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2016 has been a great year for email in general, but the Travel & Leisure industry’s email performance really kicked off.

According to the 2016 Email Industry Census – Key Sector Report, 83 percent of companies in this sector rate email ROI as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ (up by 11 percent compared to 2015). And they were only barely edged out of the top spot by the Charity, Government & Not-For-Profit sector at 84 percent.

2016 Sector Census ROI

Part of this success can be attributed to the fact that Travel firms have significantly increased their strategic use of email tactics. They overtook those in the Publishing industry, topping the charts in eight of 18 practices including: mobile optimization, content personalization and lifecycle campaigns.

But what does this increase in tactics look like in the wild? To give you some practical examples, we thought we’d share two of our favorite campaigns from 2016:

Segmentation and animation set the scene for a romantic Valentine’s Day email offer

Valentine’s Day is a popular occasion for organizing a short break. It usually involves two people, so companies in this sector shouldn’t miss the opportunity to segment their data if they can. To do that, you can either look at past purchase behavior, or simply ask your subscribers to choose their news with a preference center that allows them to opt-in to communications about romantic getaways.

The latter was the route taken by Stoke Park. The hotel created a short and sweet email with clear messaging around a ‘romantic getaway’ and included an animated GIF to illustrate its romantic atmosphere.


To make the most of the occasion, it scheduled a re-send to non-openers just two days before Valentine’s Day, thus catching last-minute couples without a plan. Aside from great engagement rates, this email translated into a room revenue increase of 213 percent!

Delivering a great hospitality customer experience with First-Person Email Marketing

We all know that the Travel & Leisure industry is an extremely competitive market, especially for booking comparison websites. To make a lasting impression and differentiate themselves from the competition, sister companies Reservation Desk and Reservation Counter adopted a First-Person Marketing approach.

They focused on delivering an excellent customer experience through the creation of hyper-personalized emails sent shortly before a booking was due. This email gave their customers an easy reference to all the necessary details for their stay, including: name and logo of the hotel, address, itinerary number as well as check-in and check-out times.


They also tested what type of email design works better to convey that information, making sure they maximize engagement.