How to Create a Newsletter with Guestfolio Studio

Studio is our marketing email builder. Studio allows you to build hotel specific marketing emails in minutes rather than days. Studio is for hoteliers who value simplicity and readability of marketing messages. 
Here's how you can use Studio to build your hotel marketing emails.

Create a new email campaign

Within your Guestfolio Dashboard, click Newsletters > Marketing campaigns and select 'Create a new campaign' in the top right corner of the screen.  

We offer several ways in which you can create HTML marketing emails, choosing  Studio is the easiest.  Click on "Launch" to open Studio.

1. Give your campaign an internal name (don't worry you can change it later)
2. Choose a theme, themes are pre-built designs that can used used as a quick way to create an email.  All themes are highly customizable so don't worry if you don't see exactly the design you want, just pick the closest one. 

Studio themes

Choose from four themes; Resort, Contemporary, Boutique and Eclectic. Each theme provides different design layouts that can be edited to reflect your brand. Choose from different fonts, layout styles, headers, footers and social icons depending on the theme you pick. 

Tip:  Choose a theme that suits your brand the best, remember colours, fonts, logos and images can be changed in all themes so it's about picking a layout that works best for you.

Build your masterpiece

When you first open Studio you will see that your email is pre-built using our marketing blocks. This gives you a head start for your first marketing email. Move your mouse over the text blocks and photos and you will see that you can move, delete or edit any of those items. If you wish to start from scratch, delete each block on the page and assemble your perfect marketing message. 

Studio content blocks

On the left you will see an option to edit Content. Within Content sits our pre-built blocks. Blocks are pre-formatted based on hotel industry best practices. You can add blocks that are full width, 2 or 3 column. Try clicking some blocks and see how they get added to your marketing email. 

Tip: If adding text to your header, remember this appears as preview text in the inbox too
Tip: If using 2 column layouts for stacked offers (photo, text and button on top of each other), we recommend keeping your wording short. This prevents readers from having to scroll down too far when reading on mobile. We recommend using these for mini offers and focus the main offer on the header image/text.
Arrange your blocks

To get the perfect order for your offers you may want to rearrange the position of your blocks. You can arrange your blocks of content in the order that you desire by hovering over the desired content and using the blue tab to the right to drag each block up and down. Simply release the block by releasing the mouse when you have the block in the desired position.

You can also delete unwanted blocks by clicking on the trash icon in the blue tab.

Styling font and colours

On the left menu click the 'Design' button to modify the individual elements of your marketing email. The styling options vary from theme to theme depending on the overall format and design. 

Tip:  If you change a style such as button background colour it will change that colour on all of your buttons in your marketing email.
Tip: If using the Boutique theme, changing the email background colour will change the 2 column block colour that highlights your offers. Changing content background will alter the colour of the rest of the email.
Editing text within your email

Move your mouse into the various content blocks of your gorgeous email to edit the text, links or photos. The editor bar appears at the top when you place your cursor within the text area. The editor bar allows you to alter font type (header, normal etc.), font size, font weight, text alignment, add list format (bullet and numbered), add tables, add links and personalizations and undo or redo edits.

Tip:  Remember to save. The ability to save an email design while you're working on it is new and was one of the most popular feedback requests we received.

Upload your images

You can upload images to Studio from your computer by hovering over a placeholder image and selecting the upload icon:

You can also add a link to the image with the linked button to the right. Links on images can make for a great call to action and in some campaigns can even perform better than buttons.

Studio will partly optimize your image sizes for you but ensure that you stick to the minimum width noted in each placeholder to avoid any blurry photos.

Tip:   Using .png images for logos will ensure that they have a nice clear background so that your brand can be prominent and consistent in the campaign.

Personalization

You can insert content specific to the individual guest that will receive the email such as their first name.  Click on the "Personalization" drop down menu to see available options.  Personalization's in your email will view as placeholder tags such as {{ subscriber.first_name }}  This will change to the actual guests name when the email is sent.  

Adding your social links

By using one of the various social icon blocks in Studio you can add your social account links to a campaign. This is a useful way to gain followers and allows your guests to connect with you easily. Each icon will be semi transparent until you add a link to it.

If you want to activate the link then you just need to click on the icon that you want to add a link to. Then insert the desired url into the pop-up.

After you do this the new icon will be active in the email and it will link to your url of choice.

Setup Step

Once you have your campaign finalized, click "Next" in the top right corner of the screen to move to the campaign setup page. This page has been re-designed to make your process more efficient.
  • Name: This will help you identify the campaign internally. It does not display to the recipient.
  • Subscriber list: Select your pre-built recipient list from the drop down menu. You can always make changes to the list later, before sending.
  • From name: This will display as the sender in the recipients inbox.
  • From email: The email address that the campaign will be sent from.
  • Reply to name: The name of the person to receive replies to this campaign.
  • Reply to email: The email address of the person to receive replies to this campaign.
  • Subject: The subject line of the email campaign. This does display to the recipient.

If you are using Google Analytics to track your campaigns enter your campaign name and check the box to enable tracking. To learn more about this feature check out our detailed   document.  

Analytics

If you are using Google Analytics to track your campaigns enter your campaign name and check the box to enable tracking. To learn more about this feature check out our detailed document.   

Schedule

If you would like to schedule your campaign to send at a future date you can set that here by date and time. 

Plain Text

Most modern email clients have HTML rendering capabilities. Some users are still using older clients, however, and others elect to disable HTML content in their settings. For this reason it is best practice to provide a plain text alternative version of your email. 

You will see that the system automatically pulls all text, links and alt text from the HTML version into the text version in this step. You can edit this as you wish. Remember, this text version will be seen only by recipients using email clients that do not display HTML. 

If you have copied the campaign from an existing one, you will still need to regenerate the plain text when you have finished making your edits. This is the last, and required step to make sure that your plain text matches the HTML email content you created. Use the load from HTML button in the bottom right to generate the plain text email. 

Send Preview

To make sure your content and formatting is sent as desired you can create a test email. If you wish to send this email to more than one address simply separate them with a comma.  Note!  Content specific to a guest profile such as names and unsubscribe links will not work when viewing a campaign preview.  If you want to test if this content is working you need to send a test campaign, click below for more information:

How to send a test marketing campaign

Sending a Campaign

  • Design - takes you back to the design page.
  • Send immediately - will begin sending the campaign straight away.
  • Save draft and exit - saves your campaign and exit's so you can continue to work on it at a later stage.

Sending with a schedule

If you added a schedule to your campaign, the option above still apply except the middle button will say "Send at scheduled time"

Selecting this button will save the campaign and return you to the campaigns page, your campaign will now have a status of "Ready"  

Note: Once you have a schedule set, if you the go back into your campaign the schedule will be cancelled.  This applies even if you don't make any changes to your campaign.  Each time you go into your campaign you must reset the schedule before you exit otherwise the campaign will not send.