As a marketer in the travel and hospitality space, you’re tasked with making your offerings look exciting, adventurous, luxurious, and relaxing. Email is one of the best ways to reach your goals.
If you’re ready to inspire travelers to book more trips, hotel rooms, or excursions, you’ll need a sound email marketing strategy that delivers fun, informative emails that compel travelers to get away.
After all, 78% of travelers say informative content can influence their decision-making process, according to Expedia. Your company can provide the information travelers are seeking through a variety of emails. And, with automated email marketing, you can deliver messages in a timely, relevant way.
Here’s a look at six different emails that travel and hospitality marketers should send to entice subscribers to hop on a plane, jump on a bus, or drive away.
1. Personalized promotional offers
One of the most common emails for travel and hospitality marketers to send is a promotional offer. Typically, these emails highlight a great package deal or two, but to be effective, you’ll need to do a bit more.
Blasting the same $500 Las Vegas package to every subscriber won’t work. Why? Consumers expect you to know their travel habits. You should know that Bob Smith only travels in the Midwest for business, while Betty Donaldson loves jet-setting to island locations.
To send personalized travel offers, you’ll need to track travelers’ preferences and segment your contacts accordingly. Consider segmenting your contacts by behaviors, like which links they click on in an email or what purchases they’ve made in the past.
Let’s say Lisa Johnson has clicked on emailed links for Florida vacations. After creating a segment for those interested in Florida you send that group-specific emails that focus on flights, lodging, and activities in and around the sunshine state. Flight Centre did just that with this email:
In addition to sending a relevant email to a subscriber who is interested in going to Florida, Flight Centre also added the subscriber’s first name, Lisa, to the message and included flight deals to Florida that depart from her home airport of Ottawa (see blue arrow).
Air Canada, a Campaign Monitor customer, does something similar. By segmenting subscribers by cities of interest, the company sent the email below to a traveler interested in an escape to France. But, this email has an added wow factor. The main image serves as a mini-slideshow as it flips between four different images of France. It’s a great attention-grabbing tool you can include in a personalized email.
2. Newsletters that inspire
Travelers need inspiration. Deciding between a windswept beach in Florida or a European getaway isn’t easy. A newsletter gives them a glimpse at some of the great destinations they can visit, along with package options.
Flight Centre sent this newsletter to its subscribers:
The newsletter highlights several different destinations and leads subscribers to a booking website.
This type of newsletter is very popular in the travel industry, but British Airways puts a different spin on a newsletter. This airline sends a letter to its VIP subscribers, which gets them excited to experience something new.
The call-to-action leads subscribers to a beautifully designed, newsletter-like site that’s full of information and stories about exotic locations — not prices and package deals.
Consider blending the two newsletter ideas to give subscribers informative content and affordable travel options.
3. New service or offering announcements
When your company introduces something new, let travelers know about it. Mention a new pool at your hotel, roomier seats on a plane, or a booking app that makes traveling easier, for example.
Announcements like these not only keep subscribers engaged with your company, but they also show travelers that you’re constantly making improvements.
When Air Canada unveiled its new Comfort Fares, they sent an email that explained the benefits of their new seating option:
4. Booking confirmations
When you get a booking, send a receipt via email. Confirmation emails enjoy high open and click rates. Research shows confirmation emails see a 114% open rate compared to 14% open rates for traditional emails. Click rates are impressive too, which hover around 12%, compared to 3% for traditional emails, according to Experian.
What does that mean for your company? Confirmation emails give you an opportunity to cross-sell or promote products.
American Airlines, for example, sent this email to a traveler after booking a flight. The email confirms the purchase and provides four options on the bottom that promote things like tracking bags or buying in-flight entertainment.
Using automated email marketing, you can automatically send a confirmation email when the reservation is made. That means you don’t have to manually send receipts.
5. Abandoned cart emails
Imagine being able to capitalize on some of those lost sales. With abandoned cart emails, you can.
By using automated email marketing, you can automatically send an email reminder when a subscriber leaves a cart. The act of abandoning the cart serves as a trigger, which prompts a premade email to arrive in the subscriber’s inbox.
Here’s a great example from Europcar. The email reminds the customer about their intended reservation and gives them the links necessary to complete the transaction.
Once you set up cart abandonment emails, you’re done. Emails automatically send when customers fall short of booking.
6. Holiday emails
Many travel and hospitality marketers create special deals for the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It makes sense, especially considering a record number of people traveled last year over the winter holiday season, according to statistics from AAA.
You should create and send emails that highlight special holiday deals, but you can do the same for quieter holidays throughout the year too.
Pull out a calendar and craft special email campaigns for holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Easter, and Valentine’s Day.
The entire email should focus on that specific holiday. Virgin Experience Days, another Campaign Monitor customer, sent this email for Valentine’s Day. The email focuses on romantic excursions for two.
Use automated email marketing to schedule the email to deliver on or before the holiday.
You can even send emails for more obscure holidays. Encourage travelers to celebrate Margarita Day in Cancun or National Get Outdoors Day in a quiet fishing lodge in the Adirondacks. Here’s a list of odd holidays you can use for inspiration.
Travel and hospitality marketers are wise to rely on email marketing as an engagement tool and booking aid. By understanding your audience and utilizing automated email marketing, you can send targeted emails to travelers that can’t be ignored.
See how Campaign Monitor can help you send amazing travel emails while utilizing the many benefits of automated email marketing.