Email marketing is essential to any travel brand's digital marketing strategy. It's a great way to keep in touch with your customers and keep them up-to-date on your latest offerings. It can be used to drive traffic to your website, increase bookings, and build customer loyalty. More importantly, email marketing has an incredible ROI of nearly 4400%. With competition coming from every angle, making the most out of your email marketing plan is vital.
This article will discuss the basics of email marketing for travel brands and provide some tips on what you should include in your email newsletters. We'll also talk about the most crucial part of email marketing: making sure your emails are actually opened and read by your customers!
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a type of direct marketing that involves sending email messages to customers or prospects. It can be used to build relationships, drive sales, or promote special offers. Email marketing is an effective way to reach out to your target audience or potential customers and stay top-of-mind with your customers. With such a high ROI, there's an opportunity for brands to succeed with their marketing campaigns right off the bat.
To effectively use email marketing, travel brands need to understand the basics. Email marketing involves four key components:
The email list: This is a list of email addresses that you have collected from your customers or prospects. In order to build a travel company's email list, you can use sign-up forms on your website, social media, or offline methods like trade shows and events. A lead gen form or opt-in on your website is one easy way to gather email addresses. In most cases, people who want to know more about your brand will sign up voluntarily.
The email campaign: This is the actual email that you send to your subscribers. It should include a clear call-to-action (CTA), engaging content, and a way for recipients to opt out of future emails.
The email service provider (ESP): This company will help you manage your email list and send your email campaigns. There are many different ESPs to choose from, so it's important to find one that fits your needs.
The email template: This is the format of your email campaign and email design. It should be designed in a responsive and mobile-friendly way, as more and more people are reading emails on their smartphones. You can create your own travel business email templates or use one through your mail delivery system like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
Goals of Travel Email Marketing
Email marketing can be used for various purposes, but the most common use is to promote special offers or deals, drive traffic to your website, or increase bookings. Travel brands can also use email marketing to build customer loyalty by sending out notifications about new blog posts, upcoming events, or exclusive offers. No matter what your goal is, email marketing can help you reach it.
When creating an email campaign, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Your subject line: This is the first thing recipients will see when they open your email, so make sure it's attention-grabbing and relevant to the content inside. Avoid using generic phrases like "Special Offer" or "Discount code inside!" and get creative with your subject line.
Your content: The email itself should be well-written and engaging. It should also be relevant to the recipient's interests. You can segment your email list to make sure you're sending the right message to the right people. For example, if you have a travel agency, you might segment your list by destination, so recipients only get emails about deals in the places they're interested in.
Your call-to-action (CTA): Every email should have a CTA, or else what's the point? Your CTA could be anything from "Book now!" to "Learn more." Just make sure it's clear and easy to understand.
Your email list: As we mentioned before, your email list is essential to email marketing. You don't want to send emails to people who will never open them! Make sure you're regularly cleansing your list and removing inactive subscribers.
Open Rate for Travel Industry
The average open rate for email marketing campaigns is between 20-30%. However, the open rate for the travel industry is on the higher end, at 28.76% and is almost back to pre-pandemic levels. This means that email marketing is an effective way to reach out to potential customers in the travel industry.
There are a few things you can do to increase your open rate:
Use engaging email subject lines: As we mentioned before, your subject line is the first thing recipients will see when they open your email. Make sure it's attention-grabbing and relevant to the content inside.
Segment your list: relevant emails to specific segments of your list, so recipients are more likely to open them. For example, if you have a travel agency, you might segment your list by travel destination to more effectively reach recipients who were interested in that destination.
Send welcome emails: Sending a welcome email to new subscribers is a great way to introduce them to your brand and build customer loyalty. Make sure your welcome email is engaging and includes a CTA.
Email Marketing Strategy for Travel Brands
There are endless possibilities when it comes to email marketing for travel brands. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Promotional emails: Send out special offers or discounts to encourage bookings.
Drip campaigns: Set up a series of automated emails that go out to subscribers over time. These are often less promotional and more informational. This could be anything from a welcome email series to an educational email course.
Content marketing: Use email to drive traffic to your website or blog by sending out notifications about new articles or videos. Include a CTA in each email, so recipients know where to go to find the content.
Notifications: Send out email notifications about upcoming events or special offers. This is a great way to build customer loyalty and keep people updated on what's going on with your brand.
Transactional emails: Send out confirmation or thank-you emails after a customer books a trip with your agency. You can use email automation to send out these types of emails.
Welcome email: Send a welcome email to new subscribers. Include valuable information about your company and what they can expect from you.
Email Marketing Automation for Travel Brands
Email marketing automation can be a great way to save time and increase efficiency when sending out emails. Automation can be used to send out welcome emails, confirmation emails, thank-you emails, and more. With automation, you take the manual work out of the equation, simply plug in your template, and send it based on your email lists.
A few different email marketing platforms offer automation services, such as MailChimp and Constant Contact. MailChimp is a popular choice for small businesses because it offers a free plan for up to 2000 subscribers. We like MailChimp because it's easy to use and has a wide variety of email templates to choose from. Plus, it integrates with many popular website builders and CRMs. Constant Contact is another popular email marketing platform that offers automation services. We like Constant Contact because it offers a wide range of email automation options and has a 60-day free trial. Both of these platforms offer insights into unsubscribes and other things affecting your bottom line.
Email Marketing Metrics
When it comes to email marketing, there are a few metrics you should be tracking:
Open rate: This is the percentage of people who open your email. A reasonable open rate is between 20-30%. However, the open rate for travel and tourism comes in at 28.76%. This means that email marketing is an effective way to reach out to potential customers in the travel industry.
Click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of people who click on a link in your email. A good CTR is between two and three percent. The average CTR for travel brands is 3.30%. This means that email marketing can be an effective way to drive traffic to your website or blog.
Conversion rate: This is the percentage of people who take action after reading your email. A good conversion rate is between three and five percent. However, the average conversion rate for the travel industry is much higher, at 11.76%. This means that email marketing can be an effective way to encourage bookings or sales.
Email Marketing Tips for Travel Brands
Here are a few email marketing tips to keep in mind when promoting your travel brand:
Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. Over half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, so ensuring your emails look good is essential.
Use engaging subject lines. Your subject line is the first thing recipients will see when they open your email, so make sure it's attention-grabbing.
Personalize your emails. Nothing is better than a personalized email. Include the recipient's name in the email, so they feel like the email is addressed to them personally.
Keep your emails short and to the point. People are likelier to read an email if it's short and concise.
Use images and videos. These can help break up the text and make your email more visually appealing.
Include a CTA. Your email should have a clear CTA, so recipients know what you want them to do next.
Test your emails before sending them out. Send a test email to yourself or a friend to see how it looks on different devices and ensure all the links work correctly. Use a/b testing before sending out mass emails. This will narrow down your scope.
Monitor your metrics. Keep an eye on your email open and click-through rates to see how well your emails perform.