By Geoffrey McLaughlin, Senior Director of Partnerships, Jebbit
Consumers want to be wowed. We all know that. They’re also harder than ever to keep up with. Should you be on Snapchat? Do you need an app for Apple Watches? How do you even think about reaching them with videos? Consumers might seem fickle and eager to jump onto the next trend, but all they really want is to be treated as the unique individual they are.
Travel marketers have made strides to hit these consumers expectations by better segmenting nurturing campaigns, but now consumers expect even more. Your goal is to educate your audience on what your destination has to offer, why it’s the perfect fit for them, and why they need to book their trip. Every email you send gives you the chance to highlight your destination differentiators. But how often do you see your email open rates and click rates remain stagnant, despite your best efforts? Sending everyone the same email, or a few different groups a slightly different email, will not work any more. It’s time to think about true personalization.
Why true personalization? I’ll let the numbers do the talking:
- Personalized emails drive 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click rates
- 98% of consumers who get personalized emails are more likely to engage and convert
Personalization sounds daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need to do is capture leads and find out what different members of your audience truly like and care about, and use that knowledge to inform your content and offers.
For example, one DMO put out a dream vacation quiz with the aim of segmenting their romantic travelers from their other travelers. The question: “Who do you usually travel with?” could be met by “my significant other,” which opens up the doors for various romantic questions to present to them, about date spots, romantic vistas, and couples’ activities. Once they uncovered their romantic travelers segment, they say their email open rates and click rates increase by over 40%.
When you start by finding out what kind of traveler they are, you save yourself time spent convincing them to visit various destinations with generic, blanketed travel information. After you’ve achieved that first step, the rest is pretty straightforward. The secret is to continue asking questions about their personal preferences, so that you can market them in an even more effective way.
Whatever the personalization strategy may be, this is all part of the plan in gaining useful, and relevant information about your consumers. This isn’t just a one hit wonder, either. Each data point you can capture about a traveler will grow their individual profile, so the personalization is not only achieved short term, but also long term through a smooth, continuous transition.
The time has come to kill the generic monthly newsletter, and start saving yourself time trying to convince people to visit by showing them exactly what they want to see – content made for them! Think of it as a fishing net – the less you know about your travelers, the bigger the holes in the net, which means you’ll be default catch fewer fish. But each meaningful interaction between yourself and the traveler creates stronger relationships that bring you both closer together. The closer you are, the less space in between the net, and voila! You drive more visits, understand more travelers, and gain more customer loyalty… priceless.