How travel brands can rebuild trust with email marketing

Times are hard for the travel industry.

Not only did the industry lose a staggering $935 billion in the first 10 months of 2020 alone. But brands and consumers alike are still tackling travel bans, quarantines, and border closures. With rules and restrictions seemingly changing on a daily basis.

Understandably, many consumers are on edge. Some have lost money, some have had to cancel trips of a lifetime, and others are desperate to visit loved ones around the world.

With ongoing confusion and regular disappointments, travel brands have a lot of trust to rebuild. And with the losses many brands have faced, they have no time to waste.

Fortunately, email marketing is the perfect channel to support brands in engaging with consumers and rebuilding trust.

Here are 5 ways that travel brands can do just that:

1.

Capture data the right way

Before we can delve into some of the more exciting ways that travel brands can use email to build trust, we need to begin with the basics.

Data capture.

Specifically, how travel brands capture their data. Thanks to GDPR, it is now illegal to contact data that hasn’t explicitly opted in to be contacted by you. And while this is in fact the law, some brands still don’t get it quite right.

And consumers are far savvier about their data security today. Meaning that they don’t take it lightly if brands contact them in an unsolicited way.

The result?

Angry emails, bad PR on social media, and at worst, legal repercussions.

Therefore, brands need to ensure they are following GDPR best practice whenever they capture data. Specifically, that there is explicit opt-in, that tick boxes aren’t automatically checked, and data isn’t shared with third parties unless they are given permission to.

To learn more, check out our GDPR resources.

How Travel businesses can use email marketing to rebuild trust

Image Source – Intrepid Travel

2.

Send a warm welcome

No matter what industry you are in, the first step to building trust is acknowledging new customers or signs ups. And giving them a warm welcome.

Firstly, recipients are most engaged what a brand within the first 48 hours of subscribing. So by sending out welcome emails, travel brands can make contact with recipients at the best possible time.

But as well as this, welcome emails offer brands the chance to set the tone of the relationship. And share the most valuable information to build trust.

This could include a brief intro to the travel company, links to their website and social channels, support details, and maybe a welcome promotion to encourage the recipient to start browsing for their next trip.

How Travel businesses can use email marketing to rebuild trust

3.

Be relevant

One size fits all marketing no longer has a place in the travel industry.

By receiving irrelevant, generic campaigns and communications, recipients will get the impression that travel brands don’t understand them as an individual, aren’t using their data correctly, or haven’t acknowledged any recent bookings or purchases.

None of the above is ideal for travel brands looking to rebuild trust. So instead, they need to focus on being as relevant as possible.

Fortunately, with the use of email and data, this is perfectly achievable.

Travel brands can combine behavioural and purchase data alongside dynamic content to showcase content that is relevant to each individual. Automatically.

This could include promotions based on locations and vacations that recipients have recently browsed. Cross-sell opportunities, such as taxi booking, for those who have a holiday planned. Even weather updates for specific locations for those recipients who have a trip coming up.

How Travel businesses can use email marketing to rebuild trust

4.

Keep them updated

More often than not, customers are spending large sums of money with travel brands.

They may have saved up for the past year, and are eagerly anticipating their yearly getaway.

Or maybe they have an event they must be at, a wedding, a birthday, a funeral.

Whatever the occasion, booking travel can be a costly, emotional process. And due to all the uncertainty over the past 18 months, the last thing consumers want is to be left uncertain, worried, or confused.

Travel brands can reassure their customers and continuously build trust by keeping them regularly updated through email.

And automation is key to this process.

Travel brands can automate email communications based on the recipient’s behaviour and purchase history. They can confirm payments, send out reminders for the travel date, provide essential flight and hotel information, and keep them in the loop regarding any important lockdown or border changes.

All of the above reassures the customer that their booking has gone smoothly. And provides them with the essential information so they have nothing to worry about.

How Travel businesses can use email marketing to rebuild trust

5.

Be an expert

Travelling today can be a confusing process.

Which country is on the green list and the red list? What borders are open to us? Do we need to quarantine? What’s the cancellation policy?

So many questions, and often finding the answers can be tricky.

To rebuild trust, travel brands should position themselves as experts in the latest travel updates. And share their knowledge regularly in easy to understand, digestible formats.

Because as well as needing regular reassurance, 85% of consumers regularly or at least occasionally seek out trusted experts during their purchasing journey.

Email is the ideal channel to achieve expert status. It has high engagement rates, ensures that travel brands are directly contacting their network, and offers brands the capability to add CTAs, track and monitor results, and get creative with their copy and imagery.

And with 73% of marketers rating email as the number one digital channel for ROI. We personally think it’s a no-brainer.

How Travel businesses can use email marketing to rebuild trust

Are you a travel brand looking to rebuild trust?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

We have helped brands in the travel industry, both pre- and post-pandemic, to increase engagement, improve results, and rebuild the trust of their customers.

Get in touch with our experts to find out more.

Meet the author

Komal Helyer

VP Marketing