It’s amazing how we live in an ever expanding digital world, where the savvy researcher can Google any answer at their fingertips, and stay up to date from the comfort of their computer, laptop, and mobile phone.
What amazes me more in this day and age is that there are travel marketers, albeit travel agents (or any business for that matter) that don’t use email marketing to their full advantage. This simple communication tool will never die out our lifetimes, and it’s the perfect way to stay top-of-mind and engaged by sending regular emails to let your loyal customers know when they can take advantage of sales, promos, events, and encourage them to shop more often just by getting in their inbox.
When you think about all the marketing channels you could use for you travel business, an email marketing campaign should be designed to save you time and money, as it entails far less labour than other types of marketing. Plus you can reach a wide range of people from all over the world with email, even if you are on a tight budget.
If you’re one of those travel businesses that doesn’t email their customers regularly, or is wondering how to get the most out of your email marketing, then here’s 5 tips to help inspire you and make this part of your constant customer communication (CCC) strategy.
1. Provide unique travel content
Have you ever read the travel section in The Age, where the editor takes you on a journey through one of their favourite villages in Tuscany, or perhaps they’ve just experienced the new Premium Economy class product on an airline? Whatever the thrill, your first-hand knowledge and opinions are considered valuable information to your customers. They rely on you for this type of stuff, and will actively research reviews and handy tit-bits before they travel. Did you know that 95% of travellers use the internet for research purposes? The news had better come from you rather than your competitors.
2. Delegate where necessary
Don’t take on all the responsibility of creating and distributing your email communications. If you really hate writing, why not delegate to a member in your team. Surely someone has been on a sabbatical or holiday recently? Or perhaps one of your wholesale suppliers wants to help out by promoting their product in a fun and informative way.
I’ve been lucky to convince one of the tour guides, who’s an ex Australian Army General, to write unique and engaging articles as part of the monthly newsletter I create for a client that specialises in battlefield tours. The subscribers love this exclusive content and feel that they are being directly taken care of.
3. Don’t be boring!
So you’ve found something interesting to write about. Perhaps it’s how to maximise a layover in Kuala Lumpur on route to Europe. Maybe there is a great place at the airport to get a massage to help alleviate jet lag. Whatever you write, don’t make it boring! I’m sure you’re reading this thinking it is easier said than done. Just relax, have a glass of wine, and write like you speak. Keep it conversational and pretend you’re describing the trip to your best friend. (Yes, the fish you caught was really that big!)
4. Make your travel product exclusive
Are you selling a 10 Day P&O Cruise to New Zealand that you’ve cut and pasted straight from the product and sales PDF the supplier gave you? Wow! Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t go direct? There goes your commission!
Why not generate a bit of hype and describe the magical experience the customer will have on their journey. Are there any bonus day trips you can include? Is there a special hotel stay you can add on? Are there any great flight deals you can package up? Whatever you do, make it sound like an exclusive offer that the customer can only get through your superior travel services.
5. Be first to publish
So the Europe Earlybird airfares were launched in September and October. Did you send this information to your subscribers straight away, or did you let it slide a week or two?
Or perhaps you copy and pasted whatever the airline or franchise partner gave you? In that case, I’ll give you one point for being timely with your communications, but I’ll take another point away for not making it unique, interesting, and funny or whatever makes your travel business stand out from the crowd. Do you advise customers that as a travel agent you can hold bookings, or do you let them go and book with the airline direct? Think how you can reiterate your point of difference in all communications.
Still can’t commit to regular email marketing communications?
If this all seems like too much hard work, but you know that you want to communicate regularly with your customers, why not contact us today to discuss how we can help you design, write and distribute your email communications to help you stand out from the crowd.