Friday, June 13, 2014

How the travel industry uses email marketing

Because I’m a sucker for punishment, two weeks ago I signed up nine different travel websites in order to see how each company uses email marketing.
Here are the sites I chose: Easyjet, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Secret Escapes, Voyage Prive, Expedia, Mr & Mrs Smith, The Weekenders and Skyscanner.
I’ll be looking at the frequency of emails, the use of subject lines, the email content itself, special offers, editorial voice, personalisation, relevance… All of the many tools that a company can utilise to coerce the recipient to open up an email or even engage with it.
Will this be the equivalent of leaving a skylight open during a storm, or your front door open during a riot?
Let’s take a look at my inbox, to see how it looks right now, two weeks after sign up. Please note, in a rare moment of sensible thinking, I set up a different email address to do this.


Here’s the frequency of emails per company over the two-week period: 
  • Secret Escapes: 13
  • Voyage Prive: 6
  • Expedia: 4
  • Thomas Cook: 3
  • Mr & Mrs Smith: 3
  • Easyjet: 2
  • Skyscanner: 0
  • Ryanair: 0
  • The Weekenders: 0
The Weekenders, Ryanair and Skyscanner are definitely missing an easy trick here. I'm actually inviting them to send me email marketing for heaven's sake.
Secret Escapes on the other hand are really gunning for my attention with its daily emails. It feels a little much.
These are all fairly generic emails, with the same distributed content that all of its subscribers receive. There’s little personalised to the trips I’ve searched for on the site or enough variation in the subject lines.

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