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10 Things Travel Brands Should Know About Their Email Subscribers


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Are you working in the travel industry and wondering what you can do to improve your email campaigns’ performance? To better understand travelers’ email expectations, we asked over 600 Americans who booked travel in the past year about what they really look for when signing up for your travel emails.

Our research provides insights into what subscribers want from travel emails and highlights:
- What motivates subscribers to sign up for travel emails
- Why travel brands must focus their efforts on mobile email
- How travel reasons impact decision-making processes (and what that means for crafting the perfect email)
- Why timing and sending frequency matters to travel subscribers
- And more

Here are the top 10 things travel brands must know about their subscribers, along with hands-on advice on how to translate customer expectations into email strategy.

Published in: Marketing
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10 Things Travel Brands Should Know About Their Email Subscribers

  1. 1. Travel brands should know about their email subscribers 10 THINGS
  2. 2. | @litmusapp Travel Emails Are Failing For many travel brands, email marketing is a vital part of their marketing mix. Yet, travel brands’ emails are among the least effective when compared with other industries, according to IBM Marketing Cloud research.
  3. 3. | @litmusapp Many travel brands have email marketing strategies that travelers aren’t connecting with and aren’t working for the companies. Dan Peltier SKIFT “ ”
  4. 4. | @litmusapp Our Research So what are subscribers really looking for when signing up for travel emails? In order to answer that question, Litmus surveyed over 600 Americans that have booked travel within the last year and currently receive regular email from travel brands. Here are our top 10 findings—and hands- on advice for how travel brands can translate customer expectations into their email strategy.
  5. 5. #1 The desire for better pricing is the most popular motivator to sign up for travel emails. tweet this →
  6. 6. | @litmusapp To find out about 
 deals and promotions To get loyalty offers To get inspiration 
 for new travel ideas To get educational 
 content or travel tips To get partner offers 0 % 20 % 40 % 60 % 80 % 100 % For which of the following reasons do you subscribe to receive email from travel brands? (Select all that apply.)
  7. 7. | @litmusapp Place a prominent option to subscribe to your emails wherever you promote your deals and discounts. This can be on your website as well as on your social media channels. TIP
  8. 8. 45% of consumers read emails from travel brands on their smartphones. #2 tweet this →
  9. 9. | @litmusapp Desktop or Laptop Smartphone Tablet 74% 45% 12% What device(s) do you typically use to open emails from travel brands? (Select all that apply.)
  10. 10. | @litmusapp Use responsive or hybrid design to make sure your emails look great, regardless of whether they’re opened on big screens or mobile devices. TIP
  11. 11. | @litmusapp Does your email look great on mobile devices? Preview your email on 70+ clients and devices with Litmus Email Previews. Preview your email
  12. 12. #3 Travel planning starts 84 days in advance, on average. tweet this →
  13. 13. | @litmusapp 0 % 10 % 20 % 30 % 40 % 50 % Up to 
 2 weeks 2-4 
 weeks 1-3 
 months 3-6 
 months > 6 
 months Typically, how far in advance do you begin planning personal travel such as a vacation?
  14. 14. | @litmusapp Even though there are spontaneous travelers and long-term planners, the majority of travelers plan their trips between 30 and 180 days in advance. Consider these lead times, especially when sending seasonal travel campaigns. TIP
  15. 15. #4 One third of consumers say travel booking is a team decision. tweet this →
  16. 16. | @litmusapp 35 % 8 % 57 % Me My spouse or significant other My spouse/significant other 
 and I decide together For personal travel, who typically makes the final purchase decision in your household? My spouse/significant other 
 and I decide together
  17. 17. | @litmusapp Make your emails easily shareable, so recipients can share with their partners or friends, for example by including social sharing links. TIP
  18. 18. #5 40% of travelers say weather plays a role when deciding where to travel. tweet this →
  19. 19. | @litmusapp Average Subscribers from 
 cold weather states 0 % 10 % 20 % 30 % 40 % 50 % % of travelers that say weather plays a role when booking travel.

  20. 20. | @litmusapp Consider using dynamic content to pull in personalized weather information— either based on the subscriber’s location or the travel destination. TIP
  21. 21. | @litmusapp Where are your subscribers located? Get to know your audience and dive into detailed geolocation data with Litmus Email Analytics. Get started →
  22. 22. #6 When looking for the perfect hotel, travelers say price and reviews matter most. tweet this →
  23. 23. | @litmusapp Price Reviews Available 
 destinations Available 
 dates Loyalty 
 programs 0 % 15 % 30 % 45 % 60 % 75 % 90 % When booking a hotel, what factors are most important to you? (Select all that apply.)
  24. 24. | @litmusapp Don't neglect reviews and social proof when sending hotel promotions. In addition to ratings and reviews from popular travel forums, consider embedding social media posts from happy customers. TIP
  25. 25. #7 For romantic getaways, the destination matters most. tweet this →
  26. 26. | @litmusapp Available 
 destinations Price Reviews Available 
 dates Loyalty 
 programs 0 % 13 % 27 % 40 % 53 % 67 % 80 % When booking a romantic getaway, what factors are most important to you? (Select all that apply.)
  27. 27. | @litmusapp Use progressive profiling to learn about your subscribers’ travel motivations, then adapt your email program to match the key motivators that drive purchase decisions for this type of travel. TIP
  28. 28. #8 For business travelers, pricing is less important. tweet this →
  29. 29. | @litmusapp Price Reviews Available 
 destinations Available 
 dates Loyalty 
 programs 0 % 10 % 20 % 30 % 40 % 50 % 60 % When booking a business trip, what factors are most important to you? (Select all that apply.)
  30. 30. | @litmusapp If your brand serves business travelers, you may want to emphasize travel times, perks, loyalty rewards, and other factors that business travelers may value more. TIP
  31. 31. #9 Many subscribers say they receive email from travel brands too frequently. tweet this →
  32. 32. | @litmusapp House rental 32% Car rental 31% Cruises 29% Travel Aggregators 26% Hotels 22% Airlines 21% % of subscribers who report they receive email from travel brands too frequently, by travel brand type.
  33. 33. | @litmusapp Experiment with fewer, but more targeted messages to see if campaign performance and engagement surpasses that of generic high- frequency sends. Plus, use email preference centers where users can easily change the frequency of emails they receive. TIP
  34. 34. #10 36% of travelers say an email has lead to an immediate purchase that wasn’t planned. tweet this →
  35. 35. | @litmusapp 64 % 36 % I agree I disagree An email from a travel company has led me to make an immediate travel purchase I wasn’t planning.
  36. 36. | @litmusapp Optimize the entire customer journey—from subject line and calls-to-action in your emails to landing pages and booking processes on your website—to guarantee a seamless booking experience for prospects coming in via email. TIP
  37. 37. | @litmusapp Litmus Travel Brands Travel brands around the world trust Litmus to help them make better email Discover how travel brands utilize Litmus