Luxury hotel brands have not yet reached the genius stage in their digital marketing. But they have advanced in the email channel, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index Luxury Hotels US 2018.
The top luxury brands average 22% open rates for emails offering discounts, versus 14% for the norm across sectors and 23% for product discovery emails, versus 16% across sectors.
InterContinental Hotel Group leads at the enterprise level, achieving an open rate of 27%, the highest average email open rate among Gartner L2 Index brands. This has been heightened by the brand’s “large share of” transactional emails.
Marriott International is in second place, with an average open rate of 26%. Hilton Worldwide has the lowest open rate, at 22%.
Due to their huge subscriber bases, enterprise chains like Marriott Hotels& Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels each generate over 150 million opened emails.
On the brand level, Sheraton leads with an average open rate of 45%, again driven by purchase-related emails. Hyatt Hotels’ Andaz is second, with 36%.
Despite these results, email newsletter adoption fell from 63% to 57%, largely because brands are investigating in social channels and branded blogs. However, the study reports that 16% of brands with newsletters have sophisticated sign-up forms catering to guest interests.
Only one fifth of brands provide a customer service email address. But many include a dialog box that allows customers to put in their emails when booking, a feature designed to reduce abandonments.
Gartner L2 urges firms to “experiment with personalization and calls to action in email subject lines to drive open rates.”
Overall, digital IQ appears to be average at best at these luxury chains.
The bulk — 43% — are average. Another 29% are gifted, and only 1% are in the genius category. At the bottom, 16% are challenged and 11% are feeble.
Gartner L2 sees a correlation between digital IQ and shareholder value.