How Can A Travel Business Improve Email Open Rates

February 12, 2018

Show Notes

Today we are covering emailing open rates. More specifically how to improve them:

  • First things first. Ask questions in the subject line.
  • Use "re:" and then a subject, this looks like the email was a response.
  • Use stats or numbers, keep it short though. 
  • Write to one person. A lot of people say “everyone” and when it goes to the masses it isn’t personal.
  • Segment, segment, segment. Enough said. 
  • If they haven’t opened your emails in months, send an email saying final reminder to be off the list, if they don’t respond, kick them off the list.

If you need help with your email marketing efforts make sure to reach out to us.


Christian: [00:00:14] Hey.What's going on? Today we're going to talk about how a travel business oragency can improve e-mail open rates. Some of the things that we're going totouch are subject lines, segmentation and people who don't open your e-mails.


Aaron: [00:00:31] Allright. And a good example for this first one anyway is to ask those questionsto your audience. So if you're traveling somewhere and you know you're going tothe Grand Canyon, a great question to ask them is hey, have you ever been tothe Grand Canyon? Or the Grand Canyon's great, right? So just asking thosequestions make people automatically respond. You may have been listening thisand thought the exact same thing. Yeah, I would like to go to the Grand Canyon,or I have been to the Grand Canyon. That's fun. So asking those questions makepeople respond, and it also makes them want to open it because there may bemore information about the answer that they responded to.


Christian: [00:01:11] Yeah.And you can use negatives as well. So you can do something like top threeplaces not to travel in 2018. So when you ask questions, a lot of times youwant to entice curiosity and see what's going to make people curious and clickon that link. So a lot of these questions have to kind of be obscure sometimestoo. Works pretty well.


Aaron: [00:01:38] Right.Something like for the Grand Canyon again, going with that example, it'd belike have you ever rode a donkey for six hours?


Christian: [00:01:44] Right.


Aaron: [00:01:45] Imean I would want to know. Like no, I've never rode a donkey for six hours, butyou definitely can if you go to the Grand Canyon.


Christian: [00:01:53] Yep.The second thing that we have here on this list is- Sorry about that, guys. Thesecond thing that we have here on this list is to use RE: in the subject lineso that it looks like it's a response to a previous e-mail which it's reallynot.


Aaron: [00:02:15] Right.And the reason that someone would use that is because you already think thatyou've had that conversation with them. It's just something to test for you.Sometimes it works. Sometimes it does not. It's something new that I'veactually noticed in my own personal e-mail from other businesses where they'vedone that, and I was like oh, I don't remember responding to this. Then I openit up and it's a conversational piece that's personal to me, and I actuallyrespond back to them. So I'm using these tricks or tactics to give to you guysthat I've fallen for myself.


Christian: [00:02:48] Right.Yeah. I mean, it's- I haven't seen it myself, but I'm guessing it does workbecause you automatically think that it's a conversation or email thread thatyou've already had with that person which you really haven't. All you're doingis adding the RE in the subject line which is kind of smart.


Aaron: [00:03:05] Allright. And this next one is my favorite. I always open up these, and that is touse stats and numbers but keep it short. And again you want to be, likeChristian said, a little obscure or something that's going to really spark aninterest. So for example, did you know 44 million people love this fruit, andso you're kind of throwing the numbers and the question. Kind of doing acombination of the two of them, but it's, you know, just throwing out obscurenumbers like that. Really even if it's not relevant, it would be nice to haveit relevant, but even if it's just an obscure number and it means nothing aboutwhat you're doing, those numbers can improve open rates.


Christian: [00:03:48] Yeah.And obviously, if you have any discounts or anything to offer like that, thoseare always great to put definitely right there on the subject line. If it's a20 percent off that you're offering, just explicitly put it out there in thesubject line. It will make people open those a lot more than if you havesomething different.


