Email marketing is powerful.
When someone is in your email list it means they have chosen to interact with your business; they are interested in your tours; they want to know more about you; to remain in touch. They are your VIPs.
But to grow your list, you need to give compelling reasons for leads and customers to give you their email address. Having a button that says “Subscribe to our newsletter” is not compelling. There is zero direct value for your visitor in that. Yet that is exactly what most websites end up doing.
Sure, in time a visitor expects to receive discounts, advice and inspiration from your newsletter. But how does that help them with the trip they want to book right now? There are more powerful ways to convince visitors to give their email address to you eagerly.
And it all comes down to adding value to them instantly.
Ways to add value with lead magnets
A lead magnet is what it sounds like – something that attracts customers to you like zebras to an oasis. You offer them something valuable in exchange for their email, with the implicit understanding that you will contact them later. This could be a discount – but let’s try to be a bit more imaginative. Besides, a discount is only effective if they have already decided to book. Information that helps them decide has more impact.
One particularly effective form of lead magnet is a ‘Content Upgrade’. This is a piece of information (think PDF, video, or audio for starters) that gives more of what your visitor is already reading about in exchange for their email. So if it’s a blog post, you send them something directly related to that particular topic.
As a general rule, you want to keep lead magnets short and sweet. People are usually not looking for 10-page books of information, but rather something directly actionable. This also means that they are not very hard to produce.
Lead magnets for hotels and resorts
PDF versions of tours and articles
An easy thing to offer in exchange for their email is a PDF of the tour or article they are currently viewing on your website. This lets your visitor review and share the information more easily with friends and family at a later date. Many will be content to send a link directly to your website, but some will prefer to send a file with only the relevant information.
Ideally, this PDF is formatted more nicely than just a printed version of your website.
Not only does this add instant value to the visitor, it also lets you segment them into a different automated email sequence. If they downloaded a PDF detailing a Safari in Congo, well, then you will email them content in a couple of days that is relevant to this trip. Maybe a review from a previous customer, or a letter from the tour guide, or other activities they can pursue in nearby locations.
For tours, this is something you probably have in the tour details anyway, but offering nicely formatted packaging lists will be preferable to some.
It might be a good idea to include what you provide during the trip in terms of food, transportation and extras. As well as information about what is easily purchased upon arrival. Could also include recommendations about vaccinations.
Let your visitors enter their email to be reminded of the trip later. Maybe they want to go at some point – but not within a couple of weeks. Then an option to be reminded by email would be great for them.
There’s also a chance your visitor didn’t have time to finish reading about the trip when they first found it, for any number of reasons. Many people read and shop during their working hours, and then need to be reminded to contact you by phone or email later.
Destination Guide or Brochure
The tipping point for deciding where to go might not be what you’re offering – but details on what else can be done in the area. So offering a brochure or guide with details on local restaurants, activities and natural scenery could interest a visitor enough to part with their email.
What to do with the email list?
Once you have delivered the lead magnet to your visitor, you’re well on your way to making an additional sale.
But even if they do not buy from you directly, you get to keep sending them messages for free until they do. That’s the power of email marketing. You want to be smart about it though, because nothing kills a relationship faster than spam emails. So if you’re smart, you set up a system to learn from their interactions with your emails – so you know exactly what to offer them when the time is right.
Email automation is key to managing and getting the most out of an email list. That includes grouping subscribers with similar interests together in a segment, and sending targeted emails with tours they are most likely to buy.