Commentary

Email Marketers Never Get A Vacation

I recently spent the start of summer break with my family in Colorado. While I was trying to turn my marketer's mind off and get some much-needed rest and relaxation, it dawned on me: Email marketers never get a vacation.

Think about it. When you’re taking that well-deserved time off, do you really stop thinking about email marketing? Or are you on the clock pretty much every time you look at your inbox?

If you find yourself dreaming up campaigns during long walks on the beach or while sipping your margarita, keep in mind a few lessons that can help brands improve their overall email strategy: 

Identify and recognize. Airlines and even rental car companies should identify when customers are on vacation and communicate accordingly. Simple acts, like delivering push notifications to mobile phones for flight check-in, have become table stakes for airlines.

Travel and hospitality brands should also look for opportunities to make sure guests are well-informed by sending emails about unique amenities available on the property or offering packing tips in pre-arrival emails based on upcoming weather. Meanwhile airlines can send rental car offers and incentives.

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Simplify. Being in vacation mode is a good reminder of why keeping things simple is important. When I’m inevitably scrolling through email by the pool, for example, subject lines that are too long or pre-header text that doesn’t add value automatically lands an email in the trash. Always keep your communications succinct and actionable.

One example of a simple but important email that I recently received came from my credit card company. The subject line simply said “Your credit card will expire soon,” while the body copy provided information verifying my card number and home address and included a 24-hour phone number in case I needed assistance. No flashy graphics or complicated CTAs. They even followed up to let me know that my new card was coming in the mail so I could look out for it in the next few days.

This set of emails served its purpose by easily bringing something to my attention that could have been extremely inconvenient.

Be creative.
As my time away was winding down, I couldn’t help dreaming up some new ideas. Whether I have my email brain turned off or not, vacation always helps me hit reset and get the creative juices flowing again. 

If you’re like me, you start planning your next vacation just as your current vacation winds down. Special offers to come back or visit properties in different cities can be an enticing way to play into the emotions of the traveler in this case, especially when the data tells you they’re a leisure, rather than business, traveler.

An example of good creative: Celebrity Cruises’ campaign to generate interest in its Galapagos cruise experience. (Disclosure: Celebrity is a client of my company). Imagery was designed to elicit emotion by showcasing a unique feature of the Galapagos: the ability to get up close and personal with the wildlife that lives there. The stunning imagery helped boost click-to-open rates (ranging from 3.8% to 4.57%), driving prospects to opt in for more specific information on trips.

As much as we try to get away from our work on vacation, that’s much easier said than done —  especially when email follows you everywhere.

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