Running a travel business is exciting; whether you’re selling tours, writing travel guides, or making money as an influencer, carving out a career path that you’re passionate about means you wake up every day loving what you do.
But that doesn’t mean that running a business is easy, in fact, passion and motivation is usually required to be able to pull you through.
Regardless of whether you’re running a multi million dollar travel agency, or you’re an individual packaging travel pillows from home, every business has the same fundamental goals; to make money you need to build a sustainable and loyal base of customers.
There are a lot of places that business owners look for love online; from social media, to SEO (search engine traffic), and using influencers to get their name out there, it can be overwhelming figuring out the best way to go.
But it’s one of the simplest tools for growing your business that is actually the most powerful; a way to connect with your audience in a highly personalized and targeted way, with minimal effort, minimal cost, but maximum ROI (return on interest).
Are you struggling to grow your travel business?
I have two words for you: Email marketing.
Why Every Travel Business Should be Using Email Marketing
#1 Email is What People Want
We might be living in an age where we’re inundated with spam from Nigerian princes, long lost ‘relatives’, and news that you’ve won the Polish lottery, but despite all of this, email is the channel of communication that most consumers prefer.
Unsolicited email – no.
That’ll land you in the same folder as Nigerian royalty. But if you build an email list where people have willingly signed up, and are interested in your brand and product, email is what people actually want.
The conventional belief is that people don’t like to receive promotional emails at all, but this has been disproved; 91% of US adults actually like to receive promo emails from brands they love.
A Marketing Sherpa study confirmed that 72% of consumers prefer to receive promotional messages through email over all other methods of marketing. This was well over the 47% that preferred postal mail, 34% for television ads, and 17% who preferred social media.
Surprisingly, even though social media has become one of the most popular ways for brands to communicate, people don’t want promotional offers or advertising in this space, and have become accustomed to swiping past it.
Most people value these networks as a personal connection with friends and family. When they log in, they want to see updates from people, not branded marketing.
Email is a much more professional platform, and people expect, and even look forward to checking their email for information about promotions, sales, news and services from their favorite brands.
Pro tip: Facebook Groups are a powerful way to grow your email list quickly – check this Group Leads review for a tool which automates the collection of email addresses from every new person joining your group.
After-all, email is convenient, and people can access it directly on their smartphone, it’s personal, and customers want something that’s personalized and relevant, and it’s a great way to get news about exclusive offers, sales, and promotions instantly.
#2 Email Gives You Higher Organic Reach
There’s no doubt that social media is a popular way to reach people; but with changing algorithms, and more brands flooding into the social media space, your message reaches less and less people organically.
Unless, of course, you pay.
Businesses have been complaining about the death of organic reach on social media for years now, but the successful businesses have long since accepted that it’s not going to get any better.
Successful businesses have realized that email is the best way to maintain a high organic reach.
When you send an email campaign (we use CleverReach), the average rate of delivery is around 90%. By contrast, only 2% of your Facebook audience now see your posts in their News Feed, unless you pay to boost it.
Email is a direct line to your audience, and no algorithm or change in business strategy can limit the percentage of your audience that you reach.
Not only is your message 90% more likely to be seen, you’re also not limited by character limits, glitchy formatting, and can present your message in the way you want it presented.
People are able to check their emails constantly nowadays with the dominance of mobiles (the average person checks their phone 80 times per day). 44 percent of people check their inbox up to three times per day, which makes email marketing so powerful; your message is going directly to your audience, where-ever they happen to be.
#3 Emails Are Personalized, Hence, Effective
People today want personal relationships with the brands they do business with. They want to buy from businesses they trust, that represent their values, and feel connected with your messaging.
It doesn’t matter if you’re sending coupons, company news, free e-books, or exclusive peeks at new products, people want to feel as though they’re part of your community, part of the conversation, and feel as though they’re engaged with you.
They want to feel valued.
Email marketing is powerful in that it allows you to personalize your messages and content based on individual subscribers interests and buying habits. And the best email marketing tools mean you can keep it personal, but automate everything.
Not only can emails be personalized to address people by name, you can send personalized product recommendations based on their shopping behavior, unique welcome messages, shopping cart reminders, and email on birthdays, anniversaries etc.
When it comes to delivering highly personalized and relevant messages you’ll want a software that lets you hyper-target your communications from data it collects about your consumers (ie knowing the gender, location, and interests of your subscribers).
#4 Email Marketing is EASY
Setting up a lifecycle of personalized email campaigns may sound foreign, but a good email marketing platform will make it all ridiculously easy. The learning curve is much simpler than strategies like SEO and video.
