Hotel Email Marketing Software

Hotel email marketing software helps you stay in touch with your guests after they’ve checked out. Our easy swipe system gives you the ability to customize the look and feel of your property’s messaging both before and after guests visit. Taking advantage of this feature opens a world of possibilities, boosting revenue and keeping your hotel’s brand top-of-mind.

Hotel Email Marketing Software

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Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to reach customers, according to research by Hubspot and a recent report from the New York Times. Their research shows that email campaigns generate $38 for every $1 spent: an ROI of 3,800% that makes email easily one of the best performing marketing tools at your disposal. In the competitive hotel industry, email is critical for building 1:1 relationships with guests that lead to repeat bookings and guest loyalty.

Hotel email marketing requires an analytical and creative mindset combined with great software tools.  You’ll need to be well versed in metrics like open rates, subscriber churn, click-through rates, deliverability, subject line A/B testing and more.  Email marketing strategy also requires savvy digital marketing skills and social media like creativity (e.g. an eye for design and catchy headlines).  

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Email open rates and conversion rates depend on both the analytical side (i.e. are you segmenting a quality list?) and also the creative content (e.g. are you able to craft special offers that are attractive for that segment?).  Great email marketers don’t forget that hotel guests are not just numbers, they’re people.  The customer journey in today’s hospitality industry is incredibly complex and email remains one of the best ways to reach prospects whether they’re business travelers looking for high-quality meeting space or honeymooners ready for that special getaway.

There are many general email campaign tools on the market, with MailChimp being one of the more popular options. While these tools offer standard email marketing capabilities that can improve your hotel’s marketing ROI, a industry-focused hotel CRM and email marketing platform that is specialized for the hospitality industry delivers better results, guest insight, and increased revenue. Here’s why.

The Landscape of Email Marketing for Hotels

Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to build relationships with your guests and is a key hotel marketing channel.

First and foremost, it’s one of the few channels that hotels own; by growing and maintaining your email list – and using this customer touchpoint thoughtfully – hotels reap the benefits of reputation management, more direct bookings, increased customer loyalty, and lower marketing costs. When email campaigns are backed by thoughtful, data-driven strategy, hotel owners can capture higher ROI by redirecting spend from platforms like Google and Facebook.

Great email marketing requires four ingredients: 

  1. Segmentation: using detailed attributes beyond gender or age, such as loyalty, lifetime spend, frequency of stay, or recency of stay. 
  2. Relevant messaging: send content that is relevant as measured by an increase in conversions or a decrease in unsubscribes. 
  3. Timely automation: when the guest receives the email is everything. Data analysis from Revinate shows that 98% of all upsell revenue came from pre-arrival emails; create relevant campaigns and automatically send them at key moments in the guest journey (before check-in, for example). 
  4. Benchmarking and guest insight: use a tool that can evaluate your campaigns’ performance based on geography, segment, and email type to constantly iterate and improve.

Setting up your email campaigns takes the right tools – specifically, the right customer relationship management software that blends marketing automation with other integrations and in-person, text, and online customer touchpoints. Hotels seeking a quick and straightforward marketing tool might consider MailChimp to achieve their marketing goals – yet they would be missing out on the better capabilities of an email marketing tool built to handle the needs of the hospitality industry.

Mailchimp Pricing and Usability are Attractive for Hotels

MailChimp is a good alternative for hotels seeking a simple, effective email marketing tool separate from their CRM platform. MailChimp boasts 15 million customers who send over a billion emails each day. It’s easy to set up and use, quick to learn and includes the core features that hotel owners need to run their email marketing efficiently (automation, A/B testing, and segmentation, etc.).

The biggest benefits to working with MailChimp include:

  • Budget-friendly: depending on your needs, MailChimp is affordable with plans ranging from $0 – $300/month. 
  • User-friendly: MailChimp’s templates and drag-and-drop editor tool make it easy to design stylish, mobile-friendly emails that get opened (no HTML experience necessary). 
  • Low learning curve: this cloud-based platform is accessible from any hotel property, with no complicated download/install process. MailChimp is accessible via mobile, tablet, and on any browser. 

