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4 hotel emails to build better guest relationships (+templates)

Cloudbeds

By Cloudbeds

Email remains one of the most effective ways to stay in contact with your guests before, during, and after their stay to establish trust and loyalty.

You can achieve various goals through email, including familiarizing guests with your property, managing expectations, and introducing upsells and add-ons. Here, Marta Nelson, Senior Manager of Training and Enablement at Cloudbeds, explains how to maximize guest engagement with email templates.

 

But what essentials should a guest email include to be helpful, timely, and relevant? Below, you’ll find the four most common email templates for hotels that you can adapt for your property right away. 

 

What makes good guest communication?

Over 4.2 billion people (or half of the world’s population) were email users in 2022. While guest communication is important for hoteliers, it must be done right, or it can be extremely offputting for guests. Here are a few components of effective guest communication. 

  • It’s on-brand. First and foremost, the email must match your brand’s look and feel: the colors should match, the font should be familiar, and the imagery should align with your brand promise. Also, the content must be written in your brand voice. If you have a playful brand and the email is overly serious, it creates dissonance.
  • It’s useful. This pertains especially to pre-stay communications, which should provide value to the guest in the form of useful information about the upcoming stay. Examples of useful information include where to park, what to do when you get there, or special events that guests may want to consider.
  • It’s relevant. The email must be relevant to whatever stage the traveler is currently in, using the information you have about them. For example, if you send upsell opportunities in your email campaigns, ensure those offers align as closely as possible with what you know about the guest. 
  • It’s timely. Not only should you give guests useful, relevant information, but you must also do it at the right time! Usually, this is when it’s top-of-mind, such as a few days before arrival or the instant a booking is created. 
 
Hotel Upsell Playbook
 

4 common email templates 

Templates can be a lifesaver when it comes to guest communication. Using technology, you can automate processes so guests are sent an email template after a specific action is taken (using personalized fields). Here are a few of the most commonly used templates for your hotel email marketing strategy.

 

1. Hotel booking confirmation email template

Objective. To provide instant booking confirmation with all relevant details for the guest’s records. Booking confirmation gives guests peace of mind and reduces the volume of calls from guests who have not received a confirmation email. Remember that most guests are accustomed to the instant response of eCommerce, so manually sending out confirmation emails may not meet the expectations of today’s travelers.

Things to include. Reservation number/booking ID, type of room, dates of stay, check-in/check-out times, cost breakdown, location and contact information, cancellation policy, and social media profiles

How often to update. You should update the booking confirmation email template every few weeks to include upcoming events, special limited-time offers, and other items of interest for your guests.

 

Template Example
 
SUBJECT: Your booking at [hotel name] is confirmed – Confirmation #[conf number]
 

{BOLD HEADER IMAGE THAT REFLECTS YOUR BRAND}

Hi [first name],

Thank you for choosing [hotel name]. We look forward to hosting your stay!

Here are your booking details:

 

Reservation Confirmation Number: [conf number]

Room Type: [room type]

Arrival date: [start date] 

Departure date: [end date]

Special requests: [special requests]

 

Address: [hotel address 1] 

Cancellations: [custom cancellation policy]

If you need to make changes or require assistance, please call [hotel phone] or email us at [hotel email]. 

 

We look forward to welcoming you in [hotel city] soon!

[hotel name]

{FOOTER: ADD SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS/LINKS & HOTEL WEBSITE}

Get access to this template and more!

 

 

2. Pre-arrival hotel email template

Objective. To get the guest excited about their upcoming stay while also providing important information to put their mind at ease. It’s so much easier for the guests to find a recent email than dig around for a booking confirmation. By sending out the pre-arrival email, you’ll resurface the relevant booking details and provide a useful resource for your guests’ upcoming stay.

Things to include. This email tends to be longer than the confirmation email. Include all of the relevant booking details (most of which will be repeated from the confirmation email), such as reservation number, room type, and length of stay. It’s not common to see a cost breakdown in these emails, but be sure to include functional details. You also want to include property information (such as check-in details, where to park, house rules, and upcoming events) and relevant upsells (like room upgrades, in-destination activities, and discounts for the cafe or spa treatment). It’s also really common – and highly recommended –  to include a link to a local guide curated by your property.

How often to update. Similar to the booking confirmation, you’ll want to align updates with your property’s event calendar. And, as long as you’re using a third-party integration (see the last section for more details) to automatically match upsell offers with each guest’s profile, the template won’t need to be updated as often.

