Email and Newsletter Marketing 101
Repeat after me: “Newsletters are the most important pillar of my travel business.”
Keeping in touch with potential and past clients is essential to building a loyal following and driving sales for your travel business. My Disney Travel Planning business had no brand name recognition when I first started. I competed with Travel Agents with years of experience and a solid reputation. I also had a hard time being accepted into Host Agencies that specialized in theme park vacations because, according to them, I had no experience.
I had to create a marketing plan that attracted new clients and would prevent me from spinning my wheels and burning out.
Enter the newsletter.
As I researched marketing techniques, it was clear that newsletters were the secret sauce to successful businesses. According to Campaign Monitor, email is 40 times more effective for acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. Additionally, Hubspot reported that smartphone users prefer to receive brand communications via email.
After my research, I knew I had to focus on creating an engaging newsletter that allowed me to stay top-of-mind with my audience, offer valuable insights and advice, and ultimately drive sales and bookings. As my business grew, 90% of my clients were acquired from my newsletter subscribers. The other 10% of clients came from referrals, social media, and my friends and family members.
Let’s explore the five reasons a newsletter can be pivotal to the success of your travel planning business and provide some tips for creating a newsletter that engages and converts your readers!
P.S. I send a weekly email detailing how to market yourself as a Travel Agent. Sign up below and get valuable insights into my strategic approach to gaining exceptional clients!
Reason #1 You Have Control of Your Audience Reach
Consider Black Friday and how you receive an onslaught of emails from all the companies you surrendered your email address to. This day has been dubbed “National Unsubscribe Day” because your inbox is overwhelmed with sales pitches. Why? Businesses know the best way to reach you is over email.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are valuable tools for establishing a brand, but when it comes to driving sales, research conducted by numerous marketing companies indicates that emails are more effective at engaging consumers and converting sales. While social media may display only a fraction of the posts from the accounts you follow, it’s easy to overlook ads, posts, or irrelevant content that you do come across, given the overwhelming volume of information available. “Doom Scrolling” is a passive activity that does not require any engagement or attention from the viewer.
On the other hand, emails are a more dependable method of communication, as they will always appear in your inbox, even if they initially end up in the spam folder. While you may not open every email, ignoring an email in your inbox is difficult. With email, you are prompted to take action – whether it’s to open the message or delete it. You must acknowledge the email and decide what to do with it, giving it a higher likelihood of engagement than social media content!
Email’s reliability makes it more powerful and gives you a far better reach than most other marketing techniques.
Reason #2 Establish Credibility and Build Trust with Every Newsletter
By consistently delivering high-quality and relevant content, your subscribers will come to trust the information and insights you provide. This requires a focus on creating valuable and engaging content that meets the target audience’s needs. When your email content is valuable, subscribers will recognize your expertise and feel comfortable requesting your travel planning services. There are two rules to follow to make content valuable and engaging.
The first is to write emails that contain helpful information. Try not to overanalyze what “helpful” means in this context. My emails usually contain simple messages such as planning tips, theme park news, or updates about my latest article or YouTube video like the one below!
The second rule is to ensure your emails are relevant to your niche. For example, if your readers have subscribed to learn about travel, sending emails that aren’t related to travel will only confuse them and may lead to them unsubscribing from your list. With travel being such a vast topic, you should have no trouble coming up with many relevant and interesting ideas for your email content.
The cherry on top is to include a “Call to Action” at the end of your emails. A CTA asks your audience to take some sort of action. This could be as simple as writing, “Reply to this email to learn more about my planning services!” Remember: the purpose of your email is to generate sales. Don’t be afraid to ask for those sales!
Reason #3 Stay Top-of-Mind: The Email Advantage
By staying relevant, a newsletter can help subscribers see the value in what your business offers and encourages your subscribers to use your services. When subscribers look forward to receiving a newsletter, it can also increase engagement and strengthen the relationship between a business or individual and their audience. This can ultimately lead to more sales and loyal customers.
Previously, I sent emails randomly throughout the month with no fixed schedule. However, I observed that the number of opens drastically decreased, and the frequency of unsubscribes increased each time I sent an email.
But after establishing a schedule, I noticed a significant improvement in engagement. Subscribers began opening my emails more often and even looked forward to my newsletter. I found that sending emails once a week is the ideal frequency because it keeps me top-of-mind without overwhelming my subscribers’ inboxes. Consistency is key because it helps them become accustomed to receiving my emails, ultimately decreasing their likelihood of unsubscribing.
Reason #4 Cost-Effective Marketing for Travel Agents
One of the biggest advantages of newsletters is that they are an inexpensive marketing tool. The cost is relatively low compared to other marketing techniques, such as online advertising. The affordability makes your return on investment incredibly high.
Note that the biggest cost is usually a monthly fee to an Email Service Provider. An ESP software program allows you to add subscribers, set up automated content, design emails, and more.
Reason #5 Easily Cultivate a raving Fans Club
Customers want to purchase products from companies they know, like, and trust. You can easily build relationships by consistently sending emails to your subscribers. A consistent newsletter containing valuable information is your secret combination to create a raving fan club. Don’t be afraid to show your personality or give personal anecdotes when writing to your readers. Your messages will develop a connection between you and your readers and, in turn, become your loyal clients. When your raving fans need a Travel Agent, they naturally choose you without hesitation!
I know from personal experience that emails are powerful because most of my business comes from my subscriber list! My emails prove my expertise, offer valuable content, and keep my services top-of-mind. If someone is on my list, I want them to think of me when planning a Disney World vacation. Sending simple emails accomplishes all of this and is my primary marketing technique.
Now that you know the importance of emails, sign up for my newsletter below! As I said, I send a weekly email detailing how to market yourself as a Travel Agent. Sign up and receive free marketing resources, courses, and more!