According to statistics, 85% of people find that ‘spending money on travel is an investment worth making,’ so the goal for all travel agencies should be to help customers make up their minds, enter email marketing!
One of the easiest ways to stay front of mind for agencies is via Email Marketing. Beside it being easy, it also has a great ROI – up to $38 for every $1 spend.
According to Litmus, people generally start planning their holidays from 1 – 3 months in advance.
To get started, you need the basics first… a great Opt In Email marketing list, this would be step one.
Build your own email database
You have to capture data; you can do this via subscription forms on your website / blog or a pop up form. You can also agree to offer specific deals and discounts in return for the customers information, how you capture the data, that is entirely up to you, but the most important aspect is to capture quality data and to ensure that it is permission based.
Choose a good Email service provider (ESP)
A secret weapon to any travel company could be the email platform they use. The best ESP’s allow you to create and send emails with ease, you should be able to integrate and automate your email campaigns.
Will your ESP allow you to build lasting relationship with customers, drive conversions and increase ROI?
Here are a few top must haves for your ESP in the travel industry:
- Email design: can you create emails easy and in a few minutes, are there a variety of customizable and fully responsive email templates.
- Personalisation: creating content that is specific to the individual.
- Segmentation: to target your database, based on their travel preferences and profile.
- Subscription: to ensure people opted in to the communication.
- Detailed statistics: you will have to be able to analyse your mailers, improve if need be.
- Data managing: is it easy to manage your database.
- Marketing automation tools: this will help you manage the customer journey.
- Integration, e.g. can it be integrated with other systems, e.g. your CRM or sales system etc.
- Customer support: does level suit your needs?
- Responsive – more and more individuals read emails on their mobiles.
Marketing emails are vital for the travel and tourism industry as the right type of marketing communications can convince the subscriber to book that flight / holiday / trip they’ve been dreaming about. It is crucial to have an email marketing strategy in place.
In your email marketing strategy, you should include the following types of mailers:
- We don’t necessarily know when a person will book a holiday, but by sending regular newsletters with great content it is a good way of staying front of mind.
- The content and information should add value to the end users life.
- Include beautiful images and strong visuals.
- Use text that invites subscribers to take action and inspire them.
- Personalise your mailer, e.g. use their name in the mailer.
Specific offers and discounts for specific time periods
- Many decisions are still made on price / discounts etc.
- Don’t offer sales and discounts the entire year, but this is a great way to increase sales during a quieter time, e.g. hotel discounts during winter months.
- A countdown timer is a good way to create urgency.
Seasonal Event Emails
- Public holidays / upcoming vacations can be a peak booking period, but can also be viewed as a great ‘excuse’ to promote some of your exclusive deals.
- Influence your subscribers; maybe offer them last minute Easter trips etc.
Email marketing automation for the travel and tourism industry.
- Email automation allows you to customise your emails to be personal and timely.
- g. if an individual looked at flights to a certain destination, but didn’t book, send an email the next day mentioning that destination again.
Welcome mailers & VIP mailers
- Use Welcome mailers to make new sign ups feel welcome; this is also a great way to further introduce your brand and offerings to them.
- VIP mailers and loyalty mailers are a great way to keep customers engaged and to ensure brand loyalty.
Besides the above mentioned emails, there are a numerous other ones too, but the most important thing is to have a proper goal and email strategy in place. Competition in the travel and hospitality industry is fierce; email marketing is one of those channels that can assist with customer acquisition campaigns as well as retention campaigns. Newsletters/ promotional mailers, loyalty mails, birthday mails etc. can all give you a competitive edge and keep travellers coming back to your company.
With the correct email marketing strategy and email marketing software, you’ll definitely reap the rewards!