Good email marketing platforms will allow you can to create fully automated campaigns without prior knowledge about email marketing. And you can create beautifully designed newsletters without any programming skills.
CleverReach specifically has an automation center called THEA; an intuitive and virtual drawing board where you can create a whole flow of emails you want automatically sent based on certain actions and events. Actually writing emails is done in a drag and drop editor.
It’s easy to set up trigger campaigns, where you can send out product news and coupons triggered by people’s shopping behavior, as well as a flow of auto responses and follow ups to build a strong relationship with every customer.
Set up welcomes for new subscribers, send confirmation emails triggered by certain actions, set up satisfaction surveys, and use THEA to create campaigns that will re-engage your inactive subscribers and spark their interest again.
#5 The ONLY Sustainable Method of Marketing
Emails have become the currency of the internet, and that’s because the savvy business knows that this is the only sustainable method of marketing.
Businesses that were solely reliant on Facebook advertising had to completely re-strategize after the platform changed it’s algorithms and stopped showing branded content organically in the news feed. They were forced to start paying for their posts to be seen.
Similarly, businesses who rely on search engine optimization (SEO) to bring in targeted customers via Google traffic are wholly reliant on staying in Google’s good graces, and their income could crumble at any moment based on an algorithm change, or being taken out of search results.
SEO marketers are already starting to predict the death of Google search traffic now that Google is promoting no click search results (answers without the need to click for more details), and as a result, natural search engine traffic is plummeting.
The point is, that if you base your business model so that it’s 100% reliant on someone elses business (in this case, Google or Facebook), it’s going to crumble the minute they change their business strategy in a way that doesn’t suit your own.
Email marketing is so much stronger, and far more sustainable, because you own the list (and you can constantly grow your list either organically, or if you choose to purchase business leads).
You’re not reliant on another platform, and you’ll never have your audience taken away from you. These are your clients, and you have a direct line of access without having to navigate a third party platform.
Not only that, but social media platforms die, and all that time and money you invested into building an audience on the platform is erased. Remember Myspace?
Email will be around forever.
#6 Email is the Cheapest Form of Marketing
Email is the cheapest form of marketing, and certain platforms even offer their newsletter software for free. Meaning you can start building your email list without having to spend anything.
Even the best platforms like CleverReach, who are used by businesses like Spotify, Unicef, Playboy, Red Bull, and Amnesty International, have free plans where you can sign up without having to enter any payment details, and just get started emailing.
There are no sign up fees and no obligations – if you’re just starting out with email marketing we recommend starting on a free plan, and then you can upgrade to paid versions as your needs grow (the free plan with CleverReach allows you to manage up to 250 recipients, and send up to 1,000 emails a month).
There are no printing and postage costs of email marketing, no advertising fees based on your reach like on social media, and the cheap cost means email marketing brings in a 4400% ROI; $44 for every $1 spent.
Traditional advertising like TV, magazine, and radio can cost thousands of dollars, and when compared to the cost of email marketing , you’re able to do a lot more, with a lot less.
You get an incredible amount of return for your marketing spend.
#7 Email Has the Highest ROI
Amazing how the cheapest form of marketing can have the highest rate of conversion, and ROI. But it’s true! And this is because your email subscribers have explicitly told you they want to hear from you.
This isn’t the same for any other form of marketing; advertising on TV, social media, billboards; the people who are seeing these ads didn’t give their express permission to be marketed to. But with email marketing, they have.
As such, by sending emails, you’re advertising to an audience who are already interested in your product / service, already familiar with your brand, have already established a certain level of trust with you, and this is why you see high conversions.
The visibility you’re able to gain through email marketing is invaluable to landing new sales, and sustaining a base of repeat customers. Even if a sale doesn’t happen immediately, continued emails to interested subscribers is wildly successful (this is called a drip campaign).
When it comes to conversions, there isn’t a more powerful channel than email.
Conclusion: Email Marketing is Something Every Serious Travel Business NEEDS
So – email marketing is a) what people want, b) gives a high organic reach, c) easy to use, d) highly effective, and e) ridiculously cheap.
Effective, easy and inexpensive; email marketing might be an old tactic, but it remains the most successful. And unlike social media platforms, which change with every new algorithm, email marketing is a solid and reliable strategy, that’s likely to be around forever.
We recommend using CleverReach for your email marketing needs. The software is made in Germany, and there are a huge range of integrations, including WordPress; simply connect your WordPress blog to their newsletter plugin, synchronize your WordPress contacts and create and send your first email.
There’s the right plan for everyone – click here to set up your account for free.
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