Have you ever received a marketing email that made you feel icky?
You know, those emails trying to sell you a new pillow or a ground-breaking supplement?
They use FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in the wrong way, often coming across as pushy and greedy.
As service providers, travel agents need to be especially careful with using email marketing in the wrong way.
In this blog post, we’re going to look at email marketing for travel agents and its relevance in today’s world. How can you as a travel agent use it effectively and ethically?
Let’s jump in…
Since humans are social beings, you’d think face-to-face contact would be preferred over online communication.
But that’s not always the case. Why go out to shop when you can take the easy route?
The easy route often includes emails.
The advertorial emails you receive daily? Those companies bring in a lot of revenue from their email marketing strategies.
Studies have shown how an effective email marketing strategy can boost your ROI (Return On Investment) by a lot. For example, for every $1 you spend, you get $38 in return.
Pretty crazy, right?
This study goes to show how relevant email marketing is in society today.
People check their emails every night before they go to bed. They check them first thing in the morning. Or while sitting in the doctor’s office.
Point is your clients are checking their emails frequently.
That means you could be missing out on some prime real estate for selling your travel services.
When’s the last time you sent an email to those who subscribed to your email list? A month? A year?
There’s no better time than the present to hop on the train for effective email marketing strategies.
Ready to maximize your email list and start booking more vacations? Keep reading to find out how…
Let’s start off by covering basic email marketing principles and how they work. It helps to maximize the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy.
As we talked about in the previous section, your subscribers are inundated with advertisements and colorful promises popping up every day in their inboxes.
By sending unique emails, you’re setting yourself up to stand out in their inbox.
They’ll begin to look forward to your emails.
And that’s exactly what you want them to do.
How do you get them excited about your emails? Keep your travel content relevant to what they want to hear.
When they get the urge to travel again, they’ll remember you.
“Oh, yeah. Remember that lady who plans Disney vacations? Let’s ask her if she can help us plan our trip.”
We’ve compiled 12 tips below to help you easily nurture your travel prospects through engaging email marketing.
Easy and Effective Email Marketing Tips
If you’re here, that means you want to start an email newsletter, or you’d like to find out how to maximize your current email list.
We’ve turned to our partners at Travel Industry Marketing Association (TIMA) to provide you with a few easy tricks for keeping your audience engaged.
We’re excited to share them with you so you, too, can benefit from this often-overlooked marketing tool.
Ready? Let’s get started –
After describing a lovely wellness retreat, you should end your email with a call to action, or CTA. Your readers want to know what they should do next – so tell them. Ask them to contact you to get started on their next trip. Marketers say that readers need guidance. Don’t leave them in the dark – let them know what you’d like them to do.
You know how annoying those useless advertorial emails are, right? Offer your readers real, helpful tips and advice on vacations. Do it in a way that’s relevant to their interests and needs as travelers. If you specialize in adventure travel, then give your readers tips on how to pack for their first trek up Mount Kilimanjaro.
If you have special offers only available through your newsletter or website, emails are the perfect place for advertising them. This encourages readers to sign up for your newsletter. It also ensures they don’t miss out on any of the great deals you have to offer them.
A long newsletter can be difficult for people who aren’t avid readers. And if we’re all honest, even those of us who love a good newsletter tend to skim-read the long ones. Make sure yours is short enough for even the most distracted reader to digest in one sitting. If your newsletter gets a little long, use bold or italicized text to break it up. This email marketing strategy helps skim readers notice the sections you want them to see.
Images, videos, charts, graphs – this email marketing strategy grabs attention and helps readers understand what you’re trying to say. People have short attention spans. They get bored or distracted by huge blocks of text. This is the perfect place for you to do a little mild advertising: Include your own travel pictures to boost your readers’ confidence in your knowledge of a destination.
A newsletter or email that’s all about you and your business is boring. It’s easy to think your readers want to know about you. But all they really want to hear is what will benefit them. It sounds selfish and awful, but that’s the honest truth of email marketing. Make sure you include content that’s relevant to your audience – whether that means sharing a travel-related meme that left you crying from laughter, providing a link to an article they might find interesting, or even just sharing something from your own personal life (like an upcoming vacation).
Every business owner makes mistakes. And that’s okay. If you’re not a professional writer, the occasional typo or grammatical error can happen in your emails. If it’s a glaring mistake, make sure you correct it quickly. You don’t want your readers thinking your company is unprofessional or careless about your customers’ needs.
It’s easy to resort back to college essay-style writing. Email marketing needs to stay simple. Keep your email newsletters short and sweet by using a friendly, conversational tone. Write as if you were sitting down for coffee and a good ol’ chat. You’ll be surprised by their responsiveness.
Think about what you would want to read if you were the person receiving this newsletter or email. Is the email you just wrote interesting enough to hold your attention? If not, try again with another approach. Sometimes reading your email out loud can make all the difference. You’ll catch strange sentence structures or hear words that don’t fit the context. Try it and see how it works next time you’re stuck.
If you use the email templates provided by your host agency or consortium, don’t send out their most recent email without personalizing it. Your subscribers may be signed up to another person’s email who works under the same agency. Your readers don’t want to read the same copy twice. Personalize each message by making sure it sounds like you. Make it personable, like you wrote it just for them. You don’t want to sound like you’re copying and pasting from a template.
12. Maximize your subject lines and preview text.
The subject line of your email is arguably the most important thing in email marketing. It’s the text your readers see first. Does it make them want to read your email? Or do they pass it by for the sales-y click-bait email from Zulily? Keep your subject line and preview text eye-catching, but don’t make it click-bait. If you make a promise – “Top 10 secrets of Ireland” – follow through and share those ten secrets.
Your audience subscribed to your emails for a reason. In a sense, they invited you into their inbox.
Don’t take advantage of that by sending emails they won’t enjoy.
Market yourself as a warm, friendly travel agent. A person who uses their email marketing to help their readers.
“Email marketing strategy” sounds like a complicated term, but it isn’t.
It’s all about coming up with a plan that helps you sell your services. But more importantly, it benefits your readers.
It’s making sure you give your audience advice and the information they need. You’re providing information that’s actually helpful.
And – it’s being real. Being human, not a robotic autoresponder-type presence.
By following our 12 simple steps listed above, you’ll be well on your way to creating an email newsletter your readers will look forward to.
An email they can’t wait to read.
We’d love to hear from you – did you learn something new from this blog post? Share in the comments below!
If you’re struggling with creating and executing an effective email marketing strategy, upgrade to our Platinum Plus membership to gain access to pre-made newsletter content. Or, level up your game and work with TIMA on a custom program, utilizing their proprietary tracking software and follow-up strategy
Start your journey toward success today.