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6 Email Marketing Strategies for Travel Agencies

Email marketing
October 18, 2023
15 mins

In 2022, online sales channels accounted for two-thirds of the revenue in the global travel and tourism market. Holiday packages are now booked online in 80% of all cases. This only means one thing: a strong digital marketing game is a must if you want to get a spot in the sun in the overcrowded tourism industry.

It's becoming less and less common for travelers seeking a trip planner to walk into a brick-and-mortar travel agency, while most travelers are booking online or using an online travel agent in their research. It’s time to embrace digital marketing and explore the variety of channels that can bring you customers.

Online vs offline sales channels

Email is among the best ways to stay in touch with prospective clients, and with the help of email marketing you won't have to wait for your prospects to visit your pages or contemplate going to a specific destination. With powerful email copy, you can contact your clients and point them directly to the trips you've been planning most recently or inspire them to plan trips they may not have even considered. 

Throughout this article, we will provide some marketing strategies to help travel agencies in today's digital landscape. Using some of these top tips, you can build an email list and capitalize on these powerful leads to grow your business online. 

Why Email Marketing Matters for the Travel Industry

Travel bookings have increased since the pandemic. Cruises returned to pre-pandemic levels for the second half of 2022. Many other travel companies are experiencing  similar trends, and now the time has come to ramp up your email marketing campaigns so that you can open up a direct line of communication with your customers. 

With the right email strategy you will:

  •  keep the audience engaged with new travel promotions,
  •  inform your clients about new loyalty programs, 
  • ensure that when a hot deal is available.

Your clients will thank you for the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot.

travel industry statistics

Let alone the cost of gaining new customers is reported to be 4-5 times higher than retaining the existing ones. With great service in such an emotion-fueled industry like travel, you will make your clients want to return for more. Why go anywhere else, if they already trust you and know what to expect from booking trips from your company?

Stats show that most internet users prefer to receive their brand communication through email, so an extra effort into email marketing is  your win-win.

How to Nurture Relationships and Travel Far With Subscribers

The content in your email newsletter and marketing campaigns is about building relationships with your subscribers. As a travel agency, stand out from large competitors like Expedia or Kayak by speaking personally to your customers and offering more value with relevant and engaging travel information. 

The best email marketing for travel agencies are more than a consistent sales pitch. We’re all tired of decluttering our inboxes from countless promotions that have nothing to do with our needs and wishes. If you don’t want your letters to end up in the trash box and make your potential clients press the “unsubscribe” button, take your email strategy seriously. 

In the travel agency realms, personalization and value in email marketing are the tickets to unforgettable journeys and lasting customer relationships.

Imagine receiving an email that not only mentions your name but also suggests places you've always dreamt of visiting at an affordable price. It's like having a thoughtful travel buddy who knows your every wish and hunts down the last-minute deals to surprise you. 

Let's see a winning travel agency email to a client example. This email isn't a generic one-size-fits-all brochure. It says 

"Hi Sarah, we noticed you're a fan of active vacation. How about a special deal for Portugal's best surfing destinations?" 

Sarah feels like the agency really understands her and figured out the best possible travel choice for her. A personal touch like this coupled with value-packed offers is what makes customers want to open your emails.

The Best Travel Email Marketing Strategies 

Building your list

One of the most significant tools you can start with in email marketing for travel agents is growing a substantial customer list. As you accumulate  more subscribers, you’ll get more reliable leads for prospective trips and have a dedicated list of future followers and subscribers interested in traveling and booking with your agency. 

As you continue building your list, make sure you're placing subscription forms along your social media pages and your main website. Focus your digital business effort on creating a funnel to get new subscribers for your list. 

With that, make sure that your email collecting forms aren’t too pushy and won’t discourage visitors from leaving your website. Read our article to learn more . 

As your lists grow, make sure you focus on making subscribers stay subscribed. Benefit your subscribers with promo codes or engaging  information about the latest travel destinations. 

email example

You'll also need tools to stay organized, and email marketing tools like MailChimp are an excellent way to set up autoresponders and provide more personalized responses through travel agency newsletter samples. 

By aligning these tools and providing valuable content, your list will grow organically. 

While building an email  list and segmenting it is the most complicated and time-consuming part of email marketing for travel, consider asking for email services. Save  your time and budget, and avoid rabbit holes.