As a general email marketing tool, MailChimp is a solid option. But for the hotel industry, where proper segmentation requires a direct 2-way PMS integration, use a CRM and marketing automation tool that can go the distance.

Winner: Mailchimp Alternatives Designed for the Hotel Industry

MailChimp clearly accomplishes a lot in a very user- and wallet-friendly platform, yet there are a few areas where the tool falls short. Hotels are better served by combination email marketing and hotel CRM system such as Revinate. Revinate blends CRM and marketing automation to target promotions and to improve the on-property guest experience. Top rated hotel crm systems pick up where MailChimp falls short on segmentation, automation, and benchmarking.

MailChimp’s limitations lie in the platform’s inability to get super-targeted with hotel industry specific data. MailChimp can’t interface with a hotel’s property management system; that makes it nearly impossible to properly segment an audience. Revinate uses your hotel’s PMS to segment customer attributes and behavior for better relevancy in each e-mail message. Likewise, MailChimp can’t automate segmentation; as data points like RFM (recency, frequency, monetary value) and LOS (length of stay) change, your email campaigns will become irrelevant unless you pair your email marketing tool directly to your PMS. Revinate can update your customer segments using stay history, campaign engagement, post-stay surveys, and total lifetime value.

Lastly, syncing your email marketing tool to your PMS gives you better reports. When working in MailChimp, you lose the ability to directly attribute revenue to specific campaigns or segments. The upsell reporting tool in Revinate delivers insight on your upselling efforts by tracking revenue per upgrade. Users reported 73% higher revenue per recipient by working with a tool like Revinate via smart segmented campaigns.

MailChimp is a fine option for single property (under 10-rooms) hotel owners seeking to run their own email marketing campaigns for the first time at a very basic level. However, linking your email marketing tool with data from your CRM and PMS is without a doubt a better strategy. Hotels see higher upsell revenue, better engagement, and improved customer loyalty by working with a tool tailor-made for the hospitality industry.  Dedicated platforms like Revinate also provide coaching and guidance from industry experts, benchmarks to help you assess your progress and are constantly developing new features designed specifically for the needs of modern hoteliers such as multi-property reporting functionality and revenue attribution dashboards.

Wrapping it Up

Hotel email marketing campaigns remain one of the best ways to bring back past guests, drive engagement in loyalty programs and even promote room upgrades to those already on property.  They are also one of the best ROI marketing channels because hotels don’t need to deploy spend to access them.  Whether it’s pushing certain profitable room types or driving more hotel website traffic – any hotel with over 20 rooms should put a high priority on this high ROI marketing channel.

hotel promotion email sample

Believe me, I see the appeal of automating your basic email campaigns and moving on to tackle everything else on your to-do list. Your time is spread thin enough as-is!

Even with GDPR regulations in Europe, email marketing is the channel that consistently delivers the best ROI across multiple sectors, generating around $40 for every $1 spent on average.

That said, email marketing is not without its challenges.

In the accommodation industry, including hotels and B&Bs, research showed the average email open rates were 15.8% while the average click-through rates were just 4.7%.

You might be thinking right now, “Ugh, aren’t marketing emails kinda spammy?”

Let’s talk about what hotel email marketing actually is — and what it isn’t.

Effective hospitality email marketing isn’t about bombarding anyone’s inbox with useless content. Rather, try think of it as part of their customer journey.

You’re already creating a memorable guest experience once they arrive on your property — why not get it started before your guest even enters the lobby?

As with all things in marketing, it comes back to understanding the guest’s point of view. Remember, if they’re on your email list, they’re already dreaming and thinking about traveling to your destination. Email is a great way to help build that anticipation and excitement.

Having a thought-out email marketing strategy is one thing, but actually writing engaging emails to prospective hotel guests is another. (Psst… Don’t forget, I can help you out with hotel email copywriting.)

