The Complete Guide for Travel Email Marketing

Categories: Email marketing
Sam Thomas avatar
Sam Thomas Updated: June 23, 2021

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To communicate with their customers nowadays, travel agencies need a solid digital marketing strategy. It’s not like in the past when folks thinking about taking a trip would walk into a brick-and-mortar travel agency. Of course, this still occurs, but it is becoming uncommon.

The great majority of passengers today book their travels and conduct their research online. Your website and social media sites, for example, are excellent digital tools for communicating with customers. Email, on the other hand, is one of the finest ways to stay in touch. You don’t have to wait for visitors to visit your pages if you use email. You can contact them ahead of time and direct them where you want them to go.

In this article, I will share with you everything you need to know to get started with travel email marketing, as well as some great tips that you can implement right away to grow your travel business. Let’s jump right into the details!

Table of Content

Benefits of Email Marketing for the Travel Industry

Benefits of Email Marketing for the Travel Industry

First and foremost, let us discuss why email is so vital for travel businesses. It is predicted that there will be 2.9 billion email users on the earth in 2019. While we’re piling on big figures to illustrate our point, keep in mind that 105 billion emails are sent every day, with that figure anticipated to rise to 246 billion by 2023. There are various other reasons why you should use email in your travel business:

  • It is very affordable. Email marketing is one of the most affordable marketing methods available today.
  • It’s easy to implement. You can develop and launch your first email campaign in just 30 minutes thanks to free HTML email templates.
  • It’s laser-focused. You may send to a specific list with one clear call to action, allowing you to reach a relevant audience and achieve your goal.
  • It’s straightforward. It’s basic enough that your marketing intern can take over as necessary. You may use a drag-and-drop editor to create an email that will dazzle your creative team while also producing results that will wow your boss.
  • It is effective. Email is predicted to deliver $42 for every $1 spent when done correctly.

What are the key elements of a successful travel marketing email?

What are the key elements of a successful travel marketing email?

The following are some elements you should include in every travel marketing email you write:

  • Personalization: More than half of travel marketing experts consider personalization as a game-changing approach for email marketing in competitive markets. A personalized email makes the recipient feel special and helps them connect with your brand. Segmentation and customization work together to produce more useful and personalized content.
  • Attention-grabbing subject lines: this tip applies to all email marketing campaigns. Writing strong email subject lines should be a requirement for all email marketers because mastery of this skill reduces instances of improper spam-tagging and increases open rates.
  • Videos. Emails containing attached videos often receive a large increase in total engagement. It is possible to notice a 19% boost in open rates and a 65 percent rise in click-through rates. It is also perfect for the travel and hotel industries. Videos are an excellent approach to show potential tourists different types of accommodations, excursions, and destinations.
  • Urgency. Similar to personalization and an emphasis on subject lines, promoting interaction through a sense of urgency is advantageous for email marketing in general. It is worth noting, however, that they are especially effective with travel companies. Nothing beats flash travel sales and limited-time bargains when it comes to planning a holiday.
  • An easy way for subscribers to spread the word. Solitary excursions are less common than group holidays. Allow your subscribers to easily recommend and extend your vacation packages to their friends and family. They can always forward your email, but social-sharing buttons are also a pleasant touch.

Types of emails for travel marketing

1. The warm welcome

These are frequently a sequence of messages that are triggered by email list signups. Engagement statistics degrade when they are not automated. Automated welcome emails may have an open rate of more than 85% and a click-through rate of 29%.

When delivered manually, open rates fall to 52%, while click-through rates fall to 12%. A double opt-in, an introduction to your company, and a reminder to set their email preferences can all be included in this series of emails.

The warm welcome

2. The newsletter

The newsletter is a versatile format that may be used to provide travelers with getaway ideas, announce your latest packages and tour alternatives, share travel industry news, or debut a new perk or service.

These emails boost your credibility in travel and hospitality topics. A satisfied client testimonial is another popular sort of content in a travel business newsletter. They are equally effective as internet reviews and can even be delivered in video format for maximum impact.

The newsletter

3. The seasonal or milestone offer

The average person cannot afford to take a vacation for every holiday, birthday, and anniversary celebration. That doesn’t mean they won’t be open to your travel suggestions.

Promotions centered around holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or even an unusual one such as Cinco de Mayo are not uncommon. Campaigns for spring break and summer vacations may also be launched.

While conversions are the obvious goal, the truly winning method is to introduce subscribers to potential possibilities. Even if they aren’t ready now, members will remember and respect your knowledge when it comes time to book a long-awaited vacation.

The seasonal or milestone offer

4. The booking confirmation

When a retail brand processes a purchase, they frequently send an email receipt. Booking confirmations are practically the same thing. Because passengers frequently examine these travel agency emails more than once, they have almost unrealistically high open rates.

With those open rates, it’s worth including more conversion and income chances. Think about cross-selling or upselling.

The booking confirmation

5. The informational message

More than 75% of passengers believe that educational content influences their decision-making abilities. The objective here is to present yourself as a caring and supporting brand to your current and prospective clients.

