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Saturday,  July 13, 2024 10:12 AM 

Use multiple channels to reach all your customers


Use multiple channels to reach all your customers

In the last column, we talked about marketing and the social media channel. But it is so important to realize the need to use different channels to reach all your customers…this column will address direct mail and e-mail.

Yes, that’s right….direct mail - snail mail - as in the kind that is delivered by the postman (well, for now, at least).    

Many marketers have moved away from direct mail because of cost, in favour of e-mail and social media. This is certainly true in the travel industry and, even though the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation is now in effect, most companies will still find a way to continue to e-mail their clients. 

You can’t press “delete” on direct mail

But direct mail can and should still play a part in your marketing strategy. For one thing, some of your customers don’t use e-mail, and if they do, a lot of it ends up in their trash or they press delete. Pressing delete is always an option with e-mail but it’s not an option with direct mail.

There are certain tricks when using direct mail to ensure your message is not discarded…handwritten postcards and envelopes receive more attention. Attractive travel images are always appealing. Personalization of some sort always helps.

There are programs which can make this easy for you and you should ask your host agency if they offer direct mail as one of their marketing options. Look for a host agency that features direct mail promotions to reach your clients. Will they mail the pieces on your behalf and if so, how many and how often?

Clever marketers have discovered that the letterbox is less crowded these days and your message has a better chance of being noticed.   

Yes, you can still e-mail your customers

The introduction of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation, or CASL, threw terror into the travel industry last spring as we all became aware of the impact it could have. 

The good news is, it has turned out to be less onerous than everyone thought. I am no expert in this legislation and that is not the purpose of this column…you should get the right advice from an expert. But I am here to tell you that e-mail remains an important channel to reach some of your customers, and is one that you should not abandon.

How to ensure your e-mails will be read

There are a few simple rules about e-mail that I’ve always felt are critical to getting them read  instead of deleted, and effective as a sales tool. 

•    Create a subject line that’s clear, concise and enticing. Would you open this up?•    Don’t use attachment; embed your message right in the e-mail.•    Keep your message short, simple and with a call to action.•    Don’t send “heavy” files that may get rejected.

Check to see how your host agency can help you: Do they have an e-mail marketing system? Do they handle it for you? Is there a limit to the number of names you can provide on your customer list? Does your host agency provide regular promotions that can be e-mailed to customers?  

And very important, does your host agency target market your customers according to their interests and activities?  

Always remember, when it comes to marketing…if you are out of sight, you are out of mind!

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