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 »
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 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 »
Clients have short memories. Unless you find a way to stay “top of mind”, clients can easily be distracted by the first pretty travel opportunity that walks their way. With every newspaper travel section, television commercials and consumer magazines filled with travel advertising, your clients will see lots of different avenues to fulfill their travel desires. You want them to think of you when they think of travel, but until you have them properly trained, it is easy for them to be distracted elsewhere.
As simple as it may sound, many travel consultants simply fail to ask for the privilege of communicating with potential clients, and even their own clients, on an on-going basis. People love to talk about travel – where they have been and where they want to someday go. Those conversations are terrific opportunities to say “I run across great travel opportunities to [pick your destination] all the time. Would you like for me to send them your way so you can browse them?” Asking for permission to communicate with clients is an important step in gaining the trust Read the rest of this entry »
Clients have short memories. That includes the client who has just returned home from the trip you arranged on their behalf. Unless you find a way to stay “top of mind”, clients can easily be distracted by the next pretty travel opportunity that walks their way. With every newspaper travel section, television commercials and consumer magazines filled with travel advertising, your clients will see lots of different avenues to fulfill their travel desires. You want them to think of you when they think of travel, but until you have them properly trained, it is easy for them to be distracted elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »
TRO has spent this week exploring the possibilities of well-crafted travel agency newsletters. We want to wind up the series by delving into a few best practices and a few legal issues that confront newsletter publishers. Many of the best practices pertain to any email marketing, but they are worthwhile repeating to keep you and your agency in good standing both with your clients and with some important third parties!
When formatting your newsletter, try to avoid complicated CSS style sheets. Many email readers, notably Outlook 7.0 are not kind to CSS and will play havoc with the appearance and layout of your newsletter. Have your designer use simple “in-line” html tags instead. 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 »
TRO is spending this week exploring the possibilities of well-crafted travel agency newsletters. There are a number of tips that experienced newsletter publishers will tell you work to keep a publication lively and strong. In addition to the ones we have already covered, here are a few more that will add to the overall content strength of your travel agency newsletter.
Adopt a publishing schedule that is comfortable for you to meet. Beginning with an overly ambitious program, for example weekly, can cause both your readership and your editorial staff to burn out. Think of your newsletter as a long-term communications tool and don’t feel compelled to over-expose it. Read the rest of this entry »
The design and formatting of your email travel newsletter is nearly as important as its content. Readers will quickly take note of bad design, especially if the layout, font or white space detracts from readability. The available newsletter tools present you with many options and opportunities for creativity, but the elements you choose need to be harmonious with good design principles and the purpose of your newsletter. Your ability to combine the graphical elements, font and whitespace will be a critical factor in the acceptance of a key client communication tool. Read the rest of this entry »
Emailed newsletters remain one of the best possible ways to communicate with your clients. A strong newsletter keeps you top of mind, a way of touching your clients on a regular basis while providing them with important content. This week, we are going to look at some of the most important considerations for creating and managing an effective email newsletter.
As a primary representative of your brand, taking on a newsletter is no small project. A newsletter requires articles, design, list management and other challenges for you and what is no doubt an already busy staff. Read the rest of this entry »
TRO is spending this week exploring the possibilities of well-crafted travel agency newsletters. Yesterday, we discussed how your editorial mission would help select and give voice to your content. Quality content is the heart of a newsletter. Good content can make up for poor design, but even the most exquisitely laid out newsletter cannot overcome poor content.
While you may choose to include information on your agency, your clients want information that benefits and educates them. Thus, the person in charge of writing your newsletter or choosing the content Read the rest of this entry »
A newsletter is one of the best vehicles for building long term relationships with your existing customers and for marketing to potential clients. A newsletter reinforces your company brand and gives you many opportunities to market both strategically and tactically. Newsletters educate, inform, but most importantly, engage your clients, helping to retain them over the long-term.
Satisfied subscribers to a company newsletter are more likely to choose your company when making a purchasing decision. A travel agency newsletter with a readership of dozens, even hundreds, of readers is a very serious and valuable asset for your company. It gives you a marketing channel by which you can reach out and touch the clients closest to you at a minimal expense. Read the rest of this entry »
The need for regular communications with your existing clients as a way of maintaining relationships and staying in contact is clear. One of the best ways to stay in touch with clients is through a newsletter. Even if you do not own the company for which you work, you might consider a personal newsletter to build your brand with clients and to further establish your value to your agency. While publishing a newsletter is no small undertaking, it is well worth the effort. Done well, it will build your brand and contribute substantially to your marketing efforts, helping to establish you as an expert in your field. Done poorly, it may do damage to your practice. So let’s do this well. Read the rest of this entry »