Do you really have time to create an automated welcome email? And is it worth it? Aren’t they boring, flat and….lame??

Think about it this way:

Someone walks up to your ticketing area and tells you they are interested in what you offer, but they’re just not ready to buy. Would you turn your back on them? Walk away without responding?

If you do that in real life – or in the virtual world – you are leaving a ton of opportunity on the table.

85% of people expect you to send one…they have uber-high open rates…they are likely to generate 1/3 more engagement than a newsletter…and they generate 3x the transactions and revenue per email over newsletters.

Convinced yet?

Awesome.

But let’s make sure the one you send is most effective. To do that, follow these 9 tips.

Get the timing right

Are you sending a lead magnet? (A lead magnet is a piece of content that you as an expert provide in exchange for an email address) We hope so! If you are, be sure not to inundate your reader with too many emails in one day.

We recommend delivering your welcome email the day after you send the lead magnet. You can manage this automatically by adding a 1 day delay in your workflow — between the delivery of your lead magnet and the transition to your welcome email campaign.

Should you include your welcome email content within your lead magnet email?

That’s a hard no.

Give your offering without any bells, whistles, sales pitches, or strings attached. They already gave you their email address; hold up your end of the deal.

Besides, they won’t read it anyway…they’re after that bit of expertise you offered.

Make your subject line sing

Want that amazingly high open rate we mentioned? It starts with a captivating subject line.

First, stay out of the spam filters by avoiding word like “Free”, “Buy Now”, “Save 50%” and the like. Second, remind them that they signed up with you, and use your personality in the mix. Finally, make sure the focus is on THEM, and not YOU.

Tell them what’s most popular

Don’t lose this opportunity to sell. It doesn’t have to be a hard-sell; just show them what’s most popular. If you don’t have a lot of tours, then just lay out everything you offer in an easy-to-read format.

I love this section of a welcome letter from an Atlanta movie tour operator. It’s subtle and helps less decisive guests decide easily what’s best for them.

Don’t offer coupons

Many tour operators lead with coupon offers…in their lead magnets and in their welcome emails. I challenge you to wait before you throw out your hard-earned dollars.

The best place for a coupon is in the second or third email of a browse-abandonment campaign. This is where you send a targeted message when a prospect visits a page on your website, but doesn’t purchase anything.

Ideally, if someone is interested in one of your popular tours, they will click thru and purchase. If they don’t purchase, grab their attention with browse-abandonment…give them a chance to purchase before you throw in the towel (and the revenue.)

Tell them who you are

You want to let them know who you are, what kind of experience they can expect, and get them to understand that you are a “match” for their vacation needs.

How can you do this without chatting all about YOU? Video!

A video is an amazing way to showcase your personality, your offerings, and who you are….from the customer’s eyes.

Set expectations

Let your subscribers know what to expect from you. Do you write blog posts and send them out every month? Do you offer discounts during the holidays that you want them to be aware of?

Maybe you share curated information every quarter about your city? Maybe you chose not to send regular newsletters, and only email them with something super important?

Whatever your cadence, let them know what to expect from you.

Use clicks to segment

Segmentation is one of the most powerful components of sending effective future email campaigns, and the welcome email gives you an opportunity to begin collecting segmentation information.

You know those tours we told you to highlight? Use them to segment your readers. Did they click on the “romance” package or the “family travel” tour? Tag that person so you know how to best market to them in the future!

Make it quick and digestible

This shouldn’t be a Stephen King novel. Use tons of white space and short paragraphs to keep your readers interested.

If it looks busy, with too many photos and graphics, long paragraphs or a kaleidoscope of colors, people will hit delete.

Skip the stocks & show the social proof

Don’t use stock photography. You know why? It looks like stock photography!

Yes, some businesses can use it (ahem!) but you…you’re in the adventure business! Show them!! Demonstrate to your readers what it’s like with you – with real pictures and real smiles!

Finally – use social proof. Show off those amazing TripAdvisor reviews or Instagram’d photos you were tagged in. If your readers don’t buy, they are missing out. Time to tap into their FOMO genetics! Social can help you do that!

Can we help?

TourAdvantage is a new turnkey email marketing solution designed just for small to mid-sized for experience providers.

Be the master of big marketing efforts, maximize direct bookings, and position an advantage over other local attractions with larger marketing budgets with:

  • Real-time email and e-commerce integration with FareHarbor
  • 40+ easy to follow video tutorials tailored to the tour operator experience
  • 30+ accelerator workflows and email templates

Watch a demo, and try it free for 30 days.

Email marketing will increase your bottom line – and it’s no longer hard or expensive.

Lesli Peterson

Lesli made her way to Atlanta over 20 years ago, after living in Germany, Japan and six U.S. states. She relishes the discovery of obscure, offbeat and unwonted places, and she will chat up any willing stranger to uncover a new secret locale.

After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.

Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.