The travel industry is one of the best places to fully make the most of email marketing. Offering aspirational content on travel is a far stretch from trying to interest people in fixing pipes, so you can really get creative.
However, creativity can only get you so far. Without solid, data-driven strategies, you’ll fire emails out into the ether never to be seen by anyone, much less clicked on. However, by directing your creativity through tools, you can streamline your internal processes and make your customer experience not just easy, but a pleasure.
That’s why we’ll be running through 7 email marketing strategies for travel agencies that will help you build strong relationships and increase sales.
The first strategy on our list is to acquire and populate a super customer relationship management (CRM) system. This is a database where you store all the records of all your clients, from first and last name to email address, telephone number, and social media handles.
All email marketing strategies for travel agencies will advise you to populate your CRM with as much detail as possible. You can use sign up forms on your website and social media to get the basics, and use follow-up forms to get a deeper understanding of their interests. If you find yourself struggling for customers, incentivize leads with special offers to join your newsletter.
Once you’ve got your leads, all their interactions will be saved within the system. This means that every holiday booked, every link clicked, and every interaction contributes to creating a clearer picture of every client.
Email marketing in the travel industry also relies heavily on segregating your customer database into smaller demographics. Travel email examples couples over 60 may focus more on cruises and romantic getaways, while those for young singles may feature content on beach breaks and party cities. Each lead can be put into multiple different lists based on their dream destinations, nationality, age bracket, and much more.
One of our top tips for travel email marketing is to sort your customers as they enter your database, rather than manually sorting them into groups at a later date. With your CRM set up correctly, all incoming leads can be automatically split into relevant mailing lists so you can concentrate on creating those enticing messages.
One of the top email marketing strategies for travel agencies is to add a personal touch to your messages. It is well known that emails that are directed at specific targets, rather than thrown out to everybody on your list, perform far better. Furthermore, if your users feel your content isn’t relevant to them, they’re likely to see emails as junk and unsubscribe.
A few easy ways to personalize emails:
Include first name in subject and body
Sending emails based on interest
Waking up dormant leads with special offers
So now, you can create four to five variations on a monthly newsletter, with some content overlapping, and other sections specific to each mailing list. Include a personalization tag to include each recipient’s name and you’re ready to launch your emails.
As they’re personal, avoid overly corporate speech. A travel agency email to client example subject could be “My top tips for travel in September”. Creating and curating a connection with your customers builds trust over time and sets you apart from every other company’s efforts. Therefore, send quality, personalized content often, and you’ll keep the fire burning.
But it’s not quite that easy! Even the best email marketing strategies for travel agencies forget this one simple trick: Make sure your emails comply with all local privacy legislation. Rules change depending on the country, but respecting unsubscriptions and relying only on information voluntarily provided are two big areas to work on.
Compliance with personalization will also help your emails arrive safely at their destination (no pun intended). If you tick all the right boxes, you’ll avoid landing in the spam folder and being missed altogether.
While your newsletters should include fresh, exciting content every month, email marketing in the travel industry also requires standardized emails that work by themselves behind the scenes so you can spend more time on the creative side.
Emails that are ideal for automation include:
Thank you emails
Happy birthday emails
Drip-fed promotional campaigns
Trigger emails are a life-saver for busy people. You simply set up an event as your trigger, and when it is met, your CRM sends out a pre-written personalized email. For example, you can drip feed reminders of a campaign every two days. Set them up in a customer journey workflow to relieve stress on your team and keep your customers engaged.
Confirmation emails are among the most common triggered travel agency email examples. You only need a brief message, such as “Hi, Sarah, here is your confirmation for booking number 0800896.” All of the variable details, such as the name and booking number, are automatically lifted from your CRM to populate your email and before she knows it, Sarah has got her confirmation.
These days, the general public expects trigger emails as an assurance that everything is going to plan. Think of it like a physical ticket. Once your customer has their confirmation, they can rest easy until their holiday approaches.
But triggers can come in all shapes and sizes. You can monitor user interaction with emails, and give them a nudge if you feel you’re losing them. Automate a message to go out after six months of no clicks, and offer them a special discount to convince them to get back in the game.
Replace all your current SaaS solutions with all in one CRM and marketing automation software. Run marketing campaigns inside your Bitrix24 CRM - email marketing, ad targeting, and more.