Some quick rules of thumb:

  • Keep your hotel’s brand voice and personality consistent
  • Subject lines should be short and pique curiosity (a lot of people check their email on mobile!)
  • Limit the number and size of embedded images (many email providers don’t automatically allow images to load from external addresses, so they might not be viewable anyway!)

Now that we understand why email marketing is important for hotels, let’s talk about your content plan.

Yep, email campaigns are content, too — and you should be communicating with your customer differently, based on where they are in the process of booking.

That journey takes your customer through three phases: before, during, and after their stay. In these phases, you’ll find your pre arrival emails, post stay emails, and newsletter-style communications.

Pre-Arrival Emails That Build Trust (and Get Upsells!)


The “confirmation email” is the first email that we all expect to receive after booking a hotel.

Hotel guests will often wait for this email as a sign that their booking has been processed or confirmed. Honestly, this one’s kind of the bare minimum, in terms of emails we should send our guests. But it’s still a valuable and important message to send.

For most hotels, this email is automatically generated by your CRM software.

(In fact, your CRM probably has a bunch of pre-made hotel email marketing templates already locked and loaded for you to use.)

Like anyone else, I’ve booked my fair share of hotel rooms. If, for whatever reason, I didn’t receive this confirmation email after handing over my credit card info… well, needless to say, I wouldn’t feel great! Anyone in a similar situation would be on the phone with reservations or customer support ASAP to make sure that booking went through.

Some other things you may want to include in your confirmation email:

  • Your hotel’s check-in and check-out times
  • The date of arrival
  • Number of nights booked
  • Room type reserved
  • Price of the stay, including taxes and/or resort fees
  • Directions to the hotel

It’s also a good idea to include restaurant hours and/or any package inclusions, like breakfast or transportation.

Making this initial contact with your guest in a prompt manner puts their mind at ease. Think of it as a hotel introduction email… its is a good starting point for your email marketing strategy because it builds trust.


What’s the best way to ensure your hotel guests have everything they could possibly need or want during their stay? Well, you could ask them ahead of time, by sending a pre-arrival preference email.

Sending an arriving guest a preference email demonstrates that you care about their experience, before they’ve even stepped foot in your lobby.

Not only does this message show that you have their interests in mind, but it also sparks excitement for their stay!

Use this email as an opportunity to learn more about the guest. Ask if they have any allergies or personal preferences, such as feather vs down pillows. Ask if there is anything that the hotel needs to know about in advance of their arrival, or simply ask if there’s anything your hotel can do to exceed their expectations.

While I’m referring to this a “preference email,” it’s also an opportunity to drive more revenue through upselling.

Use this email to offer additional services to personalize their stay, such as a spa treatment, a bottle of champagne on arrival, airport transfers, local tour experience, or even room upgrades.

According to GuestJoy’s hospitality industry upselling report, wellness offers like spa treatments or massages were generally the most popular with guests, amounting to 20.4% of all services sold in 2019.

Of course, not every hotel has a spa!

GuestJoy reports that room upgrades were a close second, making up 20.2% of all items sold. That’s followed by taxi services at 18% and restaurant sales with 16%.

Asking guests about their personal preferences shows that you care about making their experience a great one.

It’s also a tool to gather valuable information about your guest and even add revenue using an upsell — your revenue management team will thank you! 😉


Sending a final reminder 1-2 days prior to your guest’s arrival is often automated by a CRM, but a pre-stay reminder email can be more useful than you might think.

This is also a piece of your email marketing strategy that your customers expect. So although it might sound obvious or boring, it’s absolutely necessary.

Think about it this way:

This reminder email is your LAST digital touchpoint before that guests walks in.

This is your last chance to confirm any specific preferences they’ve provided you — and let them know what to expect. This can be as simple as mentioning that their preferred feather pillows are ready and waiting for them in the room, or making sure they’re up-to-date on your hotel’s COVID-19 policies.

