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Revitalized E-mail Marketing Campaign Boosts Event Biz for Hotel

The Hutton Hotel is a relatively new, boutique style hotel in the Nashville, Tennessee area that opened in February 2009, close to the city’s famed Music Row.  With 247 rooms and 14,000 square feet of meeting space, the challenge was to make meeting and event planners aware of the amazing space we have, which includes a 7,000 foot ballroom with 14-foot high windows that gives guests spectacular views of the Nashville skyline. The event space is attached to the hotel on the 6th floor of the parking garage and it is located all on one floor, a favorable feature for many event planners. 
Meetings and events comprise about 40% of business for the hotel. In order to raise the awareness of The Hutton Hotel to event/meeting planners, quarterly email blasts with photos of thespace and info were deployed, but in order to attract new clientele and gain attention of current clients, something dramatically different was needed.

General Manager Steven Andre was looking for a more engaging marketing option and was impressed by video work Spectrio had done within the hospitality industry. Spectrio is an all-inclusive audio/video/digital marketing company that was able to work with The Hutton Hotel to create a video email that could go out to the blast list, with the hope that this unique promotional medium would show the hotel to clients without them ever having to visit the property.
We had recently completed a short film video tour of their facility that was initially created for other purposes, such as supplying newscasts with B-roll footage about the property to use in stories, to run on the in-house TV channel, or to send out on CD to planners and other individuals who wanted more information about the property.
Working with Spectrio, The Hutton Hotel utilized a mixture of this video content and still photos combined with music and narration and links to event pages on Hutton’s website for this new e-mail campaign, which would showcase the widest array of possibilities for events from corporate meetings to social gatherings that could be held at the hotel. The blast was sent out this past spring to more than 14,000 email addresses of meeting planners who have either been to the property or were with the hotel through other efforts,  and the results were that 16.88% unique visitors read the message, up from the normal 12% rate that was the norm for the hotel’s e-mail efforts.
The campaign has helped to raise awareness for the hotel, and some current hotel guests have even stated that they had not been cognizant of the event space until seeing the video e-mail. Ultimately the hotel’s management has learned that to use an effective e-mail for marking purposes, video doesn't have to be specially shot footage or even be full-motion video, it could be done with graphic, pre-existing footage. Due to the success of the campaign, The Hutton Hotel plans to create a new video and send another targeted email to its corporate guests.

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