How To Win More Customers with Travel & Hospitality Email Marketing

Trying to compete in the travel and hospitality industry is challenging. 

In order to convert more leads into customers, retain existing ones, and position your business properly, you need to take travel agency email marketing seriously. 

In the digital world, we live in today, online platforms can be a great resource to help drive your sales and get more customers. 

Most people today use smartphones to check their itinerary, display their reservations, and show their receipt, so hospitality email marketing has become a core marketing strategy in the industry. 

If you are new to this business or trying to switch over to digital tickets and email marketing this can be a challenge.  

How does somebody even go about building an email campaign? Luckily I’m here to answer your concerns.

In this guide, we’ll go through:

Let’s dig in.

7 Things You Might be Missing by Not Using Email Marketing For Your Travel & Hospitality Business

In brief, there are two moments that shock me:

First, when I hear people debating whether to use email marketing for travel and hospitality business or not.

Second, when people are still thinking to start email marketing for travel and hospitality.

I apologize for the bad news, but if you are one of those you’re a little behind.

But hey, I’m here now. 

Let me share with you 7 things you might be missing by not using email marketing for your travel & hospitality business.

1. Nurturing leads to increase your chances to convert them into customers.

2. Leaving behind thousands of leads who are potential customers. 

3. Not providing your prospects with enough information to help them decide whether to travel with you or not.

4. Earning your market share in an industry that email marketing is its strength. 

5. Promoting offers and seasonal sales for customers.

6. Rewarding your most loyal customers to increase customer lifecycle.

7. Reaching out to customers in different geo-locations.

Convincing huh? Follow me to the next part to learn where to start.

4 Ways to Start Email Marketing For a Travel And Hospitality Business

1. Tips to Start Building Your Email List

The first thing you have to do to start your travel agency email marketing campaign is to build an email list. 

While most websites do attempt to collect the visitor’s email address, they often do a poor job convincing them to subscribe. 

You must make sure that you sell the email subscription to build your email list.

For example, you should give strong reasons for subscribing. Offering a percentage or flat discount on a reservation is an easy way to win the visitor over. 

Adding elements like urgency, scarcity, and uniqueness will also help. 

If someone purchased something from your company and didn’t subscribe, it can help to show them what they are missing out on. 

You do not want to spam their email folder with a bunch of emails but it is a smart technique to show what you are offering your subscribers.  

A great way to make your email subscribers happy is to offer deals that are not offered by other companies. 

If you send out an offer promising the visitor best last-minute cruise deals this makes sense because not every company lets subscribers in on special deals. 

Consumers intuitively understand that travel companies will offer steep discounts to get rid of their inventory. 

They also know that other consumers will be aiming to get in on these discounts, creating urgency and scarcity.

2. Create Responsive Emails – It’s a Must

As mentioned in the beginning, most people use their smartphones to interact with travel companies and check emails. 

This means that your website and email campaigns need to be properly optimized for smaller smartphone screens. Industry standards like responsive design, AMP (accelerated mobile pages), click to call, and other elements need to be used.

Design is a big part of making mobile campaigns work. You have to be very mindful about all the small details. 

You want the navigation menu to be easy to use, the text big enough to read, the content properly formatted, the loading speed to be fast, and call-to-actions large enough to click.

The same web design concepts also need to be adapted to your email campaigns as well.

You also want to know who your customers are and what they are looking for. If you are dealing with younger adults you will want to keep things up to date and easy to use. 

If you are working with older people you will want to make sure text is large and easy to read, instructions are very clear and they have the option to talk to a real-life person. 

If your company is struggling to have a great design or even trouble optimizing, you can take a look at other websites and see what they are using. 

You can also reach out to your fellow colleagues and professionals that you know and see if they can help your growing company in any way. 

Contract work is a great way to get your company work done without having to hire on a full-time employee when you just need them for a short amount of time or every several months.

3. Follow-up Your Emails to Increase Sales Conversions

It’s not enough to send the email subscribers a few offers. You have to do a great job of creating a sales presentation with strong follow-ups. 

If you are a travel agency, you’re up against a lot of competitors online, especially since they are only a click away. 

Many companies that send out emails will send out the exact same deal. Consumers then receive a lot of emails for the same deal from multiple companies. 

If you can find deals that are really rare and valuable it will make your company stand out. 

That is why you really have to make a case on why the consumer should choose you over the competition because a lot of companies offer the same deals, services, and products.

