We have explored travel agency email marketing over the past two weeks. Today, we sum up by looking at the mistakes you want to avoid at all costs. It’s a sad but true fact we often learn best by making mistakes. Hopefully, we can learn from others and you won’t have to repeat any of these errors to engrave them on your memory. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week I wrote a column on email marketing with ideas for growing your list. A travel consultant yesterday asked for additional ideas, something she could put into use immediately. I can appreciate the desire to move from the idea stage to the action stage! So below is a list of some different tactics you might consider for growing your emails list.
Any contact you have with a potential customer is an opportunity to grow your list. Remember to keep it permission based and strive for content that is both entertaining and useful. Ask the people who sign up for your list about the kinds of travel in which they are interested and the information they would most like to see covered in your emails and communications.
But first, this word of warning: a list of tactics is no substitute for a strategy. Read the rest of this entry »
Once your email is out the door you wait for the sales to happen. Sometimes they do, and that’s a very good thing. But sales are not the only feedback you receive from your email broadcasts. Knowing how to decipher the metrics each email generates is critical to understanding how to fine-tune your successive email broadcasts.
No matter how good your list, some subscribers will hit the “unsubscribe” link in your email. If your list is any size at all, it will be a rare email that gets no unsubscribes. However, if the number of unsubscribes spikes on any given effort, try to determine why. In what way did the particular email differ from others? Subject matter? Time or day sent? Read the rest of this entry »
Last week we discussed the role of subject lines and brand recognition in driving email open rates. But, if subject lines cause opens, it is the content that drives click throughs and engagement. What follows is a series of best practices for email design. It is not always possible to follow each of these every time, but the more consistently you apply the best practices, the better your deliverability and return on investment.
Most importantly, be interesting! Speak in terms of benefit to travelers so that they want to click through to learn more. Your format must be clear and easy to read. Too much information can complicate both your message and your design. Make good use of white space and keep your message simple and easy to understand.
Many Email Service Providers like Constant Contact, have very good systems for building your emails, including templates. Unless you are an accomplished designer, using a template is a good way to go. You may also build the email in a program like Dreamweaver and import the email into your email system. Read the rest of this entry »
This week we have covered the basics of email marketing. Now we move a bit deeper into more advanced tactics. One of the key aspects of getting the best possible results is relevance – only sending what the individual client wants to see.
For example, I am not a a huge fan of mass market cruises. It’s a personal preference. Send me an email promoting a mass market cruise and you won’t get my attention. Send me one a week and I will begin to suspect you don’t understand me as a client. If, however, I receive emails from you on Iceland, Northern Europe and South East Asia, I suspect you remember we once had a conversation on the 10 destinations I have on my bucket list.
Clients want to be treated like individuals. Read the rest of this entry »
Thus far we have emphasized the importance of brand recognition, the subject line and good content to the success of your emails. But no matter how creative your email design, without a solid list of opt-in subscribers, your message will not bring a strong response.
It is hard to put a direct value on each subscriber to your newsletter, but suffice it to say that your readership represents a pool of clients, both existing and potential, to which you can market in an extremely cost-effective manner. Building a strong list of subscribers should be a goal on which you continually work. Patience is the key as it takes time to accumulate a stable base of subscribers, but the end result is a very valuable asset for your agency. Read the rest of this entry »
When a consumer receives an email, two factors determine whether the recipient will open the message. The first is brand recognition. Does the consumer recognize the sender? The second factor is the subject line. Does the subject line create sufficient interest to cause the recipient to open the email to investigate? It’s that simple.
And that difficult.
When you send an email, you typically have the option of setting the “From” address. Be certain you use your brand, something your recipients will immediately recognize as coming from your agency. Using an obscure email address, e.g. Betty@gmail.com, will lower your open rate. Remember, email marketing should be permission based marketing. Your clients have given permission to receive email from you. Therefore, ensure they know the email originates with your company. Read the rest of this entry »
Email continues to be one of the most effective forms of marketing. Reaching out to clients via email has a tremendous return on investment. The Direct Marketing Association indicates an overall return of $44 for every dollar spent, out-performing every other marketing channel.
In this week’s series, we will look at various aspects of email marketing. We will examine best practices, how to build your list and how to execute your efforts. We will also look at some of the more mechanical tasks involved including cleaning up your list and increasing your engagement. Read the rest of this entry »
When we first launched TRO, we surveyed what the other media was providing travel agents. From our perspective, most of the “news” being provided were supplier and destination press releases. Essentially, the same articles were appearing in every magazine and newsletter. There was no room, or need, for another outlet for supplier “news”. We wanted to be different. TRO wanted to produce information that travel agents could actually put to use in their travel practice immediately. Read the rest of this entry »
TRO is spending this week exploring the possibilities of well-crafted travel agency newsletters. It is hard to put a direct value on each subscriber to your newsletter, but suffice it to say that your readership represents a pool of clients, both existing and potential, to which you can market in an extremely cost-effective manner. Building a strong list of subscribers should be a goal on which you continually work. Patience is the key as it takes time to accumulate a stable base of subscribers, but the end result is a very valuable asset for your agency.
Know first that it is possible to buy and rent lists of consumers in almost any geographical market. The quality of such lists vary, but in general are very weak in comparison to lists you build yourself. Read the rest of this entry »