Experiencing a dip in bookings? You may want to do what the big travel brands do – create a weekly travel agency newsletter.
Big online travel agencies (OTAs) usually email once a week. Price promotions, trip inspiration, and travel news – all are welcome inside a traveler's inbox.
You may have sent emails that only fell flat. Or you might have struggled with what to include in a weekly communication.
The good news is you don't have to reinvent the wheel with marketing. You can borrow from the success of your competitors.
I've analyzed handfuls of travel agency emails and notice a clear pattern of what works.
The best travel newsletters all have three things in common.
Are you doing all three?
The Top 3 Factors That Make a Travel Newsletter Great
1) Know the audience
Successful marketing hinges on understanding and marketing to a defined target audience. That is to say, a buying segment with shared traits.
Researching, identifying, and validating a lucrative demographic can take significant time. Once you know whom you are targeting, your marketing becomes more focused (and successful).
Trafalgar targets a middle-aged or older audience. They know this demographic wants stress-free travel without having to plan an itinerary.
Everything Trafalgar does caters to this audience.
Take, for example, this banner image:
It's the ideal audience. It works because:
1) It says who the email is for
2) It tells you what to expect from the tour. Readers can even picture themselves there!
The newsletter is full of content showing this audience in video testimonials and user-generated content. In these videos and Instagram shots, customers rave about their stress-free trips.
2) Relevant to audience
Next up, know what your audience cares about. Say your subscribers are families. They probably don't care about an email on trekking the South Pole. Instead, they want deals to resorts with kid-friendly waterslides.
Quick word of warning: Don't just email for the sake of it. Only email subscribers if you have something valuable to say.
What's valuable? The things your audience cares about!
The climate they're dreaming of during winter
The experiences others have that give them FOMO
The people they're itching to sidle up to at the all-inclusive bar
Know those places, people, and things? Good. Now you can plan out your email content.
What should you include in a travel agency newsletter?
In general, travelers care about:
Travel updates, warnings, news
Answers to common questions
Travel stories, destination reviews
Visuals of what they can expect
Much Better Adventures (MBA) plans active adventure holidays for adventurous people. MBA knows that some travelers get itchy feet in the cold winter months and crave adventure.
Their winter emails promote trips to warm climates and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Their niche and journeys are so targeted it's no wonder their trips sell fast.
That leads me to my next point…
3) Inspire action
Newsletters don't always have to sell. Travel content can inspire a sense of wanderlust and be effective. Emotions are a powerful tool for shaping long-term opinion and could lead to sales months after your initial campaign.
This short newsletter from Much Better Adventures asks me to do one thing. Give website feedback.
This works on a few levels.
1) It felt exclusive. It feels like I was handpicked as one of the special few to partake.
2) It follows the rule of one. If you're unfamiliar with it, the rule of one is the principle that you:
Target one reader
Include one call-to-action
Have one purpose
It's all about #1, baby. Trying to do fewer things at once increases your efforts' likelihood of success.
Wandering Earl inspires action in his newsletters.
Jumping right in and focusing on the 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake, Earl asks his readers to donate. He handpicks and vets two charitable organizations to support.
Check out the video below for a deep dive into what makes his travel newsletters effective.
Air Canada aims to sell tours in their Dream Planner newsletter.
The above banner photo lets you envision yourself on a dreamy Mayan vacation. It's a simple yet beautiful snap you could show off on Instagram. How inspiring!
Also, note-worthy are its calls to action. Instead of the standard "click here" button, these CTAs future-pace your next actions. They effectively drive clicks and move you forward to booking a trip. How? They proactively state the next thing you want to take.
Want to write better CTAs? Put yourself in the shoes of your reader and answer this question:
"I want to ____________."
The blank is the following action they should take to book.
Example of an Epic Travel Blog Newsletter [Video Review]
Every other week, I look forward to Wandering Earl’s newsletter. He has intriguing approaches to engaging readers you can try.
Watch the video to see how to:
Build a brand led by values
Inspire readers to act
Leverage partners for engagement
Promote offers (tastefully)
Good travel agency newsletters all have these things in common:
Understand the target audience
Speak directly to that audience
Deliver relevant content
Inspire feelings or actions
Now it's your turn! Which newsletters deliver the best content to your inbox?
Ready to start emailing your list? Check out this article on email marketing software for under $50.
Need ideas to advertise your trips? Check out this list of 101 ideas for travel agency content.