It’s always helpful to find a way to save time and add to the overall return on investment (ROI) of your destination marketing organization’s (DMO’s) marketing objectives … and adding marketing automation to your overall strategy is a great way to do that. In this three-part article series, we’ll explore how you can implement the following automated programs in just five steps:

  • A consumer/leisure newsletter welcome campaign
  • Sales/sports prospecting campaign
  • Member/partner awareness campaign
5 Keys to a Successful Newsletter Welcome Campaign

When a website visitor is planning a trip to your destination, your newsletter is the perfect way to get the inside scoop on where to go and what to do. And when they give you their email address and personal information, there is a certain level of trust established. A welcome campaign is a perfect opportunity to cultivate said trust.

Newsletter welcome emails have proven to have the highest delivery, open, and click-through rates. This is your chance to shine and tell your new subscribers why they signed up for your newsletter in the first place.

  1. Send the first email immediately
    • Why not send them an email right when they are most excited about visiting your destination? Waiting a day or longer risks the chance that they’ve already moved onto another option that fits their immediate needs

    • Follow up with the other emails in the campaign soon after — waiting weeks between the next email may cause your subscriber to lose interest

    • In addition, scheduling the other emails in your campaign a day or two apart keeps you at the top of their inbox (and top of mind!)

  2. Let them know what to expect
    • First impressions do matter, therefore introduce your new subscriber to your destination and all it has to offer in your first email

    • Building trust is important and so is letting them know what to look forward to from your newsletter

    • The majority of your subscribers will be viewing the mobile version of your email so keep it short and to the point; testing using your personal email address on your device is always the best practice 

  3. Create their “Dream Vacation Starter Kit”
    • This is the most important part of your second email. You want to add very specific call-to-action (CTA) that will act as jumping-off points to other, more targeted, emails in your campaign

    • (1) Download a visitor’s guide (2) Explore hotels and book (3) Find a place to eat while you’re here (4) Find something to do (5) We’ve got you covered with special offers and coupons

  4. Zero in on what’s important to them
    • When a subscriber clicks on a link, it’s an opportunity for you to tell them more about your destination; they are showing you what they want to hear more about, so this is where you craft the next emails in your campaign

    • If your subscriber clicks on a blog post about local dining favorites, that may trigger an email that lists the fun things to do around dining (restaurant week, cooking classes, beer/whiskey trail, art + wine stroll, etc.)

    • Be strategic when planning these out and do not create too many options, as it will result in a subscriber being bombarded with emails 

  5. Seize the opportunity
    • Now it’s time to bring it all together and send the final email in your campaign. Reinforce what makes your destination special and why they shouldn’t miss out on planning their next trip there

    • Highlight helpful tools to make travelers’ decisions easy. Let them know they can contact you with questions, and get them excited about receiving your newsletter

    • When they receive your newsletter, it should reflect what’s in your welcome campaign and continue the trust that you’ve established

    • Continue to provide insightful blog posts, insider tips, coupons/special offers, etc. that you highlighted in your welcome campaign to present a consistent experience

Key Takeaways

Remember, sending your first email in your welcome campaign right after your subscriber signs up is important — because that’s when they are thinking about your destination the most. Give them the tools needed to learn more about your unique offerings before they book a trip.  

Make their experience personal through the subsequent emails in your campaign based on specific links your subscriber clicks. End your welcome campaign on a high note, with the final email being the handoff to your newsletter.  

Reinforce what you’ve covered during the campaign and most importantly — create excitement around your destination.

Don’t forget to test your emails to make sure they are easy to read and look good on both desktop and mobile versions — you want your welcome campaign to make a wonderful first impression!

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