When it comes to marketing your travel business you might rely heavily on your website, social media, personal branding, and others but one of the marketing strategies you should also have in place if you don’t already is email marketing! Did you know that 49% of consumers said that they would like to receive emails from their favorite brands weekly (Statista)? Email Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated either, it can be a simple solution to keep in constant contact with your potential and current clients.
In this article, we will explore how to get started if you’re new to email marketing and also share tips, tricks, and inspiration for anyone already sending emails to clients.
How to Start an Email List
The most important part of email marketing is having an email list to send them to so it’s important to organize your email list strategically. You may only need one email list for everyone, including potential new clients and older clients alike. However, it’s also smart to separate these lists out if you decide to share alternative email marketing to each type of customer.
For example, you might have an email list for current and old clients who receive emails about upcoming promotions, updates, etc. Then, you may have a separate list for people who have reached out or shown interest in booking with you. They could receive emails that are part of an email campaign to help get them into your sales funnel.
If you don’t have many emails yet and need to begin building your list, below are a couple of ways to begin building your email list:
A lead magnet is one of the most popular ways to acquire email addresses for marketers! A lead magnet is a download, incentive, or “freebie” that someone can receive in exchange with sharing their email with you. Examples of lead magnets that travel agents can offer is an itinerary download, a travel guide, eBook, PDF checklist, and so much more! Click here for a guide to creating lead magnets.
Travefy Academy previously hosted a webinar with Cyndi Williams and discussed the power of lead magnets and how to use them to build your email list. You can watch this webinar below:
Email Sign Up Forms
Another option to gather email addresses is to simply have a form that people can sign up to receive future emails from you. Typically, you can create these forms with the email software tool you use but you can also put together a simple Google Form and embed it onto your website to collect emails. You can also add this to your social media channels too!
Email Marketing Software
So you have your email list, now what? Finding the right tool to use is crucial because it will be the main organizational system of your email addresses and allow you to effectively and efficiently build an email campaign and send marketing. Below are some of the most popular email software tools to use along with pricing. It’s important to note that pricing depends on how large your email address list is with each software so be sure to research how many email addresses you can send to.
- MailChimp (Freemium)
- Emma ($89/month+)
- Constant Contact ($20/month+)
- ConvertKit (Freemium)
- MailerLite (Freemium)
- Drip ($19/month+)
- AWeber ($19/month+)
- and more!
Pro Tip: If you’re uncomfortable with spending too much money on email marketing, according to the DMA, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42!
Other Helpful Software for Email Marketing
There are a lot of additional resources you might rely on for effective email marketing. Below are some of our favorites:
- Unpslash: Get free images to use for email marketing!
- Canva: A great option to easily create graphics.
- Google Forms: A simple solution if you need to collect email addresses outside of your email software tool.
Email Content Ideas
Once you have your email list and software in place, it’s time to start creating email marketing content! Below you will find different ideas to implement for your email marketing strategy.
A Welcome Email
This is especially important if you have an email signup form or lead magnet, consider sharing a simple welcome email to introduce yourself and share links to connect on your social media and website. This is also a great place to showcase your expertise and tell the reader how you can help them in planning their future trips.
According to GetResponse, a welcome email gets an average of 82% open rate!
Promotions and Sales
One of the great things with having an email marketing strategy in place is that it’s an easy way to share upcoming promotions and sales to your clients. You can share supplier promotions and your own!
Business News and Announcements
Be sure to keep your email viewers in the loop with any new business announcements that you might have or keep them up to date on what you’re up to and what you’re adding to your business. For example, if you attended a conference and learned about new suppliers to offer your client amazing experiences, share this with them!
Curated Content of Industry News
You’re the expert and your clients look to you for travel industry updates and news. Share an email linking to various articles that will keep them updated and if you specialize in particular destinations you can curate this news based on where your clients typically travel to.
Blog Posts and Content You’ve Created
If you create content like blog articles on your website, you can always package these articles up in an email for them to check out.
Invitation to Events You Are Hosting
If you are hosting an upcoming live event in-person or online be sure to let your audience know by sending them an email!
Consider implementing emails that will help build a relationship with your email list. You can send emails for important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, and even check-in emails 1 year after they took their last trip you helped plan.
We saved the best for last! Email campaigns are extremely effective and allow you to curate a string of emails that can be automated once a new email address is added to your database. An email campaign can consist of multiple emails that are strategically lined up for the subscriber to receive. Here’s an example of a simple email campaign for new leads that come to you:
Email #1: Welcome Email
Introducing the new subscriber to your email and letting them know what to expect and learn more about who you are and what you can provide to them.
Email #2: Travel Inspiration
Highlight the destinations and travel experiences you specialize in. You can share it in photos and text or link it back to your website that they can further explore.
Email #3: Client Testimonies
You’re the expert and you’re good at your job so show them this! Share with them reviews and testimonials of past clients and this might encourage them to begin booking travel with you.
Email #4: Industry Updates
This can be an email that you update once a month but this is another great way to share your expertise so that they know they can come to you for any travel-related questions.
Of course, your email campaign can look different but these are just ideas to help get you started. You can schedule each email to go out once a week or maybe the second email comes three days after the welcome email and the rest come a week later. It’s also helpful to check out the open rates and unsubscribe rates to adjust accordingly if needed.
When Should I Send Emails?
This is one of the most popular questions when sending emails, you want them to be effective but you also don’t want to overdo it sending them to press the unsubscribe button. Unfortunately, when researching through data of this you might see different results which is why it’s important to find what works best for you.
However, according to many resources, including Sleeknote, Tuesday and Thursday are the best days. Typically, weekends should be avoided but there has been data shown that for business-to-consumer emails, weekends actually do well since consumers might be more likely to read their emails on the weekend during more downtime.
Timing is also important! According to optinmonster, 8 am and 4 pm seems to be the best time to send emails.
We would encourage you to always reevaluate what is working and what is not for your email list and adjust accordingly. Feel free to experiment with different times and days as well!