European newsletters are not good for Russian travellers
For a couple of years I have been subscribed for newsletters of several hotel chains, mainly Greek, several Turkish, and a couple from Cyprus. The newsletters of two hotels on Maldives and one luxury resort from Seychelles also come regularly. Despite the fact that hotels are located in different countries and even parts of the world, newsletters are surprisingly similar. It seems that no one realises that such thing as national mentality should also be taken into consideration.
Since last year, our company Baginet Sales and Marketing Agency has been actively sending out newsletters to Russian-speaking hotel guests of our clients-hoteliers. These tourists already have been in a hotel and left their email address for future mailings. The average opening rate of newsletters was more than 50%. There are several newsletters, which opening rate reached 78% - 82%. The partners would not believe us, if newsletters were not been sent from their Mailchimp and other accounts, where they can monitor statistics themselves. In Europe (at least among our European partners) the customers usually get short mailings: a photo, one line of advertising text and a button “Book now with 20% discount”. In contrast, each of our newsletters consists of 3-4 short glossy magazine-style articles. Conclusion: things which work for Europeans might not work for Russians. Why?
Now the majority of Russian travellers are not yet millennials. These are people in 30-35 years who studied as far back as in Soviet times, and so used to read a lot, since it was promoted that time. Russians are still considered as one of the most reading nations in the world. And therefore it is not surprising that higher opening rate those mailings have which contain not just a photo and an advertising slogan, but at least a small text like a story. Ideally, the text should be written by a professional journalist. At the same time, no one needs an ordinary text about good service, luxurious rooms and a fantastic view from a window. The readers are waiting for new information, which, firstly, cannot be found anywhere else (for example, on the website or in the catalog) and, secondly, which allow informatively distinguish this hotel from hundreds of others. Unfortunately, every hotel continues writing that its service is qualitative, rooms - cozy, mattresses - comfortable and food in the restaurant - delicious. Trivial.
According to our experience, it is much better to tell how many types of pastries you serve for breakfast, what new desserts the pastry chef invented, where the furniture for the rooms came from, what types of trees and plants grow in the hotel’s garden and what beneficial effect they make on the human body, what services are provided to families with infants. No need to dryly report that you have a Greek coffee house. You better write how Greek coffee appeared, how many litres of coffee an average Greek guy drinks per year. You can add at the end that guests can taste real Greek coffee in your bar or cafenio. If you want to say about orthopaedic mattresses, better write how important it is to sleep off during vacation and exactly how your orthopaedic mattresses will help in it. If you are writing about a mini-club, let readers know what brands of toys you purchase – the modern Russian parents are very responsible for the choice of developing toys which should be made of non-toxic plastic.
We also noticed that on contrary to fashionable conviction that it is better to send newsletters on Tuesdays, it is better to send newsletters to b2c audience closer to weekend – the opening rate is better. I will not attribute the honour of scientific research to myself, we oversaw this idea from Russian schools - they send letters to parents of schoolchildren exactly like this.
Marina Zatsepina, With more than 15 years experience in Marketing in Tourism Industry, Marina is our expert in promotion on the Russian market. She worked in position of Marketing Director in one of the biggest tour operators in Russia, before to organize in partnership with Natalia Klimenok it's own enterprise. She graduated from Penza State University (Russia) with specialization in Public Relations, and has Master Degree in Russian-English Translation from Kent State University (USA).