Email marketing is not a dying marketing tactic, if anything it has continuously grown because of the ability to create automated campaigns, personalized emails, and much more. If done right, using emails in your destination marketing campaigns can drive up conversions and bring in a healthy return of investment. Here are our 7 guidelines and tips for email marketing in the tourism industry!
1. Start Building Your List
Growing your email list can be one of the toughest challenges you will face, but by growing your list organically instead of buying random emails you will have stronger open rates.
• Create a pop up for the home page of your website prompting visitors to sign up for your email newsletters.
• Offer a reward or create a contest online or in your business to incentivize consumers to sign up for your email list.
• During the checkout process, include an option that allows customers to opt into joining the list. Make sure to appeal to them by offering deals, VIP access, etc.
2. Always Include the Following
When creating emails, make sure that every email includes the following. Without it, your emails can be reported or marked as spam, never making its’ way to the glorious inbox slot every company is fighting for.
• An unsubscribe button
• HTML view option
• Some form of contact information such as an appointment or customer service email and number.
3. Figure Out Your Content
If you’re not providing great content, your email list will dwindle and emails marked as spam. Remember that consumers these days do not want a hard sell and products slammed in front of their face! Promote your experiences as well as provide relatable and interesting content. Here are a couple ideas:
• Blog Posts
• Travel Guides
• Recommendations for destinations and attractions (bonus points if you’re able to personalize it to the viewer)
• Polls & Quizzes
• Social media campaigns, such as promoting a special hashtag for Instagram
4. Timing Is Everything
Once you have your email system set up, remember that your send times are everything! Start sending out emails, and take a long, hard look at your open rates. Test out different days and times for sending out promotional emails, and try to pin point the best times to catch your audience.
5. Test… Test… Testing
In Email marketing, analytics will become your best friend. A/B testing is extremely important because it can help you determine what your audience responds to, when they open emails, and what drives the highest conversions. Spend time testing out subject lines, content, when you send emails, and the amount of emails you send out a week.
6. Personalization and Automation
According to a study done by Statista, the open rate for a personalized message was 18.8%, and a non-personalized message had an open rate of 13.3%. Depending on the system you are using for your email campaigns, you might have the ability to personalize and automate emails. For example, if a consumer adds a hotel reservation to their cart but doesn’t complete checking out, your system can be set up so they receive an automatic email the next day reminding them to finish their reservation. Another great idea is that if a customer has booked or viewed a tour, you can send them a personalized email recommending other products, destinations, and attractions that they might like.
7. Send Out Offers
While most of your email marketing campaigns should focus on marketing your content without a hard sell, it is also a good platform for sending out offers such as a limited time deal on a tour or a prompt to join a rewards program. If you do decide on sending out offers, make sure to create a sense of urgency in either the subject line or email body itself. See the below email from Expedia for an example!
The world of email marketing is ever changing, and quite the challenge to tackle on. However, if done right it will prove to be one of the best return on investments for your tourism business! If you have any questions or don't want to take on email marketing by yourself, send us a message and we'll be happy to help!