Why email marketing is an essential strategy for tourism

Are you wanting to create better communication with your customers? Email marketing is a highly effective marketing tool for tourism businesses. It allows you to nurture relationships with your current, future and potential customers. Keeping in touch via email marketing has one of the highest returns on investment of all the marketing you can do (other than work of mouth). So even though email marketing seems like it has been around for ever it has revolutionised itself to become more of a show pony and is now a key component to generating leads and sales for your tourism business.

Growing sustainable long-term relationships and developing loyal valuable tourism customers is a growing challenge. The reason why email marketing is so powerful, is because it is permission based. This means that people have made a conscious decision to ‘opt-in’ to receive communication from you and are therefore more engaged than those on other forms of online marketing which in turn positions them further along the buying funnel resulting in a higher chance of purchase. Targeting travellers comes down to reaching the right people at the right time with your unique offer. Potential travellers are liking to begin their online research well in advance of when they actually finalise their arrangements and make their bookings.

Developing an effective email strategy means they you must establish an ongoing interactive relationship with your prospects and customers. To assist with this, you should use profiling of your prospects and customers to gain an insight into all their wants, needs and desires. This way you can ensure that the communication you are sending out is targeted to them.

Some tips on email marketing for tourism:

  • Establish yourself as the expert when you send out professional newsletters filled with tips
  • Motivate more bookings with instant news of great deals
  • Create newsletters to deliver specific content about your destination
  • Use quality images and videos to showcase your business and the destination
  • Interact with customers through surveys
  • When people sign up for your newsletter they are expecting to hear from you
  • Whilst not everyone is on social media most people do have an email address
  • Email marketing can be a key component in driving traffic to your website as the information that you are should be redirecting the reader to your website to ‘read more’. Include only a snippet of a blog post, news article or a promotion then refer them to your website to read the full ‘story’
  • A benefit of sending out sales promotions to your newsletter subscribers is that all sales conversions from the email can be tracked in your website’s Google Analytics if you have online bookings and Google Analytics installed
  • Email is a personal and friendly form of communicate which allows for relationship building. It is like receiving an email from a good friend
  • Customers are checking their emails on their smartphones so you can talk to them where they are spending their time
  • Your email database belongs to you whereas social media is only ‘rented’ and therefore you don’t own it. If something happens on social media eg an algorithm change, you could suddenly lose all contact with your customers. Therefore, by encouraging customers to sign up to your email database it is like an insurance policy against the third party social media providers

How can using email newsletter software help:

  • Easily create your own great looking email campaigns. It is easy and fast, you just select a template and add you own content with no technical knowledge required
  • Send personalised emails to all your subscribers immediately or schedule for later delivery
  • View real times reports of opens, clicks, bounces and much more. Easily analyse and compare multiple campaigns
  • Import your email list and filter subscribers to target specific market segments. Automated list management to organise unsubscribe emails and remove duplications
  • Delivery testing ensures that your email is tested against popular spam filters, firewalls and email programs. This is important as it will ensure that you achieve the best possible delivery rates

Facebook advertising and your email list

You might already be doing some marketing on Facebook for your tourism business but if you are probably not taking full advantage of the power of the combination of your email marketing strategy and Facebook lookalike audiences.

Your email list is a goldmine of customer data and it creates a resource of promising leads as they have already moved through the initial step and are well on their way through your conversion funnel.

They already know about your tourism business and by signing up they have identified their interest about wanting to know more and to keep in touch with you. This is the key reason why email marketing is such a powerful component of your tourism marketing strategy.

In Facebook, you create the Lookalike audience and then choose your custom audience of newsletter contacts as the source group. By utilising your mailing list, it is providing a reliable and high-quality source of leads. By targeting a new audience that is similar to your already qualified leads then the chances of getting good returns on your ads greatly increases.

If you need a hand to setup you email newsletter template or would prefer someone to manage your email database and send your newsletters for you, then we can help. Just click here to send us an email and we will contact you to arrange a time to catch up.

Why should you hire a virtual marketing assistant for your tourism business?

Hours upon hours can be spent trying to grow or develop your tourism business. But how spend your valuable time could actually end up hindering your tourism business from becoming successful. Hiring a virtual marketing assistant can free up some time you may be spending on marketing and replace it with what you do best.

An extra set of hands can help with creating newsletters, social media content creation, posting content on your blog, answering emails from clients or responding to social media mentions. A virtual marketing assistant can also take charge of a marketing campaign or product launch.

A virtual marketing assistant can help your tourism business on a short or long-term basis. They can assist you with a specific project or provide assistance for a certain number of hours per week or month. This means that they can provide assistance when you really need it most eg leading up to the peak holiday season or to increase bookings during your off-season.

Tips for creating a great working relationship with your virtual marketing assistant:

1. Determine your needs before hiring

You need to have clear expectations and clear boundaries in relation to the role. Are you looking for your virtual marketing assistant to take on more of a project management or task-oriented role.

2. How to find a marketing virtual assistant

Ask around as finding a marketing virtual assistant via a referral gives you insider information on their skills and knowledge. Also determine if they have experience within the tourism industry as an understanding of the terminology and unique challenges your tourism business faces is important to the overall success of the relationship and work produced.


3. Take it slowly

Always have a ‘discovery’ session via Skype or in person (if this is possible). This is really important for both parties because if you can’t build a rapport during this time then you probably aren’t going to be a good fit and working together is not going to be as successful as it should. Start out on a trial basis instead of signing a long-term contract straight away is a good approach to take, particularly if you haven’t worked with a marketing virtual assistant before.

