E-newsletters have only a limited role in finding new customers, through friend-get-friend and viral techniques. But e-newsletters do have vital uses:
First, they are the most useful tool to move existing customers on from their initial interest through to purchase and repeat purchase. Your CRM capabilities will determine the extent to which you can send accurate, personalised messages that do this
Second, they are invaluable as a way potentially to share with your tourism suppliers the customers you already have. You will probably want to attract revenue from this from paid-for entries by suppliers
Third, emails are the most efficient way to maintain communication after the customer has gone home, in order to:
• Help the customer to re-endorse their choice after the trip, confirm their satisfaction, and relive their holiday
• Help the customer to pass on their good feelings and information to friends and family
• Produce repeat visits, including cross-selling and upselling with new ideas that fit their profile as stored in the CRM database
Finally, any good email campaign management system will provide real-time reporting of results. This will enable to you to fine-tune the selection of customers and content as you go along.
Tips for ongoing email campaigns
• E-mail regularly enough for the recipient to get to know you and your e-mails; once a month is about right. If you have collected their intended travel date, then a series of progressively more frequent emails is desirable. Get the timing right: if the market segment takes last-minute short breaks, 10 days in advance might be right. For a long-haul trip, start a year ahead, and build up the messages. Consider sending your emails at exactly the time of day and on the same day of the week that the recipient originally subscribed: it can produce a 20% increase in click-through rates; 65% increase in conversion rates; and 45% increase in value of order.
• Achieve continuity – of emotive core messages, and of holiday planning information. Try to be sequential with information. Do not change the subject every time. Aim to include a call to action in every email that achieves new data capture and adds to your customer knowledge, progressively enabling you to personalise the relationship.
• Encourage viral effects by including odd, amusing or interesting snippets that recipients will want to share – and include the call to action: ‘Send this to a friend’
• Project your own brand and the Destination’s brand values. For example, some busineses tend to use impersonal terminology, which is not helpful if friendliness is a strong point for you and the Destination.
• Have pictures of real people, and quotes from them – the newsletter editor, a recent visitor, a resident, a local character, a celebrity, or the boss.
• Make it very easy to unsubscribe. If too many recipients add you to their spam blocker, it will trigger blocking by servers of other recipients. If you choose to automate the unsubscribe, and make it a one-click process, it is still worth providing a confirmation message, or users will not entirely believe you have done it. If you really do have good alternative services for the customer, then consider having a two-stage unsubscribe process, to allow the recipient to choose to continue to receive communications on other subjects
• Do not rely on subscribers to keep your database clean: at intervals, ask them to re-validate the enrolment and their data (with a default to ‘Continue’)
E-Tourism Frontiers Resources
Staying ahead of the game in the dynamic world of e-tourism can be a real challenge, especially for those of us in emerging markets. E-Tourism Frontiers aims to provide tourism and ICT professionals with the resources and guidance they need to succeed online. The material in this section is a general overview of the topics covered and resources provided in our training courses.
To gain full understanding and make maximum use of these resources, join on of our training seminars, which provide attendees with intensive hands training in online sales, marketing and management skills for both destinations and tourism companies. Our trainers are experienced professionals with extensive experience working in online tourism around the world, including first hand experience of working in emerging markets. We use live demonstrations of working websites and technologies and will give you the skills, resources and support to begin making changes to your business and use the web to improve your organization and business. For full information on our training seminars please see our training section.
The following is a basic overview of the topics that we cover, complete with more information and advice on each area:
What Does Social Media mean for Tourism?.
Online Travel Trends.
Social Networking and Travel.
Travel Social Networks.
New Technologies for Tourism.
Customer Relations Management (CRM).
Gathering Customer Data.
Website Design & Management.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Content Management Systems.
E-TOURISM FRONTIERS Who We Are
E-Tourism Frontiers is a global programme to develop online tourism in emerging markets around the world.
Our aim is to open the developing world’s tourism trade to the world of online travel distribution and marketing- a sector in which the region has been left far behind- with very little inventory available to the online travel shopper. This situation threatens the sustainability and diversity of Tourism and the communities and environment that it supports.
We hold pro-active business driven conference events and training seminars featuring leading online tourism companies, experts and trainers- as well as regional road-shows targeting the travel trade, destination managers and National and regional tourism offices in all emerging markets, including the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.
The success of our events speaks for itself and is changing the way both the public and private sector do business, manage their resources and market themselves globally, and creating new business relationships with leading international players and technology providers. We work with a range of major international sponsors to be sure that these events are of the highest international standards, as well as accessible and affordable to the complete spectrum of tourism players, including Small to Medium Enterprise (SMEs), Community and Eco-Tourism projects.
Our sponsor partners to date have included major global brands includingMicrosoft, VISA, Safaricom, Vodacom and Coca-Cola and many more together with regional tourism and ICT authorities. Our events have been attended and opened by Ministers and Vice Presidents- and attended by a diverse range of tourism players, from Multinational CEOs to University tourism students.
This article is quoted from E-TOURISM FRONTIERS.
The article is uploaded by Majbritt Magnussen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’. Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.