Newsletters - mailed and online

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greyswan's picture
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06/03/2008

Just checking to see what forum members are doing a monthly or quarterly guest newsletter, or are you now blogging instead?  Is what you are doing helping you with developing relationships with your guests, repeat business, or referrals?  Or do you think that they are all just busy work and not worth the effort?   If I am going to do a newsletter, I think I would choose to send it out quarterly... content might be updates about the inn and grounds, events happening in the town and surrounding area, a few relevant pictures, a recipe or two, maybe focus on one particular attraction (like antique shops in the area, or golf courses) 

I have SuperInn - it has marketing component that can create email lists, I'm not real sure how to use effectively.  How did you create your opt-in email list?  Are any of you utilizing an auto-responder program?

 

 

greyswan's picture
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06/03/2008

thanks for all of your ideas and thoughts!!

inncogneeto's picture
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08/31/2008

I do a monthly newsletter to subscribers and copy and post to our blog.

Greeting

Specials

Current monthly area activities and inn happenings

Reminders to book for upcoming high event weekends and holiday parties etc...

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05/30/2008

I send an email blast every 6-8 weeks or so. I don't call it a newsletter because it's really too short for that. I keep it short and use it as a tool to drive people to my website and my blog. Its main function is to remind people that we're here and to give them a brief idea of why they might want to come for a visit at this time.

Generally mine are 4-5 paragraphs, each about 3 sentences in length (did I mention keep it short??) and I don't include photos because they can be a pita in email. It might go something like this...

P1: Greeting and a bit about the season.

P2: Highlight something happening in the area (studio tour, meteor shower, new outfitter) and link to my blog for details.

P3: Highlight a package appropriate to the season and link to my packages page.

P4: Discount for returning guests (ie $20 off a 2-night stay or I just remind them of ongoing discounts).

P5: Don't forget to ask for their business! "We would love to see you again and share the delights of the season with you. To book your next getaway..." and link to our online booking and/or contact page. And sign off

Small print: "You are receiving this email because you checked Yes to receive email updates on specials and events at My Inn. If at any time you would like to be removed from our mailing list, simply send an email with subject line "Unsubscribe" to my_email_address and you will be removed immediately. We do not sell, rent or in any way share your email address with anyone."

I have a line on my registration form for them to opt in to receive emails if they wish. If they don't check Yes, they don't get on the list.

This marketing tool works for me. I usually get 1 or 2 bookings that I can attribute to each blast, so it's a good return on my investment of a couple hours of my time. The last one I sent was just 1 week ago. Last night I took two bookings (3 rooms total) from repeat guests for this weekend. I also had an email reply from a multi-repeat guest just to say hi and they're hoping to make it up here for the fall colours. Even if they don't book right away, it keeps me in their mind (and in their email archives) for the next time they can get away for a weekend and don't want to work at finding a place.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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05/22/2008

happyjacks wrote:

I send an email blast every 6-8 weeks or so. I don't call it a newsletter because it's really too short for that. I keep it short and use it as a tool to drive people to my website and my blog. Its main function is to remind people that we're here and to give them a brief idea of why they might want to come for a visit at this time.

Generally mine are 4-5 paragraphs, each about 3 sentences in length (did I mention keep it short??) and I don't include photos because they can be a pita in email. It might go something like this...

P1: Greeting and a bit about the season.

P2: Highlight something happening in the area (studio tour, meteor shower, new outfitter) and link to my blog for details.

P3: Highlight a package appropriate to the season and link to my packages page.

P4: Discount for returning guests (ie $20 off a 2-night stay or I just remind them of ongoing discounts).

P5: Don't forget to ask for their business! "We would love to see you again and share the delights of the season with you. To book your next getaway..." and link to our online booking and/or contact page. And sign off

Small print: "You are receiving this email because you checked Yes to receive email updates on specials and events at My Inn. If at any time you would like to be removed from our mailing list, simply send an email with subject line "Unsubscribe" to my_email_address and you will be removed immediately. We do not sell, rent or in any way share your email address with anyone."

I have a line on my registration form for them to opt in to receive emails if they wish. If they don't check Yes, they don't get on the list.

This marketing tool works for me. I usually get 1 or 2 bookings that I can attribute to each blast, so it's a good return on my investment of a couple hours of my time. The last one I sent was just 1 week ago. Last night I took two bookings (3 rooms total) from repeat guests for this weekend. I also had an email reply from a multi-repeat guest just to say hi and they're hoping to make it up here for the fall colours. Even if they don't book right away, it keeps me in their mind (and in their email archives) for the next time they can get away for a weekend and don't want to work at finding a place.

I somehow got on the mailing list for a couple of places, and some of them are pretty neat, one is West Virginia Tourism newsletter.  It is LINK CITY of course and has nice photos and always ends up in my spam filter, but I pull it back out and load the pics.  I get some IDEAS from some of these newsletters as well.

I just think it is a lot of work when guests can suscribe to your blog, I wonder if you can mail a page from the blog? Has anyone tried that in lieu of rewriting alot of stuff?  Just wondering.  Like a page = what is the word, page capture?  I need coffee, I can't think straight.

__________________

"What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds." Will Rogers

 

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05/22/2008

DOn't send anything to anyone via email unless they have specifically given you permission to send them something other than a confirmation. TO many people this is just SPAM. 

There is one inn that was always sending me their monthly newsletters. I NEVER even met them. I finally emailed her telling me to take me off her list and asked her why she didn't have an UNSUBSCRIBE function on it. She got really irate at me and couldn't believe I didn't want her newsletter!!!  She is nowhere near me..so why would I care.

Unless you have say a very particular special package you want to target to previous guests, just newsy stuff about the inn and what you are up to...really doesn't cut it these days...sorry to say.

You are better off blogging.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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05/22/2008

catlady wrote:

DOn't send anything to anyone via email unless they have specifically given you permission to send them something other than a confirmation. TO many people this is just SPAM. 

There is one inn that was always sending me their monthly newsletters. I NEVER even met them. I finally emailed her telling me to take me off her list and asked her why she didn't have an UNSUBSCRIBE function on it. She got really irate at me and couldn't believe I didn't want her newsletter!!!  She is nowhere near me..so why would I care.

Unless you have say a very particular special package you want to target to previous guests, just newsy stuff about the inn and what you are up to...really doesn't cut it these days...sorry to say.

You are better off blogging.

I concur on that same one, never met this innkeeper and got monthly emailings or moreso and it bugged the heck out of me.  I never signed up to be spammed.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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05/22/2008

blogging

it reaches www on key words and other blogs pick you up, plus link as we know

I think that newsletters for the most part are considered spam by most people and they don't read them.

They can subscribe to your blog just the same.

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

i've done some.

made them up myself in publisher. sent by email but as an email, not an attachment. an attachment sometimes goes right to folks' junk mail

sent them out in small batches so my email host or whatever wouldn't consider it spam

i only send them to those who ask to be added to the mailing list. response was favorable.  i always add a discount for mentioning this newsletter section. oh, also be sure to include that you will immediately remove their email from your list if they don't want to receive any more newsletters.

i've seen constant contact. nantucket sends out one through them.

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