Black Friday Email Marketing Tactics for the Travel Industry
Written by Philip Storey
4 Minute Read
With the Black Friday frenzy just around the corner, you need to ensure that you are crafting campaigns that won't get ignored.
One industry that can definitely benefit from the madness of BFCM is travel brands. With subscribers already in a spendy mood, a discounted holiday is super hard to turn down - but it's not all about promoting the cheapest deals to get noticed.
With the overload of emails entering your subscriber's inbox during this holiday season, you need to make sure your email campaigns really stand out for the right reasons. This blog explores email marketing tactics to help travel brands supercharge their BFCM email campaigns - the sky is the limit this Black Friday.
Tell customer stories
When booking a holiday or getaway, what is one of the first things we look at? Customer reviews, right? The same applies in the email world...
One of the most powerful tactics to help supercharge your BFCM travel email campaigns is to tell the stories of people that have holidayed with you before. Sharing previous experiences helps give your subscribers a sense of what to expect, accompanied by a burst of excitement for what they can look forward to.
Including stories from previous customers inspires your subscribers. Stories help readers imagine their next holiday rather than thinking about the destination's price or even where they'll be going - it's about engaging people with memories. We all daydream about where our next travels will take us, so make sure that your BFCM emails do just this.
This epic tactic allows you to add value to the reader's inbox and gain their attention in the sea of BFCM emails they will receive. It also helps build trust instead of just trying to sell your product or services. Emails that include stories are more likely to resonate with subscribers, because who doesn't love a good story?
So, don't make your BFCM email campaigns "sell, sell, sell". make them "tell, tell, tell".
Be less commercial and inspire future bookings
Throughout the Black Friday weekend, brands will flood their subscriber's inboxes with deals and offers, thinking this is the best way to get noticed. However, this is not the way forward for travel brands - you really need to up your game if you want your emails to be opened and benefit from BFCM.
So, how do you do this? Although this might sound hypocritical, the key is not to bombard your subscriber with deals - especially generic offers that are not of interest to the reader. Subscribers need to know that if they are not ready to book during the BFCM rush, that it's okay. Travel brands need to make this very clear in their email campaigns. The purpose of Black Friday for travel brands is arguably not all about sales but to make sure that your brand is at the front of a subscriber's mind when they are ready to book - whenever that might be.
Travel brands, you do not want to get in the way of all the other purchases your subscribers will be making throughout BFCM - their priority will be holiday gifting. But what you want to do is be there in the background so that when they are ready to book up their getaway, they choose your brand.
You could even use BFCM to tease your upcoming winter sale. We all know January is the biggest booking month of the whole year, so teasing a sale that is coming later in the season will get subscribers excited for what's to come.
When it comes to travel brands over BFCM the key is to be memorable - good things come to those that wait.
Use behavioural psychology and persuasive techniques
For travel email marketers, this BFCM you should turn to inspiration to stay on top of your subscriber's mind. If you are looking to engage with your subscribers, you should consider ways to inspire them instead of selling to them.
Constant subscriber FOMO and picture envy are factors that drive purchasing decisions - a picture is worth a thousand words. Subscribers romanticise first and book second. Beautiful pictures and videos appeal to a subscriber's human side, allowing them to make their own emotional connection to a destination. You want to whet a subscriber's appetite rather than trying to get them to book.
With your BFCM email campaigns, you want to plant a seed. You shouldn't be trying to ask your subscribers to book a holiday now, but you want to get them in the mindset of booking. With your Black Friday email campaigns, you want to divert your subscriber's emotional attention to the attention of their next holiday. You want these emails to make your readers dream of their next getaway and feel something instead of just buying something from the sale.
This psychological technique is called attentional bias. Attentional bias is when consumers pay attention to some things while simultaneously ignoring others. Throughout Black Friday consumers will be focused on holiday gifting while ignoring thoughts about booking their next holiday - you need to make sure your emails are getting subscribers dreaming of a holiday, not necessarily booking it.
Personalise deals based on recent searches and previous bookings
One size definitely does not fit all with email marketing - this applies in the travel industry too. Subscribers want to feel they are being spoken to as individuals, especially during a busy period like BFCM.
With the volume of emails entering a subscriber's inbox over the Black Friday weekend, generic emails just won't cut it. Subscribers want to receive emails with content that is relevant to them and offers they will be interested in. One way you can do this is by including promotions on locations and vacations that the reader has recently browsed. Using customer data in your emails will allow you to create engaging emails that will resonate with customers. Making recommendations based on previous bookings plays on a subscriber's emotions - it will make them reminisce and think about booking their next getaway.
Sending subscribers offers based on their behaviour and purchase history also shows that you have acknowledged any recent bookings or purchases they have made. Customers like to know they are appreciated - simply show you care.
Go that extra mile in your Black Friday emails and subscribers will for you too.
For most brands, Black Friday is about getting sales almost instantly, but this just isn't the same for travel brands. BFCM email marketing for travel brands is about making your subscribers feel something, so when they are ready to book their next getaway, your brand is at the front of their minds.