Although a reservation confirmation email seems pretty cut and dry, it’s not. In many cases, it’s your first interaction with the guest. To help you impress right off the bat, we compiled a list of professional, thorough and welcoming content that can help improve your hotel’s confirmation email.
Start with a Thank You
Saying thank you is hospitable in any language and is often the best way to start a confirmation email. Whether done by hand or using automation, personalization is appreciated by most. Include the guest’s name. Address them personally. And consider using conversational language so your email reads like it’s from a person, not a machine. (More on personalization next.)
You can also invite guests to connect with you by phone, email, or messaging apps if they have any questions or concerns, then provide that information. Remember, this is ideally the beginning of a long, mutually rewarding relationship.
Emails and other guest communications can be personalized by leveraging the guest data stored in most CRM systems. Using that data with an email automation system can allow your personalized emails to be sent immediately after booking.
Personalization isn’t just about being nice, though. It’s effective. In fact, according to Campaign Monitor, personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14%.
One way to collect this valuable data is through the use of a platform like OpenKey. After the guest registers in the app (the collection of information), OpenKey allows guests to check in from anywhere and gain access to their rooms using only their mobile devices. Guests appreciate the convenience and you obtain the data you need – including contact information, preferences and more.
As mentioned above, automating your email process is a fast and simple way to send out reservation confirmation emails. It can streamline the entire process and give your team more time for other tasks. If you’re shopping for email automation software, there are many options available, including some that are Hospitality-specific.
The article, “The Power of Email Automation,” explains, email automation “can be used across a broad spectrum of your engagement strategy; communicating with guests once they’ve made a booking, sharing information with guests prior to their arrival, interacting with guests once they’ve checked out, inviting them to book again in the future or informing them of upcoming events/activities that may interest them.” The key to the success of these emails, they say, is to “ensure each email is segmented in the correct way and each email is personalized.”
The ultimate example of personalization in the hotel industry is to provide each guest with the individual experience he or she prefers. To accomplish this, however, you need some information. Maybe your confirmation email has a link to an online survey for a guest to customize their profile. Consider asking questions about their preferences. Do they typically travel for business or pleasure? Do they travel with kids? Do they like an extra pillow? Do they exercise? Do they book services at the spa?
Armed with this information, you can provide each guest with the personalized experience they won’t forget, and one that will bring them back again and again. Some examples include:
- If they like spa treatments, send them current spa specials.
- If they golf, offer to reserve a tee time.
- For a couple celebrating an anniversary, offer them champagne or chocolate-covered strawberries upon arrival.
- For tourists, provide destination guides for cities and tour information.
The more targeted the experience or offer, the better. Marketing experts suggest you link back to specific information on your website, like the business amenities page or your blog post about local family attractions. These emails are opportunities to invite the customer to get in touch with any questions or special requests they may have.
Amenities and Other Features
Confirmation and pre-arrival emails present a great opportunity to drive additional revenue by promoting hotel amenities guests might be interested in.
For a seamless guest experience, you can list available amenities with links to make reservations at the spa or restaurant.
If your hotel’s mobile app has remote check-in or keyless room access capabilities through a solution like OpenKey, you can also include links to download the app with how-to-use instructions to get the most out of it. Having useful features in your app like mobile check-in, mobile key, housekeeping requests and other guest services gives guests all the more reason to download and use it, allowing you to personalize their experience.
Invoice & Booking Information
To many travelers, these emails provide some much-needed peace of mind; they know they have a place to stay. It’s important that they are assured they’ve booked the right number of nights, rooms, beds, etc., so confirmation information should customarily take center stage.
You can also include an invoice number for guests to present upon arrival and help the front desk more quickly find a guest reservation.
Hotel Contact Information
Encourage guest contact and make sure they have the hotel and reservation information conveniently at hand. If appropriate, provide emails and phone numbers for each aspect of your hotel: front desk, reservations, concierge, the spa, etc.
And don’t forget to encourage your guests to follow and engage with your hotel on social media. Provide links to all your active social media pages – and make sure the links work. This is another way to help build a long-lasting relationship and provide your CRM with more in-depth data about your guests, their lives, and their preferences.
Lastly, confirm your brand stores and uses the data responsibly. If your property or hotel guests reside in the EU, ensure you’re following GDPR protocols.