When it’s Time to Leave it to the Pros…

Allison Crumpton

Allison’s penchant for excellence and superior customer service coupled with her strategy of partnering with each client has created a robust portfolio of some of the most successful inns in the nation. She is the General Manager and oversees the expert staff at White Stone Marketing while always endeavoring to keep each and every White Stone client profitable.

After 25 years working in this industry, it’s time I shared my perspective with you. Thus, I welcome feedback, comments, etc. as we dive into these fascinating waters. I will begin with a very important question:

When is it time to step back and let the pros do the work?

As innkeepers, you wear many hats and deciding which of those to pass to others can be daunting. My rule of thumb? Delegate anything you really can’t or don’t do well. Don’t spin your wheels taking classes in Mailchimp when you really need to be serving your guests. Know your limits, understand your time constraints, and trust the best team you can afford. Your message to the world is too important to relegate to a part time gig.

Let me share a salient example. We have a client who recently decided to save money and start handling their own email marketing. Their first email looked like this:

What not to do with email marketing

 

Not a very pretty email!

 

You will note the font, spacing and aesthetic is amateur at best. And, while some of you may argue that sending out any email is better than not communicating, keep in mind that your guest is internet savvy and emails are largely used for transactional purposes. Thus, if you want to attract a would-be guest, don’t waste their time or sensibilities with poorly executed and ill-timed emails. You’ll simply drive them to the unsubscribe button.

On the heels of Vikram’s latest blog post, which I hope you will read, you will note a similar refrain. Don’t turn your email marketing efforts into a race to the bottom. He outlines a series of emails from a hotel chain he frequented which not only poorly executes their emails but continually offers discounts of differing amounts. How many of you are moved by a “Hurry – before it’s too LATE” message when you know you’ll just get the same message next week? Let’s not insult the intelligence of those on our email list and start delivering not only content that matters, but content that converts. I understand the need to save money wherever possible but sacrificing your marketing message will only kill your bottom line.

For those of you who are designing your own emails, either as foundational clients or campaign clients who want to send a one-off promotion outside of your campaign calendar, we encourage you to review these simple tips from our campaign team to ensure that your newsletter not only looks pretty, but doesn’t spam your subscribers.

Let’s take a look at what our talented campaign team has been cooking up for our clients who ‘leave it to the pros…’ Take a moment to click on each one to see the full email. They are inspiring. And shouldn’t travel inspiration be at the heart of your inn’s email campaign?


 

Happily Ever After

Do you do weddings? Create an email blast would-be brides can’t resist! Appeal to the glamour and glitz.


 

Get Excited!

Beach vacations are still the #1 destination for all ages. If you’ve got an awesome location, flaunt it!


Free Wine!

Who doesn’t want a free glass of wine? Showcase those amazing amenities!


 

Lake Getaway

Wow! Look at that view. The whole vibe makes me want to come!


 

The Gift of a Getaway

Yep…our talented team can even animate a gift being wrapped right before your eyes! Transfix your customers!


10 Reasons To Stay

Showcase your points of difference with all the reasons to come to your inn!


 

Tell Santa Where To Find Me!

Use attention grabbing headlines to create conversions.


 

Scary Deals

And, what about this one? It just makes me giggle its so creative!


 

Staycation

A creative twist for the local market? Yes please!


 

Holiday Cheer

And, just a feel good, old fashioned holiday email to get everyone in the spirit!


 

Notice what these emails did? They made you interested in the message not annoyed by the intrusion. Email is overwhelming, intrusive and often unwelcome. Do better, be creative, inspire.

I do have one caveat, however. If you need a new site, it may be prudent to cut back on your marketing budget in order to get a new site up and running. Keep in mind that most sites are not viable after 5 years or so and you need to upgrade and refresh. Otherwise, trust us with your message and you’ll win over those coveted guests with messages of inspiration and adventure.