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How To Plan your email marketing

author: Charlotte Cullinan Social media may be the golden child of online marketing, but it’s email marketing –

the trusted older cousin –which many agents still rely on for impressive results

Sharon Munro says the business has used email marketing for premium customers “since the early days of email”. She explains: “The world is tuned to mobile

technology now, and everyone’s time poor – especially those who have money to spend on lavish trips. So in order to get your message out effectively, email marketing is essential for success. We have seen a lot of enquiries and bookings result from just one e-shot.” Personalisation is key to Barrhead, with the

marketing team targeting different sections of the database for each campaign. “An email shows that they’re at the forefront of your mind, and they should be engaged with you because you are offering a product that is of interest to them,” Munro adds. Like Barrhead, York’s

Conexo Travel segments its email marketing, and owner David Carruthers says interest in email offers is always highest among the luxury demographic, who recently received campaigns focused on river cruising and the US. He says one of the

most challenging aspects is ensuring customers don’t feel bombarded, and finds emailing once a week or even once a fortnight strikes the right balance. “It’s tempting to keep

Open sesame B

arrhead Travel may only have opened its first luxury-focused store in December 2013, but chief executive

sending emails, but it’s easy to overdo it, and then we could end up in spam filters or being deleted,” he points out. As a Hays Independence

Group member Carruthers also uses the group’s email platform to send triggered emails related to a customer’s upcoming trip. “Customers appreciate

these, and they can be a delicate way of upselling ancillary products, such as asking if they’ve considered airport parking yet,” he adds.

Subject: Don't forget this weekend x

A quick reminder that clocks will go forward, we can say that winter is over. Yes - you might feel a little more tired in the morning after being robbed of precious sleep, but it's a small price to pay for the return of those gorgeous sunny evenings sat in the garden!

Or if you'd prefer a gorgeous sunny evening elsewhere in the

world, let me know and I'll be happy to build that perfect getaway for you!

Speak soon! Clare

Softly, softly Peterborough-based gold Travel Counsellor Clare Lockett has found a surprising trend when emailing her top “alpha” customers. They receive emails focused on destinations and high-end promotions, however her most successful mailers have completely avoided sales messages. She explains: “I get the

most feedback from my ‘soft’ emails, which have no travel content, and are touchy-feely and cover things like Pancake Day, or a reminder that the clocks are changing.

My luxury customers like to know I’m

thinking about them, and often get in touch to say thank you, and often make an enquiry.” Specialist agency

Honeymoon Dreams gives several contact methods in its emails, as head of marketing Tom Pestridge explains: “Subscribers can use the one that they feel most comfortable with, be it online, email, phone or socially.” Also a Kuoni Specialist

Agent, the company is currently introducing a social

section into its regular e-newsletter which will collate the most popular content across its social platforms; Pestridge says this will give “a bit of personality” to emails. To create a sophisticated feel, Pestridge

believes that simplicity is key and advocates high-quality images. He says while animated gifs offer interactivity in a traditionally static medium, they should be used with caution: “Make sure it is kept slow and simple, or risk it coming across as tacky.”

Mobile matters Alongside design, usability is another key concern for marketers, and Graham Charlton, editor in chief at digital specialist Econsultancy, says roughly half of all emails are opened on phones. “The biggest trend recently is mobile,” he

explains. “Email design and landing pages have to reflect this. If the object is to generate a phone lead for example, then a click-to-call link may work well.”

Pictured Above: Honeymoon Dreams’ top 10 honeymoons Left: “Soft” emails can get the best response

5 tips for: creating effective email client marketing

Free advice Look to email software providers including MailChimp and Communicator for free resources, from optimising subject lines to improving click rates.

Study stats Check your analytics to determine the optimum time to send campaigns. Lockett finds 7pm to 9pm is when most of her customers open personal emails.


Curated content Be creative. Pestridge gets a “huge response” from competitions and Honeymoon Dreams’ annual top 10 honeymoon resorts feature.

Gain a following Give clients chances to join your mailing list and highlight what they’ll get from you. Barrhead gains sign- ups from competitions and events.

Pro tips Gain inspiration by subscribing to other companies’ emails, including those outside travel. Charlton praises retailers Mr Porter and Selfridges’ “excellent” email marketing.

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