Travel Industry Email Marketing: A Mini Handbook

Nothing excites email marketers as the traveling industry. Perhaps it is the number one hobby listed on people’s resumes as well as the biggest part of their social media feed. Email developers and marketers often apply innovative strategies to capture their subscribers’ attention. Traveling is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it is also one of the most competitive ones around.

You also need to cater to a variety of content that excites different audiences as per their interest and preferences. Things can get clumsy when working in such competitive industries, and today I am going to share a mini handbook on travel industry email marketing. If you are interested in learning a trick or two, hop on the blog wagon!

Work On Your Strategy Basics

Email marketing is more of an analytical job than creativity. You need to get the customer demographics in place before you start laying out your game plan. Using double opt-in for your mailing list will help you know more about your subscribers and locations that they are more likely to visit. Knowing their budget, age, gender, marital status, and employment mode will help you develop solid email marketing strategies.

Irrelevant content would be the last thing any travel enthusiast would glance at. It would be a good idea to include A/B split testing to understand what excites your subscribers the most. Define your campaign goals in terms of expected email metrics and see how you can achieve them in terms of email list size, mailing frequency, and target audience. Also, list out the factors that can affect your deliverability rates to get better CRO and ROI. The average open rate for the travel industry is 22.79%,  11.52% open rate, 2.63% CTR, and 0.18% unsubscribing rate, finds GetResponse.

Choose The Right ESP And Build A Hygienic Mailing List

Your email service provider can help you to a large extent. Check out their capability to manage transactional emails, automation workflows, segmenting and personalization capabilities, and managing email life cycles. Also, look for their ability to integrate with promotional coupon apps. CRM integrations and analytics are among the top priorities of travel companies along with compliance database management, and deliverability.

Your contact list is the second most important element in your email marketing game. You should always go for building an organic mailing list as it will always give you better results than paid ones while also safeguarding you from legal implications. No matter if you acquire leads from social media marketing, blogs, coupons, or offers, you should always use double opt-ins as they can be used as evidence in case of GDPR suits.

Choose Email Template Design As Per Lifecycle

The lifecycle in travel email marketing is considerably longer, and one needs to use the right email templates for each stage of the customer journey. The welcome, feedback, newsletters, loyalty program, flash sales, and seasonal sales emails are some of the most important marketing and lifecycle emails. You also need to include transactional emails like booking confirmation and cart abandonment. Here’s an informative emailer from the industry giant Airbnb that can be used for engagement:

Travel Industry Email Marketing: A Mini Handbook

Your email calendar should include these templates to help your email developers maintaining brand consistency. Using a block-based design approach is favorable as it reduces the turnaround time considerably as the email developers don’t need to design the template from scratch in case of changes and bugs. Using content blocks also helps in maintaining brand consistency as you can reuse them as required.

Use Travel-Friendly Email Content And Images

People read travel emails carefully because they are submitting personal details to you. So craft your email copy carefully and make use of power words in your CTA buttons. For your copies, you can use informative content on tourist destinations, travel guides and essentials, safety tips, customer reviews, customer success stories, and even polls to drive engagement. Cross-channel partnering with hotels can also help you a lot.

Images have a special place in all travel emails, and you should definitely use a strongly featured hero image. Make sure it matches with the overall email template design and helps your subscribers understand the subject of your message. Here’s some amazing use of stunning images in emails:

Go For Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization is the need of the hour. Perhaps smartphones have become the number one travel mates and using responsive HTML email templates will have multifold benefits for your campaigns. They improve the accessibility of your messages as they ensure your flawless rendering across all device types, OS, and screen sizes. Just make sure that they display all elements properly and ensure that they follow personalization best practices by showing/blocking desired fields. It is the top-rated channel so missing on it due to accessibility issues is not an option:

Wrap Up

In this article, I have covered various aspects of the travel industry email marketing, and I’ll like to add one more thing: Leverage automation workflows extensively to personalize your messages to the individual level. Travel and tourism is a highly competitive industry and knowing about your customers is the best way of getting conversions. I hope you find this mini handbook on travel industry email marketing useful for your next campaign.

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