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Trends in Email Marketing: Travel & Tourism Spotlight

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There’s a fierce battle being waged for the the time and attention of prospective travelers, and like never before, more travel industry marketers are taking advantage of tried and true marketing techniques to reach consumers with highly personalized and dynamic experiences.

In terms of email ROI, the travel industry leads the pack. According to a new email benchmark study from Silverpop, the travel brands get the highest email open rates at 56.7%, and comes in second for click-through rates at 15.2%.

And although we see an ever increasing preference for engaging with email on mobile devices, desktop use still remains an important factor to consider. According to Movable Ink data many travel industry email opens and conversions still happen on a desktop. As a matter of fact, our data shows 70% of email conversions during Q3 of 2015 happened on desktops.

opens by device

What’s working?

How is the travel industry reaching their audience so effectively? Many are using consumer data to precisely target audiences and personalize messaging. While accurately targeting audience segments with relevant messaging has always been a priority for most marketers, you may not be aware of the power of personalization.

Personalized marketing emails have 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates than non-personalized emails, according to Experian.

Here are a few examples of how the travel industry is incorporating targeting and personalization into their email campaigns.


Hilton incorporated recipients’ names into animated images of door hangers for their HHonors program to get travel enthusiast imaging themselves on a get-away.

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Weather Targeted Offers

Aimed to entice consumers in cold weather conditions to book a cruise without manually segmenting their list, Carnival included a targeted hero message with creative that included real-time weather conditions wherever the recipient was reading the email.

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Time Targeted Offers

Offering countdown timers can inspire a sense of urgency and excitement around booking travel plans. Best Western built a timer into emails for recipients to track how much time was left in a limited-time deal. The brand maximized conversion potential by optimizing for mobile with a clean design and big buttons.

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Today, email offers the travel industry new and innovative ways to create targeted, personalized experiences for their consumers. Incorporating these tactics into your email strategy is a simple win. And remember, even if you’re not doing it — your competition probably is.

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