According to an emarketer report, people use subject lines and the “from” lines to determine if their email is genuine or spam (with the subject line clearly playing an important role in establishing legitimacy). With all the buzz on new online media, email continues to be the preferred vehicle for many companies hoping to reach targeted customer lists. Occasionally email will win where others have failed.
For the travel industry, email is still an important vehicle to connect with one-time and repeat guests. Travelers have a lot more to choose from today and are spending more and more time researching options before they click on the buy button. One way to keep your customers coming back is to reach out to them via special offers. However, the travel industry rarely offers freebies (when was the last time anyone got $100 off their room for being a valued customer?). With frequent flier programs more or less shorn of their glamor, real travelers look for companies that care for their business and welcome them back. Email is able to bridge the gap between an Internet booking and the real-world checkout. Building a relationship with customers cannot be accomplished by search, display advertising, hoardings, television or contextual advertising! Direct mailers are old-fashioned and not environment friendly. Email has the power to connect beyond the ROI focus of other avenues. However, it also needs to work harder to escape the junk box! According to emarketer, personalized subject lines distinguish the genuine offer from a spammer.
Other beliefs about email that could apply to any category
– People don’t like to read daily emails from the same company even if they clicked on “daily updates”. A monthly roll-up is more likely to get attention.
– Don’t send an offer that requires the customer to spend $100 to get 5% off a future order! It’s hard enough getting the customer to read your email. Annoying them with a worthless offer is likely to put them off forever.
– Do remind the customer about a “search” that was not completed (not booked).
– Do remind the customer about a promotion in destinations of interest to them.
– Don’t ask for feedback through lengthy forms without offering an incentive (either a gift card or another instant redemption).
– A subject line with a price-cut or attractive coupon is sure to catch attention if it clearly mentions the percentage of discount or price cut.
Always the much maligned online medium, email is still around and doing its job!