How the Travel and Hospitality Industries Use Email Automation

Marketing in the travel industry is all about timing. When you get the right offers to the people who are ready to book with you, you’ve got a profitable campaign. So how can you ensure you’re sending the right content to the right people without wasting valuable time and money?

Email automation is a huge opportunity for the travel industry. With automated emails, you can set up campaigns in advance that get sent automatically to new and returning customers.

Your campaigns can be action-based – for example, you can upsell excursion packages to people who have already booked a hotel room. You can deliver a limited-time coupon to first-time buyers. Or you can boost engagement and build trust by giving your customers helpful pointers on their upcoming trip.

Relevant automated emails like these deliver serious results. According to Experian, the travel industry sees 33% higher open rates and 90% higher unique click-through rates.

Need some ideas for your next email campaign? Here’s how companies in the travel industry are winning with email automation, and how you can use these tactics for your next campaign.

Give people a heads up on local weather

Anyone who has recently booked a trip is going to be curious about the weather conditions at their final destination. Why not set up an automated email that delivers that information based on the city your customer is visiting?

You can also use weather personalization to promote warm weather getaways to people in colder climates. Carnival promotes their cruise packages to people in New York in the winter. Who wouldn’t want to escape New York in the dead of winter?

Reward loyal customers

Loyalty programs are ideal for developing long-lasting relationships with your customers. Airline loyalty emails are incredibly successful, with 72% higher click-through-rates than other emails.

If you’re looking to boost your loyalty club membership, you can use email to automatically deliver an incentive – like a coupon or a freebie – to persuade non-members to join. Existing members of your loyalty program will appreciate updates on their points or miles, especially if they have limited time to use them or if they have enough to book a special trip. You can leverage visual content in your email to show your customers exactly which trips they can book with their points.

Offering bonus points upon sign up is another way to encourage your subscribers to join your loyalty program.

Display real-time pricing

Another reason why timing in the travel industry is no joke: prices are constantly fluctuating. For customers who are trying to plan a trip, changes in price can be a headache. To make life easier for them, you can send emails with up-to-the-minute flight, hotel or trip package prices pulled directly from your website or API. Then, every time your customer comes back to your email, the prices will update automatically.

Optimize the email experience

If your customers are on the move, they’re most likely viewing your emails from their mobile device. That’s why it’s critical to optimize your emails for mobile and provide all the information they need when they’re on the go.

Airlines can optimize the mobile experience by delivering emails that automatically update with their customer’s latest flight times and information. That way, customers can check and re-check their email to stay on top of flight delays, gate changes and any other helpful reminders.

Deliver limited-time offers

When you need to fill seats and book rooms fast, running an email campaign with a limited-time offer is your ticket (no pun intended) to more sales. Plan your email campaigns around upcoming holidays when people are more likely to book vacations – Memorial Day Weekend, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend are all popular vacation times. You can even promote last-minute deals days prior to the holiday weekend.

Another way to drive home a limited-time sale is with a countdown timer. A countdown timer that automatically updates in real-time lets your customers know exactly how much time they have to take advantage of your sale. If a customer opens the email after the sale is over, the email can automatically update with a different offer.

Automate your travel email campaign today

Email automation is a win-win for the travel industry: It helps nudge your customers to book more trips more frequently, and helps save you save time and deliver better experiences. Want to learn more about email marketing for the travel industry? Check out the Travel and Hospitality Marketer’s Email Playbook, as well as these guidelines for the content and frequency of travel industry emails.