How 2020 has shaped email marketing for hotels - Q3 update

In our Email Benchmark Report released earlier this year we saw that even through a global pandemic, email continued to reign as the favored channel of communication for marketing and business. It has forged its way as one of the most effective ways to stay connected in a socially distanced world.

In our Email Benchmarking dataset we look in-depth at four fundamental email marketing metrics for hotels; open rate (OR), click from open rate (CFOR), average nights per booking (NPB), and average daily rate (ADR). We analyze emails from 40+ countries and consolidated findings into regions: Americas, EMEA, and APAC, as well as class including Luxury, Upper Upscale, Upscale, and Upper Midscale.

As stated in our report, we saw a spike in email open and click-through rates and an increase in nights per booking in March and April 2020. This increase in nights per booking was due to a number of factors and different circumstances across the globe, but namely because those hotels who were still open and taking bookings were accommodating longer stays for fewer guests.

Our first follow-up to our Email Benchmark Report released in May 2020, saw a slight leveling off of the peaks seen in March and April with open rate, click-from-open rate and nights per booking coming down in May and June 2020.

As our second follow-up we look in detail at Q3 2020 to see how trends are faring across the globe and across different hotel classes.

Email open rates

Email open rates by region

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Email open rates by region

Email open rates by class

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Email open rates by class

Findings

  • We can see that open rates are now just slightly down from their April peak, but overall all regions are still above their ’18-’19 average open rates.
  • This tells us engagement levels are still higher than previously seen and should continue to be leveraged by hotels with highly relevant and personalized communications to help drive conversions.
  • With travel restrictions constantly changing, it’s important to keep an eye on who you are communicating to and what messaging you are sharing with them.

Click-from-open rates (CFOR)

Click from open rates by region
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Click from open rates by region2

 

Click from open rates by class

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Click from open rates by class2

Findings

  • While all regions saw a considerable dip in CFOR for March 2020, since April, we have seen continuous significant uptick in engagement levels throughout Q3 2020 – going beyond the average rates we were seeing in ’18/’19.
  • Similarly to email open rate uptick, this is down to a higher level of email engagement than we’ve seen before.
  • Hoteliers are tailoring their communications to be more relevant and personalized to different segments and the proof is in the data – recipients are responding very well to it.

Nights per booking

Nights per booking by region
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Nights per booking by region

Nights per booking by class

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Nights per booking by class

Findings

  • As would be expected, the nights per booking spike in April and May was only temporary​ – as detailed in our report we explain that this could be due to the type of bookings that may have been taking place during this time.
  • Depending on available capacity, hotels that are not constrained could continue to promote longer lengths of stay​ and hotels that have imposed hold times for housekeeping will benefit from increasing average length of stay (LOS), as they would require fewer room turns​.
  • Nights per booking averages seemed to have now returned to pre-pandemic levels and we suspect this trend will continue, with fluctuations as countries manage continuously changing levels of restrictions.

Average Daily Rate (ADR)

ADR by region

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ADR by region

ADR by class

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ADR by class

Findings

  • Average Daily Rate appears to be fairly steady across regions and classes which is a fantastic trend to see. Given all that’s happened this year to date, hoteliers have seen to be mostly holding steady when it comes to price and we do believe this will have a significant upside as we come out of the pandemic and travel is able to resume again.
  • If you’d like to read more about why heavily discounting is not the way to go in times of crises, check out our email benchmark report.

Key takeaways

As we continue to navigate our way through this crisis, we can see that email marketing continues to be the cornerstone of the marketing toolkit. We’ve seen that during ‘normal’ periods, email marketing is a vital channel aiding in driving demand, revenue and maintaining brand awareness and that this is even more the case since the global pandemic took hold across the globe in March 2020.

With a significant shift to moving even more online, the traditional ways of communicating with consumers has shifted and email is now taking a more significant role as one of the most accessible ways to personalize communications with guests.

Platforms such as customer relationship management (CRM) tools allow you to target different audiences in your database with different messaging. Combining this with an effective web and social strategy, hotels will be well placed as travel slowly resumes across the globe.

To find out more about how CRM can help you with your email marketing strategy, contact us today.

Author
Nicola Graham

Nicola Graham is the Vice President of Marketing at Cendyn. She leads the global marketing and sales development teams to drive demand generation, brand awareness and maintain presence for Cendyn as the leading CRM, sales and revenue strategy provider for the hospitality industry. When she's not out there promoting Cendyn, you'll find her either with her dog, Yukon, or out running in the Surrey Hills in the UK.

Nicola Graham is the Vice President of Marketing at Cendyn. She leads the global marketing and sales development teams to drive demand generation, brand awareness and maintain presence for Cendyn as the leading CRM, sales and revenue strategy provider for the hospitality industry. When she's not out there promoting Cendyn, you'll find her either with her dog, Yukon, or out running in the Surrey Hills in the UK.

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