Do I Really Have the Time for Effective Email Marketing?
When we hear that an experience provider is reluctant to implement cutting edge, e-Commerce level email marketing strategies, it’s usually for one primary reason.
“I just don’t think I have the time for this!”
Trust us – we get it.
As Akila McConnell of Unexpected Atlanta said in our joint Email Marketing workshop at Arival Orlando, “My marketing team is constantly behind and playing catch-up. And I should know because I am that marketing team. I’m a marketing team of one.”
We have to think this is also the case for a vast number of small to mid-sized experience providers. You’re a marketing team of one.
We’re here to say that you can do it. It’s entirely possible to implement elite, eCommerce style email marketing with a relatively low amount of time and effort.
Here are five tips to manage impactful email marketing as a marketing team of one.
Get Your Priorities Straight
When you have the right information at your fingertips, booking information, web page visits, tour dates, etc. the marketing stories you can send are endless. But this can also seem a bit overwhelming. Here’s the thing – there’s absolutely no reason to tackle all of your marketing at once. Prioritize your efforts and build from there.
For instance, we recommend that you begin by collecting email addresses on your website to build those crucial leads. Then perhaps move on to a welcome series. After that, perhaps a nifty cross-sell campaign. And so on…
Browse abandonment – sending emails to those browsing your site but not purchasing — is an immensely powerful tool. But can it wait a month? Absolutely!
With the right tools and training all of these things are in reach in a matter of hours – not days. So pace yourself. If you can add just one, uber effective email marketing campaign per month, you’ll feel like a marketing team of ten in no time.
Automate, Automate, Automate!
This is without a doubt the most critical piece of advice. To implement effective email marketing with limited time and budget you must – MUST – automate as much as possible. You just don’t have the time to move manually eMail lists around, launch campaigns, or send one-off emails.
You want to create campaigns that run in the background, act on the various pieces of information coming in, and send and re-send emails automatically. We like to call this Set and Forget.
Just don’t *completely* forget. Monitor the overall effectiveness of your campaigns with all of the analytics that you can muster. Tool selection is important here. You’ll want the analytics automated, as opposed to having to calculate them yourself in a spreadsheet. It’s hard to keep up otherwise.
Favor “In the Moment” Marketing Over Monthly Newsletters
Newsletters are fine. Really. **Nods off**
But seriously folks, a newsletter should never take the place of automated, customized messages sent to your customers and prospects “in the moment.” This means reaching out to them in that sweet spot of time and space where they are the most receptive, and the most in need of the information you’re offering.
Think of a newsletter as showing expertise and creating brand awareness. “In the Moment” marketing? It’s a magical engine for real conversion and revenue in the bank.
If you’re leveraging the automation mentioned above, these types of campaigns will take a lot less time from your busy schedule than a weekly or monthly newsletter. A lot less.
Keep it Short
If you’re going to do a newsletter, keep it short and specific. You may be sick of hearing us say this, but we’re not going to stop.
Tell an engaging story with every newsletter you send out, and make sure that it has a purpose. This means avoiding at all costs titles such as “Newsletter #14”, or “Jill’s January Newsletter”.
See these three experts for examples of masterful periodicals that tell a brief, yet engaging story.
Create Evergreen Content
Lastly, try to keep your content as evergreen as possible. Just like you don’t want to spend all of your time writing lengthy newsletters, you also don’t want to write a bunch of content that needs to be constantly kept up to date.
Take a lead magnet, for example. (Remember, a lead magnet is a piece of information that you offer in exchange for an email address.) Avoid creating a lead magnet entitled something like “Nashville’s Ten Best Holiday Light Displays”, because you’ll just need to go in and change it after the holiday’s. Who wants to spend their time constantly writing and re-writing lead magnets? I sure don’t.
We at Sunstone Digital Marketing are all about helping small to mid-sized tour operator “marketing teams of one”.
That’s why we created TourAdvantage, a turnkey email marketing solution designed with low budgets and limited time in mind.
TourAdvantage has three components.
- Real-time email and e-commerce integration with FareHarbor to give you all of the information you need to craft targeted, “in the moment” messages
- 40+ easy to follow video tutorials tailored to the tour operator experience, and already prioritized – so you can start small and go at your own pace. Heck – create a single new campaign monthly if you’d like!
- 30+ accelerator workflows and email templates. We give you a head start on those crucial “set and forget” campaigns so you’ll be up and running in a matter of hours, even as a marketing team of one!
Leaving the corporate world behind (a bizarre domain where a 25 year resident can still feel like a foreigner) Daniel set his sites on full-time travel writing and digital marketing. His plans include building an amazing business or three, maximizing time with his partner for life Lesli and four spectacular kiddos, and writing and delivering dad jokes.
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