As a travel and hospitality brand, you have a unique opportunity to crush it when it comes to email marketing. Why? Because your subscribers can easily be grouped into relevant, yet different, customer profiles.
When you create various customer profiles for your target audience, it’s easier to craft email messages that will resonate well with each and every one of your subscribers individually.
In this article, we’ll discuss how easy it can be to personalize email messages, and arm you with the tips and tools needed to help you create relevant messages.
1. Use your subscribers’ names
One of the simplest ways to personalize your messages is to use your subscribers’ first names in the subject line, content, and even images. Adding a subscriber’s first name to an email is easy with the help of a top-notch email service provider.
When you set up an email subscriber form, you typically collect a first name along with an email address. That first name is saved in your email service provider as a personalization tag. In this case, it’s saved as a “first name” tag. When you create a new email, you have the option to include a personalization tag in your subject line, content, or images.
By selecting the “first name” personalization tag, you can rest assured the email service provider will do all the hard work and include the correct first name with the respective email address. That way, Lisa gets an email with her name in the subject line and/or content, and Jim receives the same email with his name in the subject line and/or content.
Awesome, right? Not only is it easy to personalize messages with names, but it pays off too. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
2. Segment your lists
Personalizing emails by using subscribers’ first names is a more obvious and easy way to personalize. While it’s an excellent strategy, it’s not the only way to personalize messages. In fact, it just barely scratches the surface with how you can reach customers in a personalized way.
With the help of an email service provider, you can create customer profiles that describe various subscriber groups, and then segment your lists, so you can write content that matches that subscriber group.
For example, as a travel or hospitality brand, you probably have customers all over the world. However, you don’t want to send the same messages to subscribers in New York City as you do to subscribers in Sydney.
You want to send deals out of Sydney to subscribers in Sydney and deals out of New York City to subscribers that live in New York City.
To do this, you can create customer profiles based on location or segment your lists based on where your subscribers live just like in the following email from Fiji Airways.
Fiji Airways didn’t send this deal from Sydney to all subscribers. They segmented their lists by location and sent it only to subscribers in Australia.
Remember, location isn’t the only segmentation variable. You can also segment based on behavioral data, customer destination preferences, age, gender, weather patterns, etc.
Statistics show that segmentation is results driven. Flight Centre saw a 57% increase in clickthrough rates due to segmentation, A/B testing, and dynamic content.
3. Allow your subscribers to self-segment
While we’re talking about segmenting your lists, remember you don’t have to do all the hard work yourself.
Marketers are using email preference centers to encourage subscribers to select their own interests. For example, travel subscribers can self-select only the deals to the destinations they are interested in. In return, subscribers receive emails relevant to only the destinations they want to visit.
This email from Air Canada is a great example of a customer receiving an email from a segmented list. Instead of receiving all deals from Air Canada, this customer gets an email from the location she self-selected—London.
Travel marketers also can prompt subscribers to join specific newsletters. This is helpful for travel and hospitality brands that offer different types of content. For example, you may offer newsletters for travel deals, tips and tricks for cheap travel, the best travel gear, etc. Not all of your customers will be interested in every newsletter. But, with the help of an email service provider, your subscribers can select which email newsletters they want to receive from you and which they don’t.
4. Personalize with dynamic content
Let’s say the majority of your message is relevant to your entire audience, but there is just one section you want to make more relevant to different subscriber groups. This is where dynamic content comes to save the day.
Dynamic content allows marketers to create one email, but also customize certain bits of content for different subscriber groups.
For example, let’s say you are offering a deal to London from Sydney, New York, and San Francisco. Rather than creating 3 separate emails, you can create one email and customize the offer for subscribers in the different locations.
In other words, through dynamic content, you can localize the images and content. The subscribers in Sydney see a picture and deal out of Sydney and those in San Francisco see the deal from SFO.
Imagine how much more helpful it is to send short, simple emails with deals that match subscriber preferences exactly than it is to send a huge email with a slew of deals from every destination that may or may not relate to subscriber preferences. Dynamic content gives you the power to get it right every time.
5. Collect data to increase relevancy
As you may have noticed, the ability to personalize comes with smart data collection. The more opportunities you have to collect relevant data on your travel and hospitality customers, the more you can fine-tune your email marketing strategy.
Collecting data doesn’t have to be scary, and when you offer permission-based, transparent ways for customers to offer up data, they typically don’t mind. In fact, most customers are willing to exchange data for more personalized shopping experiences.
You can use subscriber forms, CRM data, webinars, content marketing, purchasing information, social media, and more to collect data on your customers.
As you continue to gather data, you can build better customer profiles, re-segment your lists, and understand exactly who your customers are, and what they need from your brand.
Every new piece of information strengthens a customer profile and helps marketers create better content.
Personalization isn’t an option anymore. It’s the future of email marketing and the best way to relate to subscribers. In fact, 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement. Additionally, since personalized email messages boost click-through rates by an average of 14%, and improve conversions by 10%, personalization will positively affect your ROI.
When push comes to shove, it’s worth it to collect data on your customers and then use that data to create personalized messages, segment lists, and provide your customers with the content they want from your travel or hospitality brand.
As you incorporate the tips listed above, you’ll start to see your customers respond better and your open rates improve.