You can forewarn travelers about adverse weather or tourist attraction scheduling snafus before they arrive. You can create destination-specific travel guides to deliver to new subscribers. This can range from tourist trips to basic foreign language phrases.

The informational message

6. The thank you email

Consider the thank you note a supplement to your informational emails. After staying in touch with your subscribers throughout their customer journey—from planning and pre-arrival to traveling and returning home—a thank-you note is almost anticipated.

Consider including a link to a survey to collect feedback that you can use to improve the services your brand offers.

The thank you email

7. The loyalty or referral program

Frequent travellers will appreciate being a part of an up-to-date loyalty program. You can design the latter scheme to be point-based or just offer flat discounts on specific services. Rewards for attaining milestones and birthday surprises are other excellent features. A referral program driven by your loyalty program may also assist you in expanding your email list and increasing your conversion rate.

The loyalty or referral program

8. The re-engagement email

Are the majority of your subscribers new or prospective travelers rather than repeat customers? If this is the case, you may strengthen your loyalty program or try executing a re-engagement campaign to remind members why they signed up for your email list in the first place.

The re-engagement email

10 strategies for successful travel email marketing

Understanding the importance of email marketing in the travel and hospitality industries is merely the first step in establishing your brand’s email marketing strategy. The next step is to begin brainstorming email marketing ideas to deliver to those who have subscribed to your email list. Do you need assistance getting started? Here are ten pointers to help you with your planning:

1. Give new subscribers a warm welcome

When a traveler subscribes to your emails, it’s time to welcome them. Send a welcome email to your new subscriber with a pleasant greeting and information that encourages the subscriber to discover more about your company.

You can schedule welcome emails to land in a subscriber’s mailbox soon after they sign up. According to Experian, welcome emails delivered in real time have an 88 percent open rate and a 29 percent click-through rate, which is much greater than welcome emails sent in batches, which had 52 percent open rates and 12 percent click-through rates.

Here’s a nice example of a welcome email issued to new subscribers by Fairmont Hotels. It encourages subscribers to visit places where Fairmont Hotels are available:

Give new subscribers a warm welcome

2. Send travel inspirations

With so many destinations to visit, your subscribers will need some inspiration. According to the 2016 Virtuoso Luxe Report, a growing percentage of travelers are preferring to visit lesser-known locations or non-touristy destinations.

Create and send emails that highlight exotic places to visit. Whatever destinations you promote, make sure they are accompanied by stunning photos. Images not only capture attention, but they also assist travelers in imagining themselves sitting under a palm tree or strolling through the streets of a city.

Flight Centre does an excellent job of enticing subscribers with these newsletter-style emails that highlight fantastic destinations (with engaging photos) at affordable prices. The secret to the success of these emails is that Flight Centre combines data on its consumers with dynamic content to present bargains that appeal to tastes, prior purchases, and online surfing activities.

Send travel inspirations

3. Send personalized travel ideas and offers

While sending emails with entertaining travel destinations is a good start, you can improve your email game by personalizing such communications, as seen in the Flight Centre email. A tailored email is more relevant to a subscriber, increasing the likelihood that he or she will open it and click through.

To personalize emails, collect information from subscribers or leverage data from third-party apps such as your booking software, ecommerce app, or CRM. Every piece of information you obtain gives you a better understanding of your customer and allows you to deliver tailored travel offers.

During their email sign-up process, Air Canada encourages new subscribers to provide their home airport as well as the places they are interested in visiting. Using this information, the company sends promotions tailored to the subscriber’s preferences. The flight packages depart from the subscriber’s home airport—in this case, Montreal—and travel to destinations of the subscriber’s choosing.

Send personalized travel ideas and offers

4. Send gift ideas on holidays

Send travel ideas when a holiday arrives. People are always looking for the perfect present, so why not encourage them to think beyond the box?

On Mother’s Day, Flight Centre issued an email to its customers saying, “Brunch is nice, but a trip is better.” It’s amusing, topical, and, most importantly, it has the potential to generate two bookings rather than just one.

Send gift ideas on holidays

Subscribers in this sample can enter to win a Mother’s Day trip by providing feedback. You might attempt that, or you could simply send a promotional email on a holiday of your choosing.

5. Send testimonials

Travelers aren’t only looking for the cheapest trip; they’re also checking reviews. According to TripAdvisor data, 93 percent of travelers worldwide say Internet reviews affect their booking decisions.

Because tourists rely so heavily on reviews, why not help them out with that? Consider sending an email with numerous testimonials from satisfied customers and include a link to read more.

Fairmont Hotels sends this testimonial email with a CTA that directs readers to read real-life guest stories.

Send testimonials

6. Have a loyalty program

Loyalty is a difficult concept to grasp in the travel and hospitality industries. Travelers are more likely to look for the best deals than to favor a specific brand. If you, however, have a rewards program, you can use it to drive customer loyalty and repeat business.

