Travel and leisure marketing: And the best day to send your email blast is….

August 6, 2012

Many travel and leisure brands send out their email blasts on Mondays. But a leading expert in the field says Mondays rank 5th or 6th for open rates.

If you’re the CMO of a travel or leisure brand doing email marketing, the best time and day to send your emails may be a moving target.

Exact Target cites a study that stated the best day was Monday. But since that study appeared, Mondays have consistently ranked 5th or 6th for open rates.

Content sharing site Gather posted an excellent summary of the latest thinking on when to send your email blasts:

  • Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays are all optimal days to send emails because people have organized their work week and email inboxes.
  • Every day has its pros and cons. You should decide on the best time and day depending on your circumstances.
  • Monday pros and cons: Pro: After the weekend, many people make it a priority to organize their inboxes. Con: They erase many emails to get organized.
  • Best approach for Mondays: Late in the morning just before lunch, when people have time to check their inboxes and have already cleaned out their weekend dumps.
  • Tuesday pros and cons: Pro: People have organized their work week and have time to check their inboxes. Con: It’s too early to send campaigns geared to trigger action on the weekend.
  • Best approach for Tuesdays: Campaigns that aim for recipients to take action during the week.
  • Wednesday and Thursday pros and cons: Pros:  More time for emails.  Planning for the weekend. Cons:  Only 2 days left in the work week, and no time left for emails.
  • Best approach for Wednesday, Thursday: Keep your messages lighter and not as pushy.
  • Friday pros and cons: Pro:  There’s not as much email in their inbox. Con:  Many people are so busy they don’t check emails on Friday.
  • Weekends: Pros:  Very little email is sent on weekends, but people do read their emails. Cons:  Can look like you’re too pushy and intrusive.
  • Best approach for weekends: Don’t send any, unless your message will be most valued if received on weekends.

Travel and leisure marketing: 5 ways to build your email database with your Facebook fans.

October 26, 2011

Many travel and leisure brands are using special offers on their Facebook pages to grow their fan  and email bases.

Michael Redbord recently posted some excellent ideas on building your email database online on Hubspot.  The key to success is to develop compelling offers that provide real value for your visitors.

Most of these ideas work equally well as a Facebook only offer. Just be sure to keep the offer out of reach by placing it behind a registration page.

1. Educational offers

These work best for B2B brands and other highly considered purchases like high-ticket leisure or enthusiast brands.  eBooks, White papers,  buyers guides, fact sheets and checklists are the most popular.

2.  Free stuff

Everyone loves the excitement of getting something for free. Right now, giving away a free iPad seems to buy you just about any fan you want. Promote contests, giveaways, quizzes, and surveys.

3. Coupons and Deals

Small incentives can create a large impression of value from fans. Use dollars or percentage off offers.  Also try free shipping, bundled deals and time sensitive discounts.

4. Events

Events can create huge engagement because it requires them to show up at a certain place at a certain time, even if that place is online. Offer webinars, off-site events like charity events and in-store events.

5. Calculators and Configurators

Customers love to calculate their savings or configure their custom-made product or give a grade to their current set up of a product at home. Just consider what would be most valuable to your Facebook fans.

What would you add to this list?  Anything you’d subtract?

Want more ideas?  Check out Michael’s awesome Hubspot post 21 Awesome Ideas to Grow Your Email List.

Leisure marketing: Are you losing millions to shopping cart abandonment?

February 28, 2011

Abandoned shopping carts can cost online retailers $1 million a day in lost sales.

Implementing a simple email recovery program could save your company millions of dollars a year in online sales.

If your online store has annual revenues of $200 million, you could be losing as much as $1.2 million a day to shopping cart abandonment.

That’s according to recovery services provider SeeWhy. To combat this problem, 15% of retailers are now using what’s called recovery emails. Here’s how it works:

When a customer abandons their online shopping cart at checkout, they receive a series of automated emails offering incentives to help them complete their transaction.

A new survey by Silverpop found that 8 in 10 companies are considering using recovery emails to help recover lost sales due to this practice by the end of the year.

Silverpop offers the following advice for companies seeking to recoup some of their lost sales:

  • Act fast.  Research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates that 90% of ecommerce leads go cold within an hour.
  • Offer to complete their transaction through other channels like live chat or your call center.
  • Consider using incentives to close the deal like free shipping, a percentage off, or a combination of other incentives.
  • An emerging best practice is not to offer an incentive in the first email, a modest incentive in the second, and the most aggressive offer in the final email.

Sellers beware: Buyers are fast learners.

If you do offer an incentive, be aware that savvy customers will soon figure out that if they wait longer the incentives will come,  which could cost you some full-price sales.

Here’s a simple, three-stage recovery email program that’s easy to implement:

  1. Send an email in the first half hour inviting them to complete their transaction through live chat or by phone.
  2. Send a second email a half hour later offering them free shipping if they complete the transactions within the next hour.
  3. Send a third email that next day offering 10% off plus free shipping if they complete their transaction in the next 4 hours.

How are you dealing with shopping cart abandonment?  What have you learned from your successes, and failures?

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