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Trends A powerful, visual case for email segmentation in hospitality marketing.

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Segmentation is a given for some resorts and hotels. A campaign directed at their entire list is a rare exception rather than the rule. Others, however, are exactly the opposite. But does sending to multiple, smaller groups instead of one large list change the performance of those emails? Or, in other words, is there any correlation between campaign size and its open rate? Here’s what we found.

The Goods
To find our answer we looked at 12,000 resort and hotel email campaigns sent to over 300,000,000 recipients during 2015 by over 100 different hotels and resorts. We grouped these sends by number of recipients and found the average open rate for each group.

For our sample, emails sent to groups of 1,000-5,000 saw open rates that were almost double those sent to 250,000-500,000 (27.6% vs 14.8%). At every step along the graph, larger campaigns saw a decrease in average open rates.

What This Means
The takeaway, however, isn’t a reason to send fewer emails, it’s simply to send better targeted emails. Sending to 50,000 instead of 100,000 to increase your open rate a few percentage points is always going to result in fewer total eyeballs. But if you simply break up that 100,000 into two targeted groups of 50,000, your total sends will stay the same but you’ve created the chance to boost your open rate.

And it’s that simple concept that makes the case for segmentation. No matter how big or small your list, there’s always a potential for improved performance when you segment rather than just blast.

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