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Whip your Travel Agency newsletter into shape

Keeping your email list active and full of value is one of the best things you can do to ensure repeat business. Otherwise, you're simply breaking up with your customer.

One of the first requests we get from a new Travel Agency is to help them import an email list into our CRM. Generally its at least a few hundred, but many times we see several thousand emails.

Agency owners just like you want to reactivate their customers. Think about it. If you’re doing leisure travel, most people are doing a trip once a year at most, and more likely once every few years. So its crucial that you stay in mind for that person when they’re ready to plan their next trip.

So keeping your email list active and full of value is one of the best things you can do to ensure repeat business. Otherwise, you're simply breaking up with your customer :-(

Online grocery service Fresh Direct after nearly losing everything in the dot com boom realized that they needed to revitalize their email list. Their CEO Richard Braddock in fact said that “The trick is to not just to get new customers… its keeping them loyal”.

Kraft Foods recently had a huge campaign to reactivate their lapsed customers.

And management consultants Bain & Company found that customers on lists that were left dormant meant that at least 50% of them were just gone forever.

A list is like your marriage. If you don't spend time nurturing it and mindfully doing nice things for it, eventually you're heading to divorce court.

So now we know what we need, Here’s how we can get to work!

What are we going to say to these customers? Just throwing a bunch of travel product at them is not going to cut it at all. Why did they come to you in the first place? For your service and value. So you have to show them value. Think of something that helps to make them a better traveller. Make these emails personally from you. Emails that give them a win every time they get your missives. They should be able to just hit reply and start communicating with you again.

How to send it? Use a service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact to send your emails. If your email list is a few years out of date, send to small segments of the list first. Like 10% at a time. See how the first 10% does. If there are a lot of bounces, then you may be in trouble and its prudent to get your list revalidated from a company like BriteVerify.

How often to send? At least once per week. A once per month newsletter is just too infrequent and leads to people forgetting about you. You can probably get away with sending every 2 weeks, but thats living on the edge. Check your inbox, the marketers most on top of their game are sending you email every day.

And finally...Sending email is probably the most crucial thing you can do in your agency. It keeps your existing customers coming back ONLY because you give them value.Many Travel Agencies make the mistake of just sending ads thinly disguised as travel deals. Give value, value and more value. Develop a personal relationship with your list. Trust us, its worth it.