Competing in the travel and hospitality industry is challenging. To convert more leads into campers, retain existing ones, and position your RV park business for success, you need a solid email marketing strategy.
Hospitality email marketing remains a powerful method of nurturing potential campers and encouraging existing ones to bring their RVs back for another amazing stay.
Let’s look at five tips to add effective email marketing to your overall RV park marketing strategy.
5 Email Tips To Take Your Marketing Strategy to the Next Level
1. Create an Email Marketing List
To put first things first, you need a list of recipients before you can send emails.
To get started, you can import email addresses from your current database. Take some time to review the contacts and eliminate those who should be excluded from your marketing list, such as vendors or inaccurate entries.
Next, create opportunities to grow your marketing list. Begin with a prominent “subscribe” button on your homepage and at strategic spots throughout your website. This allows those who haven’t yet booked with you to sign up for your communications. In addition, add sign-up options to your checkout page. Ideally, set your form to automatically subscribe guests with an option for them to opt out.
Finally, offer incentives to encourage website visitors and guests to opt in. These can include no-cost incentives such as early check-in or free upgrades during slower seasons or even exclusive offers and discounts.
2. Segment Your Email List
One-size-fits-all is a stretch in many situations and is very true about email marketing. Although you could send the same email to everyone on your list, doing so limits the return on your campaigns.
Segmentation — creating groups of contacts based on guest data — allows you to send personalized emails to potential and existing guests. You won’t have details about those who subscribed but haven’t yet booked with you. However, with the right reservation management system, you can segment your contact list for both potential and existing guests.
For existing guests, you have a lot of data to create highly targeted segments. For return campers, segmentations can be based on:
- Who will be camping — singles, couples, or families
- Previous booking behavior
- Whether they reserved a standard or premium site
- The amount they spent
- The channels they used
- The amenities they preferred
The best RV park reservation systems give you the ability to use this data to create highly targeted emails.
3. Use Different Email Tactics
There are several types of emails you can use in your email marketing campaigns.
As a core part of your RV park marketing email strategy, nurture emails can increase bookings by improving relationships with potential and current campers.
In general, lead nurture emails are sent to encourage prospective customers as they progress through the buyer's journey. A nurture campaign is designed to include multiple interactions using personalized content with the goal of converting a lead into a paying customer.
If your outdoor reservation software is capable of this, your nurture campaigns can be automated. Pre-drafted emails are placed in a nurture sequence, which automatically sends specified emails as an opt-in subscriber meets certain triggers. This process can be used to nurture potential campers along the sales funnel until they convert, but it can also be used to nurture existing guests to book their next visit or make additional purchases.
The first email you should craft for subscribers is the most important. Welcome emails are opened by eight out of ten people and typically generate ten times as many clicks as other email types.
This welcome email sets the tone; instead of a “book now” email, this first email might be educational or inspirational. With the highest open rate, this email should be memorable and represent who you are as a business.
After the welcome email, subsequent emails should continue to be educational but should start to offer opportunities to book. Keep in mind that this is a slow-bake process designed to achieve long-term results, so don’t overwhelm subscribers’ inboxes with frequent emails that are only about booking a site.
Hospitality email marketing extends well beyond converting leads into paying guests. It should also be used after a stay is booked to continue building relationships, provide additional information about your RV park, and potentially upsell or cross-sell. Offering this information before arrival helps improve the guest experience.
For example, pre-arrival emails can include:
- An opportunity to upgrade to a premium RV site
- Purchase supplies that can be picked up when they arrive
- Recommendations for local attractions and activities
Post Check-out Emails
Once campers leave your property, you don’t want them to forget about you. Emails sent after check-out are a great way to use one of the primary RV park management do’s — focus on building camper loyalty. In addition to thanking them for their stay, you can:
Booking Abandonment Emails
The hospitality industry has one of the highest cart abandonment rates. However, you can flip that negative statistic at your property with intentional RV park marketing.
The best RV park reservation software can track where a user is browsing your website. Contact information — either from an existing camper or an opt-in subscriber — can be combined with cookies to identify when someone has abandoned the booking process. Once your software is set for automated email send, this will trigger an email offering a special offer, coupon code, discount, or a complimentary service or amenity.
RV Park Newsletter
A regular newsletter can help keep loyal visitors up to date about what is happening throughout the year at your RV park and reminds them to keep your campground in mind for their future travel plans. For potential campers, the newsletter can encourage them to load up their RV for a stay on your property. Here are ideas to include in your newsletter:
- Updates about new activities and amenities you offer
- Nearby attractions that are seasonally appropriate
- Local area maps and maps of your RV park
- Guided tours in the area
- Your upcoming events
- Property improvements
- Camper highlights
- Staff highlights
- Special offers
4. Optimize Emails
Sending emails is better than not sending any, but sending emails designed and optimized to increase bookings and revenue is best.
- Cohesive branding is important to connect the look and feel of your website, your emails, and your property. Each automated email should be crafted for its own purpose, but consistent brand elements should be carried through all emails.
- A call-to-action (CTA) link should be added to every email. This lets the reader click to visit your website and further engage with your outdoor hospitality marketing campaign.
- The subject line can be the difference between open and trash. An eye-catching subject line should evoke curiosity in your subscribers.
- Personalized emails help you retain loyal campers and maximize your bookings. Your email strategy should include segmentation based on guests’ reservation dates, booking habits, and other data.
- An unsubscribe option must be included. Often placed in or below the footer of the email, this link allows subscribers to stop future communications.
5. Track Campaigns
Measuring and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) are important for business success, which includes your email marketing.
Tracking your campaigns lets you determine the success of your emails. Setting specific goals for each campaign and then measuring the result against those metrics leads to strategic, fine-tuned marketing efforts that have the biggest impact.
Here are three common metrics to track:
- Open rate: The percentage of recipients who click on your email
- Click-through Rate: The number of subscribers who click on the links in your email
- Conversion Rate: The number of people who complete the action that is the campaign's target.
Kickstart Your Email Strategy With the Campground Marketing Toolkit
With the help of RV park management software, you can build an effective email marketing strategy with all of the legwork done for you. Make sure your solution offers targeted emails with built-in email templates, an email builder for brand customization, triggered correspondence, and segmentation.
The RMS reservation and property management system offers fully integrated email marketing tools, improving efficiency for you and your staff as you communicate with guests. Offer upsells, relay information, and facilitate a memorable experience, increasing the chances they will book with you again.
To learn more about RV park marketing and access ready-to-go email templates, download our Campground Marketing Toolkit today.