Creation, Design and Execution of an Email Campaign
Written By: Andy Ogg, CTIE, Editor and Marketing Director, Travel Professional NEWS®
In the previous part of this 3 part series, The Basics of Email Marketing as a Travel Professional in 2019, we discussed a lot of basics and definitions that surround successful Email Marketing campaigns. In this portion, we are going to dive into the creation process, effective design outlines as well as execution of getting it sent to your growing list of subscribers.
In this 3 part series, we ill be looking at:
Email Marketing 101 – The Basics of Email Marketing as a Travel Professional in 2019
Email Marketing 102 – Creation, Design and Execution of an Email Campaign
Email Marketing 103 – Tracking, Assessment and Ongoing Email Campaigns
Creation of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign
In today’s offerings, there are a ton of options when it comes to partnering with a quality and effective email list management provider. From MailChimp to Constant Contact and much more, there are affordable tools at your disposable that will not only provide everything you need, but also grow with your list and business.
When getting started, I highly suggest doing some research into the following options:
– Constant Contact
No matter what platform appeals to you, most of the providers that you may be considering will offer a high tech platform to drag and drop content to create an attractive and effective email.
To ensure that your email marketing will get opened, read and engaged with, below are 3 rules to follow:
1. K.I.S. (Keep It Simple)
Focus on 3 things that presents a value or offer to your list that only you can provide as an experienced Travel Professional:
– Content or Blog post
– Recent experience
– Motivation to Travel
– Education on what you offer
– Destination of interest
– Trip or Itinerary of interest
2. Don’t Overwhelm
It’s easy to overload an email with information, especially when the information is exciting, however it won’t provide the same results as a simple, to the point email. Too much information contained in an email can immediately turn your readers into deleters.
Focus on a few things as mentioned above and as we will discuss shortly, ensure that there is a clear call to action for viewers of the message to engage with.
3. Don’t Bait and Switch
One of the quickest ways to your following via unsubscribes is to bait and switch. Not only does this damage your list but it also can create distrust from your audience. Make sure that if you are offering a “Special” or “Free Download” that it follows what you are offering.
Designing a Successful Email
While each platform offers a different interface for the design process, the finished product can be relatively similar in terms of function. While every single email you may send to you list will differ in one way or another, below are a few key points that all of them should contain, no matter what the messaging.
Your Logo and Business Contact Information
This seems like a no-brainer but you may be surprised how many emails get sent without any reference to the business sending it. Design a header for your emails that incorporates your business logo, business name and relevant contact information for people to reach out at.
Let’s face it, travel is beautiful and inspiring others to book their vacations with you should be as well. Subscribe to a stock photo resource to download high quality images that not only are appealing but legally licensed for distribution. Remember that copyright infringement is still a very real thing so protect your business and yourself by ensuring that the images you use in an email marketing campaign are allocated for mass distribution.
Text – Short but Informative
Engagement is the key to email marketing. Remember that the goal is to get a viewer of your email to go to your website or landing page. Provide text, just not too much of it. Text, especially in today’s shortened attention span, can immediately turn off a viewer of an email if it looks similar to a book so keep it simple with just enough text to encourage but not too much to give it all away.
Clear Call to Action
“Click Here” or “Learn More” should be prevalent through the entire email marketing campaign and should be unique to the content it references. If you are promoting a special offer, using a “Book Now” or “Find out the Details” can be a great way to entice viewers to take that next step.
While having hyperlinked text in your text is a great way to call out specific information, a clear Call to Action (CTA) should be unavoidable. It should be a bright or vibrant color with large and easy to read text. Remember that if they can’t find out where to click, they won’t bother looking for it, so make it easy for them.
In our business, we operate an Email list with over 75,000 subscribers and over the past year, there has been a 10% increase in the percentage of mobile views to our emails. The new average for mobile views is well over 30% so make sure that your messaging works on it all including desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
Many of the above mentioned suppliers already provide a responsive based coding that automatically adapts to the device it’s being viewed on. Before you schedule or deploy a message to your audience, make sure to send a test of it to yourself and check it out on multiple devices. This will ensure that all is working as it should be and your viewers will have every opportunity to engage with it.
In accordance to ICANN and SPAM laws today, it is imperative to have a footer in your email marketing. Again, many of the suppliers mentioned above will automatically assist you in the creation of this necessary information but it’s your responsibility to verify and check that everything is up to date and correct.
In addition to a footer displaying information about your business, including the required subscriptions options is required. That would include the ability to easily unsubscribe from your list or from the message itself. Again, most of these requirements will be facilitated by your email marketing vendor but it’s best to double check.
Execution of your Email Marketing
Once you’ve created, designed and tested your email, you’re ready for the best part, sending it! Now, there are about 18,000 opinions as to what the best day and time to deploy an email is but in all honesty, I suggest you find and try different things to find what works best for you, your business and your list.
While sending during the work week is often said to be the “best” time, I have personally witnessed exceptional results with a weekend day send. The results spoke for themselves and I can tell you that our list reads emails, weekdays, weekends and even nights. Although your list is going to be comprised of people from all walks of life, you’ll eventually find a day and time that provides the best results for your messaging.
Try different days and times and then measure the results. After a few sends, you’re going to see a day of the week and a time of the day that is peaking engagement and responses to your email marketing efforts. Once you have discovered that preference, stay consistent and keep the ball moving forward.
As you can see, there are a lot of parts to make up a successful email marketing campaign and that list keeps on growing as technology and digital marketing grow in popularity and use. A successful email marketing campaign will undoubtedly improve your business in a multitude of ways including brand exposure, educating of your services and increased sales. Stay tuned to the next issue of Travel Professional NEWS for the final segment based on Tracking, Assessment and Ongoing Email Campaigns.