According to Accenture, users of a loyalty program produced 12 to 18 percent higher revenue for a business than non-members in 2016. Send emails to current subscribers about the program and its benefits. Include a call to action that directs readers to a simple signup form. Here’s a Fairmont Hotels email that does just that:

Have a loyalty program

7. Provides incentives for loyal customers

After subscribers have joined your loyalty program, you can send niche-specific emails. Consider breaking this list down into smaller categories based on travelling habits, popular vacation spots, or region. By segmenting your list, you can give travelers with relevant trip suggestions and incentives that drive them to act.

For example, you might email subscribers in Los Angeles about a vacation discount that departs from LAX, or you might give members double points for making a reservation. British Airways is giving its frequent flyer members the opportunity to double their air points by booking a ticket within the next 45 days. The email even mentions the member’s current point status.

Provides incentives for loyal customers

By using email marketing to promote its loyalty program, British Airways can encourage more travelers to book a trip.

8. Sell experiences

Travelers want an experience, not simply a destination. As a result, it is critical to promote the activities that are available to travellers. You may create memorable experiences by focusing on the trip rather than the destination.

For example, don’t simply promote low room prices; also promote all of the services available at your hotel. Send an email promoting your business center to business travelers, or tell families about the Olympic-sized pool that will keep the youngsters entertained.

Consider how you may provide passengers with a one-of-a-kind experience, as Virgin Experience Days does with this email that offers a chance to go virtual reality skydiving.

Sell experiences

9. Offer limited-time deals

According to Google, 76% of business travelers and 70% of leisure travelers book with a certain brand based on pricing.

Given the importance of exceptional pricing, send emails to your subscribers offering them the opportunity to enjoy a fantastic trip at an unbelievable price. Put a time limit on these promotions to show subscribers how appealing they are.

The short deadline should motivate subscribers to act quickly. Flight Centre employed this concept in a recent email that advertised low-cost flights to New York City. Flight Centre included a countdown clock at the bottom of the email to emphasize the limited-time offer.

Offer limited-time deals

10. Create a sense of urgency

According to Expedia data, the average traveler takes 45 days to arrange a holiday. However, not every traveler devotes that much time to planning.

In fact, some travelers want to get away as soon as possible. With a can’t-resist email offer, give subscribers the opportunity to take an impromptu trip. Flight Centre emailed users with a link to last-minute getaways starting at $530.

Create a sense of urgency

8 Great Travel email examples to inspire your next campaign

It’s (nearly) summer, which means it’s a great time for exotic holidays and weekend getaways. It also means that travel marketers are working harder than ever to outperform the competition and win over last-minute planners in their inboxes.

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite travel email samples. Sit back, relax, and daydream about beautiful lands!

1. Airbnb

Airbnb always nails the subscriber experience, but this recent email with a scrolling carousel of their “experiences.” is absolutely amazing. I was immediately drawn in by the captivating subject line and the bold, clean style, and I knew this wasn’t simply another business-as-usual campaign.

Airbnb

2. JetBlue

JetBlue outperforms the competition with their conversational copy and mobile-responsive, scrollable emails. This one is particularly clever because it includes a list of options that are all centered on a single theme: Travel destinations where you do not require a passport. Even though there are several ways to go, it keeps the message focused.

JetBlue

3. Koloa Landing

This fantastic automated welcome email is simply stunning in terms of appearance – but it’s also great in terms of strategy. It is triggered immediately after a new subscriber joins Koloa Landing’s email list and asks the new member to “introduce themselves” by setting up their preferences. It’s a wonderful approach to get started sending relevant, targeted communications right away.

Koloa Landing

4. The Clymb

This is one thing to keep in mind while designing an email for a travel business? Above all, use visuals to lead. You probably already have beautiful photo assets that you can utilize to create a wonderful picture for your subscribers of how they’d feel in various locations. Tell that tale using striking, high-quality images to elicit an emotional response and inspire action.

The Clymb

6. Jetsetter

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best. This email from Jetsetter minimizes distraction by simplifying the way here: Choose a destination that appeals to you from this no-fuss collection of tiles. By lowering friction, you enhance the likelihood of your subscribers taking action and visiting your website.

Jetsetter

7. Hipmunk

Hipmunk has a distinct brand and voice, which is reflected in this welcome email. The humorous drawings let you rapidly grasp the core of the message without having to read it all, and it all comes together with a contrasting humorous CTA button at the bottom.

Hipmunk

8. Southwest

Southwest delivers a fantastic annual summary to Rapid Rewards members to remind them of their trips and points earned over the previous year. Look at this:

Southwest

Use AVADA Marketing Automation to get started with travel email marketing

AVADA Marketing Automation

AVADA Marketing Automation is a multi-channel email and SMS marketing platform that can help you facilitate your travel email marketing. Main features include:

This tool is very suitable for startups and small businesses due to its user-friendliness and affordability. Paid plans start at $9/month for 1,000 subscribers, unlimited emails and full features. There’s a free forever plan for 15,000 emails and 1,000 subscribers that you can use to try out the app. Sign up now!

Pricing plans

Final words

That’s it! I hope that this article has provided you with valuable information about how to get started with travel email marketing. Please feel free to leave comments below for further discussion on this topic!

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