The key to the hotel suite – writing engaging subject lines

Posted by: Katie Moore

You’ve gone to the effort of creating a email which is engaging, reflective of your luxury hotel and contains brilliant offers – so why are your open rates poor?

This could be down to the all important, and often little-considered, subject line.

Subject lines are one of the most important elements in the emails you send about your hotel; this us because it’s one of the first things that a customer will see in their inbox. Think about it from their perspective, they have 20 unread emails and little time to go through them, so what do they do? They prioritise and make quick decisions. These decisions are based on whom the email is from (do they know you, do they like your hotel?) and what’s in it for them.

You need to capture their attention quickly, so here are some tips:

Clearly state the benefit of opening the email to your customer

Are they able to get an exclusive spa package at your hotel, or have you got a family offer for the Easter holidays?

Size matters

Keep it short and simple, around 65 characters. By doing this you’re making sure the whole subject will appear on one line. ‘Want to get away this weekend?’

Take action

Subject lines are much easier to write when you have an offer to promote, things like ‘Bed & Breakfast for £139 – for 1 week only’.

Be specific

Don’t be too broad, you need to give the reader a reason to open the email – ‘Give Mum the day off – lunch from £25pp’ or ‘Book today and get a bottle of champagne in your room’.

Most importantly, don’t leave creating the email until the last minute – otherwise it will feel like an afterthought. Plan the subject line at the same time as planning all the elements of your campaign.

And some things to be aware of:

Money, money, money

It’s okay to talk about money in the subject line, but be aware that if you overdo this in the email as a whole you could set off some spam alerts.

Avoid using too much punctuation – you might think it makes the email stand out but this can also affect your spam rating and affect your chances of getting in the inbox. Also, lots of capital letters and exclamation marks don’t generally sit well with a luxury travel brand.


Along with using lots of punctuation, the word free can sometimes be troublesome. Consider how you’re using the word and if it appears elsewhere in the email.

Use space wisely

Don’t make the mistake of using this valuable area to state the name of your hotel. Your name is already appearing as the company who sent them the email – so make the rest of the subject count.

The key thing to remember is to make the subject work for you – don’t leave it until the last minute. After all it’s the key to the customer unlocking the rest of the email.

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