Most lodging properties send out email confirmations for a new reservation or they answer questions of guests and potential future guests by email. This should be common sense to follow these 3 key things but many emails lack #3 which is the most important for communications and guest retention.
Make sure you add all the links to any social media site you maintain, if you are on twitter for example, don’t just add @janedoeinn add the full url/address of the twitter account http:///www.twitter.com/janedoeinn, this way the link becomes a clickable link
Give the email signature a hook. Please check out
How to use marketing in your e-mail signature to promote your brand
Tip #3 (the most important)
Make sure every email (even if it’s a reply to a reply) contains your signature tag and make sure the email is threaded (i.e. it contains all the correspondence between innkeeper and guest, even if its 7 emails back and forth) this setting/option can be found in every email program both desktop or web based.
Some key reasons to do #3:
Key reason #1:
Follow up and ease of follow up. Example: Guest John Doe says he requested flowers in his room by email. Obviously you don’t want to annoy the customer by denying that he did request it, but you can much more easily track the request or lack thereof by having to pull up one single email that contains all of your correspondence.
Key reason #2
Guest John Doe has been corresponding with you by email, in your original email you had a signature byline, in further correspondence, you do not have signatures enabled, if the email is threaded he has to scroll down to the bottom to find contact information, if the email is just a reply, he has to go track down your original email reply to easily find contact information. This can be frustrating for the guest or potential guest especially if he is looking for your phone number quickly.
Key reason #3
If you have your social media links in your email signature, more exposure to the potential guest while viewing multiple emails gives more visual opportunity for the potential guest to click through and check out your blog/facebook/twitter/youtube accounts.
Bonus email tip:
You should be backing up all of your critical business information frequently
Please read Antivirus and Backing-up, My biggest challenges when it comes to working with BandBs
Even people that do this religiously frequently forget that while they may have most of their information backed up, they generally don’t back up their email inbox.
In the last year I have had 3 innkeepers I work with who do back up and had major computer issues but they forgot to back up their emails and as a consequence lost booking requests and confirmations, directory reminders for renewals and booking enquiries for parties and weddings.
A simple way around this is to set up a gmail account and to have your email addresses forward to a gmail account as well as sending them to your regular desktop or web based email.
A basic free gmail account gives you 7503 MB of space. I get several hundred emails daily and in 3 years have only managed to fill up about 75% of the space online without deleting anything.
There are additional options available for a very low cost if you need more space.
20 GB ($5.00 USD per year)
80 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
With many more options available if you need them or if you are Bill Gates and get 50000 emails daily.
Having the email backup to your gmail account means you have access to past received emails if something happens to your computer or the more common issue of your email inbox becoming corrupted.
Not to mention signing up for a gmail account gives you access to a host of other tools that Google makes available.
Gmail is free and even if you do need to upgrade the space available, spending an additional 5 bucks a year to make sure you have a copy of that contract for the $20,000 wedding you have booked for next fall is more then worth it.