Using Email Automation For Travel Marketing

If you’re looking for ways to turn up your email marketing performance, it might be time to consider marketing automation. Marketing automation software helps brands to communicate with their existing customers and target audiences without having to lift a finger after the initial planning and production is completed. Marketing automation is particularly common in consumer marketing. The retail and travel sectors give us some of the best examples of how it can be used to great effect, cutting down on reactive marketing time and ramping up ROI.

Though marketing automation is now a very common service and is used by all manner of businesses across a range of channels, email automation is by far its most popular application. Essentially email automation works by responding to consumer triggered events. This means your email platform will take care of sending emails to your contacts for you when certain events take place. Email automation can include the simplest of actions including the trigger of a welcome email when a new user signs up to your site or service or makes a booking. But, it can also be used for more complex communications including individualised messaging based on a specific user’s abandoned basket contents. If a web visitor reserved a room at your hotel in Qatar for example but left the site before completing the reservation in your booking engine, email automation could be used to send an email to entice the guest back to site to complete their booking. The level of depth provided by email automation will depend on the level of effort invested upfront to set up the various levels of event triggers you would like to include.

Within the travel sector there are some popular and high performing areas that every travel brand should consider using email automation for. These are a few of the more common uses:

Following Up On Browsing Activity – Used to great affect within retail, following up on user browsing activity with an automated, personalised email can help to aid continued consideration for travel products such as room reservations. If you are aware a logged in customer is viewing a hotel in detail, consider following up with an email which contains additional information such as rates or available room types, imagery and positive reviews for that hotel. Set this up to send around 24 hours after the web visit to encourage the guest to continue their purchase journey with you.

Collecting Customer Reviews – In a digital world which is increasingly focussed on peer to peer recommendations and ratings, no list of amenities can compare to positive reviews from other customers. The trouble is collecting those reviews in the first place. As a travel brand you have enough data on your customer’s purchase habits to be able to tell the return date from their trips. This insight enables you to set up a marketing automation campaign which follows up with customers within 48 hours of their return home. This timeframe means their newly formed memories and good vibes from their holiday or trip are still fresh. It is the perfect time to approach them for a review with an increased likelihood they will oblige. This is a very useful automation campaign every travel brand should be using.

Future Inspiration for Existing Customers – For existing customers, email automation can be used as a powerful retention tool. A smart way to capitalise specifically on this is to look at existing customers’ travel habits and strive to inspire them to make similar plans with you in the future. For example, if you know a customer has taken an all-inclusive family beach vacation in August last year, you can inspire them early this year to start considering similar types of family vacation by making direct recommendations to them. You could if you chose to, compound the effect of this by offering a loyalty discount if they were to book similar travel plans with you again.

There are lots of ways that email marketing can benefit from marketing automation but one of the biggest gains is the time saved. There’s also peace of mind from knowing that no potential booking will ever be missed.