Email is an important part of any marketing strategy and, as your safari operation grows, it’s important to get serious and pick an email marketing team that will really deliver results for your business.
A team with the right skills and experience can create and implement an email marketing strategy that generates bookings for your safaris.
As a startup tour operator or safari lodge you may have just been sending out a newsletter from time to time. The newsletter is probably handled by someone in the office who has a range of other tasks competing for their attention.
Are the emails being sent out now helping to meet your business goals? Are they generating bookings for you?
Here are some signs that you may need to have another look at your email marketing team:
Many businesses use email for more than just a newsletter.
If your business relies on email marketing to drive sales (eg. specials or marketing automation to convert visitors into bookings), then email is a level one priority and is worth your investment.
If you’d like to try to convert casual visitors to your website into confirmed bookings through marketing automation, then you should consider having a dedicated email marketer manage the program.
If your business is growing, your email list should be growing along with it. If you’re not seeing the sales or growth you expect, it could be because your emails aren’t effective.
An email marketing expert can help with that. They can create a strategy and monitor the results to make sure your campaigns are improving over time.
If you only send one kind of email and your strategy hasn’t evolved as your business has grown, then you need fresh ideas.
An email marketing team should be expected to do more than just send emails. They need to come of with creative ideas, create content, monitor the results and adapt your marketing accordingly.
Before hiring a specialist or a dedicated email team, you should clarify your email marketing goals.
Any marketing campaign should support your business goals. Start with those goals, then decide how email can help you achieve them.
Here are some common goals email can help with:
If you’re looking to attract new customers, then you should plan to focus on building your subscriber list and sending campaigns that encourage action.
Your email marketing team will need to be able to write compelling marketing copy that's designed to drive sales.
Perhaps you want to keep your existing agents interested in your property and safaris.
You’ll need someone who can analyse reports and find out what’s working and what's not in order to improve the content with every email.
They should also be comfortable with segmentation and targeted sending to make your content more relevant.
If you’re just starting out, you may be focused on brand awareness and getting your name out there.
You should look for an email marketer who also has good writing skills. They should know how to write engaging copy and tell a great story.
Successful email marketers have three strengths: a creative flair, they're great communicators and they possess an analytical ability.
Here are some attributes and skills they should have:
The skill sets of the team members should be matched to the responsibilities of managing your email marketing campaigns.
Typical responsibilities include:
Your email marketer should help to help develop a strategy and a plan which should cover:
It’s important to think ahead. Your email marketing team should plot out a content calendar based on the seasons, scheduled tours, trade shows, product launches or other relevant events.
Ideally this content calendar should include social media, blog posts and display ads with email campaigns to create a unified marketing calendar.
Your email marketing team need to be familiar with the rules and guidelines that email marketing should follow.
An email marketer who can write compelling copy can make a big difference. Whether it’s a quick subject line that gets the email opened to an article that evokes the Africa safari experience, excellent writing skills can improve conversions.
They should have a sound grasp of the writing fundamentals like spelling, grammar and punctuation along with the ability to self-edit.
A great email shares the design of your website. The email marketing team will need to match existing branding while making adjustments and accommodations for email.
Web design experience is not required for this role, but a familiarity with design principles and best practices is important.
Every newsletter will be seen on a smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop. Clients will open your emails from different email clients with unique quirks and preferences.
Producing an exact replica for every situation is impossible, but it’s the responsibility of your email marketer to check that campaigns are functional on all modern devices.
It's the job of the email marketer to prove that understand performance and prove the value of your campaigns.
The email marketing team needs to know why they're doing what they're doing, explain why it's important, and master analytics to define their success.
With an email marketer on board, expect opens and clicks to go up and unsubscribes to decrease. This will come from changes in content, timing, and user segmentation along with improved list management.
An improved email marketing program should generate a better response from your customers so you can know exactly what your clients think and want.
Plan for the long term. The most important outcomes might not be immediate.
If you can extend the lifetime value of your clients you’ll see your profits soar, getting a real return on your investment.