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. Sit down and map out a strategy for your email marketing based on our articles to date. Decide what your goals are and how you will reach them using these tactics. Simply choosing one of the tactics from the list below may work, but may also be entirely out of touch with the balance of your marketing plan.
In no particular order here are a few ideas:
- Business Cards – each time you hand out a business card, ask for one in return and ask for permission to send your new acquaintance your newsletter.
- Trade shows – if you exhibit at bridal or other travel trade shows , be sure to collect business cards or have a sign up sheet available.
- Employees, friends, family – each of your employees, friends and family has a list of acquaintances. Provide them with ideas from this list and provide an incentive for the collection of email addresses. Make sure the emails are solid, permission based leads.
- Clients – provide a method in your email for forwarding to a friend and sharing your newsletter, and then affirmatively ask your customers for a referral.
- Cross Marketing – This is my personal favorite. Work with other business people in your community. There is no better way to increase your sphere of influence. Trade space in your newsletter for space in another business to consumer newsletter. For example, allow a local photographer, yoga studio or clothing store with a newsletter to put information and a link to their newsletter in your own and you get similar space in theirs.
- Subscription Forms – make sure your website has an opt-in form on every page. Most email programs have a built-in program for generating an opt-in form for your site. Use it!
- Street Fairs – participate in local events such as business street fairs and farmers markets where you can promote and raise the visibility of your travel practice in your community. Collect email addresses as you would at any event.
- Business emails – include an invitation for your promotional emails and newsletters in the signature block of your business emails.
- Social and professional clubs – Do you belong to the local Chamber of Commerce or the Junior League? Do you have the other members’ email addresses? Why not? Look at all of your activities for new pools of potential candidates. Church, school, groups with which you volunteer and figure out how to market to the group.
- Free Reports – give away free reports as an incentive for signing up on your list. “How to Get a Passport“. “5 Travel Scams to Avoid”. “How to Use a Travel Professional“. Consumers want to be educated. Give them what they want!
- Speaking events – If you are comfortable with public speaking, look for opportunities to get in front of groups. During your presentation, mention your newsletter and your free reports and get people to sign up.
- Social Media – if you are using Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, remember to keep your email marketing opportunities front and center. Include opt-in forms or links to opt-in forms on each of the media you use.