Understanding the Basics of Email Marketing in Travel

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Let’s take it back to the basics! While SEO and social media often take centre stage in marketing, there’s a low-key powerhouse that can deliver amazing results when done right: email marketing. For travel brands, especially, email marketing has unmatched potential to engage and retain customers. Let’s break down the essentials of email marketing in the travel industry to boost your business.

What Exactly is Email Marketing?

Email marketing often operates under the radar compared to SEO or social media, but its impact on customer engagement and retention is unparalleled. It involves sending commercial messages via email to a targeted group of recipients. This encompasses a wide range of content, from promotional offers to informative newsletters—all part of the email marketing toolkit.

Despite social media’s dominance and the prevalence of spam, email marketing is arguably the most effective method for nurturing leads and enhancing customer loyalty.

According to a survey conducted by Campaign Monitor, marketers ranked Email Marketing second as the biggest opportunity for gaining new customers, with social media being ranked number one. 

Research conducted by Campaign Monitor

Why is Email Marketing Important for Travel Brands?

Email marketing isn’t just another marketing strategy for travel brands—it’s essential for their growth and success. It’s a powerful tool for engaging travellers, building loyalty, and driving conversions. Email campaigns forge personal connections with customers, providing tailored interactions based on their travel history and preferences.

The significance of email marketing is underscored by its impressive return on investment. Thanks to high engagement and conversion rates, travel brands often see substantial returns, exceeding their marketing costs.

Datadab suggests, ‘With open rates in travel and hospitality averaging around 20% and click-through rates around 2-3%, email convincingly outperforms most social media platforms.’ 

How to Start with Email Marketing for Travel Brands

1. Start Building Your Email List

Launching an email marketing strategy starts with gathering a list of potential customers’ email addresses. Offer them valuable content like special deals and offers, or simply use your website’s sign-up form—it’s a classic method that still works like a charm.

2. Create Persuasive Content

Now that you’ve sorted your list, it’s time to create content that really grabs attention. This is where your customer personas come into play to truly understand their travel preferences and what they’re looking for. Use this insight to tailor your emails directly to their needs, offering irresistible deals and valuable information.

It’s crucial also to stay compliant with all relevant email regulations to avoid legal issues and maintain trust with your audience. Personalisation, segmentation, and sticking to a consistent yet respectful email schedule will pave your way to success.

Benefits of Email Marketing in Travel 

Personalisation and Segmentation

Email marketing stands out for its ability to personalise and segment messages. By analysing customer data, travel brands can craft targeted emails that cater to individual preferences, past travel experiences, and behaviours. This personalised approach significantly boosts engagement and conversions.

Cost-Effective Marketing Strategy

Compared to traditional channels, email marketing is highly cost-effective. It allows travel brands to reach a broad audience without the steep expenses of print or TV ads. Email marketing often yields a higher return on investment (ROI), making it a pivotal part of any marketing strategy.

Enhanced Customer Loyalty

Consistent and valuable email communication plays a crucial role in nurturing customer relationships. Travel brands can utilise email marketing to share exclusive offers, travel insights, and personalised recommendations, gaining loyalty and encouraging repeat business.

Best Practices for Email Marketing in Travel

To get the most out of your email marketing campaigns, travel brands should stick to these best practices:

Optimise for Mobile Devices

With so many people checking emails on their phones, it’s a must to make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. Use responsive design techniques to ensure your emails look great and work well on both desktop and mobile.

Craft Compelling Subject Lines

The subject line is the first thing people see, and it’s crucial for getting them to open the email. To boost your open rates, create subject lines that spark curiosity, are relevant, and grab attention. Like below examples from Booking.com and LuckyTrip that both include inviting offers. 

Include Clear Calls to Action

Every email should have a clear and engaging call to action (CTA) that leads recipients to do something, like booking a trip, signing up for a newsletter, or checking out a new travel offer. Make sure your CTA is eye-catching and easy to follow like the below examples from On the Beach and Jet2. 

Measuring the Success of Your Email Campaigns

It’s crucial to measure how well your campaigns are doing. Key metrics to track include:

Open Rates

Open rates show how many people actually opened your email. A high open rate means your subject line catches people’s attention, and your audience is interested in your content.

Click-Through Rates

Click-through rates (CTR) tell you the percentage of people who clicked on links in your email. This helps you see how effective your content and calls-to-action (CTAs) are.

Conversion Rates

Conversion rates track the number of people who took the action you wanted, such as making a booking or signing up for a service. This metric is key for judging your email campaigns’ overall success and ROI.

Unsubscribe Rates

Keeping an eye on unsubscribe rates helps you understand if your content is hitting the mark. A high unsubscribe rate might mean your emails aren’t what your audience wants, or you’re sending them too often.


That’s the basics! By implementing these strategies, travel brands can experience the full potential of email marketing to truly connect with their audience, drive conversions, and build relationships. Investing time and effort into mastering effective email campaigns can lead to huge returns in the travel industry. Remember, every email you send is a reflection of your brand. Make it count.

Recommended read: 3 Engaging Travel Email Marketing Ideas

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