Have you recently thought about making a major purchase—maybe a new car, new computer or new phone? Did you start some on-line research and then find yourself signing up for e-newsletters and webinars to learn more about your intended new purchase?
Do you find yourself excited to open those emails that you signed up for? I’ll bet you open them nearly as quickly as you can say “You’ve got Mail”.
I’ll bet you’re nodding your head and checking your in-box for the newest info while getting more excited about your upcoming newest, latest and greatest.
Your travel clients and potential new clients are like you—eagerly awaiting the next connection to you and their intended trip.
Let’s study how your own e-newsletters can play a vital role in a well-crafted marketing plan designed to enthrall your travel clients. Whether or not your host/consortia provides a newsletter for you, you may want to write your own and build even stronger relationships with your readers.
Your e-newsletter is a great place to:
- Reveal your latest blog post
- Invite readers to your social sites
- Promote your professional expertise
- Showcase your latest offers and promotions
- Update readers on your latest trips
- Bring your fans into your inner circle with news, trends and insider knowledge
- Enthrall your readers with tid-bits of travel trivia
- Excite them with new destinations
- Give away a downloadable cheat sheet
Mixing up your e-news content with graphics and video is key to keeping their attention.
Consider creating graphics that highlight trivia about a featured destination. Here’s some examples.
How about embedding video to capture the visual attention of your readers.
When sending your e-blast be aware of timing.
Tuesday: This is hands down the #1 best day to send emails according to the majority of the data from these studies.
Thursday: If you send two emails a week, choose Thursday for your second day.
Your own analytics may show that your unique audience is different, yet these are starting points for you.
While many of the studies found varying results, here is how you can prioritize your send times based on research data:
- 10 a.m.: While late-morning send times were the most popular in general, several concluded that the best time to send emails is at 10 a.m. Another notable time is 11 a.m.
- 8 p.m. – midnight: I bet you didn’t expect that one. It looks like emails generally receive more opens and clicks later in the evening.
- 2 p.m.: It looks like you might be successful by sending your emails later in the day as people are checking out of work mode or looking for distractions.
- 6 a.m.: I guess this makes sense since 50% of you begin your day by emailing in bed. Before you even stand up, you’re opening emails. Good morning. (Source )
Now sure where to start? Check out these e-blast providers:
When you dive into the features and benefits of these email blast providers, here’s some top features to explore;
- How easy is it to set up a template?
- Are there a variety of available templates that can be customized to your unique style and brand?
- What types of analytics are offered? Are they easy to query and read?
- How flexible is the launch scheduling tool?
- What kind of support is available from the e-blast provider?
- Is the newsletter ‘responsive‘–does it automatically adapt in size to the readers device?
- What types of fee schedules do they offer? Monthly? Pay as you Go?
Exploring these options and knowing your own cyclical marketing opportunities will help with your decision. For example, if you know that you won’t do much marketing in certain months (think about summer) maybe a Pay as You Go service is better.
E-Blast Slip-Ups to Avoid
Slip up #1 — sending a generic email to all of your clients
Fix #1 – Personalize the salutation line so that is reads “Dear _______” and includes the readers name. If possible, use their name within the body of the email where it makes sense.
Slip up #2 – sending a mass email via Outlook or G-mail. So many times your email will land in a spam folder filtered because the receivers email notices the large number of recipients.
Fix #2 – Choose an email service as described above.
Slip up #3 – not tracking your click thru and open rates.
Fix #3 – One of the biggest benefits of using an email service is the tracking and analytics available. You’ll be able to understand what days and times your unique audience is most likely to open and click links within your e-blast.
Slip up #4 – sending the same info to all of your clients.
Fix #4 – Segment your client list into usable tailored lists. Consider segmenting your clients by preferred destinations or styles of travel. For example, create a list of your clients who love to cruise. Then create another for clients that love certain activities; cycling, culinary travel, adventure travel. You may find that some clients will be on a couple of lists. That’s OK. This way you can tailor your messages directly to their interests.
As you can see, when it comes to social marketing, it’s not all about “out with the old and in with the new.” It’s about designing an integrated plan that reaches your clients on a variety of mediums; social and traditional.
Remember the marketing advice that people need to see your message 7 times before they take any action. A constant information flow that’s relevant to your audience segments will keep you top of mind with your client base.
Knowing what you know now, how will you approach your next e-newsletter blast differently?
Social Marketing Strategies for Travel and Tourism