 

Template Example
 
SUBJECT: Your upcoming stay at [hotel name] – Reservation # [conf number]
 

Hi [first name],

Your stay is just around the corner! Here are a few details to know before you arrive:  

Reservation # [conf number]

Guest name: [full name]

Number of nights: [nights]

Arrival date: [start date] 

Departure date: [end date]

Room type: [room type]

Check in: __:__ {fill in with your check in time}

Check out: __:__ {fill in with you check out time}

Address: [hotel address 1] 

Parking: {ADD RELATIVE PARKING INFO} (e.g. Parking is easy and complimentary: just grab a spot anywhere in the lot directly adjacent to the hotel or add details about your parking fee.)  

Important information: {Use this section to add details such as: HOUSE RULES, ANNOUNCEMENTS, POLICIES, PAYMENT DETAILS, WIFI INFO, etc} 

Kick off your stay at [hotel name]

{ADD PROMOTIONS} EXAMPLE: Enjoy daily happy hour in the lobby from 3-6 pm.   

Special Offers:

  • $100 couple’s dinner – includes 3 courses and a bottle of wine. Please call or email to make a reservation. 
  • Half-off Fridays – all appetizers are 50% off every Friday in January.

Get the most out of [city] 

Here’s what’s going on around town this week.

{CUSTOMIZE WITH A FEW KEY EVENTS OR A LINK TO A CALENDAR} 

Check out our local guide for hand-picked recommendations on the best places to eat, visit, and explore. 

If you need us, just contact us at [hotel phone number] or [hotel email]

See you soon!

[hotel name]

{FOOTER: ADD SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS/LINKS}

Get access to this template and more!

 

 

3. Post-stay hotel email template 

Objective. The post-stay email should have two goals: Gather guest feedback and encourage online reviews. By proactively asking for feedback, you can catch any potential issues before they become less-than-stellar reviews online. By requesting reviews, you’ll also keep up your review frequency – criteria used by most OTAs when determining how to rank your hotel in relevant searches. Don’t forget to reply to your online reviews too! 

Things to include. You want to include a way for guests to reach out directly to the general manager for any specific feedback. You’ll also want to include links to your hotel’s most important review platforms, such as TripAdvisor. 

How often to update. The post-stay email is very direct and transactional. So it will not need to be updated very often. You will want to revisit it at least quarterly to make sure that the URLs are working and that everything else still matches your brand’s communication style.

 

Template Example

 
SUBJECT: Thanks for your stay at [hotel name]! Would you share your experience?
 

{BOLD HEADER IMAGE THAT REFLECTS YOUR BRAND}

Hi [first name],

Thanks again for choosing to spend your time in [hotel city] with us! How was your stay at [hotel name]?   

Your feedback is valuable and essential to us and future guests.

Please take a moment to share your experience {ADD LINK TO REVIEW SITE, TripAdvisor, etc.} 

We’re committed to addressing any issues that come up during your stay with us. If you have any comments on how we can improve, please respond to this email directly or give us a call at [hotel phone number]  

We hope that you’ll join us again soon.

[hotel name]

{FOOTER: ADD SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS/LINKS}

Get access to this template and more!

 

 

4. Re-engagement hotel email template 

Objective. To nurture longer-term relationships with past guests. Re-engagement emails are especially effective when targeting guests within driving distance who may be considering a spontaneous trip.

Things to include. Content related to ongoing events and seasonal activities can entice potential guests to revisit your property. You should also include a call-to-action and any promotional offers for return guests. Try to make these emails as personalized as possible. To do this, collect information like their birthday or anniversary to send special deals or even their “6-month anniversary of staying with you”. These small personalization tokens can significantly improve engagement. 

How often to update. Out of all of the templates, this one is the most dynamic. You want to create re-engagement templates for specific guest segments, which can be easily reused for future marketing campaigns. We recommend updating this template for each re-engagement campaign so that you’re not sending identical emails each time. Also: test your email subject lines to determine which ones perform best and update your email list periodically.

 

Template Example

 
SUBJECT: [Hotel name] invites you to experience fall’s vibrant colors
 

{BOLD HEADER IMAGE THAT REFLECTS YOUR BRAND}

{EXAMPLE TEXT. THIS EMAIL WILL NEED TO BE CUSTOMIZED TO YOUR LOCATION}

Come experience fall in [hotel city]!