Creating a branded newsletter

As your list keeps growing and you work on more valuable content to attract a wider audience to your list, you'll need to focus on branding. To draw maximum engagement to your email list, you'll need to create a brand voice newsletter that sets you apart. Send out generic messages regularly, and make sure your newsletter has a perceived value and is uniquely yours. Giving it a name like "Friday Travel Newsletter," and adding your branded character will make it far more appealing than automated emails. 

Visuals that match your company's color scheme and logo will pack a punch. Team up with a graphic designer, analyze your competitor’s branding and create a recognisable visual language. Many travel agents are swamped and lack time to craft top-notch newsletters. A neat template in your corporate style will show you care about your clients a bit more.

Sharing useful information

Make your email list goal-oriented and give value with every email you send. Your email campaigns will focus on promoting your company, growing your list, and converting new sales for your travel agency. Send offers to your email list and create strong sales funnels from the valuable content that you create. The funnel will lead people to the booking pages or contact forms to reach out to you. 

To create these strong funnels, you should improve the open rates for your emails. Start by including email offers like destination guides, time-sensitive deals, and valuable links to apply for visas, or find new accommodation deals. It is essential to add these helpful tips to your email lists and convert this information into a new subscriber, a contact for your list, or a sales inquiry. 

“The content should be interesting, it should add life hacks, real-life stories of how a company's service help customers out. Use good storytelling and wrap it around a given service. I would recommend adding a feedback block to such campaigns, where you can ask customers if they like such content and whether they would like to receive the letters like this in the future.”

Svitlana Fursa
Head of Retention, Promodo

Try to balance the amount of information you provide  in your email lists. You don’t want to be too valuable to the point that your customers no longer need you, but share information on the best apps you use about  the minor aspects of your business to tell your customers more about the time and effort you put in and show them your industry expertise. 

Consider reaching out to your subscribers as they are traveling with information on their destination and travel and entertainment tips across  the area they are staying.

Segment your Email list

Emailing a mass newsletter to your customer list can be an excellent first step as you work with a small list. However, do not overestimate the power of segmentation. Send personalized messages to subscribers interested in specific promotions or the ones potentially interested in re-booking a vacation a year after traveling. Setting up campaigns and reminders with your list will help you send highly focused content to your subscribers at the right time they need it. 

customer segmentation examples for travel industry

Make your emails mobile-friendly

Most of your subscribers will be accessing your email on a mobile device, so make your content mobile-friendly. If you are creating content that only looks good on desktop, you will miss out on conversions. 

Make sure your emails are  scaled to a mobile device screen. This is about keeping copy your concise and using short subject lines and pictures throughout your content. Try to scale images and use faster loading designs to improve a mobile-friendly experience.  

Write strong headlines 

Headlines that make people act and open your emails will boost conversions. Creating a solid sales copy like special sales events or promotional offers will mark a good starting point. Titling emails at Easter for family-friendly destinations customers should book quickly is a good example. Limited-time discounts and promotions will grow your open rate if you don’t overuse it.

As you experiment with headlines that express urgency for your emails, learn the types of language that will help you get more engagement on your email lists. Incorporating humor or a catchy hook to interest the reader can be a powerful way to improve these open rates and strengthen your headlines. Our retention experts recommend testing your emails on small audiences first to see what works best.

The Bottom Line

Email marketing for tourism is a powerful tool. Your email campaigns may guide travelers on unforgettable journeys. When your emails serve tourists like a well-informed travel buddy, your subscribers will eagerly anticipate your messages.

As you continue to nurture relationships with your subscribers, the benefits of email marketing for travel agencies are multifold by:

  • Building a substantial list 
  • Creating a branded newsletter 
  • Sharing valuable insights 
  • Segmenting your email list 
  • Making your emails mobile-friendly 
  • Crafting compelling headlines.

That’s how you help people create lifetime experiences. Isn’t that what keeps you going?

Written by
Anastasia Marchyshak

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

Immersing myself fully in any topic I explore and my appreciation for simplicity are the driving forces behind my work.

Written by
Svitlana Fursa

Head of Retention Marketing

I've been working in email marketing since 2016. I passed the way from a junior specialist with the thoughts "email is spam in the mailbox?" to the real jedi of retention marketing. I worked with the largest Ukrainian eCommerce projects. I'm keen of the latest technologies and non-standard technical implementations.

October 18, 2023
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