If the guest chose to take advantage of an upsell offer, make sure this is confirmed, too.

Email is an important channel to consider in your hotel marketing plan. Make sure you’ve included hotel email marketing campaigns in your wider business strategy with my free template below. ⤵


Post-Stay Emails That Every Hotel Needs To Send


Upon checking out, your guest receives a final bill and pays for their stay. Usually, we also email that folio as a receipt and thank the guest for their stay.

Much like the initial booking confirmation email, this is sort of a formality — but it’s also a customer expectation that shouldn’t be skipped.

I strongly recommend incorporating a more personal message into this email, beyond just, well, an itemized bill.

Remember that they had a choice and they chose your property over allll the other options. 😊

Always thank the guest for staying with you! Last impressions count, too… but hey, spoiler alert: This shouldn’t be the last communication you send a hotel guest.


After the upsell/preference email, I’d wager this one is among the most powerful emails you could send a guest.

Online reviews are today’s word-of-mouth marketing.

The vast majority of consumers still say they check online reviews prior to booking a hotel. Surveys show that when searching online, 88% of travelers filter out hotels with an average review rating below three.

Asking a hotel guest for their feedback is best done about 24 hours after the guest has checked out — you want to ensure their stay is still fresh in their mind, but give them enough time to get home or settled into their next destination.

But make it easy for them, too.

Include a link directly to your TripAdvisor profile, Google listing, and/or Facebook page and let the guest know that they are invited to share their experience wherever they prefer.

If you’re reading this blog, I reckon you already know how important reviews and constructive feedback are to the hotel industry.

Don’t miss out on the chance to get more positive reviews. Make sure to include this step in your email marketing strategy.


To increase a customer’s lifetime booking value, you of course need them to stay with you more than once!

The “loyalty email” is basically an invitation to stay with you again. In it, you’ll recognize and show appreciation for their continued loyalty to your hotel — while enticing them back.

Now, the timing of this one can vary… and it helps a lot to use an email provider that syncs up with your CRM or property management system.

(Psst… you can see what I recommend in this article on marketing in a hotel. Jump to Part IV on the best tools and resources!)

If you have a guest who has stayed at your hotel before, look for patterns:

  • Do they often book last-minute weekend trips in the summer?
  • Do they come to your city for business once a quarter?
  • Do they come to your hotel every year on a special occasion, like a birthday or anniversary?

Email marketing automation is powerful.

With the right email marketing tool, you can set up email campaigns that trigger an “invitation to return” and time it within that guest’s typical booking window.

You could apply similar logic and automation to a first-time guest, though it’s not always as effective without an established pattern of stay.

If you need to, you can always offer a special rate or loyalty perk, to sweeten the deal.

Using Newsletters to Engage Your Audience

The pre- and post-stay emails I’ve mentioned so far are actually pretty easy to automate. Each one also follows a clear template, as far as what hotel guests expect to receive. Your hotel newsletter can be a lot more creative.

I should mention, though, that not every hotel needs to send out an email newsletter…

Much like deciding whether to add a blog to your hotel website, the decision has its pros and cons.

First, ask yourself:

  • Does my hotel have enough content for this?
  • Does my hotel have an audience for this?
  • Do I have the time and resources to create this, consistently?

It’s up to you and your team to weigh these questions!

We all want to work smarter and not harder, so don’t be afraid to repurpose. The content you create for email marketing campaigns should ladder up to your wider hotel marketing plan — meaning it should easily be repurposed for your website, blog, social media, and other platforms.

Your email list is also one of your most valuable digital marketing assets. But if you don’t communicate with your list consistently, it’s just going to sit there, gathering dust.

When the time comes for you to drop a majorly exciting new offer or say, reopen your hotel post-COVID, your subscribers will have forgotten all about you.

You need to communicate with your customers, even when you don’t necessarily have something to sell them.

This is why the “newsletter” email is SO valuable.

Let’s talk about two different types of hotel email newsletters: the more general, lead-nurturing message and a more sales-driven message.


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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