The festive season is one of the most important periods for brands in travel and hospitality.
Overall, holiday emails generate higher conversions than regular email marketing messages. And almost two-thirds (68%) of holiday shoppers said they pay more attention to emails from companies during the Christmas holidays.
It’s clear that the festive season can offer a boost for these industries. And there are a few reasons why.
Holiday celebrations encourage travel to visit friends and family, resulting in flight, hotels, and rental bookings. They drive spending on luxurious experiences, such as dining out, hosting parties, or festive drinks. And of course encourage gift giving such as spa days, restaurant vouchers, and weekends away.
But competition is fierce, so brands need to make the very most of their campaigns or risk being put on the naughty list.
But you better not pout, because we’re here to help. Read on to learn how you can boost your bookings and sleigh the holiday season with our festive email campaign techniques.
Oh, and you might come across a few festive puns on the way…
Segment your list like Santa
Inboxes are busy places over the festive period, with marketers from all industries battling it out to get noticed.
To ensure your emails stand out and bag that all-important engagement, set up your very own naughty or nice list through segmentation. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
By gathering data on customer preferences, travel and hospitality brands can segment and tailor their communications to personalise their recommendations. For instance, segmenting those who prefer beach holidays to city breaks, and presenting them with last-minute getaways for some winter sun.
Ensure that your promotions are specific to where in the world the recipient is using geographic data. By doing so, brands can send location-specific offers and recommendations, seasonal travel tips, and event recommendations based on specific locations.
Whether it be past booking history or browsing behaviour, this data offers a wealth of insight to segment audiences and target them more effectively.
If travellers booked to go away the previous Christmas, promote similar trips to them this year. If they made a booking at your hotel or restaurant, send them a thank you and an offer to rebook. Or, if they are simply browsing city breaks over the Christmas period, offer them similar locations that may be of interest.
Deck your emails with festive flair
Another tactic for ensuring that your emails stand out during the busy festive period is to ensure they boast eye-catching, irresistible content and design.
The first element of your email to grab attention is the subject line.
So, don’t be shy. Make it clear that your email campaign is filled with festive cheer. Using keywords such as “Christmas” and “Festive” are obvious places to start. But consider the use of emojis, urgency, or festive puns to encourage recipients to unwrap your email.
Once your email is opened, you’ll want to shower your recipients with some festive colour and imagery.
A simple tweak to an email’s colour palette, or a splash of festive photography will get them in the Christmas mood and immediately grab the attention of recipients who are looking for a festive deal.
There’s no excuse for boring email copy over the festive period.
So, don’t be a Grinch, spread some cheer with your email campaigns with the use of emotive language, festive puns, and a nod to everyone’s favourite Christmas songs. Utilise this language within your body copy, subject lines, and calls to action to keep your theme running, and ensure your emails are merry and bright.
Sending one-size-fits-all emails is the equivalent of getting a pair of socks at Christmas. Yes, they’re straightforward and may serve a purpose, but they lack personalisation and that festive sparkle.
We touched on using behavioural segmentation to personalise email campaigns. But you can take this process further with the use of data and dynamic content to automatically pull through content which resonates with the recipient.
This can be anything from trip recommendations to content, imagery, and copy.
Over the festive period, recipients aren’t just looking for promotions from brands. They will often seek emotional connections and meaningful experiences.
By weaving a compelling storyline into your emails you can tap into emotions of nostalgia and tradition; making your emails more relatable and your offers more enticing.
This could be in the form of outlining their festive trip away, utilising heart-warming customer stories, or even narrating your brand’s story over the past year.
If you are sending out international campaigns over the festive period, it’s crucial to understand the cultural differences between your audiences.
The season carries diverse cultural significance and differences worldwide. So, ensure that you reference how different countries and cultures celebrate (or whether they do celebrate), and the customs that are important to them. By doing so, your email campaigns won’t alienate your audience and instead show a deeper understanding and respect for your recipients.
Ring in the festive season at the right time
Congratulations! You’ve segmented your audience and crafted an email that brings the gift of Christmas to inboxes.
But don’t let your efforts go to waste by sending your communications out at the wrong time.
Utilise your past results to understand your target audiences’ behaviour. Analyse when they are most active, taking time zones into account, and scheduling emails accordingly.
Remember to strike a balance in frequency. Send enough emails to stay on your audiences’ radar without overwhelming them. A general guideline is 2-4 emails per week during the festive season, with key messages aligning with specific events or promotions.
Don’t forget to monitor engagement metrics, open rates, and click-through rates to fine-tune your timing and frequency. A/B testing can help identify the sweet spot for maximum impact. And adjustments based on real-time data will ensure your festive campaigns hit the mark.
Get the snowball rolling
If you’re looking to wrap up your email marketing strategy for the festive season, then there’s no time to waste!
At Deployteq, we have worked with a range of travel brands to transform their festive results, and we’re confident we can help you too.
So, why not get in touch with our friendly team of email elves to learn more?