The holiday season is fast-approaching, and if you want to drum up your email engagement, October is a good time to send your marketing comms. Why? In our behavioural linguistics analysis of the top-performing travel mailers sent from our platform in 2022, October saw the second-highest level of email engagement. In this blog post, we share three ways you can maximise engagement in your travel emails – kicking off with the importance of timing.

Boost Your Travel Email Engagement This October.

1. Why Timing Is Important 

Our research found customers can be more receptive to communication based on when they receive it. This demonstrates that when you send an email is just as important as what you say in it, so timing is essential to increase your email engagement.

In the data set of the top mailers sent from Everlytic’s platform in 2022, we saw the highest level of engagement in February – the month of love. This likely signals consumers are pining for the past holiday season and are planning upcoming holidays to have something to look forward to.

October saw the second-highest level of engagement which is when consumers plan their upcoming December holidays.

In terms of time and weekday engagement, emails sent between 09:00 and 10:00 received the most engagement followed by between 14:00 and 15:00. Thursdays followed by Mondays were the days that saw the most engagement.

Monthly Travel Email Engagement.

If you’re in the travel industry, you’re probably looking to connect with guests to send personal, attractive, and specific messages when they book or arrive at your destination. Everlytic’s multi-channel platform with personalisation and automation features can help – find out how. 

2. How to Stand Out in Inboxes 

So now we’ve established when to send your travel emails, you want to make sure your recipients actually open them. Our latest Email Marketing Benchmarks Report found open rates in 2022 were up at 35.31% compared to 23.75% in 2020.  

An essential way to stand out in crowded inboxes is with effective subject lines. You want to craft your subject line in a way that grabs attention and persuades your recipients to open your email.  

Our research found these top tips to ensure better email engagement: 

  • Keep them short so they don’t cut off in preview view. 
  • Use imperatives as subject lines with exclamation marks received the highest opens. We believe this is because they command action and drive a sense of urgency. 
  • Use personalisation by including the recipient’s name or special interests. 
  • Add more detail by including preview (or preheader) text to increase appeal.  
  • Test a few options with a small portion of your contacts via A/B Split Testing and send the email with the highest engagement to your database.  

Our latest Email Marketing Benchmarks Report shows a positive upswing for email marketing. Download our report today and measure how your email engagement compares to the averages in your industry and across the South African market.  

3. Create a Connection with Recipients

Once your recipients have opened your email, you want to ensure it’s persuasive to keep them reading and, ultimately, make them take action.  

Our research found the 20 travel mailers with the highest email engagement sent from Everlytic’s platform in 2022 did this by using visuals as, collectively, they used 78 travel-related images. All except two emails each used at least four visuals, which is more than has been seen in any other industry analysis. We hypothesize this was to help customers picture the travel experience.  

Images have a powerful impact on our brains, which can process visual information faster than other info. This is known as the Picture-Superiority Effect, and it’s beneficial in creating a connection with the recipient.  

The key themes for the images used include wildlife, land- and seascapes, and adventurous experiences. Surprisingly, the visuals used did not include people – which bucks the behavioural guidelines recommendation to include demographically-representative people. We believe the reason for not including people in the travel email visuals is to allow the recipient to picture themselves in the setting.  

Also going against behavioural guidelines, the emails often used user-generated imagery – sometimes even of low resolution – which we believe helps to showcase authenticity. Our research predicts we can expect to see more of this trend going forward.

Use travel images to increase your email engagement.

Discovery Vitality clinched first place in our inaugural You Mailed It Awards for its clever and creative travel newsletter, called Vitality Traveller, which launched in October 2022. Check out our case study to find out what contributed to the high email engagement. 

Tactically Persuade Your Customers 

There is a common thread in the three ways weve outlined to boost email engagement in travel and tourism. The importance of timing, subject line tactics, and use of visuals all pay close attention to the link between language, decision making, and behaviour. This is known as behavioural insights. Our research shows when you craft content that incorporates behavioural insights, you can easily and cost-effectively grab attention, build trust, and persuade customers.  

Use Behavioural Insights in Travel Emails 

Do you want to learn another five nitty-gritty ways to boost email engagement in your travel and tourism? We share all in our latest marketing report.