Email Marketing for Travel Agencies and Agents: A Brief Guide
Email marketing has defied the predictions of all those digital marketing experts who predicted that this mode of online marketing would die once social media becomes popular. It hasn’t happened so far. Email marketing is still one of the most effective means of advertising that offers the highest ROI among all the other means of digital marketing. Travel agencies and agents looking to capitalise on the digital medium for growth should not ignore email marketing. If devised and executed rightly, email marketing can generate a significant lead for travel agencies and tour operators.
In this post, we will keep our focus on email marketing for travel agencies and agents. We will discuss several tips and approaches that people in the travelling business need to consider while devising their email marketing strategies.
Create a “Working” Email List
Many travel agencies that try to incorporate email marketing in their campaigns often take the wrong first step, i.e., they use ineffective mailing lists. Budding online marketers working in the travel industry need to understand that bulk-sending a travel marketing email doesn’t make their campaign a success. What’s the point of sending out all those emails if you only get an underwhelming response?
Therefore, always work on creating a “working” email list(s). We are calling them working lists because they represent the active and right recipients of your travel marketing email. Online surveys, social media, own blog and guest blogs, review aggregating platforms, and your agency website are some of the places from where you can collect the contacts for your working email list.
You can further improve those email lists with segmentation by using list creation and management tools. You can also do that manually if you are making short but effective mailing lists. With segmentation, you can identify different consumer groups in your mailing list. This information helps you craft customised email campaigns for different target customer groups, e.g., different campaigns for students, corporate travellers, and families.
Improve Your Newsletter Subscription
A newsletter is a great way for any business to keep its consumer base and target market in the loop with all the latest developments. A travel agency can also use the newsletter for better user engagement and conversion. Many times a travel agency can receive a booking through its newsletter as well. However, to improve your customer acquisition chances with the newsletter, you’ll have to improve its subscription. More subscribers mean more people are likely to convert into consumers.
However, it is tricky to improve the subscription of your newsletter when the majority of people consider every mail sent by a business as spam. For a travel agency, these tips might help in improving newsletter subscription.
- Offer incentive on subscribing to the newsletter subscription (e.g. 10% off on the next/first booking).
- Always have a CTA for newsletter subscription at the end of your blog posts.
- Make signing up for the newsletter easier by reducing the form fields.
- Always provide a clear way/procedure for unsubscribing. Many times people don’t sign up for a newsletter because they can’t unsubscribe it later on.
- Make use of affiliate marketing and social media to promote your travel newsletter.
Email Should Always Offer Some Value
We can’t stress the importance of this point enough. If you’re creating a travel marketing email just for the sake of marketing, you are less likely to succeed with your campaign. Recipients already know that you send them emails to promote your business. In return, they expect you to offer them some value. If you are sending out emails that only blow your own trumpet, recipients will stop reading your emails. In the worst scenario, they will unsubscribe or mark your address as spam.
Don’t take the privilege of getting to recipients inbox for granted. When you devise your travel marketing email, make sure it offers some value to recipients. There are multiple ways to make your email valuable for target consumers.
- Offer a travel discount that can only be used through the email.
- Share new information and developments, e.g., starting a new destination, travelling policy changes, new COVID-related rules.
- Share informative and interesting content about the destinations you offer or the travelling and touring industry in general.
Make Your Email Layout Mobile-Friendly
Keep in mind that more than half of your recipients will open your travel marketing email on their mobile devices. If your email has just a desktop-only version, you won’t get the desired response because a desktop-only layout gets all messed up when it opens on phone screens.
Instead of struggling with reading and making sense of your email with its non-responsive layout, most recipients will close it right away.
Use Social Media/ Website to Promote Your Email Activity
Email marketing doesn’t exist in isolation. You have to complement it with other elements of digital media to get the required promotional success. If your travel agency has social media pages and they get serious traction, you can leverage it to improve your email sign-up. Many people who are serious about using your services are likely to sign-up for your email.
Similarly, your website should also promote email sign-ups. As mentioned earlier, make the process of sign-up/subscription as simple as possible. Instead of asking people for details like first name and last name, ask for their email ID.
Use an Email Automation System for your Travel Agency
Last but not least, leverage email automation systems. They can come in handy throughout your email marketing expedition. They can help you create, manage, and spruce up mailing lists. You can also use a robust email automation system to map out the recipient journey.
In other words, an email automation system can help your travel agency set up an email-exclusive sales funnel. Email automation systems are also pretty useful for travel agencies working with small marketing teams that have to handle long mailing lists.
TravCampaign is a customised travel marketing automation platform developed by TravnetTech for travel agencies and tour operators. It helps with list creation/management, email marketing automation, and email campaign scheduling. It also offers detailed reporting with valuable insights on the email marketing campaigns you have already executed.
Get in touch with experts at TravnetTech for more details on TravCampaign.