Inbox Strategies: The State of E-Mail Marketing in the Travel Industry

by James O'Brien + Skift Team
Digital Marketing
Millennials

Skift Research Take

A look at the present — and future — of e-mail marketing for travel brands. From responsive design and targeted sendings, to pushed content and pulling travelers into a fluid cross-channel narrative — e-mail marketers are steering the industry's course toward more reliable conversions, more of the time.

Executive summary

E-mail marketing has entered an era of maturity and travel brands, like never before, are poised to reach consumers in new and innovative ways.

As the number of e-mail users increases, globally, and as the open rates across platforms — but especially in the mobile space — rise, the time for marketers to fully implement e-mail targeting and personalization strategies is now. Content rules the e-mail marketer’s approach. Within this drive for more and better technology to make e-mails useful to consumers in real time, every time they open a message (or re-open one), success in the e-mail marketing space is dependent upon the quality of the content.

If travel brands create compelling content, subscribers want that narrative in their inboxes. It has to find them, however, in just the right way. Optimization across different device types now goes hand-in-hand with content, and travel brands must align their e-mails (and landing pages) with the different sizes and shapes of the screens that their recipients use.

All of this being the case, the very concept of e-mail may be shifting. Consumers exist more accurately, perhaps, not in a world of neatly divided e-mails, texts, social-media posts, app notifications, and alerts but in a world of pushed content. In other words, the traveler may not care exactly how an airline’s or hotel’s message comes to them, only that it does. And they may well want it to come to them in multiple ways, all at once.

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