Travel email tips: using marketing automation to entice bookings
The latest Email Industry Census showed that 83% of companies regard marketing automation as a way to send relevant communication. But what exactly is the right message, the right time, and the right audience to address for travel companies? Doesn’t everyone want to go on holiday?
To inspire you, I’ve come up with some travel email tips concentrated around three types of automation triggers.
1. Abandoned bookings
Travel bookings are usually not as easy as checking out on Amazon, so you can forgive your website visitors for postponing it until they have more time to spare. But to make sure they postpone, not abandon, you can use abandoned cart (or basket) technology to remind them to complete.
Make sure to include a direct link to whatever they are trying to purchase: flights, package deal, hotels, etc. The temptation might be high to suggest similar packages or upselling to a more expensive one, but you’ll only confuse them by doing that. Include a picture from the destination to make that sell even more appealing. And remember, the less clicks they need to complete, the more likely they’ll be to do it.
2. Anniversary: Remind your top customers to book again
This tip might require some data drilling on your part, but trust me, it’ll be worth it! One of our clients, Serenity Holidays, did something similar and saw an uplift of revenue of 120%!
First, identify the customers that would be most likely to book again with you. To find them, analyze the data and pick the ones that have purchased more than once, and the ones that left great reviews (even if they’ve just purchased one product).
Then put together an email with similar deals to what they bought before, and set the campaign to automatically send about 10 months after their last purchase. Chances are they’ll take their holiday around the same time of the year, so you want to make your travel company the obvious choice when they’re in the ‘holiday mood’.
Advanced tip: ask your email designer to code the deals as conditional content, and then you’ll only need to create one email. The technology will automatically adjust the deals based on the previous value spent by the customer.
3. Dates booked: Pre- and post-holiday automation programs
Related to tip #2, you can use automation to make your customers loyal by going the extra mile around the time of their holiday. You might be thinking it’s more hassle than it’s worth, but you can automate the whole process.
Set up a simple pre-holiday program to create excitement about the event (believe it or not, some people are apprehensive about transport, and places they’ve never been to before). Let me give you an example:
You might not see an immediate impact on booking numbers, but stellar customer service will make customers more likely to return, become loyal, and even recommend you to their friends. It’s the little things that count.
Similarly to above, set up a post-holiday program to say thank you, encourage reviews, and signups to your newsletter. Now that they’ve already had a great experience, they’re likely to want to keep in touch, which will keep your brand front of mind for when the ‘holiday mood’ appears again.
Advanced tip: if you know their birthday, send customers a discount or complimentary offer with a booking for a purchase in their birthday month. There’s nothing like a birthday to encourage them to treat themselves.
Want more travel email tips? Check out ‘7 email marketing tips travel companies can implement today’.