One of my friends who used to be a travel agent was great at customer service, but he didn’t leverage technology as much as he could to harness a database of his customers and send them travel information from time to time. This was not the only reason he’s now transitioned to something else. But combined with an overall down turn in the travel business and not being closer to his customers he had to get out of the travel business.
Although the travel business is a lot tougher for the remaining travel agencies, email marketing services company Campaigner believes that if they implement a smart email marketing strategy, they can survive and thrive. During these economic hardships, travel is one of the luxuries many individuals and businesses will cut back on.
Campaigner recently announced email best practice tips designed to help travel agents stay in front of clients and prospects with timely travel information, special offers and local travel packages. Because email ROI outperforms all other direct marketing tactics – DMA estimates indicate every dollar spent returns more than $45 on the investment – travel agents can use email marketing to maintain business activity, even in a changing economy.
“In a down economy, most businesses are reviewing how they market to consumers and how they can keep their relationships with them strong. Travel agents can work with the budget constraints of consumers by turning their focus to offering local vacation spots,” said Luc Vezina, Head of Marketing. “Email marketing is an easy and efficient way for travel agents to keep in touch with customers through targeted campaigns.”
You’ll find that even if you are not a travel agent, the following tips will be quite useful to your business as well:
- Leverage your customer database – Using customer data – demographic, behavioral and transactional – to segment email lists can greatly improve email marketing campaigns.
- Send targeted messages – Create relationships with customers by connecting with them one-to-one. Use your customer database to send targeted messages offering local travel opportunities in their area. Offering information that is relevant to your customers builds credibility, strengthening your relationship.
- Automate your email campaigns – Send follow-up messages automatically based on consumer behavior. Event and action-triggered emails allow travel agents to not only improve content targeting and personalization, but also to time the delivery of email messages to reach customers at the right time in the buying cycle.
- Give your email a personality – Reflect your personality through your email communications. Send email ‘from’ a person (on behalf of), or include a personal signature and a photo to build the relationship. Putting a face to a name is proven to help build the relationship between travel agents and consumers.
- Keep an eye on metrics – Measure results to ensure success – metrics are vital to every email campaign. Review your metrics after each campaign is sent out to better understand your customers’ travel interests. If a change in behavior is noted, alter the campaign to meet customer travel needs and interests.