4. Specify any technical skills needed

A virtual marketing assistant with a high technical skill level will be able to adapt to new systems easily and quite seamlessly but the learning curve for a less experienced assistant who may not be a marketing or tourism specialist may be steeper. If you have specific requirements or preferences, make sure you discuss them at the outset.

5. Manage – don’t micro-manage

Once you engage your virtual marketing assistant, the first few weeks will be a bit of a learning curve for both of you. It is very important that you trust your virtual marketing assistant enough to do the role you have engaged them for without second- guessing them.

There is a difference between monitoring the material being produced to ensure that it is a representation of your tourism brand and being a micro-manager.

6. Don’t delegate your pet projects

If you can’t really let go of a specific project or task then don’t. Because even if you do delegate this then you will be constantly thinking about it and it will continue to absorb a significant amount of your time and energy. This defeats the whole idea of engaging a virtual marketing assistant. Keep the tasks you’re attached to on your to-do-list until you are ready to let them go.

7. Remember why you hired a virtual marketing assistant

Being able to focus on the tasks that inspire you and keep your business moving forward is one of the reasons for you to work with a virtual marketing assistant. Keep that in mind when you are planning how you can make the best use of the extra time you will now have to work ‘on’ rather than ‘in’ your business and how this will help you grow your tourism business to a new level.

If you would like to find out more about hiring a virtual marketing assistant for your tourism business then contact us today to arrange a time for a no-obligation chat.

10 Tips to Create a Strong Social Media Content Strategy for your Tourism Business

Do you want to create awesome content that makes an impact? It isn’t always easy to create the buzz you are looking for.

In this post, I will share with you my top 10 tips to that will help you create a social media content strategy that resonates with your customers.

#1 Develop your content strategy so that it is aligned with your tourism businesses social media goals.

Determine what your businesses goals are so that when you develop your content strategy you can align your end goal with best metric to determine the achievement of the goal.

  • If you are wanting to generate traffic to your website, then you need to measure the unique visitors from your social media platforms where you have been running your social media marketing campaigns.
  • If you are wanting to build up your followers, then you need to measure your email subscribers and your followers on your social media platforms.
  • If you are wanting to increase the engagement on your social media platforms then you need to measure the quantity and type of comments being made, the likes to your posts and the shares of your posts.
  • If revenue generation is your main focus then you need to monitor the exact dollar value of every lead generated via your website and social media platform posts.

Always keep these goals in mind when developing your social media content.

#2 Approach your content strategy with a big-brand mind-set

If you are a small tourism business, then approach it like the big businesses do:

  • Find out where your customers go and talk
  • Create content that your customers want to talk about
  • Use social media to listen to your customers
  • Engage your social media followers by giving them a incentive to follow your brand

#3 Outsource content development as required

Can your tourism business keep up-to-date with all the tasks associated with maintaining a presence on social media eg developing and sharing awesome content and responding to customers comments.

Steps that you can take as a business to ensure a successful social media campaign include:

  • Decide what you want to achieve
  • Don’t spread yourself too thin
  • Keep some social media in-house
  • Outsource some social media to a marketing assistant who understands the unique requirements of social media for the tourism industry and can apply that knowledge across the platforms you require

How many hours a week does it realistically take for your tourism business to maintain a presence on social media? Don’t let the shortage of your internal business resources stop you from achieving your online marketing goals. Outsource your marketing to maximise every opportunity to achieve your goals.

#4 Engage in real interactions

The usage of auto posting tools are beneficial to ensure consistency of posting but you must also engage with your customers. Through having conversations, you will achieve better results and add more value to your social media. By not just posting and forgetting but by being available to your customers in real time it will mean that you can have more meaningful interactions.

#5 Keep up to date with changes on social media platforms

History has clearly shown us that change is inevitable on social media platforms. You only need to search Google for “Facebook changes” to see the large number of results for a range of topics.

You can keep up to date with Facebook changes by:

  • Following Facebook for regular updates
  • Following key social media and tech experts updates
  • Set up a Google alert for Facebook updates

No one wants to be surprised by a change that they didn’t know about so they couldn’t be prepared. Keep up to date with the developments so that you don’t miss out.

#6 Use hashtags to help your customers find your content

Hashtags have become important to how we communicate online.

They can be used in several ways:

  • As a promotion tool – they allow you to track promotional activity across social platforms
  • A great social media conversation starter
  • For targeting – rather than people having to do a general search on the web, hashtags can be used to engage people in specific conversations that are relevant to them. This can result in the sharing of a positive experience they’ve had with your business.
  • Innovation – you are only limited by your own creativity in regards to their usage

#7 Ensure your website is mobile friendly

It seems that we are visiting websites more from our mobiles devices today than any other way. But there is nothing more frustrating than opening a page that isn’t mobile friendly and having to try and navigate it to find the information we are wanting.

To make your website more mobile-friendly:

  • Keep your page’s simple
  • Ensure that it is compatible to multiple devices and browsers

#8 Network in all the right places

When determining who, your ideal customer is you must always research the social media platforms that they frequent.

#9 Present your human side

Including photos of your team is great social media content to share. It helps to show your customers the people behind the business and helps to build a relationship with your online community. Always remember that your team are your biggest raving fans so don’t forget to include them in your social media strategy as they can often be the providers of some awesome content.

#10 Be consistent with your branding across all platforms

Make sure you have a consistent brand identity across all platforms. This includes such items as being consistent with your colours, fonts, image styles and logos.

If you are unsure if you are demonstrating a consistent brand experience, then take a look at all your marketing side-by-side and see if there are any changes that you could make so that they will look like a set rather than individual items.

If you would like to find out more about creating awesome social media content for your tourism business, then download our free guide.