Travel Industry Leans On Email During Recovery

Email marketing firm Silverpop said that as the travel and tourism industry looks toward a recovery -- albeit gradual -- its clients are increasingly turning to interactive marketing, including email, to stand out.

One Silverpop client is fellow agency eBrains, which has a core competency in tourism marketing. EBrains says about 60% of its clients in the industry expect to boost email marketing budgets in 2010 (a similar number to 2009, so increases may be on top of those). EBrains, which lists clients that include the groups behind the "I Heart New York" and "Virginia is For Lovers" campaigns, has employed e-newsletters and targeted special offers to generate interest via inboxes.

EBrains executive Matthew Gordon stated that email marketing is "a versatile channel that can be used strategically for brand building and tactically" for promotions.

Silverpop said it is also working with the Georgia Aquarium and two United Kingdom entities (a rail company and trade association for London theater operators) to use email to boost traffic during the downturn. The Atlanta-based aquarium employs email to drive online ticket sales, Silverpop said, and the attraction has an email list of some 620,000 addresses.



For East Coast, the British rail company, there was an emphasis on share-to-social links in emails, Silverpop said. The firm has offices in the U.K. as well as Germany and Australia.

Sara Borland, brand and communications controller at East Coast, stated: "In a recent 'one-way fares' campaign, hundreds of customers shared the offer on their social networking pages on Digg, Facebook and MySpace. Seventeen percent of posted links garnered at least one open, and 33 percent who opened a post, then clicked. These are people we may never have reached otherwise."

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