Fall is a great time to come back and visit us to experience the East Coast’s most vibrant seasonal changes. From the changing leaves to picking fresh apples, there are endless fall activities for all ages {HINT: YOU CAN CUSTOMIZE THIS EMAIL TO CATER TO COUPLES, SOLO TRAVELERS, FAMILIES, ETC.} 

Here’s a little taste of what you can expect this season. {ADD RELATIVE LINKS AND IMAGES FOR EACH EXAMPLE}

Top 25 Fall Activities in [hotel city] 

Our Favorite Fall Recipes [Great to include if you have an on-site restaurant]

The Top 10 Festival Activities We’re Excited for this Fall Season 

Check out our Instagram {ADD LINK} to track the colors changing at our property. It’s always a beautiful sight!

Cheers,

[hotel name]

{ADD A CTA: BOOK YOUR FALL STAY AND ENJOY A COMPLIMENTARY SUNSET COCKTAIL FOR TWO}

{FOOTER: ADD SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS/LINKS}

Get access to this template and more!

 

Guest email example: Bode Hotel Nashville 

The email templates for hotels displayed above will give you the basis for your property’s emails, but of course, they must be modified to cater to your property and guests. You can be as creative or straightforward as you like!

Below is an example of an effective, on-brand, and well-thought-out pre-arrival email from Bode Hotel in Nashville. It puts guests at ease by providing everything they need to know about their upcoming stay and also gives them a sense of the type of experience they’re in for. Providing this important information in advance reduces uncertainty and sets the tone for the next stay. And, if there are any further questions, it makes it clear how best to get in touch.  

Even though they may be automated, these emails set the tone and highlight your property’s responsiveness. Take a look at the template below to see how it’s done. 

nashville bode

Marketing tools to automate your guest communication

Automation is a hotelier’s best friend in the hospitality industry. It increases consistency, reduces errors, and eliminates tedious manual work, saving you a ton of time. Guest communications, like pre- and post-stay emails (follow-up) or messages (via Whatsapp, Messenger, or SMS), are perfectly suited for automation. Rather than manually pulling this information for each guest before arrival, the automated workflow takes care of it seamlessly. 

Beyond the positive impact on the guest experience and time efficiency, automation can also power your incremental revenues by offering perfectly timed upsells and boosting your hotel’s online reputation by capturing more guest reviews.  

The Cloudbeds Platform has a fully integrated email automation system to help lodging businesses streamline communications throughout the guest journey. We also offer a guest engagement platform for hoteliers to stay connected with their guests using multiple messaging channels, a unified inbox, and automated translations.

All of our templates can be customized with the information that’s most important to your guests and then scheduled based on triggers, such as new bookings, check-ins, or reservation changes received in your property management system (PMS).

 

Guest communication integrations

In addition to our guest engagement tools, we integrate with other service providers (via the Cloudbeds Marketplace) that empower your property with automated communications. Here are a few options:

  • Experience Hotel is a guest experience CRM that includes automated upsells, requests for feedback and reviews, and loyalty/rewards campaigns. It’s all driven by dynamic marketing communications based on each guest’s profile.  
  • Duve is a holistic guest management platform that includes contactless check-in, a multi-channel communication hub, and a guest app with a built-in upselling system. 
  • Akia is a powerful messaging platform that enables hotels to streamline operations, facilitate contactless check-in, and provide two-way communication with guests and staff. 
  • Visito AI is an all-in-one messaging solution powered by AI to provide enhanced guest communication. 

You’ll enjoy a sustained and straightforward guest communications strategy once you build out powerful hotel email templates and set your automation rules. You’ll never have to send these types of emails again manually.

One final piece of advice: revisit your templates and automation periodically to be sure that everything is still functioning as it should. One indicator of a potential problem is if you notice a sudden dip in open rates or hotel guests complain that they did not receive an email. 

Take the time to analyze results, improve your templates, and optimize to turn your property’s email channel into a digital marketing source of incremental revenue.

 

Learn how Cloudbeds can help you with email automation.

Published on 23 April, 2020 | Updated on 12 May, 2024
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About Cloudbeds

Cloudbeds

Cloudbeds is the leading platform redefining the concept of PMS for the hospitality industry, serving tens of thousands of properties in more than 150 countries worldwide. Built from the ground up to be masterfully unified and scalable, the award-winning Cloudbeds Platform brings together built-in and integrated solutions that modernize hotel operations, distribution, guest experience, and data & analytics.

Founded in 2012, Cloudbeds has been named a top PMS, Hotel Management System and Channel Manager (2021-2024) by Hotel Tech Report, World’s Best Hotel PMS Solutions Provider (2022) by World Travel Awards, and recognized in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 in 2023. 

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