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Think email marketing in travel is dead? Three ways travel brands can still win

06/08/2015| 6:02:40 PM| 中文

With 49% of UK travellers buying their holidays online, travel brands need to be making full use of the channels available to them in order to secure sales.

The future of email marketing is more than just daily deals — it’s personalised, cross-platform, and makes full use of the data available. Here are three ways your travel brands can do just that:

1) Send reminders

An abandoned basket doesn’t have to mean a lost customer.

Travel brands can use on-site events to trigger dynamic content, reminding customers of their intent to purchase and offering to help them take the next step. The more tailored the content, the better.

Travel company Haven generated 2815% ROI by running an abandoned basket campaign that consisted of three emails: offering customer service and assistance, suggesting offers related to the abandoned purchase, and prompting customers to browse different types of holiday package that might better fit their requirements.

The open rate on these emails was 54% — over double the industry average for travel campaigns.

2) Customisation and personalisation

With the average email subscriber receiving 416 marketing messages per month, a bit of novelty should not be underestimated.

It was only in February that MailChimp started supporting the use of emojis in subject lines, and already the sun and plane emoji are both in the top ten most used ones — meaning travel brands are already taking advantage of this (and will probably continue to do so until the novelty wears off).

Customisation can be as simple as an emoji or as complicated as a bespoke template. Travelbound used a branded template consisting of pre-made content blocks that could be rearranged to reflect the content of each message, and the result reflects their brand identity and ties in visually to their website design.

Another approach is to be aware of your user’s location. If you have this data in your email list, you can segment it by region, city and even town.

That way, when it’s particularly cold and wet in some parts, you can send tailored content offering sunnier climes at the touch of a button.

For even better insight, there are ways you can add weather to your Google Analytics reports too.

Here, you can spot trends and use your email to capitalise. Do your bookings go up if it rains for more than two days in a row? How low does the temperature need to be before people start looking for summer sun?

With this information, you can tailor deals and send them where they’re most relevant, all for no cost at all.

3) Reward engagement

While consumers need to trust a travel brand in order to use them, faith itself isn’t enough to secure loyalty.

It’s unlikely that a customer is subscribed to only one travel brand’s mailing list, and it’s also unlikely that a customer will subscribe to a list if they don’t trust a company.

So, assuming a customer receives marketing emails from two travels brands that they trust equally, the deciding factors are likely to be loyalty and price.

Rewarding engagement with discount codes works on two levels.

Firstly, consumers who engage regularly with a brand are more likely to become loyal.

Secondly, a well-timed money-off voucher can be the deciding factor between Brand A and Brand B. This is all pretty standard stuff. Yet the interesting thing is just how small the discount can be,

In the run-up to the election, Holiday Hypermarket emailed a quick two-question survey to their customers, asking where they were going on holiday and who they were voting for in the election. In exchange for participating in the survey, customers received a £25 discount on their next booking.

The return per respondent open, astonishingly, was £13.54.

Campaigns like these are simple and low-cost. Survey results can be used cross-platform to create a range of content — Holiday Hypermarket used their results to generate content for the brand’s blog and social media profiles.

NB: This is a guest article by Chad Harwood-Jones, managing director of search and content marketing business Ad-Rank Media.

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TAGS: digital marketing | travel marketing | travel booking
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