If there's one tactic I see almost every travel company failing to implement, it's this. 9 times out of 10, when I talk to a new prospective client, no effort whatsoever is being made to add new subscribers to the company email database.
Instead, the only new contacts being added to the bi-weekly 'eShot' (usually an over-designed, image-heavy HTML email broadcast with a low open and click rate) are customers.
Take a moment to think about how daft that is.
If you only add contacts to your email list that have already made an enquiry or booked with you, you're only selling to people who have already bought from you.
Is that wise?
Of course it's not wise!
Email converts 8.5x better than social media and boasts twice the return on investment of per per click advertising. To grow your travel business with content marketing, you need to get people to subscribe via email.
Especially when you consider the following...
95% of your visitors won’t buy anything on their first visit.
Is it any wonder that there's a pressing need to turn first-time visitors into repeat visitors? You spend all that money on paid advertising, SEO, public relations just to get people to get to your website. Are you really OK with 95% of them leaving, possibly never to return?
I didn't think so.
The secret weapon that will stop this from happening to you is your email list. Because if you can get your website visitors to part with their email address, and give you permission to contact them, you've secured a direct line to the place they spend most of their time online: their inbox.
While newsletters and one-off campaigns will always have their place in your email marketing strategy, the smartest travel companies are starting to setup automated email campaigns that trigger off of a user’s actions.
Why? Because these automated emails are timely, personalised and hyper-relevant to the reader. As a result, they are opened and clicked more frequently and drive visits and revenue for your tour operator or travel agency.
Your email course is a bundle of content that can be promoted everywhere, and is the essential centrepiece of your marketing system. You can:
A multi-day email course is our preferred method, because it drips educational content over a number of days. This helps your subscribers get into the habit of opening your emails and anticipating the next one, and ensures your content actually gets read.
Your email course performs a few essential jobs:
Unlike your blog articles, which can cover a wider range of topics that your target customer cares about, your email course should be tightly focused on the problem that your product solves.
However, don’t feel the need to ‘sell’ your product… yet.
The emails in your course should be purely educational and teach the ‘why’ and ‘what’ behind the solutions to your customer’s problem.
Only if the reader engages with the course and is clicking and reading your emails should you introduce your product as the solution for ‘how’ to best implement the solutions you’ve been teaching.
For example, let’s say your travel company sells tailor-made holidays. Your email course can be about how to plan a trip, where to go, what to avoid.
These mini-lessons can lead up to a pitch for your tailor-made travel service, which takes the hard work out of booking restaurants, planning your itinerary, and so on.
If all of this sounds great, and you’re thinking…
‘Great, but where do I start doing something like this in my travel business?’
Then I’ve got good news for you.
Today I want to offer you the chance to have all of this done for you, from the research and writing of the topics all the way through to the technical implementation and contact capture of an educational email course on your travel company’s website.
When we’re done, you’ll have a complete system which collects email addresses from your website visitors and gets them to make more enquiries.
You get access to all our expertise on how to improve your marketing, you get a handwritten report about your company and customers, and you get a working email course that makes money.
The whole process takes four weeks, we charge a one-off fee of £1,875 / $2,340 / €2,220, and the idea is that if we can help you close even a handful of extra bookings then this process will more than pay for itself.
1. Research & Strategy
The essential first step in our process (which you won’t get from just hiring a ‘writer’) is deep customer research and strategy.
Our goal is to help you make a real connection with people who will become your customers and educate around the problem areas that your company deals with.
We come prepared with a list of questions and dive deep into learning everything we can about your business, your customers and your past sales.
The idea is to get as much information from you as possible, in as short a time as possible, to be able to create marketing headlines and content that properly exposes your customers' 'inside reality' to the world.
In particular we look to clearly define:
With the Nurture package, you’ll get a shortlist of ten well-researched topics for your educational email course.
2. 3-Step Content Creation
Quality is key with the educational travel content we produce for you.
That’s why we’ve built a team of professional copywriters who are experts in both their craft and the travel industry.
Quality costs more, but quality is what you need!
Authorship for the finished email course is attributed to you or someone in your team as the public face of your content marketing efforts.
Of course, this is all designed to be 100% hands-free. We’re seriously good at this stuff, so if you want to let us just get on with it, that’s what we’ll do.
But if you’d like more involvement, that’s also great. You’ll have comprehensive involvement in each stage of the content creation process, which consists of three stages of development.
The process is designed to ensure that, as a customer, you're happy with the voice and content of each and every email. The process always follows the same format:
3. Launch & Review
We launch your email course on the agreed publication date. It immediately starts capturing new contacts from your website and nurturing them into bookings for your travel company.
Lead scoring technology means the reader’s interaction with the email course (opens, replies, clicks) determines which emails are sent, and when. Only readers that self-identify as engaged prospects through their actions are presented with a request to take the next step in the sales process.
Our experience of the email courses we build is that you’ll get one new contact for every 20 — 100 visitors on your site, depending on how well the course topic resonates with your audience.
Once your email list is building, every 20 — 100 contacts will turn into an enquiry or booking, depending on the exact nature and cost of your travel products.
One-day expeditions worth a few hundred £ or $ will typically convert at a higher rate than a luxury, tailor-made tour that costs thousands.
But then, you don’t need the same response rate if you sell a four- or five-figure service – even a 1% conversion rate would be a fantastic return on investment.
After your email course has been running for one month, we schedule a call with you to review lead nurture performance.
We'll then give you the option to start scaling your marketing funnel and build upon your investment, or you can continue to passively generate enquiries through your email course.
The Nurture package has a one-time, all-inclusive fee of £1,875 / $2,340 / €2,220.
All the work is done for you (this is going to give you your time back, not take it away) and will continue to provide benefit to your business for years to come.
In fact, we’re so sure that you’ll see a concrete result from this offer that we back it with a 30-day, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
We want you to invest in content marketing knowing you will be fully satisfied. So if for any reason you’re not completely satisfied with the service, we will completely refund your order or offer you a full do-over at no extra charge.
With that kind of guarantee, we hope you'll agree this investment is a no-brainer.
Because, when you think about the bigger picture of marketing your business and getting more bookings...
How much will it cost you to do nothing?