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Last month we talked about Spending Growth in Rich Media and Video Leads. Click here to see last issue of this article. According to an eMarketer study on US Online Advertising Spending Growth, another area that is seeing an increase in spending for 2008 is e-mail marketing. E-mail marketing done right can drive a significant amount of reservations to your property. Are you currently capturing the e-mail addresses of guests and offering an easy way for a potential guest to sign up on your website to receive specials and discounts? Are you sending out regular e-mails to your mailing list? If not, you are missing a large opportunity to not only communicate with your customers and build your reputation, but also drive reservations.

E-mail marketing does not have to be a mystery. The first step is to start asking for e-mail addresses. Ask for e-mails on your website, at your front desk, on your booking engine, or anywhere you have a point of contact with the guest. Capture all of these e-mails in one central location and segment by categories of interest.

Once you have built up your database of e-mail addresses, you need to develop a plan of how and when to market to your list. Think about what you want to communicate and how can you develop relationships with the customers on your list. Can you share information about the area? Special events? Promotions?

Make sure to track the campaigns you are sending out. How many people are actually reading your e-mails? Are you getting a lot of unsubscribe requests? If so, , it might be time to rethink your strategy.

For more information on how to conduct successful e-mail marketing campaigns see our article Effective Email Marketing

Contributed by: Tammie Carlisle, Milestone Internet Marketing

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