Content is one of the most important email marketing strategies for travel agencies as it provides that inspirational backdrop that sparks customers into action. Email marketing for tourism relies more heavily than others on solid content as the costs involved in travel are much more than clothes, for example.
The kind of content marketing that has been proven to work includes:
Tips on different types of travel
Top places to eat listicles
Things to do per month
Rather than travel agent email ideas that fill a message with an entire article, consider writing a teaser that links to a longer article on your blog or videos and photo albums on social media. This is ideal for newsletters, where you want to include multiple articles or interesting features, but don’t want to send a 5000-word email.
The copy within your email should therefore be short and snappy. Travel agency email examples that link to longer content could include lines like “What’s New York been hiding all these years? Find out here.”
However, it’s really hard to get people to act without giving them a call to action (CTA). Your CTA can direct your users to anything you want, whether it’s a piece of content or a downloadable PDF that requires users to fill in a survey on their interests. With a powerful CRM combined with email marketing automation, you can gather data on how well your emails are performing, and run A/B tests to improve your approach.
Sure, your copy should be attractive, informal, and inspiring, but you can still do much better. Email marketing strategies for travel agencies can take advantage of mouth-watering imagery and videos. With no words at all, you can create a sense of adventure and get people desperate for a trip to a paradise beach.
More than any other industry, images and video of travel can attract the eye. This can be your secret weapon in grabbing your reader’s attention and getting bookings. Just like with other areas of email marketing strategies for travel agencies, you can run tests on your emails to find out which images gain clicks. Sure, you could spend time working on A/B tests, but why not gauge what works by checking out your Instagram page?
Make sure any images you embed are of the highest quality — anything less gives a “cheap” feeling. However, embedded videos can often slow your downloading speed, so it’s best to link to social media and leave a thumbnail as a teaser. A snippet of text underneath gives context and meaning to your content, and you’re ready to go.
But it’s not just enticing destinations you should be decorating your emails with. Like in any other industry, travel email marketing can benefit hugely from branding that is clear, but that doesn’t distract from the message. Design all your emails to follow the same theme — whether they’re automated trigger emails or personal correspondence with your customers. It’s all part of building trust with your clients and is one of the easiest email tips for travel agencies we can offer.
If you haven’t heard of mobile responsiveness yet, you must have been living under a rock (or on a desert island). You’ve probably already been working on a mobile responsive website and booking process, but designing emails for smartphones needs the same treatment.
It’s one of the most important email marketing strategies for travel agencies, as a majority of users in the travel industry are turning to their phones for browsing, booking, and much more. For example, when you’re coming up to the security desk at an airport, the last thing you want is a confirmation email that won’t load properly.
Your first strategy should therefore be to make all your emails compatible for mobile. A mobile-first mentality pushes you to craft dynamic messages that increase your click-through-rate, rather than pedestrian, text-filled explanations. Make sure to analyze how fast your animations and images load, and remember that not all phones respond the same.
But it’s not just designing. Your CRM will tell you when your customers are traveling (hint: it’s between the start date and end date of their journey). This is a perfect opportunity to send little extras during their trip. For example, you could fire over an email with codes for city tours or authentic experiences. They simply have to scan the code and get an unexpected, but very pleasant, surprise.
Great! You’ve got a bunch of email marketing strategies for travel agencies, but how are you going to put them into practice?
Sure, you could download a CRM to store your contacts and an email designer to go with your website builder, communications center, and everything else you need. But there’s a better way! With Bitrix24, you get everything you need to put your email marketing for tourism into practice — all on one platform. No more switching back and forth, hoping your fragile integrations will hold strong. With everything fully connected on an easy-to-use interface, you can take the stress out of your tech solutions.
Your powerful CRM and analytics do all the hard work behind the scenes, so your customers can enjoy their trip with no worries. As you monitor their behavior, you can modify what you offer to provide the best experience possible.
Get started with email templates and customize them to fit your brand and offering. As time goes on, you’ll create a backlog of your very own templates that are ready to go at a moment's notice (when automations aren’t taking care of it, of course!)
Now you might be wondering what coding languages you need to know to get the best results. Answer? None. You can do absolutely everything using a drag-and-drop tool for total ease of use.
The best part is you can get started today for free!