Great destination email marketing campaigns don’t just happen. It calls for a lot of strategy, planning and testing to come up with just the right combination that works for your organisation. And it requires a stellar email strategy to support it.
Having in place an email marketing strategy will not only help you send your campaigns on time, but will also help you align your content to the right audience and get better results from your email campaigns.
Here are some tips for promoting your destination successfully with email marketing.
1. Start with a content calendar
Create a content calendar for your email campaigns.
Email marketing campaigns can be overwhelming if they are not backed by a strong content plan. Deciding content at the last minute is not only challenging, but is also ineffective. You will find yourself sending destination offers too late for travellers to take an informed decision or recommending places and activities to a segment of audience that hasn’t shown much interest in it.
By far, the main benefit of a content plan is content mapping, where you decide what type of content is appropriate for which type of persona and when is the best time for them to receive it. The content of your destination emails should be aligned with the key attractions and USPs of your destination, such as: cities, regions, road trip itineraries, national holidays, concerts and festivals, seasonal events, competitions. You can also include offers and news from your travel and tourism partners such as hotels and restaurants, B&Bs, airline or rail companies.
As marketers ourselves, we know that finding the fine balance between promotional and informative content is challenging. Having a mix of both in your content plan will allow you to test and see how each type performs.
2. Location Sensitivity
Leverage your audience’ location.
Considering and leveraging certain location based aspects of your target audience can make your emails very relevant and appealing. For example, promoting a sunny destination when it’s cold, wet and gloomy in the UK can greatly increase the appeal of your destination’s promise of abundant sunshine and warm days at the beach. Or a long bank holiday weekend can be leveraged to attract them away from their usual routine. Any offers and promotions targeted with these sensitivities in mind stand a much better chance of being seriously considered.
Location is also a great indicator of travelling habits and the decision making trends of your audience. For example, travellers from the US will select their destinations and timing differently from those in Europe.
3. The Value of Images
Discover the power of visual storytelling.
It may sound as a cliché that a picture tells a thousand words, but you will find real value in using high quality visuals to promote your destination. Powerful imagery evokes emotions and drives a deeper engagement, so let the images do as much talking as the text. Make sure they align with your content and reflect the desire in the target market.
Use authentic and relevant images that craft unique travelling experiences and connect your audience with the destination: breath-taking landscapes, enticing activities and unique experiences.
4. Timing is Everything
Figure out the optimal time to prepare and send your email campaigns.
Many destination marketers get timing totally wrong when it comes to email campaigns. They either send offers too late, not leaving enough consideration or decision-making time or send out offers too early. We’ve often seen the former to be more the case. For example, if you want people to visit your destination in July, you should consider sending your first offer/message at least 60 days prior. Complement this with last minute offers around 15 or 20 days prior to intended travel dates depending on the proximity of your destination to the target audience location. This can particularly work well if your database is segmented by location. Figuring out the science behind sending out optimally timed email campaigns isn’t easy, but there’s nothing that thorough planning and testing can’t solve.
5. Optimise Your Landing Pages
Connect your email content to relevant landing pages.
There’s nothing more disappointing than to receive a great offer or message that directs you to a landing page where you struggle to make the association. A great landing page can really make a difference when it comes to a successful email marketing campaign, so make sure your landing pages are always relevant to the email you are sending out. Your email content has to give out just enough to create the curiosity and appeal that would make your audience visit your website where you can showcase the complete offer in great detail. The landing page you are sending them to should pick up where the email copy left off, by enforcing your message, showcasing the main benefits of your offer and convincing them to convert.
- Set up a content plan and follow it systematically.
- Know your audience’s location.
- Complement quality content with powerful imagery.
- Get your timing right when sending emails.
- Sync email campaigns and landing pages.
If you are a destination marketer you might also like to read: 9 Tips for a Successful Online Destination Marketing Campaign and Where to Begin with Tourism Mobile Apps.
Digital Dialog specialise in creating successful online destination marketing campaigns. Find out more about Digital Dialog and the Tourism Industry.