Email Marketing Best Practices for Hotels: Basic Success Metrics

by | January 31, 2020

Now that you’ve built an email and improved your email delivery, now what? For far too many businesses, they just rinse and repeat. By making your emails better each send, you’ll be able to keep subscribers engaged and get more conversions. 

Before you just copy your last email template, take advantage of your email metrics to get the most out of your email marketing program. In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Click to open rate

Where to Find Your Analytics

Man Looking at Analytics Graphs on a Ipad

Any email marketing program will provide analytics for each individual email you send as well as overall rates for your company. In some cases, it’s easier to access than others. Often, you’ll view your email history, then click on the email you want and select an option like “Reports” or “Details.”

At the most basic level, you’ll be able to find out how many people interacted with your email and what they were interested in. 

Basic Metrics

For all of the main metrics, you’ll find both the rates and Unique rates. Just as in website traffic terms, a unique click means it was the action of a single user. If one person clicks one link, that’s one unique click. If one person clicks 1 link twice, that would be one unique click but two total clicks.

Gmail Interface Showing on a Computer Monitor

Open Rate: the percentage of email recipients that opened your email. Open rate is calculated as a percent as [number of people who opened] / [number of people it was sent to] x 100.

The biggest contributor to open rate is the Subject Line. It could be that the recipient just didn’t see your email in their inbox (it could have been overlooked or automatically sorted into a Promotions folder. Or, they saw it but the subject line wasn’t interesting or relevant enough for them to open. 

Click-Through Rate: the percentage of people who clicked your email out of the total people who had the email delivered to them. Click-through rate is calculated by [number of email clicks] / [number of email recipients] x 100.

Click through rate tells you how good the content of your email is. You can test changes to the email, such as changing the order of information, adding more photos, or changing heading size and colors. With each change, monitor the click-through rate to see if clicks improved. 

Person Clicking on a Computer Trackpad

Click to Open Rate: the percentage of people who clicked out of those who opened it. Click to open rate is calculated as [unique clicks] / [unique opens] x 100.

Because in click-through rate is determined by dividing the clicks by the total number of sends, you can’t tell if the rate is due to the open rate or the content of the email. That’s why click to open rate is a much better way to see how successful your email is. 

Keys to Success

As in all areas of marketing, you can continue to test, iterate, and improve on what you’ve done before. If you want to see if you can improve your open rates, use A/B testing to try out two different subject lines for each email to see which performs better. 

While it can be tempting to make a lot of changes at once, it’s vital to be patient and only test one or two distinct items at a time. First, you want to be somewhat consistent between emails to not confuse or frustrate your subscribers. Secondly, you’ll get more helpful data. If you both change the order of information in your email and change the colors of your headings and buttons, you won’t know which of those to attribute your success or failure to. 

Opens and clicks are the cornerstones of email metrics. In our next installment, you can look forward to learning how to find the success of emails in terms of actual hotel revenue. 

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