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5 Reasons you need make list building your #1 priority in your travel business (NOW)

If social media disappeared tomorrow would you lose contact with most or all of your audience? I wouldn't.

Why? Because I have spent the last year really cultivating my email list. If Facebook (where I engage with them the most) disappeared tomorrow, I'd be OK because I have their names and their email addresses.

I can email them any time I like. Now let's do the same for you!



5 Reasons you need make list building your #1 priority in your travel business (NOW)


Here are 5 reasons you need to make your email list your number one marketing priority in your travel business (now):


A subscriber is already a warm lead By giving you their name and email address a subscriber is saying "Yes, I want to hear from you. I know what you do, what you sell, and a bit about who you are. I like you and I'd like to hear from you. Please email me - but not too much". They are one step closer to you and more likely to become a paying client.


Contact them anytime for any reason Now you don't want to go overboard here. The maximum I suggest is once per week. You also want to make sure that you only want to send them helpful and relevant information.


They are one click away from engaging with you If you end your email with an invitation for people to ask you a question, all they have to do is click REPLY and you are then in a conversation with them. Conversation is great because it helps to build the "know, like and trust" factor. People only buy from those that they know, like and trust.


You own it Like I mentioned earlier, you don't own your social media following. You have no way of contacting them other than hoping that they will see your posts. But if you have their email address, you're good to go! It's easy to miss a post in your feed but it's not easy to miss an email.


Targeted marketing If you use the correct email marketing platform you can create tags and tag your subscribers based on their behavior. Say you send an email about river cruising. You can have the platform automatically tag anyone who opens that email as "interested in river cruises". You'll start to build up segments in your list and these segments are perfect for targeted marketing.


So - how do you move forward? Here are your 4 steps and then my recommendation on an email marketing platform that has helped me to get an average of 89% opens, that's a lot more than the 15% average most entrepreneurs get.


1. Choose an email marketing platform that you'll use. Don't go with the cheapest, go with the best. The best travel agent doesn't get the most bookings - the best marketer does, so choose a good platform. My personal preference is listed below.


2. Decide if you are going to create an evergreen sequence or unique email each week. I'll talk more about each of those next week. You don't need to wait until then to setup your email marketing platform. Create an account now and get ready.


3. Start thinking about the kind of information you'd like to share with your audience. It MUST be relevant and valuable. It doesn't have to be long. It has to be good. This email is long but if you're still reading it's because it was relevant and valuable to you. Create a list of topics, don't write out the emails, just make a list. It might be packing tips, planning tips, unique experiences, destination profiles and more.


4. Focus your marketing activities on getting those subscribers. Get them from your social media, the events you attend, and your previous clients/enquiries. Just be sure you always have their permission to be on your email list.


And finally, here is my personal preference for an email marketing platform. I live and swear by ConvertKit. It is easy, the learning curve is fast - I have a class coming out soon on how to setup it up from scratch, and most importantly, when I did a test of the top 6 platforms, ConvertKit got the absolute HIGHEST open rate!


Check it out by clicking on the link below. I am proud to be an affiliate and advocate for this platform only because of the results it has shown me. I threw away MailChimp, ConstantContact, GetResponse and every other platform when I saw my open rates here.


SMART TOOLS - CONVERTKIT


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Sandra McLemore is a digital marketing & business growth expert who got her start in the travel business over 20 years ago as a retail travel agent for STA Travel in a busy campus store front. She then worked her way into VP level in marketing, media and PR roles for the world's biggest cruise lines and travel brands.

 

Sandra is now the owner of TRAVEL MARKETING & MEDIA (formerly Village Girl Marketing), a marketing agency for travel brands specializing in content creation, design and media.

 

Sandra is also the creator of THE TRAVEL AGENT'S SUITCASE and TRAVEL MARKETING REVOLUTION.

 

Each service and program helps travel agents to get a consistent flow of new clients through smart marketing strategies.

 

Over 12,000 travel agents have taken Sandra's online training, and signed up for her digital marketing solutions.

Sandra lives in Los Angeles and hosts a number of travel programs on cruise line and airline TV and can be seen on network news programs as a leading travel industry expert.  Heading off to the best travel trade conferences? You'll most likely catch her on stage there too!

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