Email marketing for tourism, though not as flashy as social media marketing, is way more profitable in the long run. Statistics show that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you get back $40. That’s an astounding 4000% ROI. Let’s see any other marketing channel top that!
Image courtesy of Neil Patel
What is email marketing?
So, what exactly is email marketing? It’s a form of marketing that uses emails to promote business’ services to prospects and communicate with existing customers.
Why is email marketing for tourism so important?
As a tour and activity company, you’re selling an experience. Your prospect needs to have a pleasant experience from when you make initial contact to the end of their tour. Email marketing gives you a direct channel to your prospects and existing customers. You can then customize it to give everyone a personalized experience depending on how you want to engage with them.
Now, let’s look at some helpful email marketing tips you can use to boost your tours and activities business:
1. Use a behavior-based email marketing strategy
Email marketing gives you a lot of personalization options, so why not take advantage of that? You can use a behavior-based email marketing strategy to send personalized emails to your prospects, depending on the actions they take on your website. And you can do it all on autopilot using specific triggers! So what are some of these behaviors that’d give you the opportunity to email your prospects?
Registration or subscription
A welcome email is critical in setting the pace for future emails. When setting up your emails, you can set up a subscription/registration to trigger a welcome email. That way, whenever anyone subscribes to your newsletter or subscribes to your email list, they immediately receive a welcome email. Not only does that show your thoughtfulness, but it also allows you to ask prospects to whitelist your emails early on.
Sometimes, a prospect will land on your website and abandon their browsing. Human concentration isn’t what it used to be. According to a 2015 research, the average human attention span declined from 12 seconds in the year 2000, to 8.25 seconds in 2015. It’s official, we have a shorter attention span than a goldfish!
With so many distractions around us, it’s not uncommon for someone to get sidetracked when they’re browsing. Now, an email can be beneficial in reeling an abandoned browse back to your website. You can set up your website to detect abandoned browses and email those people a message that entices them to resume browsing your site.
Congrats, you’ve converted a prospect into a customer. But, marketing shouldn’t end with the sale. You’ll need to keep them feeling like the purchase was worth it. Sending out an email to a customer when they book with you shows appreciation and readiness to assist when necessary. The email can be a standard Thank You email with any other details you might need to communicate to them about the activity they’ve booked with you.
So, someone canceled their booking. No problem, they had their reasons. What you do after a prospect cancels determines whether they’ll return to you when they’re ready to book again or go to your competitor. If someone cancels their booking, you can email them if there’s anything you can do to change their minds and urge them to reach out to you. If they say there’s nothing you can do, you can email them details about your company’s cancellation procedure.
2. Segment your audience
As a tour and activity business, you already have the advantage of possessing more customer information than other industries. You can tap into that to personalize your customers’ and prospects’ emails through segmentation. Let’s look at some of the audience segmentation options you can use:
One of the ways to segment your audience is by asking them the kind of emails they’d like to receive. Do they want to be notified when you have an offer? Do they want to learn about new locations they should tour? Do they want personalized offers? You can create a list of preferences that work for your business and ask your audience to choose the emails they’d like to receive.
Some people don’t mind getting frequent emails from companies they’ve interacted with. Yet, others can’t stand it and unsubscribe when they notice that a business is sending them numerous emails. So, to prevent this from happening to you, why not ask the audience how frequently they want the emails? Whether someone wants one email per month, or an email every day, they can state their preference to you, and you can email them according to their preferred frequency.
If you’re a business with many activities and tours in its catalog, there’s a high chance that most people will not be interested in all of them. Instead, you’ll find that people only have a few favorite ones. So, what do you do to avoid sending your audience emails about activities that don’t interest them? Simple, you let them choose the activities that interest them and send them those emails instead. It’s a great way to increase your emails’ relevance to the recipients and boost your open and conversion rates.
3. Help your audience celebrate their special events
Everyone likes to feel appreciated on their special days, and your audience is no different. Help your audience celebrate milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries by sending them a thoughtful email on their special day.
Image courtesy of Sendpulse
You can even go further and offer them a can’t-miss deal on their special day. A simple email and personalized celebratory offer can help boost your customer retention rate.
4. Inspire them to travel
Sometimes, the best marketing strategy is where your prospect doesn’t know they’re being marketed to. Instead of pushing your services to your prospects, you can entice them and reel them in with some inspiring emails. The idea here is to show them how awesome it is to book tours with you, instead of just telling them.
Image courtesy of Campaign Monitor
Of course, you’ll have to get visual with these kinds of emails, words alone won’t do justice to the experiences you offer. So, what should be in the emails? Awesome images! Most tour enthusiasts are always on the lookout for lesser-known exotic locales. Feed this need by sending them emails with pictures of places that are off the beaten path.
You want the person on the other end of that email to imagine themselves touring the area. That’s why you’ll need some awesome pictures in the emails. You can take this a step further by using prior purchases and customer preferences to personalize the emails and showcase destinations that interest them.
5. Personalize their experience
Personalization tells your customers that you took the time to understand what they like, and most of them appreciate it. A personalized email will be more relevant to the recipient, which means they’ll be more likely to open it and click through. This will drive your open rate through the roof.
But, personalization needs a solid foundation. You’ll need to gather as much information about your prospects and customers as possible. You might even need to use third parties to collect personal data. Remember, every piece of information gives you more insight into your prospect and helps you create a more personalized experience.
Social media and email are excellent marketing channels when used separately. But when used together, they can deliver ground-shaking results. The first step should be placing a sign-up button on your social media business pages. When someone clicks on the sign-up button, they’re taken to a registration form to select the kind of emails they want. You can also gain social media followers from an existing mailing list by including social media CTAs in your newsletter.
Data is everything in marketing—the more information you have on your prospect, the higher your chance of converting them. Combining social media and email gives you two powerful data sources that you can use to gather much information about your prospects. You can then use this data to personalize emails, create customized tour suggestions, and discover prospects’ special celebrations. The information you gather will also make it easier for you to target the ideal audience if you decide to run ads.
7. Build a loyalty program
Brand loyalty can be a hard nut to crack in the tour and activities sector. Travelers tend to look for the best deals rather than favor a specific brand. But a loyalty program can change all that.
According to Accenture, loyalty programs members generate 13% to 15% more revenue annually than non-members. You’ll need to show your subscribers the benefits of your loyalty program if you want them to enroll. Send out an email explaining what the subscribers stand to gain from your loyalty program. Make sure to include a call-to-action encouraging them to sign up.
Email marketing for tourism doesn’t have to be complicated or tedious. Armed with our email marketing tips, you can start running campaigns and see results in no time. Just remember to keep your emails relevant and consistent.
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