Email marketing helps guiding businesses because it’s affordable, it’s likely to drive more bookings than social media, it saves you time, and it builds customer loyalty. In this post, we’re going to outline a simple email marketing plan you can start using today.
When creating a goal, make sure it’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. This way, you’ll be able to assess whether you achieved your goal. It will also keep you focused.
Making a specific goal means you’re answering the who, what, where, when, why, and how. Let’s say your goal is to get more email subscribers. If you stop there, does that mean if you get one more email subscriber you’ve met your goal? Or does it have to be 100 new email subscribers? Then ask yourself why is this important? And how are you going to meet this goal?
A measurable goal is something you can measure. Getting “more” email subscribers isn’t measurable. Gaining 100 new email subscribers within 3 months is measurable. After three months, you’ll know if you have 100 new email subscribers.
Achievable goals are realistic, yet you still want to push yourself. Make your goal something you’ll have to work hard for but don’t make it impossible to achieve either. Is it possible to gain 100 new email subscribers in 3 months or is it more realistic to reach that in 6 months?
Relevant goals are worth your time and will positively affect your guiding business.
A timely goal has a deadline. It keeps you focused.
A final goal could be: Gain 100 new email subscribers in 6 months by creating lead magnets, creating an email subscription pop-up on the website, and offering discounts to new subscribers. Next, you create an action plan to reach this goal and in 6 months, you analyze and assess what happened.
Research different email marketing platforms to see if they offer what you need. Some things to look for include:
You can start by searching online to find an email marketing platform. Notable platforms include MailChimp, Constant Contact, SendGrid, AWeber, Sendinblue, Omnisend, and EmailOctopus.
If you don’t already have a sign-up form on your website, create one. This is one of the best ways to build your email list. Include a call-to-action to tell visitors to sign up for your newsletter. It can also help to incentivize visitors to sign up by offering discounts or special services.
Organize your lists so you can personalize your emails. You can create a customer list (people who’ve booked with you) or a lead list (people who haven’t booked with you yet but have shown interest). You can also organize your lists by demographics like age, location, job, etc. Finally, if you offer different trips, organizing your lists this way ensures your customers receive only relevant information.
Think about the emails you receive in your email inbox. What ones do you open and why? What emails do you click through to websites and why? What is it about those emails that engage you? Knowing that will help you create an equally engaging email.
Marketing email: sent to targeted groupings of your subscribers (sales, events, newsletters)
Lifecycle email: series of pre-defined emails depending on where your customer is within your sales funnel (welcome, thank you, feedback, loyalty)
Transactional email: triggered by an action taken by the user to help guide them through the sales funnel (booking confirmations, cart abandonment)
Subject lines are the number one way to engage an email subscriber. If you don’t have a subject line that makes your subscriber want to see what’s inside the email, then you lose the potential of them clicking through to your website.
Stick with one topic per email and keep it short. This way you won’t bore or confuse your readers. Don’t forget to proofread your email too.
You’re sending this email for a reason so ask your subscribers to do something at the end of your email. Do you want them to book a reservation with you? Have a link to your website and an obvious CTA button.
Your email marketing platform should provide you with email metrics like open rate, click rate, and if your email ended up in a spam folder.
If you notice you have a low open rate, test different subject lines in your next email. Most email marketing platforms offer A/B tests which give you the ability to test different components in an email. If you’re testing subject lines, then you’d create two (Test A, Test B) different subject lines.
After you send the emails, review which subject line performed better and incorporate your analysis into the next email. It’s important to track and test your emails so you avoid making the same mistakes.
Email marketing allows guiding companies to create long-term relationships with their guests. You’ll stay top of mind when you send them emails consistently and you’ll eventually increase bookings too.
About the Author:
Jessica is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Origin. Origin is innovative online booking software designed specifically to help tour guides and outfitters keep trip reservations and staff availability up-to-date, prevent overbookings, and even help you assign guides to newly booked trips with automated text messages to confirm availability. Interested in learning more? Schedule a call with us or visit our website: www.exploreorigin.com