If you receive bad complaints from customers you may want to consider giving them some kind of incentive to come back to your company while you fix the problem for them.

You don’t need to hand out a bunch of free stuff to your customers but incentives do really help keep your customers engaged with your business especially if you are offering things that other companies are not offering that customers really need.

Your travel agency email marketing should provide strong reasons why they should do business with you.

A lot of travel companies offer the same services and the only difference is the price. If you can give customers something different and also at a great price you are more likely to get more customers.

You can sell them on expert-guided tours, focus on selling points like luxury and safety, access to exclusive sites, and even offer a competitor price match.

You want to break your selling points down into multiple follow-ups to create a strong message.

4. Increase Subscribers’ Engagement

A big part of making hospitality email marketing work is great content. Great content is what keeps your subscribers engaged. 

If you keep sending your subscriber’s travel and hotel email offers non-stop, they’ll eventually get bored and unsubscribe. Instead, you want to tell stories, provide glimpses into trips, and share experiences.

Just take a look at how Airbnb is using content to keep their customers engaged. In the following email campaign, Airbnb sends a newsletter that highlights interesting experiences all over the world. 

hospitality email marketing example "floating world" Airbnb

The unique experiences and photos make customers want to stay subscribed.

On top of that, the company tells unique stories about local spots, sites, excursions, and trips in various countries. 

The content is very descriptive, visually appealing, and inspiring. It makes people want to click through to learn more. As a result, customers are exposed to more offers that they can purchase. 

There are various ways to shape content to make it more appealing to customers. The following are a few favorite email templates that helped these various companies market to the right consumers through email. 

Pay attention to the various color schemes, various fonts, word usage, pictures, etc. that really help catch their audiences eye. Look at who they are trying to reach and how. 

By being able to pick these details out, you will be better able to format your marketing campaigns thanks to these templates. 

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11  Travel & Hospitality Newsletters That Actually Work (And Why) 

1. Promote holiday sales

A great example of a holiday or specific marketing events.

Mailchimp Holiday Responsive Email Template

2. Personalize your offerings based on their location

Segmenting subscribers based on their location helps you send extremely personalized and targeted emails.

Here is an email sent by Airbnb to their subscribers who are currently in Berkeley helping them discover nearby events.

Welcome to Berkeley extremely personalized and targeted travel newsletter email sample

3. Provide different services for your subscribers

This email template allows readers to see various options for their specific style of travel and also allows readers to see real-life outcomes of those who used the service, all without being too overwhelming.

Tarvel Portal a world of wonders travel email design

4. Broadcasts For Special Announcements

Send email broadcasts to promote special announcements to your subscribers. 

The below email example, promotes a special announcement.

HomeAway "the great american eclipse" email broadcast example

5. Add videos to your emails

Don’t be afraid to expand and use different forms such as multimedia videos, images, gifs, memes, etc. Think outside the box!

Cube Space "Where Next" holiday email sample

6. Speak your subscribers’ interest with personalized campaigns

This more specific approach works well for this agency because they know their audience as well as their market.

Wanderlust personalized email campaigns design

7. Send email digests

A great generic example, change a few words and a few pictures and your good to go. Feel free to experiment from there, but this is a great starting place.

"Where the Journey Begins" travel email digest template

8. Match design with your brand

Check out how this email template has a matching color scheme throughout and draws readers to answers to their questions.

"Let's Enjoy The Travel" travel email newsletter example

9. Create eye-catchy travel email design

A great example of fun and simple yet very effective.

Amazing Countries for Holiday Tour" travel email design

10. Nurture your leads with content related to their interests

Almost a blog type feel which welcomes readers but also shows what could be if they decided to do business with you.

TRIPLY blog typpe feel travel email design

11. Make booking possible inside your email

Here you can book a flight right from your email! How convenient is that? Giving you any ideas yet?

Book Flight booking email template

Hopefully, you’ve been able to get an idea of what you are looking for and what will work best for you. Use these as a starting point down your creative path.

8 Top Travel And Hospitality Email Subject Lines to Steal

Before people open your email, they will decide if they can trust the sender first. And then they will look at the subject line. 

You get no sale or conversion unless your email is opened. And it totally depends on your email subject line.

Here are the 8 top travel and hospitality email subject lines that you’ll want to steal.

