Did you know that email marketing offers the highest return on investment (ROI) of all types of marketing with an average return of $36 for every $1 spent? That’s a pretty impressive statistic, especially if you’re a small business in the travel and tourism industry.

After all, most people plan their trips and vacations months in advance, giving you plenty of time to send potential customers emails that will entice them to choose your agency for their travel needs. But how does effective email marketing in the travel industry work? 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how travel email marketing is used, the reasons for its effectiveness, and the types of emails you need to send to create an effective travel email marketing program. 

How is email marketing used in the travel industry?

People love to travel. According to Phocuswright Research, 36% of travelers rated travel as an important spending priority. And with so many people willing to pay for a good travel experience, providing useful information on travel deals, trends, and safety should be a priority for travel and tourism marketers.

So, how do these travelers get the information they need? Despite the growing popularity of social media, most people still turn to travel email marketing to make their travel decisions. In fact, 58% of people check their email first thing in the morning, before looking at social media or the news. 

These are great statistics for email marketing in the travel industry. It means an effective travel email marketing strategy will help you reach millions of potential customers eager to read the information you provide. 

Travel email marketing can be used to:   

  • Attract and retain new customers.
  • Provide your customers with details and updates on their trip, showing the value of your travel agency.
  • Send customers promotional discounts and special offers that help your travel and tourism business stand out from others. 
  • Give customers a way to connect with your travel business on social media and develop a better relationship.
  • Collect information on your customers, enabling you to design emails tailored to their specific needs.
  • Answer frequently asked questions about travel and tourism, allowing you to showcase your expertise.
  • Give customers a way to visit your travel and tourism website, enabling clients to learn more about your services and book through your agency.
  • Offer personalized emails that provide information based on your customers’ preferences.
  • Convince people to take a trip even if they weren’t planning to.

How effective is email marketing in the travel & tourism business?

example of a travel industry - cruise line - email campaign

Used correctly, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of enticing customers to use your service. The effectiveness of this marketing strategy for your travel business is due to several factors:

  1. People like receiving your emails: The vast majority of people who get on email lists expect and want to receive promotional emails in their inboxes. This is great news for email marketers since their emails are more likely to be read and attract new customers.   
  2. Mobile devices allow travelers to check email constantly: Thanks to smartphones, people check their email multiple times a day. Travelers even use their smartphones to research new destinations and travel discounts while they’re traveling. This makes it even more likely that your travel email marketing will gain you new customers. 
  3. Email marketing is still more effective than social media: Although social media is very popular, more people still turn to emails for promotions than social media. Marketers should still use social media in their digital marketing plans, but email marketing still generates more interest from potential customers.  
  4. Emails can be segmented: People who sign up to receive your emails can opt to receive only the types of emails they’re interested in. This not only gives you a better idea of what emails are popular with your clients, it also makes it more likely that your emails will find you new customers. After all, if your subscribers asked to receive specific promotions or travel information, they’re more likely to give your emails their attention.  
  5. Emails can be personalized: Just as email segmentation helps you reach a target audience, personalized emails make your customers feel special and help build a relationship between your customers and your business. By automating this process, personalization becomes a simple but effective strategy.  
email marketing travel industry
An effective way to gather email addresses for your mailing list is to add a form on your website that offers rewards for signing up. 

What types of emails should you send in an effective email marketing program?

Now that you know how email marketing is used in the travel and tourism business and how powerful it is, the next step is to create an effective email marketing program for your small business. 

One of the keys to an effective email marketing strategy is sending the right message, in the right format, at the right time. Consider using the following types of emails in your campaign:

  • Welcome email: Make sure to automate a welcome email to be delivered to your signups. More than 82% of email users open their welcome emails, giving them a very high open rate. Use this to your advantage by offering special deals or information about your unique brand. Welcome emails are also excellent for reminding customers to set their preferences to receive segmented emails.
  • Invitation to connect: A few days after sending your welcome email, send an email informing your contacts about ways they can learn more about your business. Invite them to visit and engage with your social media channels, website, and review sites.
  • Milestone email: Milestone emails let you reward customers with birthday offers or special holiday discounts. You can also inform customers about anniversary deals or loyalty rewards. 
  • Newsletter emails: Newsletters let you provide travelers with vacation ideas, travel industry news, interviews with travel experts, and information on your latest packages and services.
  • Informational emails: Travelers get on email lists to help make better decisions. Show how your business can help provide expert advice by sending emails with travel guides, scheduling updates, or bad weather warnings.
  • Confirmation emails: Once customers book through your agency, send them a confirmation email. Since these emails have high open rates, they’re a great opportunity to include additional offers or deals. 
  • Thank you emails: Thank you emails let your subscribers know they’re appreciated. They’re also a great way to request your customers take surveys to help improve your services.  

Effective travel emailing marketing campaigns send out emails on a regular basis, at least once a month. It’s also a good idea to plan to send out your emails before holidays, business events, and annual marketing events, such as Black Friday..

Email marketing in the travel industry

While email marketing offers excellent ROIs for most industries, it’s particularly powerful for the travel and tourism industry. Fortunately, creating effective emails is easy, even if you don’t have a lot of experience with email design. 

To learn more about designing effective email campaigns for travel and tourism businesses, download our free, comprehensive guide on how to make sense of online marketing. If you don’t know much about online marketing, this resource can help you understand how people find you online and how to use strategies like travel email marketing to your advantage.

Constant Contact also offers effective tools for developing email marketing campaigns quickly and easily, such as a variety of email templates for different types of emails you can customize to promote your travel & tourism business.

Travel email marketing lets you offer special deals and promotions to customers eager for your information. Your emails can guide travelers through every stage of their journey, building good relationships with clients. Thanks to online marketing resources, travel email marketing can be used effectively by newcomers and experts alike who are eager to build up their brands.

Now that you know how to use email marketing for the travel industry, it’s time to take your marketing efforts to the next level. Learn how to use SMS and email marketing together to boost engagement and build stronger relationships with your clients.