Aaron: [00:04:07] AndI know somebody who does this a lot. One thing you want to do is not use thesame things over and over again because then you get like banner blindness toit, but Dick's Sporting Goods sends me an e-mail like two or three times a day.I've now unsubscribed because they send so many e-mails, but their subjectlines were always 50 percent off, 30 percent off, 25 percent off, our huge sale25 percent off. So that works sometimes, but when you do it so much, it justbecomes annoying especially if you do it two to three times per day. So I justunsubscribed at that point.


Christian: [00:04:40] Yeah,that's true. You want to make sure that your discounts are significant or thatyou do them not so often so that there are significant discounts. I think oneof the places that we like to go to, it's El Pollo Loco located in Allen,Texas, and they send out occasional discounts via e-mail. And we use thembecause we do remember they send them occasionally, and you have to use them,you know, at a certain time.


Aaron: [00:05:08] Right.So using the numbers would be really cool especially for a travel agency. Ithink one cool subject line would be like the amount of trips that you went on.So like 4000 plus trips. Are you coming with us on the next one? Something likethat would be pretty useful.


Christian: [00:05:25] Yeah,or using the number of miles that you've travel or something like that. Yeah,just be paying attention to those stats or numbers related to the travelbusiness and using them in there. Whoa. What is going on? Aaron, do you want totell them what's going on here?


Aaron: [00:05:45] Allright. So we have started in this- from the past episode. This is episodenumber two where we are breaking this up in the middle of the episode so we cantell you guys a little bit more about BitBranding. We are a marketing agency inAllen, Texas, and we focus exclusively on helping business owners get afoothold in their marketing, figure out how to navigate the ever-changingmarketplace. And we do that with website design and social media advertising.So if you are a business owner listening to this right now and you're saying toyourself wow, my website is either one, non-existent or two, people have topinch and zoom to find me because I don't have a mobile-friendly website,definitely hit us up. And another one is if you are looking to sell a productor service or tell more people about you through awareness, a social mediacampaign is a really good way to do that whether on Facebook or Instagram,Google Pay-Per-Click we can help with those as well. A really good way to get ahold of us is hello, yes, literally hello@bitbranding.co, or you can find us onany social network /bitbranding.


Christian: [00:06:53] Verynice. All right. So let's get back into this. We're talking about how a travelbusiness can improve e-mail open rates. We talked about subject lines. Wetalked about numbers and the response, putting response in the subject line.Another big thing is, and you can do this in the subject line and definitely inthe body of the text of this e-mail, is to write to one person. Don't write toa lot of people. Like don't refer to whoever you're writing the email likey'all or you guys or everyone. Make sure that you're writing first person tothat one person so that it makes it more personal. You make a better connectionwith people who open the e-mails.


Aaron: [00:07:42] Right.If you use the word you, people automatically think okay, it's more personalized.It's more about me. So like you are making the best decision ever when youtravel. You know, well then it's more personalized, and everyone who travels ishappier. Well, that's kind of inclusive, but it also doesn't speak to thatperson directly. So it's going to increase your open rates if you usepersonalization with it.


Christian: [00:08:05] Yep.Exactly.


Aaron: [00:08:07] Allright. And the next one is not to subject line. I know you guys were thinkingthat this is only going to be a subject line episode, but this is probably themost important tip after they open up your- or they see your subject line isthe segmentation. So segmentation or segmenting your audience means that youseparate audiences by- the people who are on your list by the categories thatthey're interested in. For example, if you have a bunch of people who areinterested in traveling for sports, say for marathons or for running, you wantthem to be separate from those who are traveling for leisure, who want to goand relax and do fun things, not that running or anything else isn't fun, butwant to go scuba diving or they want to do things that are more touristy. Andthey're not going to go travel for a marathon like go to the Chicago Marathonor New York Marathon. Those people should be on two different lists becausethey have two different characteristics and two different needs for what kindof e-mails you'd be sending out. If you're going to the Grand Canyon and youknow that your leisure people, the people who are on a different list than themarathoners, are interested in traveling to cool and unique places, this is oneof the seven most- What is it? In the world. What is it? The seven-


Christian: [00:09:21] Wonders.


