Building relationships in 2020 | Travel Research Online


Building relationships in 2020

2020 will be here before I know it. Once I get over the fact that I am actually still alive heading into 2020, I will sit down and get serious about growing my business for the next year. I cannot rest on my laurels and as Mike Batt has always said—if you’re not growing, you’re dying!

While the Chinese may be celebrating the Year of the Rat in 2020, I am going to be celebrating the Year of the Relationship.

“Would you mind giving me a ride to the airport?”

The answer to this question depends on one very important factor — who’s asking?

Your reply to a complete stranger is going to be different than the reply to a long-time friend. It’s the nature of the relationship that determines the response and the actions you take.

The better the relationship, the easier it is to say, “Yes.”

The same is true for email marketing. When you allow your email contacts to get to know, like, and trust you, over time you’ll find yourself dealing with clients saying “yes,” more than “no” or “maybe”. Internet be damned!

Let’s take a look at how to make the most of your email marketing relationships so you can grow your agency.

Many online relationships begin on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter.

Each social network offers its own strengths. And these networks are great because of the social word-of-mouth that happens when you’re engaging with your connections. This engagement does two things:

  1. Strengthens an existing relationship
  2. Puts you in front of a new audience

But it is not enough! Both are good things, but due to the algorhithms and such, you have no control over who sees your message. Plus, these connections could not even be yours—friend of a friend of a friend. And in a worst-case scenario, what happens if your efforts are put into Google +, Friendster, MySpace, Ello, or Vine? Poof—you have nothing!

This is why you should always be looking to eventually move these social connections to your own turf, your email list. The only way you can lose them is if they unsubscribe.

So, how do you entice social connections to become email contacts?

In most cases, you’ll want to offer some type of free resource on your website in exchange for an email address. I use an “exclusive” white paper—packing list, top ten destinations for 2020, ten travel trends you might have missed. You get the idea. People love free stuff! On a practical note, make it simple—do not ask them to fill out a traveler profile, get their email and give them what you promised. That is the very first step in creating trust!

You want to create a newsletter with content your subscribers aren’t likely to get anywhere else. Invest some time into this. A great rule of thumb is to create relevant content your readers will find interesting, useful, or otherwise entertaining. Stuff that could stand on its own even if you had nothing to promote. I find that a little subtle promotion in a newsletter is fine—remember no one like to be sold to. The exception might be Wave Season when the intent of the newsletter is unabashedly sales focused on cruises.

As the connection with your subscribers grows, so does the likelihood of them connecting with your agency.

Never underestimate the power of email marketing relationships and keep these three things in mind:

  1. Email marketing allows you to control the message, when it goes out, and who receives it.
  2. Subscribers have actively made a decision to invite you into their inbox which means they’re interested in what you’re offering.
  3. able to build stronger relationships with people, and people do business with people they like –have you been reading Mike Marchev?

One final thought…

Someone has made the choice to join your list. They’ve given you their email address and invited you into their inbox. But, most importantly, they’ve agreed to give you their attention.

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