The cornerstone for email marketers in the field of travel is powerful images, an emotional component and personalization of actions on the site. But, despite these opportunities, travel mailings are lagging behind in efficiency from other business areas. In this article we will discuss how to set up a working email marketing to increase the sales of travel agencies.
The benefits of email marketing for a travel agency
Marketers choose email marketing as the main channel of communication with customers because it:
- helps to form high-quality, “warm” leads and turn them into buyers and advocates of the brand;
- notifies in automatic mode of the date and time of the trip;
- helps to create relevant offers based on previously performed actions in the mailing list.
- does not require large investments and pays off in full.
Let’s move from benefits to action. Where to start to get the maximum conversion and meet the expectations of the subscriber traveler.
Collect the base of email addresses
Task number one is to build a database of interested audiences, if you don’t already have one. The easiest way to do this is using the subscription form posted on your website, blog or landing page. But first you need to create it. Use subscription forms. There are three main types of subscription forms. You can choose one or apply several of them.
1. Make things personal.
Personalization is the best way to make subscribers within even the biggest audiences (like those of travel brands) feel they’re being spoken to as individuals.
The simplest way to do this is by using your subscribers’ first names. Email subscriber forms typically collect and save subscribers’ first names. Save these within your email service provider as personalization tags and use them in subject lines, content, and even images.
2. Use segmentation.
Using first names is one of the simplest ways to personalize email, but there are many other ways to help your emails hit home. Looking to take personalization to the next level? Meet segmentation.
Segmentation occurs when you divide your audience into smaller segments based on set criteria like age, geographic location, or interests. Segments are created based on subscriber data. Collecting and using this data allows you to consistently deliver email that is relevant to your individual subscribers.
3. Send pre-arrival and follow-up emails.
Sending travelers an email before and after their trip is the perfect way to set yourself apart from other hospitality brands. Send a pre-arrival email a few days before check-in, and follow up to say “thanks” once your guests make it home. Keeping in touch with customers throughout booking, visit, and departure will make them feel comfortable and considered.
4. Spotlight guest reviews.
Collecting feedback from guests is step one. Using that feedback to create conversions is step two.
It’s no secret that consumer reviews hold immense power, particularly in the travel and hospitality industry.
Brands can harness that power and use it in their emails. One study showed that given equal prices, guests are nearly four times more likely to choose a hotel with better reviews. This proves what an important role reviews have on generating revenue.
5. Incorporate video content.
Including video in your newsletters can boost click-through rate by 200% to 300%. Unlike static images, videos immerse viewers in the sights, sounds, and happenings of a destination.
They provide subscribers with a deeper look into the experiences, geography, cuisine, and attractions a destination has to offer. Additionally, video content can help brands appeal to viewers’ emotions. The colors, sounds, and scenes of a video can tap into viewers’ feelings and leave a more lasting impression.
One report showed that 64% of consumers are more inclined to buy a product after watching a video about it. It’s clear that videos communicate a brand’s message effectively and lead subscribers to take action.
Link out videos by placing play buttons on static images, include GIFs, or embed videos directly into the email. No matter the format, videos will move subscribers to action and boost conversion rates.
Your travel and hospitality brands can use email to transform the way you market to your audience. You can create and strengthen relationships with subscribers by personalizing their emails and sending content that is interesting and relevant to each individual customer. You can excite guests, provide opportunities for upsells and add-ons, and show your gratitude for their business by sending pre-arrival and follow-up emails.
Pique subscribers’ interest by incorporating video content into your newsletters, and give potential customers the confidence they need to hit “book” by spotlighting positive customer reviews. The possibilities within email marketing are endless, making it the perfect tool for the competitive, ever-growing industry of travel and hospitality.