Writing doesn’t come easily to most tour operators. And when you’re short on time, it can be one of the first things you drop in your business.
A tourism newsletter doesn’t have to be complicated or long-winded. It’s really a round-up of any fun or insightful travel content you believe your guests might be interested in.
The best part about these tourism newsletters? Giving past, present and future guests a sense that you have a wealth of knowledge worth sharing.
Wondering where to begin? Start by evaluating the type of marketing emails you like and what stands out in these marketing newsletters.
A tourism newsletter paves the way for you to establish a personalized level of communication with your audience. And, it’s pretty easy to get started, especially if you’re passionate about your role as a tour operator.
Why send your newsletter to your tour guests?
Travel newsletters are designed to inform and provide value for the reader at a glance.
Is there an art to sending timely, relevant newsletters? Absolutely. You’ll find a balance between quarterly, monthly, bi-weekly and weekly messaging depending on your workload and time of year.
What’s the purpose of emailing a newsletter, especially when people can find you on social media?
By sending a newsletter to your email list, you can engage on a personal level with your audience — arguably more so than with social media. This means, addressing people by name with personalized tokens and sharing relevant content on a massive scale.
As you continue to build your email list, treat your travel newsletter subscribers like you’d interact with guests in real life. Done strategically, your tourism newsletter can create opportunities to engage with your customers which, over time, encourages new and repeat bookings.
Your tourism email newsletter is a way to provide subscribers with fresh content and the inside scoop with tips and promotions. As the most interacted with methods of digital marketing, email is both accessible and user-friendly.
And, at the same time, it’s helpful in putting your tour business front of mind for your customers. The best part? The right type of content can turn visitors into subscribers and lookers into bookers.
What to include in travel newsletter content
When travelers sign up to receive updates from your tour business, they exchange their name and email address with a promise of receiving content that’s educational, insightful and fun. Here are the different types of content you can include in your tourism newsletter:
1. News and updates
These emails can follow your reservation reminder email, if you provide guests with the option of opting in to be the first to know about events, exciting news and deals for newsletter subscribers only.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, two BC resorts; Wild Renfrew and Nimmo Bay have sent updated newsletters with every health order update. Their goal? Keeping current and future guests in the loop with what to expect and when they should be able to book their trip to their wilderness resort, north of Vancouver Island.
2. Travel tips and recommendations
Your travel newsletter is an outlet for connecting with past, present and future guests — keeping them warm and informed. Captivate readers with your subject line or beautiful photos they can imagine themselves in, leading them down a path of travel inspiration.
3. Promotions and deals
A newsletter is useful for sharing event announcements, new product offers, seasonal promotions and company updates.
Consider the newsletters you subscribe to and what they do well. While promotional content is valuable, it shouldn’t be the focal point. This email marketing article suggests dividing content to be 90% educational and 10% promotional.
If you’d like to see more guests taking advantage of tour promotions, paint a picture for what they can expect and the perks involved with booking in advance. With email marketing travel examples like:
“Sign up to our emails to hear about the latest promotions”
“Prepare for your trip with easy tips, send once a month”
“Get our email for the latest events, promos and travel news”
“Subscribe to our travel newsletter for insider guides”
“Learn how to most of your vacation with tips, pack lists and more”
Aim to create the kind of tourism newsletter you’ll be able to share with your audience consistently. And as people grow accustomed to hearing from you, when you land in their inbox, they’ll be more likely and excited to see what you have to offer.
7 grabbable newsletter subject lines:
Since your email newsletter subject line may be the only thing your readers see, make sure it accurately reflects the content in your travel newsletter. Engaging headlines in each section organize the body content of your email, helping to lead the reader through your newsletter.
- First time going skydiving? Bravo! We’ll walk you through step-by-step
- Wondering about the best spots to eat? Gluten-free or veggie — we’ve got you covered
- Curious about the best local sights? Read our top 10 must-see spots
- Not sure what to pack for your trip to Chicago? Download our free packing list
- Are you excited for summer? Explore our favourite things to do in [location]
- What to pack for your first trip to [location] + our favourite activities
- Seeking adventure? Paddle, surf and cruise while you’re here!
If you haven’t sent a tourism newsletter to your audience, start with quick tips and your latest promotions. Add in a short, message viewable immediately when a recipient opens the message. Include 2-3 photos and a note about how you’re excited to welcome guests in your next tourism newsletter.
How to write a tourism newsletter
Your tour guests will look to you for advice and recommendations. Plus, your tourism newsletter is an amazing opportunity to connect with your audience and keep the conversation going throughout their booking journey.
1. Subject line
Keep your subject line short, aiming for 4-7 words and phrases to inspire action. The subject line of your tourism newsletter will determine whether someone will click to read. In fact, your subject line is crucial for determining whether your tourism newsletter will be opened and read. Did you know that adding an emoji, the recipient’s name or keeping the subject line at 60 characters can increase your email’s open rates?
2. Valuable content
Wondering what your guests want to know about? Think about what problems you can solve for people. Input some of your most talked about FAQs into a newsletter. Are people asking where else they can enjoy non-competing activities while in the area? Direct them to some of your favorite fellow experience providers.
