Email marketing is a hot topic right now for Travel Agents. Now that customers can find travel products online it is vital that Travel Agents communicate with their clients between purchases. Just think of this yourself – when was the last time you bought something and that company did not want to capture all your details so that they could communicate with you. In its simplest form this has been the Rewards Card that not only acts as a place to save money, but provides great information for the likes of Tesco etc. to market stuff to you.
So if you are not communicating with your clients long term you have a problem. The simplest and most effective way to do this is via email marketing. We are all addicted to our mobiles and check emails constantly. What better way to get under the noses of your clients than sending them relevant content via email marketing.
The Spamming Issue
We all know how much we hate being spammed. So the ISP’s ( Internet Service Providers) made rules about how to use email marketing properly. In essence its called “Permission Marketing”. The email marketing software companies require users to ‘sign up’ to receive emails from companies. If this is not followed there is a high chance that the email addresses that you add will be spammed. Even if they are not, you might be in trouble?
What could happen?
We recently helped a client out with an issue of their email marketing account being suspended (so they missed the opportunity to send a time dependent offer email to clients) because one of their names on the database had made a complaint to the software they used that the email was Spam. In this case, the user making the complaint really misunderstood what problems their actions would cause – as a simple ‘unsubscribe’ was all that was needed, rather than reporting the email as Spam.
On it’s own this is not a huge issue, but if you can’t prove that you have legitimately added an email address with the users permission then your account gets blackmarked and potentially closed down. That is a nightmare for any business.
What are the Options?
When Travel Agents started building their lists some sent email campaigns out for Outlook. Google has now made this more difficult to do and the ISP’s may well see this as spamming. The only choice you have really is to ensure that:
1. You use a professional email marketing service (such as we provide – email.net-effect.co.uk) or Mailchimp, GetResponse etc.
2. You obtain permission to market to these customers (we can help you ensure that this is a seamless process and that you maximise your opportunities to add email addresses)
3. You stop obsessing about the size of your list. This is about quality, not quantity. There is no point in having a list of 1000 names if only 10 people read your email and 500 end up in spam boxes.
Make sure that you spend your time growing your list as much as you can because this will ultimately lead to sales, but make sure that you have permission to do so. Email marketing is THE most effective way of converting sales and far outstrips other forms of social media. If you are not doing it right now, or not doing it correctly, now is the time to start.