  1. Mizy scored this subject line Based on the results of 100k email campaigns, this subject line would perform fairly Test your subject line Get away with United flights from 100$ 55
  2. Mizy scored this subject line Based on the results of 100k email campaigns, this subject line would perform fairly Test your subject line Summer in Europe! Family would love it 51
  3. Mizy scored this subject line Based on the results of 100k email campaigns, this subject line would perform fairly Test your subject line We’ll pick you up! (JetBlue Airways) 59
  4. Mizy scored this subject line Based on the results of 100k email campaigns, this subject line would perform fairly Test your subject line Springtime fares as low as $31 (Amtrak) 73
  5. Mizy scored this subject line Based on the results of 100k email campaigns, this subject line would perform fairly Test your subject line Your Loyalty Means the ?To Us  72
  6. Mizy scored this subject line Based on the results of 100k email campaigns, this subject line would perform fairly Test your subject line {Hotel} Wins at World Travel Awards 2017 62
  7. Mizy scored this subject line Based on the results of 100k email campaigns, this subject line would perform remarkably Test your subject line Is it time to take a break? 82
  8. Mizy scored this subject line Based on the results of 100k email campaigns, this subject line would perform fairly Test your subject line Join The Weekend Rush…Superior Rooms at Only 150$+ 55

If still undecided you can rely on Automizy’s free email subject line tester. It would help you decide on the best subject line to use based on data from over 1 million campaigns.

The tool also provides subject line templates you can use to increase your email open rates.

You might also consider using emoji in your subject line.

How to Interact With Customers After the Sale

Don’t think that the job is done after you have converted the customer. By providing an excellent customer experience through email, you open the door for future bookings, referrals, and brand mentions

You need to do an excellent job with your email marketing by being accommodating, providing clear instructions, offering advice, etc.

One way to keep your customers engaged with your email marketing is to keep your emails up to date. 

This means following what is happening with email trends and how to keep your customers entertained. 

You don’t want to make your emails loud and obnoxious but you do want them to be gracefully designed and have some thought behind the logos and designs that are being shown to every customer. 

Allow your customers to leave reviews or give you some sort of feedback. This can be a simple email that the customer can fill out about their overall experience. 

Gathering information is going to be key to improving your company so it is user-friendly. 

Having a website and email system that is easy to use will allow more customers to trust your service and will ultimately lead to more converted customers. 

Take your customers’ feedback seriously. If several of your reviews complain about the exact same thing it may be time to take a look at the issue and see if there is anything you can do to resolve the problem. 

User design and user interaction techniques and expertise will allow you to see what your users need and how you can make your service easy to use which can really make your company stand out from all of your competitors. 

If you do not know where to start, take a look at how this hotel’s email follow up with customers after the booking has been made. 

Customers are given a link to email the hotel for personal requests, make reservations for a local restaurant, take part in the amenities, and explore the unique experiences. 

This single email enriches the customer’s experience and makes him look forward to the hotel stay.

How to Set up a Travel And Hospitality Email Campaign

Setting up a successful travel and hospitality email campaign starts with your email marketing provider.

You’ll need to have your contacts list uploaded so you can reach them, or just connect your website form or CRM tool so you have your generated emails synced.

You can start with a basic travel and hospitality drip campaign to reach out to your subscribers

Here is a drip email campaign example created in Automizy

drip email campaign example created in Automizy

The first email is a thank you message for subscribing, then I introduce myself and what we do to establish a positive relationship with my subscribers. It is important to show the human face behind the online flux.

In a third email, I promote the travel destination I want to promote.

Easy, clean and simple.

Thank you for subscribing, learn about me and here are my offers.

To make the email experience more personalized for your customers to increase your conversion rates, create behavior-based email automations.

That is possible by applying conditions to your drip email campaign, making it an email automation workflow.

Resending email to email non-openers is a chance to increase email open rates and get more contacts to learn about what you have to offer.

"If contact has opened an email” condition in Automizy software

It is preferred to add the “If contact has opened an email” condition after you introduce yourself, and before you start selling. Selling to contacts who don’t know much about you won’t get you conversions.

Applying email open condition in our case allows you to proceed with the sales copy for contacts who did open your emails. And resend the unopened email again for contacts who did not open your previous email.

Resend the unopened email again for contacts who did not open your previous email showcasing in Automizy

Conclusion 

As you can see, email marketing is the center of marketing strategies in the travel and hospitality industry. Hopefully, you’ve got a strong introduction of how to use email marketing to grow your business. 

The examples should also serve as a template on how you should be designing and crafting your email campaigns.

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