3. Mobile-friendly experience
Using a template from a newsletter delivery service will provide you with an easy way to ensure your emails look good on a phone. Since so many people reference email and websites on their phones to begin with, keeping mobile-friendly front of mind is going to increase email opens and click-through rates.
Good email marketing software lets you draft newsletters for free, using drag and drop templates along with mobile-friendly design. Explore travel newsletters from a handful of brands you follow along with newsletter layout and style inspiration.
4. Photos and videos
Your tourism newsletter is a perfect place to inspire guests to share their own experiences and photos. If your guests have a cell phone, there’s a good chance they’ll have some fun photos from their experience.
Just as reviews carry weight user-generated content is an important angle to include in your tourism newsletter. While not everyone is inclined to share on social media, they might be excited to share the photos through email. Ask guests to share and incentivize them with the promise of a promo they can share with their friends.
5. Blog posts
Cast a wide net with your audience with 1-4 different topics or links to blog posts. You can sprinkle in 1 -2 promotional mentions, but it shouldn’t be the focus of your email newsletter. Even something like your updated policies or a link to your frequently asked questions can provide value for your readers. Share blog post updates, helpful tips or links to articles that guide the reader to visit your site.
6. Limited-time offers
When bookings are a bit slower, try offering promotions, especially if you can incentivize guests to book by a certain date. Your email newsletter is a perfect place to share promo codes and seasonal discounts. Pitch your newsletter as a way to find out about deals and promotions first.
7. Reviews and testimonials
Already have a process in place to hear back from your guests? Include guest reviews in your newsletter and make it easy for readers to share their own feedback with hyperlinks to review sites. User-generated content is one of the most coveted forms of media because people place more value on relating to other’s experiences vs. what a business says about themselves. Pair a guest review with a photo to take care of one section of your tourism newsletter.
When writing content for your newsletter, ask yourself, what action do you want people to take as a result of reading a blog post, seeing a photo or watching a video? Use clear calls-to-action like read more, learn more, download guide and book now to guide readers to the next step. Do you want your subscribers to book a trip, read reviews or connect with you on social media? Make sure it’s clear what you want your reader to do with clickable buttons and hyperlinks.
What’s the call to action in your travel newsletter?
Are your newsletter subscribers opening, reading or engaging with your newsletter? Or are they unsubscribing because it contains irrelevant content?
Inspire subscribers to take the next step, whether it’s learning more, reading testimonials or daydreaming about their next vacation while ogling pictures at work. Lastly, don’t forget to always include a call to action. A call-to-action is something like a Book Now button and they get recipients to act immediately when they receive your newsletter.
When people book, they’ll be on the lookout for a booking confirmation email. If they opt-in to future communication from you, they’ll be groomed to expect value with your emails. Make sure your tourism newsletter is GDPR compliant and you have received email consent from each person on your subscriber list.
How to connect with guests through email
You might have booking software that does a lot of the work for you — including gathering email addresses. Did you know that Mailchimp integrates with Checkfront? Every time a guest books with you they exchange their email address and expect to receive emails tailored to them.
Newsletters give you the opportunity to build trust with people over time before they’re even ready to book. It’s similar to establishing a friendship, in the same way that you might find similar interests and values.
Continue the communication so it’s not just centred on when people make a purchase from you, but on providing value at every touchpoint.
An email marketing platform like Mailchimp can assist you with tracking the results of your tourism newsletter. This way, you’ll have a way of assessing whether your audience opens and actively engages with your content.
Every guest that has ever interacted with your brand or booked an experience with you can be on your email list. Since Mailchimp integrates with Checkfront, you’ll automatically collect email addresses from website visitors who subscribe along with booked guests.
Lastly, remember to include a call-to-action with something like a Book Now button or Learn More, so recipients have an easy way to act immediately when they receive your newsletter.
Newsletters with relevant, timely and valuable content give readers incentive to take action, helping your business stay connected with customers, which encourages new and repeat bookings.
Start with a tourism newsletter template
You don’t have to start from scratch when it comes to creating a newsletter. There are a wealth of free newsletter templates available through Adobe and Mailchimp that take care of the design so all you have to do is upload images along with your written content.
Many tourism newsletter templates follow a similar structure. Starting with a catchy subject line, designed to get the reader to open the message – they promise value within. And, the email body content will have bold, short headlines with a sentence or two underneath along with attractive photos, all designed to inform, inspire and incentivize the recipient.
Beyond company updates and promotions, be sure to include free travel tips and recommendations. Highlighting nearby non-competing activities and accommodations may even turn into valuable partnerships in the future. To help structure your content, plan ahead by plotting holidays and monthly newsletter themes on your calendar.
As you work to create your newsletter, keep asking yourself, “would my guests find this content” of use as they plan their trip?
Focus on including content you’re excited about. This could be as simple as a few lines of a raving review, followed by an invitation to learn more or view photos to help inspire people to book.
We hope you find these tips helpful as you design your tourism newsletter. And as you share relevant content with your readers, you’ll naturally grow your email marketing list — and your business.