Goldring Travel caters to both consumers and business customers looking to book high-end, upscale travel. The company's business clients are unique in that they are just as likely to jet off to to an overseas business meeting as they are to take colleagues on a personalized safari. Email marketing is an important part of Goldring's overall marketing strategy. Over the three years the company has had its email program in place, Eric Goldring, the Colts Neck, N.J.-based company's CEO, has learned a lot about what gets people to open and click through to the company's website or blog. One of the most interesting, he said, is that while his email metrics are high—open rates hover around 75%—customers rarely purchase what's featured in the emails. “They will see my emails and then call me up asking for something completely different,” he said. “The content of the emails is definitely not the hook or the bait. It's the little splash in the water that attracts their attention.” Below, Goldring details four other email tactics that he uses to entice and interest his business customers.
- Take advantage of multimedia options. Goldring Travel belongs to the Ensemble Travel Group, a member-owned organization of more than 850 travel agencies across the U.S. and Canada. As part of that, Goldring gets access to an e-newsletter populated with video and images related to destinations, cruise lines and other travel-related collateral. It's that content, Goldring said, that gets people excited about traveling, even on mundane business trips. “I know which offers are in the emails and can target users depending on past travel and destinations,” he said. “Twice a month is the max that I am touching my clients, so something that's exciting and visually appealing really inspires them.”
- Use triggered emails to support sales, and not just before you make a sale. Most companies use triggered emails to remind people when their subscriptions are almost up or when new products are released. Goldring, however, uses triggered emails post-sale with good results. A week before clients leave, an automatic email is sent to remind them of the trip. Customers get another email soon after they return. “It gives them a way to tell me if they had a great trip or had any problems,” he said. “I want to reach out to them before they reach out to me.” It also presents a perfect way to inquire about future travel needs, he said.
- Employ humor to boost interest. Humor is a big part of Goldring Travel's email marketing program. For instance, once a month a welcome email goes out to new subscribers. It includes a survey designed to gauge the type and frequency of travel that new subscribers are interested in. “I've got funky things in there as answers,” Goldring said. “Like, "Complete this survey and you might win something—not really.' I use humor to project my personality, but it also makes people remember the company. I always get comments about it when I get people on the phone to book travel.”
- Treat business clients like consumers. Although his business clients get emails that consumers do not, they also receive everything that goes out to his b-to-c clients, Goldring said. “Business clients do leisure travel, too,” he said. “The consumer emails remind them that I am there for them no matter when they need something.”