Our industry has been sending the same leisure and meetings email newsletters for years. Oh, but the times have changed and new opportunities to leverage your email database will help your DMO provide more immediate value to readers.
Here are four strategies you can implement to take your email marketing further:
1. Segment Your Email List
When you start to segment your list to talk individually to the different personas within it, you will drive engagement. For example, family personas have different needs and interests than adults traveling without children. Also, your drive market can take advantage of last minute offers more so than fly-in markets.
If you don’t know who is in your database, you can utilize polls and quizzes to start to identify the personas. Our All Day Amelia quiz is a good example. We created it to identify the four audience personas in the Amelia Island, FL database compiled of over 70,000 email addresses. The quiz helped the DMO identify the following audience segments:
Nature & ecotourism
When you talk to your travelers more directly about topics they are most interested in, you will see stronger engagement from your email efforts.
2. Leverage Your Database More
Don’t rely solely on the monthly newsletter to communicate your DMO’s special events and need periods. Create promotional emails to drive visitation during timeframes with softer demand. This will help drive event participation, grow interest in new product and promote your campaign efforts.
Your email database, just like your social media audience, should be one of the first places you turn to when trying to get messages out and drive visitation for specific timeframes.
3. Grow Your Audience with Visitor Center Integrations
Utilize your visitor center and the in-market audience to grow your database. We all tend to spend exorbitant amounts of marketing dollars on email acquisition when you can target someone in-market to build your email database.
Work with your visitor center, if you don’t manage it, offer visitors a free tchotchke like a koozie or beach ball when they share their email address and opt-in to your email marketing efforts.
Then, you can create an automated email to go out as soon as they opt-in. In that first email, include a quick poll to identify what type of visitor they are (first time/repeat, why they came to visit, who they are traveling with, etc.), which will help you grow your segmentation.
While giving something away does have a cost associated with it, those costs are much less than expensive email acquisition campaigns and help you extend your brand long after the visitor leaves.
4. Get Personal
Most email marketing systems can tailor your emails. Try to stop thinking of personalization as merely ‘Dear John,’ and start using it in your graphics. Think of a personalized special event message … something like, “Would John Want to Miss Out on the Jazz Festival? We Think Not.”
Personalization is a great way to drive engagement and clicks and keep your audience coming back for more. Don’t be scared to give it a try and find funky new ways to personalize your emails.
Need help implementing some of these strategies, or just want to talk further about some opportunities for your DMO’s email marketing? We’re your people. Reach out.