How To Activate Your Travel Email Marketing and Increase Email Open Rates

February 22, 2021
Lucas Ennis (he/him)
3 min read

Once you have built up an email list to work with, it is time to activate it and reap the benefits of travel email marketing for your business.

Even with social media around, email marketing is still one of the top ways to reach your clients. Not only is it consumers’ preferred channel to receive promotional emails, but there is a high ROI on it too. In 2019, marketers in the travel industry generated a $53 return to every $1 they spent on email marketing.

Now as we prepare for travel demand to pick up once again, it still makes sense to use email as a channel to reach your clients and prospects. Travelers have opted in to hear from you this way, and your database likely includes many existing clients who have enjoyed your experience in the past, which means they already know and trust you.

As people become ready to book travel once again, a well-timed email from a company they respect could land up generating real interest in your product on offer.

For anyone new to your list or not yet prepared to travel, email is a tool to use in the meantime to help you build relationships with people primed to receive information from you. Play your cards right, and your efforts can come to fruition in the future.

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Build Relationships By Diversifying The Types Of Emails You Send

Email Marketing For Travel Companies

Travel email marketing shouldn't only be about pushing out promotional messages. Instead, focus on building relationships and trust by mixing up the types of emails you send to include things like:

  • Value-adding content such as how-to guides, travel tips, or destination information
  • Customer information and updates such as welcome emails, booking confirmations, itineraries, post-trip follow-ups, and thank you notes
  • Your latest blog posts
  • Industry news and updates
  • Previous client stories, photos, or videos
  • Guide profiles, meet the team series, and executive interviews
  • Updates to your travel products
  • Promotional emails, including new products, discounts, and competitions
  • Information about your company, including covered press or behind the scenes insights

Having this balance will set you up to engage your audience.

The next step is to know how to put it together and ensure you get eyes on your messages.

How To Activate Your Travel Email Marketing and Increase Email Open Rates

Mailchimp has pegged the average email open rate for the travel and transportation industry at 20.44%. This means that, on average, for every five emails your travel company sends out, approximately one is opened.

As you can see, it is crucial to nail your travel email marketing at every turn. If you fail to catch the receivers' attention or your message doesn't reach their inbox, it is a wasted opportunity.

Automate Campaigns

Increase Email Open Rates

Using tools like Hubspot or Sender makes it easy to set up, automate, and track the success of your email marketing campaigns.

They will give you better clarity on what you want to achieve with your campaign, save you time through automation, and enable you to personalize emails to appeal to your audience.

You can also track how successful your campaigns are and make data-driven decisions to achieve better results.

Segment Your Email List

Different emails serve different purposes, be it to build relationships, establish trust, or encourage bookings.

Similarly, different people in your database will have different interests in your travel products. It could be according to the destination country, trip type, or average duration, among other things.

Your travel email marketing lists need to be segmented accordingly, so you aren't sending out upcoming school tennis tour details to college rugby groups, for example.

Create Irresistible Emails

Getting the right email to the right inbox is only one part of increasing your email open rates. You need to create messages that ensure clients open your emails again and again.

Here are handy email content creation tips:

Focus The Subject Line

Be specific and ask questions. Make it personalized and friendly. Use the recipient’s name. Ensure it is short and catchy for mobile. Include numbers. Grab attention and be inviting. Optinmonster has a few more ideas for you on this subject.

Include A Call To Action

Give purpose to your reader and encourage them to engage with your travel business in some way by including a CTA in every mail you send. It could be to download your latest travel brochures or click through to your latest blog post.

How To Activate Email Marketing

Be Concise and Specific

Keep your emails short and sweet. The modern traveler cares about convenience, so they won't stick around to read a 20-minute message.

Use Visuals

Visuals carry over well on screens, and people often respond to them better than receiving big blocks of texts to read.

Include video links and images in your emails where it makes sense to do so. Your CTA button should also be highly visible to draw readers to take action.

Schedule Quantity and Frequency

There are different opinions and studies with various answers as to when is the best time to send an email.

Experts say that it is best to send emails in the morning but agree email engagement is pretty consistent throughout the day.

What you can do is perform a bit of research. Run A/B tests to find the right time for your audience. Mailchimp’s Send Time Optimization tool may also provide you with some useful insights.

The frequency or quantity of posts you send is also important.

According to HubSpot, companies with 1 to 10 employees and 26 to 200 employees get the highest click and open rates when they send between 16 and 30 targeted campaigns per month.

Closing Thoughts

Travel email marketing is a way to remind your clients that you are ready to provide them with an incredible experience when the time is right.

Until then, your campaigns should provide a balanced mix of trust and relationship-building content, as well as promotions to engage your audience and place your business top of mind.