email marketing and run targeted campaigns.

Lastly, focus on personalization and keep testing your emails to improve your campaigns over time. All the best!

Stacy Kimbell
Stacy Kimbell
Co-founder & Chief Editor
Stacy Kimbell has nine years of experience in email marketing. She's worked with different email platforms and created many successful email campaigns for online and offline, well-established as well as family businesses. Stacy is excited to share her expertise with readers.

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