Email marketing for the South African travel industry

The world as we know it has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and one of the most hard hit industries has been the travel industry. As the vaccine has rolled out across the world, countries are slowly opening up their borders and have started allowing visitors to travel again.

Email is one of the most personal forms of communication there is. There are very few people across the world who don’t have an email address that they use and it’s estimated that there are over 4.1 active email users worldwide.

Competition has always been fierce in the travel and hospitality industry as consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to providers as well as destinations. The only real differentiator you can stake your business on is marketing and exceptional service. People are willing to spend more when there is added perceived value. Email can help you in both of these areas.

Why is email the perfect communication tool for businesses in the travel sector?

It’s personal and offers you tons of personalisation opportunities

Personalisation is all about making a bulk action feel like a unique, personalised experience. Email offers you the ability to create personal experiences for your audience based on their unique wants and needs. Personalisation goes so much further than just adding a subscriber’s name. There are a range of possibilities.

To learn more about personalisation you can read our article: Personalisation Techniques: Beyond a name

Inspiration is all you need: All the places you’ll see

The travel and hospitality industry has the advantage of being one of the most image-worthy spaces. To create content in the travel and hospitality industry you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of creative assets. All you need to do is capture and curate the places and experiences on offer in the best possible light, which helps people feel inspired to action.

Deals and gifting are simple: you can curate experiences

People love a good deal and email helps you to create kick-ass travel deals. With stiff competition you need to ensure that you are keeping up with your competition and stay one step ahead of them.

One of the great ways we’ve seen travel agencies create customised deals for their audience is by asking them to input their local home airport when they sign up. This helps them craft deals that cater to the subscriber’s location and makes it easier to curate deals that suit the reader.

Your past travellers can generate content for you

Testimonials can be extremely helpful to businesses in the travel industry. Past experiences can help you take potential travellers from the consideration stage to the purchase stage in their journey. This is because travel is usually a larger, more complex buying experience and people can be worried about being scammed. Using any testimonials or user-generated content in your email campaigns can help you out tremendously to establish trust and credibility with your prospective customers.

Get more people to join your loyalty programme

If you have a loyalty programme, email marketing is the perfect way to engage and keep your loyalty members up to date with your latest offers and exclusive content. Email makes it easy to segment your audience and give them a unique experience to keep them engaged.

As travellers tend to search for the best deals out there, it’s important for you to ensure that you keep your audience engaged so that you can generate more repeat business.

5 Simple steps to get started with email marketing

  • Sign up to Mail Blaze
  • Design and embed your customised form on your website
  • Direct your audience to your form
  • Build your email list
  • Start emailing your list

If you already have an email list, you can simply upload the list and start creating your campaigns. Mail Blaze has over 140 free email templates you can choose from and built-in Canva and Pexels integrations to help you design a beautiful campaign. Don’t forget to send frequently and test different campaign elements as your list grows. This will help you create better email campaigns and keep enhancing your email performance over time.

Email tactics that help you compete in the travel industry:

Be bold and creative!

If there is ever a time where boldness and creativity can soar, it’s in the travel industry. Part of the fun of booking a holiday is that you can let your imagination soar by imagining yourself in a different place and space. All the things people will be able to see or experience is part of what makes people book trips or excursions. Make sure when you’re creating campaigns that you create bold and creative travel-inspired email campaigns.

Don’t be scared to share alternative content (ebooks)

There’s nothing wrong with sharing your latest travel deals and offers, but you can also offer your potential clients added value through alternative content that you deliver through emails.

Some examples could include:

  • Travel tips: This could be packing lists, tips for packing, vaccination information, etc.
  • City guides: Do a city roundup of must see attractions and points of interests.
  • Ebooks: You don’t have to provide full ebooks, but could release select chapters of an ebook you have to create excitement.
  • Quizzes: People love quizzes and they can be really fun.
  • Special Events: Any special events happening in destinations that you are advertising? Tell people about them. This helps them decide whether or not they want to visit a specific place.

Use captivating videos

Videos have the power to improve your subscriber engagement by almost 41%. Don’t forget to add the word video in your subject lines, as research has shown that this increases the chances of people opening your email. (According to SuperOffice by as much as 6%!)

If you want the full low-down on how video can help your emails succeed, read our Best Practices for Video in email marketing guide.

Pay special attention to your imagery - don’t be shy of themes

Themed emails are a great way to give your campaigns one cohesive structure and message. In the travel industry one great way to theme your campaigns is to theme them according to seasons. If you’ve got a great array of deals that are focused on winter travel destinations, you can incorporate that into your campaigns. The same goes for summer. Get people excited about places by showing them the best sun spots around the world (and when to visit them).

Take advantage of special guest or influencers

User generated content is oftentimes the best kind of content to publish. Why? Because people trust people, even when they don’t know them. When your audience sees testimonials or snapshots from other travellers talking about their experiences it can help them see themselves having the same experiences.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with your audience. Start your email marketing journey today.


Contact us
for help

Fill out the form and we will get back to you.

Join Our

Ready to enhance your email marketing campaigns?
Sign up to our weekly email newsletter for email marketing news, tips and tricks.