You want to grow your travel business. To do that, you need more clients. To get more clients, you need more leads. To get more leads, you need to master email marketing for travel agents!
The first step to attracting more qualified leads (you know, the kinds of leads who can become DREAM clients, with a generous budget) is creating an enticing lead magnet, otherwise known as an opt-in offer or IFO. Essentially, a lead magnet is a free piece of content you create, like a free guide, that you then offer to prospects in exchange for their email addresses. You can read more about creating client-attracting lead magnets right here.
But don’t stop with simply creating the lead magnet. What comes next can make all the difference in turning new leads into new clients.
Enter: email marketing for travel agents. You can (and should!) use an email follow-up campaign to engage new prospects after you’ve added them to your email list through your lead magnet.
Here’s the approach I like to use with my travel clients, adapted from a formula I learned from master email copywriter Ryan Schwartz (who’s worked with big names like FB ads guru Amy Porterfield).
The 3 Emails Every Lead Magnet Follow-Up Campaign Needs
1.The Validation Email:
Your prospect is probably signing up for a ton of freebies every single day. The goal with the very first email in your follow-up campaign is to make them realize that the fact that they signed up for your freebie is a very big deal. And it says something important about themselves. For example — they didn’t just sign up for a list of the most romantic holiday vacations around the world. They signed up for an opportunity to make their partner fall in love with them all over again. And the fact that this freebie caught their eye just shows how deeply they care about their relationship, and keeping that romantic spark alive.
In other words, your first email should do a WHOLE lot more than say, “thank you for signing up! Here’s your free download.” Your new subscribers are most likely to read that first email from you – so make it powerful. Use this first email to align your travel business’s values with your prospect’s values, so you can draw on them later.
2. The Value-Add Emails:
There’s not necessarily a magic number for follow up campaigns, but I recommend that you spend at least a few days delivering emails that continue to provide free value to your new subscribers. That way you’re building “know, like, and trust” with them. Examples of valuable emails you can send include:
- A new tip related to your lead magnet content
- Another lead magnet of yours (that they don’t have to re-download)
- A list of pertinent blog posts
3. The “Work with Me” Email:
Some travel agents balk at asking someone to sign up for a consult call during a follow up email campaign. They feel it’s annoying or too “salesy.” I disagree. Here’s why:
- If you ask for business, you might get some. The flip side, of course, is that you don’t get what you don’t ask for. So make the ask! If you don’t get a lot of people signing up for a consult call after you ask for it in a follow up campaign, though, don’t sweat it — you’ll be keeping in touch with them through your e-newsletters. But I think it’s important to still make the ask for another reason …
- By asking for business “early” in the relationship, you make it clear that you’re running a business. You’re not just a fount of free information — you are here to make a profit. And there’s nothing wrong with that! You will hopefully occasionally be using your email list to solicit business — and if a new contact has a problem with that, it’s better for them to unsubscribe right now. They were never going to give you business anyway.
The caveat to the above is — before you ask for business over email, you have to serve up GOOD content. Both in your lead magnet and your value-add emails. If you give crappy content and then ask for business, you’re going to get a lot of unsubscribes.
So that’s the basic bones of an email follow-up campaign. Again: you should use an email follow-up campaign in conjunction with all your list-building tactics, including your lead magnet. Try implementing it with your next (or current) lead magnet to see if your open rate shoots up — and you may even get more consultation requests!
Got a questions about email marketing for travel agents? Ask away in the comments below!
Rowena Daniels says
I am going to do this. One question, would you send an email for sign up for a consult call to your existing clients who didn’t ask for one but continually opens your newsletter?
Emily Matras says
Hi Rownena — great question. If they continually open your newsletter, you can put a call to action at the end of the newsletter inviting them to book a consultation call. I also think it’s a good idea to occasionally send on-off emails about booking with you to subscribers who you know are engaging with your content (just don’t do it too often or you might annoy them).