Email Marketing 101: The Basics of Email Marketing as a Travel Professional
For many people, email is the preferred method of business communication, particularly when used to market their products and services. For an in-depth focus on this marketing tool, we turned to one of our professional educators, Andy Ogg, CTIE, co-owner of Travel Professional NEWS.

And remember that The Institute has broad-based marketing materials, all accessible for free 24/7 to our Premium Access members. 

Read what Andy has to say about email marketing in this first of a three-part series:

In today’s times, digital marketing is king, and if you aren’t being seen on the screen, it’s time to get yourself there. Today, a successful email marketing plan and execution could not only result in fantastic exposure for your business but increased sales. Isn’t that the name of the game?

Email marketing has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and, with upgrades in coding, responsive abilities and tracking, it is the best time to get started. While many may think a successful email marketing plan consists of quality content, we are going to step back and examine why you would want to create and execute a successful email marketing program.

What Is Email Marketing for Travel Professionals?

Email marketing is the broadcast of a designed message to a specific list of people. That list can be prospects, clients, or any number of things. The email can contain a variety of information from specials, new offerings, or just information about a specific topic.

A successful email will not only attract your subscription list to open it but also to read and engage with the content. To further clarify, let’s define:
Open: When recipients of the message see it in their inbox and open the messages to view the content of the email and the information it contains.
ClickThrough: When a subscriber opens and then chooses to engage with the email, via links or call-to-action, in an effort to learn more or to take advantage of the offering included in the message.
In any email marketing effort, your goal should be to not only have your message opened and read but also to have engagement from the end-user with your content. It sounds easy enough, right?

What Is an Email Subscription List?

An email list can contain contact information for your clients, prospects, acquaintances, colleagues and more. An email subscriber list can be built over time from a variety of ways, but the most popular is to build your list from past clients and customer interactions.

Obviously, having a huge list of subscribers sounds great but only if that collection actually wants to receive your communications. There are thousands of companies that can sell you a list of “qualified” leads, but as you may find out, a list of 10,000 doesn’t mean much if only five people open your email, and the remainder of the addresses are unused.

Types of Subscription Lists:

Clients: An obvious list for a travel professional who wants to stay in touch with clients from the past and present. This particular list could be a fantastic method to promote upcoming sales or promotions, group sailings, or one-of-a-kind packages you have created.
Tip: Segmenting your lists by the type of travel most frequently booked could be a huge help down the road as your email marketing efforts increase. For example, if AmaWaterways had a new sailing or offering, you could easily send the information to your Clients > River Cruise Clients. Setting these kinds of parameters are a great step in the right direction to remain efficient and ready for growth as a travel professional.
Prospects: A compilation of people in which you have had communication about a quote, questions, or a possible trip. This list may have never purchased anything, but it may be that they just had not seen what motivated them yet.
Tip: Creating a quick “sign up” form on your website, social media, and email signature can be a great way to receive some new subscribers to your email marketing list.
Industry Partners: This list may be a way for you to interact with suppliers, colleagues, and business associates in the industry.
Setting Up Your List and Email Marketing Service

Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of options when looking for an email marketing service. Every provider of this tool has its own unique value propositions. Over the past seven years, I’ve used many of the top providers, such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, JackMail, and more.

While each has things that are unique and great, each conversely has negatives as well. Whether it is price, interface, customization restraints, or just the flow of the process, it is important that you spend the time to find a match that works for you, your goals, and your business.

When getting started, I highly suggest doing some research into the following options: MailChimp, Constant Contact, JackMail, SendGrid, Drip, and SendinBlue.

What Types of Email Marketing Campaign Are Best for Travel Professionals?

There are many different types of information that can be sent in an email marketing campaign. While this list of ideas can be large, I’m including just a few ideas I believe would be most useful in 2020.

1. The Informational Email

The informational newsletter would be a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly email coming from your business to your clients and prospective clients. The informational email model could possibly contain one or more of the below ideas:
Examples

Spotlight on a specific destination
Notice of upcoming sales and promotions
Recent article about a cruise, destination, or property
Tips on packing, transfers, technology, etc.
Advice on saving for a vacation
Articles of interest (golf, scuba, hiking, foodie)
Whatever the content you wish to feature, it should be informative and useful to your subscribers, ensuring that there is value being presented to those who receive the email.

2. The Call to Action (CTA) Email

A call to action email should be focused on a specific benefit to the recipient. Whether it’s access to sales on upcoming travel or a complimentary packing guideline for a family cruise, the goal is to provide something of use to your recipient, enticing them to act.

The world of CTA emails has changed greatly in the past few years with more of them being used every minute. From “flash sales” to “limited time offer” to “book now!” themed CTA emails, there are thousands of ways to use the CTA email to not only increase your sales but also to gather information about your audience.

Examples

Looking for a vacation? Let me book YOU today!
Interested in a vacation for your family?
Planning a trip? Learn how I can help you!
Cruise sale! Click Here to find out more!
All-inclusive special offers – learn more!
3. The Landing Page Email

To put this in the simplest terms, the entire reason for a landing page email is to have ClickThroughs generated to a desired landing page. This can be used for hundreds of reasons, and I’ve included a few below.

This style of email has changed dramatically in the past years where the attention span of the general public has decreased. The goal with the landing page email style is to offer just a bit of information with the promise of more when they click on the link, which takes them to your desired landing page.

Examples

10 tips on packing for a family vacation – Free download
Free tips on your next vacation
Free access – The top destinations in 2020
Free quote – Click Here to receive a first-time customer discount!
Interested in an adventurous vacation? Free access to the top 10 destinations
As you can see, there are a lot of different types of emails that can be used in your marketing to your clients. The goal of any style of email should be to promote your services, your brand, and your unique value proposition. Before sending any email to your clients, make sure those things are completed in the content and messaging as you are the travel professional who can make it happen!