Unraveling the Power of Email Marketing for the Travel Industry

The digital era has transformed the way we travel. From exploring dream destinations to searching for the right deals and booking stays, travelers spend most of their time online while planning for their trips. For the travel industry, this transformation is a great opportunity to promote their brand online and engage its customers better.

Many companies and agencies in the travel and hospitality domain use email marketing as their main communication channel. Email marketing is an effective tool when it comes to engaging eager travelers online and turning them into customers. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Emails can help in catching quality leads and turn them into customers and brand advocates.
  • According to research by DMA, the return on investment for email marketing is up to $42 for every $1 spent.
  • Travel companies can use email automation to provide customers with timely updates and details of their trips and bookings.
  • Email marketing allows marketers to promote relevant offers to their subscribers based on their previous activities and interests.
  • Well-executed email campaigns have high open and click-through rates and low spam reports and unsubscribes.


Email Marketing Strategy: Step by Step

If you are looking to increase the reach and customer base of your travel and hospitality business, you need to have a successful email marketing strategy. Creating winning email strategies will help you in turning the tourists all around the world into your customers.


1- Define your goals

Before you start creating and sending out emails, you need to set clear objectives. Take some time out to think about your overall goals and what you want to achieve out of your email marketing efforts. Having concrete goals will help you create well-thought-out, effective emails, and get the desired results.


2- Build a healthy subscriber list

Once your objectives and targets are set, the first step towards building the email campaign is creating a subscriber list. It is vital to have a clean and organically built list to ensure maximum conversions. A clean list includes only the subscribers who have themselves opted-in to your list and are interested in knowing what your brand has to offer.


3- Create a responsive email design

Email users use various devices and screen sizes such as mobile phones, tablets, wearables, etc. to access emails. It is therefore important to create emails that render well across multiple devices. Keep the various screen dimensions in mind while designing the emails. Responsive emails easily adapt to the screen they are being viewed on, and deliver a consistent message across all email clients and devices. To design responsive emails, you can download and customize free HTML email templates that give the same experience across devices.


4- Make use of customer data

To get the desired results from your email campaign, it is necessary to send highly relevant and targeted emails. This can be done by collecting data from the subscribers’ online behavior, travel history, search history, interests, and preferences and using them to create the email content. Segmenting users based on their preferences, purchase history, and other important data can help in better targeting them. By using relevant data, you can create personalized emails to engage with the users on a one-to-one basis.


5- Test and track

To make sure you are moving in the right direction, test your emails well before you send them, and track their results after sending them. Perform A/B split testing to compare various versions of the same email. Also, track metrics such as the open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, bounce rate, etc. This will help you get insights into how your emails are performing and make necessary changes to make it better.


Types of Emails that are Effective for the Travel Industry

Emails are expected to wow the subscribers and offer smooth customer experiences. The main types of emails that work for the travel industry are classified as marketing emails, transactional emails, and lifecycle emails.


Marketing Emails

Marketing emails are generic promotional emails that talk about your brand’s offerings and services, promote special deals, sales, and seasonal events, or monthly newsletters. Check out a couple of examples.


1- The below email from Marriott is a promotional email that focuses on their best prices and gives the users a few suggestions for their next travel destination.

the secret to the best rates

Source: Really Good Emails


2- The brand Skyscanner sends monthly newsletters to their subscribers with a certain message and theme. This one is focused on the travel and airline guidelines during COVID-19. Take a look!

a message from skyscanner

Source: Really Good Emails



Lifecycle Emails

Lifecycle emails are automatic emails sent on the basis of where the subscribers are in the customer journey. They can be welcome emails, loyalty program emails, feedback emails, etc. Here are some examples.


1- This welcome email from Airbnb uses an interesting layout and engaging pictures to take the new subscribers on a tour of what they have to offer.

how does airbnb work

Source: Really Good Emails


2- The following email from Southwest is a mid-year summary of the subscriber, stating the number of flights they have taken, the total reward points earned so far, and other information.

smiles davis your mid year summary is here

Source: Really Good Emails


Transactional Emails

Transactional emails are triggered emails sent when the subscriber performs certain actions. For example, when someone leaves a booking midway, send them emails asking for their feedback or giving them discounts to encourage them to finish the purchase. Have a look at some examples.


1- This email from Delta is sent right after the customer booked a flight ticket. It has the trip details with a few instructions for the flyer.

your gsp sfo trip details

Source: Really Good Emails


2-The following transactional email is sent after a subscriber leaves the booking halfway.

fly from clt to nrt for as little as 616

Source: Really Good Emails


Wrapping Up…

A well-crafted strategy can help you nail your travel email marketing. Are you looking to attract and retain customers with email marketing? Hire email template developers or get free HTML email templates to get started!

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