Hutton Hotel blends video and email to flaunt its boutique amenities

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An email campaign featuring video of Hutton Hotel's event space had a 20% open rate
An email campaign featuring video of Hutton Hotel's event space had a 20% open rate

Client: Hutton Hotel
Vendor: Spectrio
Objective: Gain awareness of boutique hotel's events space and promote its brand through an email marketing campaign

The Hutton Hotel, a three-year-old boutique hotel in Nashville, Tenn., wanted to get the word out about its 14,000-square-foot-events space. “As a relatively new hotel, we wanted to make sure that people knew that not only could they stay with us, but that we also have the space to do weddings and meetings,” says Lisa Bush, director of sales and marketing, at the Hutton Hotel.

“As an independent luxury hotel, we don't have the mass appeal of a large brand so we have to find unique opportunities to promote our brand in a new way,” Bush says.

STRATEGY: Earlier this year the marketing team at Hutton Hotel created a short video tour of the hotel's events space. The video touted the events space, highlighting its cocktails, ornate dinners, weddings, and conferences. Spectrio, an audio and video marketing company, used the video as the basis for an email marketing campaign that began May 1.

“It seemed like a new way to approach our customer base and expose our brand in a unique way,” Bush says. “All I had to do was give Spectrio the video,” she adds.

The email included the video—a mixture of footage, still photos, music, and narration—as well as two calls-to-action: “For Events Space” and “For Reservations - Book Now.” All of the content linked back to event pages on Hutton's website, which showcased the various possibilities for events that could be held at the hotel.

“They provided us with their own unique video,” says Marissa Allen, principal and chief brand and strategy officer at Spectrio. “We worked with them to come up with brand consistency and highlight the services that they were trying to show off for this specific campaign.”

Although Hutton Hotel had already created the video, Spectrio can produce one from scratch or graphically enhance existing footage. Allen adds that Spectrio's platform can address deliverability issues sometimes associated with emails that contain video. “Our technology supports video,” she says. “It is really seamless. The video plays automatically in the inbox, so that it is easy for the end users.”

The hotel sent the email to about 15,000 email addresses from Hutton Hotel's database, mostly from previous hotel guests.

RESULTS: The emails had a 20% open rate. Eighteen percent of those who opened the emails clicked on one of the two calls-to-action. “We got overwhelming feedback from existing customers who didn't know that we had an events space,” Bush says.

The email led to three lead inquiries, which are in the process of being booked—two for weddings and one for a bar mitzvah. “These are very profitable high-end social event bookings coming from people who weren't aware of our space before we sent this email,” Bush says.

In addition to driving clicks and queries, the email was successful from a deliverability standpoint, as the campaign had no bounce backs and no undeliverables. “The quality of the list is imperative if you want to get a good rate of return,” Allen says.

For Allen, one of the key takeaways of the campaign was the benefit of expanding the knowledge about the hotel's services among existing customers. “It is obviously easier to do business with someone you already do business with, so building awareness was key,” she says.

Bush says the hotel will use video in email again. “We are definitely going to do another one, just based on the feedback of this one,” she says.

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