This blog post is an updated version of an original blog post by Sara Napier Burkhard.
Communication is the key to every successful client relationship. From the very first contact it is important to build a relationship and trust.
A first impression is usually driven by your website, reviews, marketplace listings or in person, however, for first contact email is your most important communication tool and it can be utilised in so many ways.
Here are some examples of 7 different emails formats tour and activity operators should use to enhance their customers' experience.
1. Welcome email
A welcome email is for when anyone subscribes to your website for a newsletter, rewards program or offer.
As a tour or activity provider, you'll already have a welcome speech that your guides use on a daily basis. You'll introduce yourself and your company, you share what they need to know and what they can expect from their tour, and to finish you will thank them for their business. This is exactly what a welcome email should be.
At TrekkSoft we use this email to add a personal touch. We introduce a member of our team who you can be contacted directly if the contact has any questions. We also offer the opportunity to request what information they'd like to receive so we can follow up with relevant resources or put them in touch with an knowledgeable expert from our team.
2. Curated content
Curated emails allow you to drill down to what interests your contact has. You can then provide content that matches those interests.
An example would be to add a range of tour options such as kayak tours, canyoning, climbing and mountain biking. If the contact only clicks to find out more about mountain biking then you know that this is their main interest. You can follow up with content, interviews and offers specifically for mountain biking.
This email type will increase engagement and the likelihood of a sale.
A newsletter can bring a lot of subscribers. It is an excellent way of engaging existing contacts to drive them back to your website. Each newsletter should have as much dedicated attention as a blog post on your website.
Newsletter emails can be bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly. The should contain news, promotions and fresh content. These contacts may not be ready to purchase. The aim is to keep them aware of what is going on in the business, so when they are at a buying stage you are fresh in their mind.
- Build exclusive content for your subscribers
- Work on promotions or discounts occasionally for added excitement and interaction
- Make announcements
- Create referral and sharing options
4. Personal Emails
Everyone appreciates being valued. Personal emails offer a great opportunity to show you care about your customers and to go the extra mile. Examples of personal emails could be to say Happy Birthday, to celebrate a 1 year since their last tour or activity, or if they purchased a gift card last year then a reminder to purchase again if required.
Other options could be to include 'personalised tags' depending on what data you have.
For example... 'Hi Sarah, Remember that time you jumped out of a plane and no-one believed you? Well, here's the photo evidence. We think it's their turn next don't you? Here is a 10% discount code.'
It should come as no surprise that sometimes subscribers will walk away. It's okay, not everyone who takes a tour or does an activity will come back, especially if it was a once-in-a-lifetime destination or trip.
There is a way however to stop unsubscribes, and that's by giving contacts the option to update their preferences. Would you like to receive less emails? What topics would you like to hear about? Would you only like to receive offers? By adding these questions you can reduce the possibility of someone unsubscribing who could still be a potential or repeat customer.
- Keep this email friendly, light, and uncomplicated
- Don't make readers feel guilty
- Offer readers a chance to resubscribe
6. Booking confirmation
As a tour or activity provider, this will hopefully be the email you get to send most often; the booking confirmation for a tour or activity.
First, the confirmation email should always thank the customer for their business. A simple "thank you" will do just fine. You can build a webpage for that or simply include it in the email. From there, the highlight of the email should be the details of the trip.
Always include the date, time, and number of guests in the activity. You should also include the starting and ending locations, especially if the tour begins in a different location than its finish.
Thankfully, you don't have to enter and log all this information yourself. With a website builder that includes booking management software, you can save time with smart content that automatically places this information in the customer's confirmation email.
Lastly, it's always nice to make sure your customers feel safe and prepared. While the tour or activity information should be the focus, it's helpful to include additional information they need to know. Include lists of items customers will want to bring along, information about guided tours such as required wardrobe, and even information about equipment rentals. Close the email with information about cancellation or weather policies.
In summary, you can't have too much information in this email. It will be a reference point for attendees as they approach the date of their booking.
7. 'Thank you' email
Last, but not least, a proper thank you email can go a long way. You'll want to thank your customers in their booking confirmation email, but for an added layer of authenticity, send your thanks in a post-trip email.
In the email, you can write up a summary of the tour they took, including images or videos taken during their experience. This is also a great time to include a post-trip survey. Customers who had a great time on the tour will be eager to share about it, especially if they still feel connected to the experience through a friendly email from their guide.
Want to power-up your bookings and send out more confirmation emails?