How the Hospitality Industry Can Nurture Customer Relationships via Demographic Segmentation
Marketers from most industries can implement demographic personalization to increase message relevance. The hospitality industry is a prime example: There is an abundance of seasonal events, milestones and occasions that warrant special, personalized offers to make emails stand out. Some hospitality brands are already doing a great job of making every email unique, such as Marriott Rewards.
Marriott Rewards organizes a highly personalized campaign at the end of each year called Year in Review, in which members receive an email detailing their year with Marriott. However, not all hospitality brands have followed in Marriott Rewards’ footsteps in terms of innovative personalization practices.
Despite the clear marketing advantage of email personalization, recent research finds that 64 percent of brands do not use available customer data to personalize their email copy in any way. Likewise, when working to engage shoppers with email content, over two-thirds do not customize the products and services featured in their email campaigns.
While hotels and resorts may already address a subscriber by his or her first name in an email, they can do much more to engage the subscriber with the use of the data at their disposal. For instance, when a hotel, airline or restaurant develops a campaign, they can craft email content based on important demographic attributes including:
Vacation planning is often dictated by a subscriber's relationship status. Consequently, knowing a subscriber's relationship status can help hospitality brands decide what kind of content is most appropriate for each email recipient. This will lead to more targeted email outreach and higher conversion rates over time.
For example, a married subscriber could be craving alone time with his significant other. He may find a subject line that reads “Enjoy a romantic night out this weekend, on us!” to be particularly appealing and open the email. Alternatively, a subject line such as “Top cities and activities for group travel” may resonate best with a single subscriber who is looking for a fun weekend away.
Presence of Children
As with relationship status, whether or not a subscriber has children can greatly influence what kind of email content he or she will find valuable and engaging. When it comes to taking a vacation, consumers with children may be looking for affordable vacations for the entire family. Keeping this in mind, a hotel chain could use a subject line like “Enjoy bonus points when you book these kid-friendly spring vacations” to boost conversions.
A subscriber's financial status directly impacts his or her ability to travel, so hospitality brands would be remiss not to leverage household income data when crafting email campaigns.
To execute even more targeted outreach, marketers can use a number of demographic data points to effectively relate to their subscribers' lifestyles. For example, a subscriber with a higher income (and likely a credit card with earned points) may desire luxury and respond well to a subject line like “Planning your next getaway? See just how far your points can take you.”
Alternatively, a subscriber who has just graduated from college and is looking for a last-minute getaway with friends may respond better to a subject line that reads “Want big savings on your next trip?” The main body of this email could also feature copy promoting local travel options or limited-time deals.
Demographic personalization is a relatively low-cost and easy-to-implement tactic that enables all marketers to create targeted email campaigns that stand out. When used properly, the added emphasis on subscribers’ unique characteristics can help hospitality brands better cater to each of their audience segments. With the right combination of personalized images, content and offers, hospitality brands can develop more effective communications, create stronger relationships with subscribers, and maximize return on investment from email marketing.