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To newsletter or not?

A recent newsletter header from The 25

I noticed earlier today that our previous hotel was asking their Facebook followers if they wanted to receive newsletters from them as they’d stopped sending them out, but were getting questions as to why.

The comments so far seem to all be in favour, but they were concerned that guests might see it as spam and not bother to read it.

Personally, we’ve always produced regular(ish) newsletters. We don’t do them monthly but every so often when we have enough news or if something special has happened or we have a particularly good offer on.

Around 400 of our previous guests at Plas Dinas opted to join our new mailing list (by agreement of the new owners) and continue to be updated on our Torquay B&B. Many of them have since come to stay with us here and some are regulars every year.

Although newsletters may be seen as a little old hat by some, not everyone is on social media. We put something on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram almost daily and sometimes more than once a day. If you want to know what I’m cooking, what we’re doing, see what we’ve decorated or something new we’ve just bought, get a last minute deal or see what events are coming up, you’ll find it all on our regular updates on the various platforms we use.

The problem is, even if someone is on social media and following us, it doesn’t mean they will see all our posts and they could well miss something important. My parents for example are on Facebook but because they only look at their feed and don’t interact with it (ie liking and commenting on posts) then Facebook presumes they are not that interested in The 25 and doesn’t show them everything we post. I will often ask if my mother saw something on Facebook and she won’t have a clue as it wasn’t included in her feed by Facebook.

For similar reasons, we still send old fashioned Christmas cards to many regular guests. Yes, it involves time, expense and effort but I think it’s appreciated and those guests may be thinking of booking their summer break in the bleak and boring days which follow between Christmas and New Year. We usually include a special early bird offer too, and receive a good number of cards back in return.

Our newsletter subscribers become VIPs, and when they join, they are sent a secret code for a permanent 5% discount off our prices so they are guaranteed to always be booking at the lowest possible price. We also send regular offers and discounts, some of which are exclusive to newsletter readers.

Newsletters allow us to give more detail. Rather than trying to say something in less than a sentence, we can include several paragraphs – perhaps about our latest refurbishment or an awards ceremony we’ve attended.

Of the 1,200 people on our mailing list, we get a high volume of engagement compared to the average for emailed newsletters. The average is 25% of recipients open a newsletter (ours is between 30 and 45%) and an average of 4% click through to links contained within them (ours vary from 1-11%). One reason for our high open rate is because everyone on the list has joined themselves and wants to hear news from us, many are past guests who now know us personally. The click through rate can vary as we often give all the information we need to in the email and are not trying to sell something or send them to a “buy now” page.

Our newsletters build trust with our guests and help us keep in touch with people.

Sometimes it can be several years before someone has a reason to be in Devon or decides to visit us for a special occasion. It makes their visit all the more special that they’ve got to know us over a period of time.

If you are not already a subscriber of our newsletters, then it’s a great time to fill in our form below and look forward to our next instalment of news. Don’t forget you’ll also receive our special discount code. Speak to you soon!


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