As Email Open rates continue to drop across the Tourism Industry, one needs to ask the question, If email marketing is dying in the Tourism Industry? This holds true in the Middle East and Indian Markets. Email open rates as we have experienced have dropped as measured over 6 months by us. Where we used to have an over 40% open rate we are now down to 37-38%. Not alarming some would say but for us who has a very targeted B2B list this is a warning sign. (Yes, we prune our list regularly as well, It is the hardest thing to do when you press the delete button on subscribers who haven’t opened your last 10 email updates but it is something we need to do) So what is the Solution to a dropping Email Open rate. Unfortunately there is no viable solution at this moment. The only tools that seems to be working at this moment is Whatsapp, but since the API of Whatsapp is not available to the public there are no serious tools, that I have found, to consider. If there was one we would jump to it as it gives you a brillaint open rate.
Today for my Tourism Rep Business Bigfoot Marketing we have started getting Booking queries on whatsapp, Some agents simply prefer Whatsapp as a tool to using Email. If you have considered doing Business with countries like Kuwait and Bahrain, Whatsapp Marketing would give you instant traction. As a live example, we received an enquiry from an Agent for a high value booking, which was promptly replied by our DMC on the ground and 3 days later when we followed up the agent complained that we had not reverted. When we informed the agent that we had emailed the same day, the reply was, Oh haven’t checked email, you should have replied on whatsapp, sorry we have already closed this booking with another supplier who answered on Whatsapp. A loss of a 11500$ booking.
If you were in B2C and using Facebook or Instagram marketing (It would seriously be silly to not use Facebook and Instagram if you are a Travel Comapny and not using them) you may consider using chatbots for Messenger Marketing and there are a lot of good tools which can solve this problem for you. Facebook Messenger has a 80% open rate, the interaction rate is also pretty high so it would make sense for you to consider using Facebook chat as an alternate. We have used chatbots for a lot of Clients and they have been able to genertae enough traction to put 70% efforts in Facebook Chatbots v/s email marketing.
Does that mean you should drop Email Marketing? NO!! Not at this stage, Email Marketing would still give you a brilliant return on Investment but as we are noticing in our Markets the trend is shifting and email marketing is slowly losing its significance. Do we still use it? Absolutely. But we have needed to innovate. Stunning Visuals and Beautiful handcrafted Emails have lost its significance for us. We have migrated to Text emails which are short and simple. If our email broadcast takes longer than 60 seconds to read, we trim it down to be read in under 60 seconds. This has helped us stay relevant.
Are you a Tourism company operating in B2B space? We would love to hear your feedback on the trends in your markets.
Travel Professional with over 3 decades of Global experience, building DMC’s, TMC’s and Tourism Boards across Geographies. A passionate marketer since 2007 with core focus on Scaling up Travel Companies using power of Marketing