Email Marketing for the travel and tourism industry: Best Practice and Examples
At this time of year travel companies left, right and centre are vying for your attention. The summer months are drawing to a close, and as children go back to school shortly, time is running out for people looking to enjoy the best of the summer.
In this post we’ll look at some top tips for the travel industry to implement, and some great examples of travel newsletters we have receiving into the Wired inbox.
First, what should travel companies be doing in order to win over their contacts? This industry is particularly competitive and email marketing is one of the most popular ways for travel companies to share their latest holiday news and updates.
These email templates should be engaging and should stand out from the rest of the rather crowded inbox.
Here are a few email marketing tips:
1. Be optimistic
A typical family will make one holiday a year, and for a lot of people they book early, and begin the countdown until departure day. Be positive in your tone and messaging. You should be optimistic – there’s no room for negativity when it comes to holidays.
2. Use pictures
If the holidays you’re advertising are for far flung destinations, then pictures are often the only collateral you have to make the sale. A picture is worth a thousand words, so let them do the talking.
3. Use personalisation
When it comes to email marketing for travel companies, segmentation is the way forward. A holiday that appeals to the 18 – 30 group would be like a living hell to your customers that are of pension age. Try and find out more about your contacts when the sign up, ask which type of holidays they are looking to hear more about.
4. Booking times
Before you start sending holiday information out, think about the times of year when people tend to book holidays, and the type of holidays they’ll book. Summer holidays tend to be booked after the Christmas rush is over, around February time, and people start looking at New Years breaks around October time. Timing can make or break your campaign.
5. Your personal experience
In this connected age, the opinions of others count for more than the opinion of your company. Use reviews as part of your sales strategy. Ask customers for images and information after they’ve been away. Consider sending a triggered email a week after they returned asking about their thoughts and experiences whilst away.
6. Subject line
Your subject line should entice the contact to open your email. Your knowledge as a travel operator will help you create subject lines that are interesting and targeted.
7. Think about your reputation
This relates to point 5. Your reputation will affect your sales more so than a lot of other industries. People will not spend a lot of money, and hop on a flight with any old company. Ensure your facts are correct or your reputation will be affected.
8. Always have one ear to the ground
Political situations around the world are constantly changing, so you should keep a look out for the latest news and updates every day. There’s no email marketing fail bigger than sending an extensive campaign regarding the latest fashionable holiday destination if it’s just broken out into civil war.
So now you know what points to remember when building a campaign, let’s see how some of the UK’s biggest companies have done:
We’ve previously included a template of Expedia’s in another Insider post. The emails always follow the same conventions and include a lovely large image at the top of the email. This image really strikes you when you open the email, and if you have added Expedia to your save senders list, then this will be the first thing you see. If not, you’ll have to download the images. There are pros and cons to using such a large image. The image itself is gorgeous – who doesn’t love that feeling of diving into a cool pool when the sun is beating down? Ahhh. However, if the contact does not want to download the images, then the whole feeling and emotional connection is lost.
This email from easyJet is a straight sales email, and the subject line was ‘Amy, summer holidays under £300pp’ making the context of the email very clear straight away and includes some personalisation.
As the email is sales focused, I expected imagery to take a back seat, and the facts and figures to be the most important message. As price is important to people booking holidays, you would expect this to be highlighted, as easyJet have done. Emails like this work based on the presumption that the contact will click through to the website, and read more information there, so interesting and engaging content that is usually found in emails isn’t as necessary. The small images at the top of each column highlight the type of holidays on offer, but don’t focus on a specific place.
Whilst there are a lot of call to actions within this email the important ones, the prices, do stand out as they are bright easyJet orange. The language in the email is positive and optimistic.
3. Secret Escapes
Secret Escapes’ emails make me want to go holiday, and I want to go NOW – they really do the job. The use of imagery is fantastic. The quality of the imagery and the locations works well. These images will be blocked when the email arrives, but once they are downloaded the whole email comes alive. The call to actions are bright, and pop out from the page, and the offers pull you in so that you click through – I admit, I have been tempted by an offer from Secret Escapes.
The template is quite long, but the majority of Secret Escapes’ emails are – there’s a lot of offers to cram in, and engaged contacts will take time to look over them all.
This is the first email I have ever received from Trailfinders, and unfortunately I have to start on a negative. I wish they had used personalisation in this email, instead of saying ‘Dear Trailfinder’ – my name is three letters long, and by implementing one more data capture field they would’ve known that. Personalisation can boost your open rates by up to 10%, so it’s well worth the effort. I also spotted a spelling mistake in the email copy – woops.
Back to the positives – the email is clear, easy to read, and does not bombard you with information. The images are relatable and match the email content. If only the call to actions were more vibrant they would pop out from the page.
Have you seen any other great travel email examples? Let us know below or tweet us @Wired_Marketing.