First thing's first: your email database is GOLD. This is where 90 percent of your sales will come from. So just like gold, when you refine your database, it becomes more impressive. So how do you do this?
Through segmentation! Simply sending the same email to everybody in your email database can be highly ineffective. The same message doesn't always appeal to everyone. For example, a luxury customer won't be interested in Carnival Cruise Line offers the same way that a budget conscious customer doesn't want to hear about the SeaDream Yacht Club.
Creating segmented lists in your website's Marketing Center is easy. It's simply a matter of logging in, going to your "Contacts" section, and selecting "Add New List." The real work (which you've already done) is in acquiring the emails. Now that you have the emails, you need to know which segments to create in order to send the right message to the right customer. Here are some ideas:
Where your customers live is powerful information to know. Your Marketing Center has fields to enter information for your customers' city, state, etc. It's easy to use the Marketing Center to capture this data, but here's why it's important:
Say you have a promotion for a cruise leaving from a specific port. You will gain a better response if you send the promotion to customers who live within a reasonable travel distance from that port. On the other hand, if you are about to hold an event to entice your customers to sign-up for a group trip, it makes the most sense to invite customers who live close by. This heightens your chances of engagement.
There is a perfect trip for every age group and your responsibility as a travel agent is creating the perfect trip for your customer. In the "notes" section of your Marketing Center, you can add information about the contact's profile. Knowing the age range of your customer list can go a long way in tailoring your email message.
For example, the baby boomer generation is going to hold more interest in group cultural experiences like river cruises. Millennials, on the other hand, prefer personalized tours that allow them more freedom to experience a new culture in their own time.
If your travel agency is niche, knowing your audience's age will help weed out the customers that don't fall into your agency's target market. So if you have information on your customers' birthdays, make sure to log that data into the Marketing Center.
Something you might find interesting to know is that women have higher levels of brand commitment than men and are also more impulsive buyers. While this doesn't apply to every man and every woman, you can leverage this information when sending targeted emails.
A great way to maintain brand loyalty is to keep the brand in front of your customers. You can accomplish this by sending regular emails that are more informational than sales-y. The Week in Travel will make this process simple.
As a newsletter that features information such as travel tips, ideas and news, it stays away from selling and focuses on keeping brands fresh in the customers' minds. And because all the links direct back to your website, this also increases brand loyalty not only for the brands you are selling, but also for your personal brand too.
Creating a "history" for your customers allows you to make informed decisions about what to sell your customers next. If it's a new customer, take the time to ask about your customers' last few vacations. Add all of this information to the "notes" section of your contact profile in your Marketing Center.
Once you've logged their history, present them with travel options that will engage them based on their past getaways. With the Marketing Center's "Ready to Go" templates, you can simply select a supplier or theme that reflects their past booking preferences and get an email into their inbox with a few clicks!
These are just a few ideas on how to segment your email list. Hopefully, this has sparked some inspiration for other ways to segment your database. Please feel free to share other segments you have below to help others segment their database strategically.
The more you know about your customers, the more creative you can be. And with the Marketing Center's tools and features, you can easily become a marketing genius!
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