Happy guests, happy inn owners… that’s the saying, isn’t it? It should be!
At White Stone, we’re dedicated to making our clients happy and we know they are dedicated to making their guests happy. In an effort to create the best possible email content for every guest and potential guest, we set out to craft email marketing surveys to find out what subscribers are (and are not) interested in, and what they hope will hit their inbox next.
It’s important that all the marketing efforts we put forward are driven by data. We know just guessing what guests want is not the most effective way to market to them and ultimately convert ‘lookers into bookers.’ That’s why we test, research, and try new things. Here’s what we did, what we found, and how we’re moving forward.
Our goal was to create a simple, fast survey that would be easy (and fun) for guests to submit. As you probably know all too well, inboxes get clogged up FAST these days, so crafting something memorable and worthwhile was imperative. We purposely wrote copy and chose photos that would make each survey request friendly and genuine. Most innkeepers also offered a free night or gift certificate to one randomly chosen survey taker. This fun incentive turned our survey requests into a contest – not just another to-do for subscribers.
We created simple four or five question surveys designed to gather feedback on what guests enjoy most about the email blasts they already get, and what they are most interested in seeing moving forward. We intentionally made the write-in question optional so it wouldn’t deter those who didn’t feel like writing.
We then crafted an email blast with an eye-catching subject line like this, Enter to Win a FREE Night! ?, and a line of preview text like this, Take Our 1 Minute Survey to Enter. We made sure the text in the blasts were quick and to the point. Here is an example.
Next, we created a social media graphic and posted on Facebook with a $15.00 boost targeted to adults in the surrounding area. A few examples of the graphics we designed are below.
In short, we found this project to be incredibly beneficial to inn owners and their marketing teams.
Those with modest email lists saw at least a couple hundred survey responses and those with the largest lists saw over 1,000. Our clients have been very glad to have a list of fresh ideas to refer back to when coming up with new content and ideas for future email blasts. Many loyal guests even took the opportunity to write rave reviews in the write-in question of the survey.
After surveys had been out for about two weeks, we downloaded all the data, analyzed it, and organized it into a comprehensive report for our clients (see a snippet of one report below). Some ideas subscribers submitted were simple (more breakfast photos, information about nearby restaurants) and some were unique (getaways for singles, itineraries for travelers with pets). For every survey we sent out, we were able to pull out over a dozen new ideas and gather some important data that told us what topics were of the greatest interest to guests.
Once the data has been collected and analyzed, what do you do next? Glancing at survey results and then filing them away would only be a waste of the work you (and your survey takers) did. You can implement the feedback you received right away! An example of this is below. Your guests will be glad to see you value their feedback and this can only strengthen their loyalty to your inn.
Are you interested in reaching out to your audience and asking for feedback? Talk to your Senior Rep about getting started!