Why email marketing is important to tour operators
Email marketing is a powerful way to connect with people who are interested in your tours. While social media platforms have many users, email has even more people using it every day.
Social media is great for building relationships, but when it comes to turning potential customers into actual ones, email marketing is more personal and effective. The benefits of using email as a marketing tool are that it:
- Is easy to personalise and customise
- Has highly measurable data
- Increases customer loyalty
- Enhances your content marketing strategy
- Is fairly inexpensive
In this article
Select an email marketing service
To get started, choose an email marketing service that suits your needs. These services let you build a mailing list, design emails, and track data. Some popular options with free plans are:
At the Good Tourism Institute, we use Brevo because it has lots of features, and has a fair price. Choose a service, based on number of mails you send and subscribers you have. Also look for features such as automations and segmentation.
Building a mailing list
To build a successful mailing list, you need to do more than just ask visitors to subscribe. Here are some tips to increase your subscribers:
Place a sign-up form on display
Put sign-up forms on every relevant page of your website and consider using pop-ups to get more subscribers.
Offer value to your visitors
Provide something valuable for free, like an eBook, to encourage people to subscribe. Think about what your buyer persona would want. For example: if you offer of the beaten track tours to Sri Lanka, you can create a ‘Top 10 secret highlights that most tourist miss out on’ eBook. In return, travellers for their name and email address, and use this information to promote your tours to them personally.
Build a landing page
An easy way to get more people to subscribers, is by building a landing page. A landing page is a specific page on your website designed to convert website visitors to (in this case) subscribers. Landing pages works best when they are free from all other distractions. Consider removing everything on that page aside from the content that is designed to get people to subscribe.
Key aspects of a great email campaign
Now that you have your email marketing service and mailing list, focus on creating engaging email content with these key aspects:
Personalise content based on interests
The more personalised your emails are, the better they’ll perform. So, ask yourself how you can personalise your email content based on your subscribers interests. If you offer tours in a variety of countries or areas, consider segmenting your content.
Write great subject lines
Writing great subject lines is extremely important if you want your subscribers to actually open your emails. A simple way is to use verbs in a subject line. This motivates your readers to take action. Also consider personalising subject lines with a subscribers (first) name. This helps you increase the opening rate of your email.
Add a call-to-action
Make sure you add a call-to-action to every email. A call-to-action should reflect what you’d want your reader to do. For example: view your offer or read the content on your website. Design buttons for your call-to-action as an easy way to draw attention. Use bright colours to make them stand out.
Use storytelling to create lasting connections
When it comes to email marketing, storytelling is a powerful tool that can improve your connections with travellers. You can go from plain promotional content to engaging emails. Humans are drawn to stories, and incorporating storytelling into your email campaigns can create a deeper connection with your target group.
Explore how you can create email content that resonates with travellers through storytelling:
Understand your target group
Before diving into storytelling, it’s essential to understand your target groups desires and frustrations. Take the time to gather data on your subscribers, such as their travel preferences and feedback. This helps you deliver content that is relevant and meaningful to them.
Set the stage with a hook
Every great story starts with a captivating hook that grabs the reader’s attention and compels them to keep reading. In your email subject line and opening paragraph, create curiosity. A good hook sets the stage!
Share real travel experiences
Authenticity is key in storytelling. Share real travel experiences and testimonials from satisfied customers. Use their stories to paint a vivid picture of your tours. Incorporate descriptions, emotions, and details to engage readers.
Introduce characters in your email stories that travellers can relate to. These characters can be based on real travellers or your buyer persona. Develop these characters with personality, making them feel like fellow travellers.
Incorporate visual storytelling
Improve your email content with visual elements. Use high-quality images and videos that match your story to bring your travel experiences to life. Visuals not only grab attention but also evoke emotions, making your stories more memorable.
Start connecting to travellers
Email marketing helps you build a better relationship with your (potential) customers. Gaining more subscribers allow you to reach a bigger target audience, so start connecting to travellers by building your mailing list.
Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to get you thousands of interested subscribers, but you can be more successful by applying the above-mentioned tips.