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3 reasons why email marketing is important for your B&B

marketing a bed and breakfast May 27, 2021

Most B&Bs in the UK are now open after lockdown and hopefully seeing lots of guests booking in. And B&B marketing is probably taking a bit of a back burner, as the mountains of laundry pile up. 

But if there is one area I'd recommend you focus on RIGHT NOW it's inviting all of those guests onto your email list. Especially those who have booked through an online travel agent such as booking dot com.

I’ve used social media for years and love using it. It can be an amazing way of reaching new customers and staying in touch with existing guests. 

And, let’s be honest here, it's much quicker to post a photo on Instagram as you’re strolling up the lane than it is to sit down and write an email to your list.

A good email takes time to write, copyread and test. It can take me several hours. But each of those B&B emails can generate 2-3 direct bookings. Let's say 3 x 2 night bookings at £135 a night - that's about £120 in OTA commission saved. That's a pretty good return on investment of your time.

But email marketing is still more effective than all other types of marketing, including social media. So this is why capturing your customers’ email addresses and sending them regular newsletters needs to be at the cornerstone of your marketing. 

So why is it so important to include email in your B&B marketing activities?

1 You own your email list and have control over who sees your emails

One of the main advantages of email marketing over social media is that you own your email list and have control over who sees your emails.

If you post on social media, generally your post will only be seen by about 10% of your followers.

If you send an email then that email gets sent to 100% of people on your list *

*This statement does come with a bit of a warning. SPAM filters are becoming more sophisticated. So you need to be aware of the best practices to follow to reduce the chances of the emails you send to guests going to their SPAM folder and keep your email list clean.

The phrase, “Building your house on someone else’s land” is quite often used to describe the policy of relying solely on social media to market your business.

Take Facebook as an example:

  • Even if you have a large number of followers on your business page, Facebook will normally only show your post to a small percentage of those people
  • If you break any of Facebook’s rules for business pages, you could find your Facebook business page gets deleted without warning
  • Your personal account could get hacked and as a result deleted by Facebook. This could also mean losing your business page

Now, as I said, I’m a big fan of social media and use it very effectively for my own businesses. So I’m not saying don’t use it. 

It’s important to use both social media and email marketing in your marketing. What I am saying is to think very carefully about relying on social media as your sole marketing tool.

2 Emails can create a personal connection with your existing B&B guests and turn them into repeat guests

Newsletters are an ideal way to connect personally with your customers. 

If every guest who stayed with us and said “we’ve had a lovely time and we’re definitely coming back” had returned, My B&B would have been full to the rafters 365 days a year.

But people forget and find new lovely places to stay.

Sending a newsletter acts as a reminder to past guests that you’re still there, open for business and remind  them of the great time they had with you.

You can share news about your B&B, details of events, special offers, things to do etc. If you’ve got a special offer on or have late availability, then email your guests to let them know.

3 Connect with potential B&B guests who aren’t quite ready to book yet

Your potential guests can get to know you and your business through the emails you send.

Many people don’t book the first time they visit your website. They may not be ready to book or you may not have availability for the dates they want. Or they may visit your website amongst many and the can't find it again.

But if they like your B&B and you offer them an incentive to sign up, they may still sign up for your email  newsletter. 

Hopefully you've seen why I think email marketing is so important.

Confession time. I will be completely honest with you and admit that I have over relied on social media in last few years.

I've got lax about collecting email addresses and sending B&B newsletters. But when I did send a newsletter regularly, about once a month, I'd pick up 2-3 bookings each time.

So, don't be like Karen, start collecting those email addresses and sending a regular email to your subscribers!


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