Aaron: [00:09:22] Yes.That's- Couldn't I think of that. So going to the Grand Canyon would be greatfor those people. You'd want to send that e-mail to them specifically andseparate it from the people who are doing marathons. So that will increase youropen rate, and if you se- I would still encourage you to send it to people whoare interested in marathons, but you would have them in two different e-mail.So you just duplicate it and send it to them separately instead of just all onemass e-mail.


Christian: [00:09:47] Yeah,I think that's one of the things that a lot of business owners don't do becauseit takes time, and some- If you don't do it from the very beginning, it's kindof cumbersome to look at your whole list and try to segment those people intoindividual lists based on interests, but it's something very, very importantthat will greatly improve your open rates.


Aaron: [00:10:12] Yes,and an easier, definitely easier, not the easy, way to do that is to send outsurveys and questionnaires and ask your audience what they're going to be interestedin receiving. So if they're not interested in receiving any trips about goingto Mexico or to the Grand Canyon, then they don't need to receive that, andthey'll have a better user experience. They're going to stay on your listlonger, and more than likely they're going to go on the trips that they saidthey're interested in.


Christian: [00:10:38] Yeah.So, and you can do that both ways. You can do that before you- Or like whenyou're gathering the e-mails. So let's say you have a pop up e-mail on yourwebsite. You can ask them right there and then what are they interested in? Soyou can automatically segment them into those lists, or you can do itafterwards. You can sort of dump them into a pre-list that needs to be ane-mail sent out automatically that figures out what list they're going to beput into.


Aaron: [00:11:07] Allright, and the last thing we have here is probably something you haven't heardof, and that is to get rid of e-mails. This will improve your open rate becauseif people haven't opened up your e-mails in months, you don't want them on yourlist. For example, if you use MailChimp or Constant Contact you're getting arating from them and potentially could be restricted on the amount of peoplethat you can send to because you have a bad experience. So there's a hardbounce and a soft bounce. So if it's a hard bounce, it means that there's aproblem that's gone on with their e-mail address. Maybe their server is messedup or something to that effect. That's not going to hurt you that much, but ifyou have a lot of- Or if you have really bad open rates and people are just notopening your e-mails, they're going to a spam box, then continuously moree-mails are going to go to spam, and you don't want people to not read youre-mails. So one thing to do is to send out an e-mail and kind of a reminderlike hey, I haven't heard from you for awhile. Just want to know if you'restill interested. If not here's a button to unsubscribe so I stop, you know,sending you e-mails, and when you knock people off, you kind of weed out thepeople who aren't making any sense for you to be there. And you have more of afocused audience so that you can grow and you know that you have an email listthat's actually worth something instead of just a large number.


Christian: [00:12:28] Yep.Exactly. That's very good and something that I haven't really heard of orthought about. So there you have it. The total of six things that you can do toimprove e-mail open rates. We talked about asking questions in the subjectline. We talked about stats and numbers. We're talking about writing to oneperson, segmenting, and getting rid of people who are not opening your e-mails,and again thank you for listening to our podcast. We really do appreciate it,and if you enjoyed this episode, please share it with your friends on socialmedia. We'll greatly appreciate that, and also leave us a review if you can andable, either on the podcast app on your iPhone or favorite mobile device. Ithink that's the easiest way to do it. Yeah, let us know how we're doing.


Aaron: [00:13:18] Yes,and just so you guys know our next episode - we'll start giving you a littleprelude so you can make sure to keep an eye on the next episode - is all aboutFacebook groups. So if you've been wondering how a Facebook group can help yourbusiness, we are talking about that next week. So we'll talk to you guys nextweek.


Christian:[00:13:37] Seeyou.

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