The travel and tourism landscape has changed for the modern marketer. In an increasingly Internet-savvy society, travelers no longer head to an agent’s office to plan their next trip. Instead, they spend hours online researching destinations, comparing prices, and booking on-the-go. With such a competitive digital landscape, travel and tourism marketers need to find cost-effective means to grab the attention of the traveling daydreamer and convince them to click “book”. That’s why so many destinations are finding success utilizing travel and tourism email marketing. The email copy and images you share, destinations you cover, and incentives to book can help build wanderlust and encourage excitement. So, how can your destination take advantage of email to book more travelers? In this guide, we will cover everything from the basics to the email marketer to unlocking the power of marketing automation. And we have an EXTRA BONUS… We provided a link to an email marketing calendar for upcoming holidays you can take advantage of by sharing destinations, itineraries, and booking specials to generate sales.
Why Email Marketing for Travel and Tourism Works
Email marketing ensures you are steadily engaging these smart travelers wherever and whenever they are ready, and it gives them the information they need to make decisions instantly. While the travel and hospitality industry has an average 2.14% click rate, more travelers are subscribing to more industry mailing lists than ever before. Email makes it easy to send up to the moment deal information and ensures your prospects won’t miss out on a deal they want. For you, serving up a steady stream of relevant and useful information positions you as a trusted authority and ensures your prospects know where to turn when they are ready to book. Whether they’ve just been dreaming or are actually ready to take the plunge, your email can help you connect with potential travelers. The name of a tempting locale and a deal they won’t want to miss are often enough to trigger an open and potentially tempt the reader to click through to get the full scoop on what you have to offer. By sending regular deal alerts, you not only get the attention of the traveler who is just about ready to book, but you position your brand as a place to turn for great, up-to-the-minute deals. Even if a prospect is not quite ready, they’ll note and recognize your expertise and remember you as a source when they are ready to make travel arrangements.
Email Marketing for Travel Makes It Easier than Ever to Connect
Setting up automated campaigns that launch at specific times can help you connect with travelers and ensure you are providing the right level of service. Use automated campaigns to:
Receive feedback from post-travel surveys
When your client returns from a trip, an email from you with a short survey can help you get a good idea of not only how well you’re performing, but provide insight on the total experience, too.
Announce new destinations, offers, or promotions
Share the news in a hurry when you add a destination, snag an amazing deal, or have something to offer to your customers. Source: Campaign Monitor
Inform subscribers about industry trends and news
Everything from travel alerts about safety and security to tips for packing and the hottest destination are ideal topics to share with your prospects and can enhance their overall experience.
Travel and Tourism Email Marketing Examples
Sending a variety of campaigns to your prospects not only keeps things fresh, it also ensures they are getting information that they can use on all parts of their journey. Combining both transactional and marketing efforts can help you boost your open rates and help you get the attention you crave. While your business is unique, consider some of these enticing examples and topics for your next campaign.
This is one of the basics and a must for any travel or tourism site. With this automated series, you’ll be able to greet and welcome those who join your site and give them the information they need to use and make the most of your offerings. You can also let them know how you communicate with them and even give them options about how they’d like to hear from you. Use their choices to create more personalized, targeted experiences for them going forward. This series also establishes a connection and verifies that your prospects actually want to receive your emails.
Who doesn’t love a bargain? A flash sale is one that is only good for a limited window of time–savvy, seasoned travelers know that these are usually the best deals around. If you have an amazing discount to offer, a flash sale email with a clear expiration date can help you communicate it to your readers. Make sure the subject line includes the most important details and the limited timeline to ensure recipients open it right away.
An email newsletter can let your prospects take a peek into some of the top destinations you offer and provides an ideal way to boost excitement before you offer a deal or other incentive. Your newsletter can also add value by explaining the customs in a destination you’re covering, showing off candid shots from your followers, and even creating a travelogue essay that entertains and educates. Your newsletter not only entertains and adds value, it positions you as an expert in the travel field and whatever destination you are covering.
Holidays and popular vacation times
give you great reasons to get in touch. If you time your efforts just right, you’ll be right in front of your prospect with a great offer when they’re thinking about Spring Break, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, or taking the kids on a summer trip. Holidays, events, and festivals in a destination you serve can be a reason to promote and share information via email in the weeks leading up to the event. Creating campaigns that mention or focus on important holidays and events can help your prospects learn about their options and may even encourage them to take the plunge and book a trip.
Travel–and simply the idea of leaving home–affects people in strange ways. Any unexpected changes to travel plans could be overwhelming to your prospects. This could be travel warnings, weather alerts, or just a heads-up that construction will be taking place. No matter how big or little the issue might be, let your prospects and customers know before they arrive. They’ll get peace of mind and feel reassured that their arrangements are intact, even if certain things are a little different.
Whether you’re now serving a new destination, offering a brand-new service, or have some other perk, use email marketing to let your clients and prospects know. You can even include an enticing discount code to help introduce the service and boost consumer buy-in. While a new launch can also be covered in a newsletter and on your site, a dedicated email can lead to a fantastic debut of your newest offering.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Travelers love good surprises, and a special email on a birthday or anniversary won’t go unnoticed. Make a personal connection by remembering a prospect's birthday, anniversary, or another special date. Sending a special promo code to celebrate a big day does more than just entice a prospect to buy, it forges a valuable connection and helps you truly personalize their experience.
Whether they were just comparison shopping or something got in the way, prospects disappear just like they abandon retail shopping carts. A reminder email or even a series accomplishes several goals:
- If your customer had technical trouble checking out, you can be sure you’re providing the best possible service by following up to help.
- If your customer abandoned for a different reason, your email can remind them of where they left off–work interruptions and life, in general, can derail the booking process.
- If your customer got cold feet because of pricing, a special, limited-time discount could be the push they need to book.
Thank You Email
Your service and connection don’t end after the last day of the customer’s trip. A simple thank you email is a valuable way to cement loyalty and ensure you get feedback about their trip. Ask about their experience, their destination, and how they feel about your process to get feedback that will help you improve your service.
Frequent travelers know the value of a good loyalty program. If you have a program in place, emailing customers to let them know how they can use points and where they are points-wise can boost engagement. Reward them when they reach a milestone and let them know when a trip will count more towards the rewards they’re trying to earn.
are the most likely to make purchases. If you have a loyalty program in place, emailing customers to let them know how their friends can join in on the travel fun is a great way to increase conversions.
Do you have more first-time travelers than returning guests? A targeted re-engagement effort via email can help bring them back. When a prospect has gone missing, a specific campaign that tempts them with favorite or popular destinations–and a special incentive–can help bring them back to you. If you’re still not connecting, a final campaign asking if they want to continue receiving your emails is a good idea, as their continued presence on your list could be harming your metrics if they receive but never open your emails.
Travel and Tourism Email Marketing Promotional Calendar
Need to find an easy way to keep up with your travel and tourism promotional calendar? This printable calendar works for any year, and for any type of travel and tourism email marketing campaign.
Make the Most of Your Travel and Tourism with Email Marketing
Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to connect and engage with travel junkies and dreamers alike. Taking the time to target your travel and tourism email marketing campaigns and sending a variety of types of emails can help ensure your efforts resonate and help you boost not only your bookings but your brand awareness and presence, too.