By Andrea Robbins (CampaignMonitor.com) — 14 Aug 2019
How do you reach travelers and increase bookings? If you’re a tour operator, you probably ask yourself this question a lot.
In an effort to book more tours, you utilize several marketing channels, one of which is likely via email. A well-targeted email can grab a traveler’s attention, encourage them to browse current deals, and ultimately, book a trip or an excursion.
Email is a great way to capitalize on the record amount of traveling that’s happening these days. Research shows 66 million people traveled abroad in 2016, an eight percent increase in jet-setting activity from the previous year, according to research the National Travel and Tourism Office.
To get your piece of the travel pie, you’ll have to send a variety of emails. From welcome emails to trip reminders, here’s a look at seven emails that trip operators can send:
When someone joins your list, be sure to send him or her a welcome email.
The welcome email serves as your introduction; it sets the tone. Use the email to welcome your new contact to the family and explain the many benefits of your list in a tidy, bulleted list.
You can automate welcome emails too. When someone joins your list, the action triggers a premade welcome email to arrive in the contact’s inbox minutes later. Meanwhile, the new contact is automatically added to your master contact list.
If a customer books a trip, use email as a digital receipt. Give the customer all of the details of the trip along with notification about the amount paid.
Purchase confirmation emails enjoy high open rates, so you might consider adding a link or two that directs customers to book additional excursions.
Some travel operators like to send a care package to their customers. Maybe you’re sending a travel bag, luggage tags, and the tickets needed for an excursion. Once you send it, let the customer know it’s coming with a shipping confirmation email.
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If travelers add items to a cart without making a purchase, you can remind them about it via email.
A traveler headed to Paris, for example, might add a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower to his online cart. But, for some reason, he doesn’t complete the purchase.
When a cart is abandoned like this, send the customer a reminder email that mentions the benefits of the tour he hasn’t booked yet. You might even consider giving him a small discount, like 5% off, to close the deal.
You can use reminders pre- and post-sale. Before a customer makes a purchase, you can send reminders when deals are about to expire. For example, if a customer has shown interest in an excursion in Rome, you can send an email reminding him or her that the sale price ends at midnight.
After a sale, you can remind customers about their excursion and provide some helpful tips too. For instance, if a customer books a fishing trip in the Outer Banks, you can send him or her a reminder of the date and time and include a handy link to a checklist of items to bring.
Send customers an email on their birthday or anniversary to show them you care. It’s a nice way to engage customers while subtly reminding them about your business. The email should provide a special treat, like a discount or a deal.
You could send an email in advance of their birthday and encourage the traveler to take a trip as a celebration. For example, your email might say, “Mike, celebrate your birthday in Miami!” You can list a few deals or give him a coupon code good for any Miami excursion.
When customers are quiet, create an email campaign that gets their travel juices flowing. Send an email that offers a short list of amazing travel deals to entice former customers to start thinking about a trip again. Track response rates and send relevant follow-up emails. For example, if a customer clicks on a link for Yellowstone National Park, send a follow up email that focuses on that location specifically.
This handy list of seven emails can be very helpful for tour operators looking to boost their bookings this year. To help you remember this list, here’s an infographic from email marketing platform, Campaign Monitor, that highlights each email with a compelling statistic to remind you why each email is important to send.