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Well designed email program

I so often talk about the failures of various email marketing programs that it’s only fair I mention when someone gets it right.
We spent the past week with family on the east coast. Our flight back to the west coast was very, very early Sunday morning so I booked a night at the airport hotel. That way we could just stumble to the shuttle at some horrible hour and not worry about trying to coordinate drivers and cars and all that other stuff.
As we were headed to the airport, I pulled out my phone to confirm directions. I found a new message in my mailbox offering me the opportunity to check-in online. I decided to see how it worked.

  1. Click link in email that takes you to a webpage.
  2. Confirm data pre-populated on the webpage.
  3. Select time you’re going to arrive at the hotel.
  4. Click check-in.

Immediately afterwards, I received an email confirming the check-in process.

Screenshot of Hyatt Check-in Email

All the information I needed


We arrived at the hotel about 20 minutes later. There was no line for check-in, so I didn’t bother scanning, just gave my name at the desk. They had all my info, gave me a key and we were checked in.
It gets better. Instead of the normal printed bill under the door in the middle of the night, they sent me email. From this email I was directed to a website where I could review all my charges, confirm they were correct and then check out. I could even choose the time I wanted to check out. All I had to do when leaving was drop off my key and wave goodbye.
I’m often impressed when someone gets email right. I know I shouldn’t be, email is not rocket science. But there are so many poorly designed and executed email programs out there that it’s often a surprise when I see a program that works.
Not only that, a well-functioning email program tells me quite a bit about the company.

  • They understand I’m traveling and don’t always have access to a printer, so they give me a virtual barcode to scan.
  • They understand I’m probably reading email on a mobile device and design emails for those devices.
  • They make sure the information I need is easy to find, including their address and phone number of the hotel.
  • They don’t need to sell me at every touch point, they already have my business, so the emails focus on the current transaction with branding and invitations at the bottom of the email.

This email tells me that Hyatt puts my needs, as a customer and a traveler, first. And that does mean they’ve earned my repeat business.

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