Email Roundup: Top 6 Email Campaigns from the Travel Industry

We write a lot about how effective email marketing can be for
driving in revenue, building brand loyalty, and improving customer
retention for your business. But opportunity is what you make of it
and the truth is, you won’t see any of the impressive results
that have made email marketing legendary if you don’t optimize
your email marketing campaigns for conversions.

Consumers in each industry seek different, unique
things—that’s probably no surprise to you—and they also seek
unique things from every email marketing campaign. That means that
what makes an email campaign successful in the retail industry
might not translate well to an email marketing campaign in the
travel industry (and sometimes not even to another retail email

The first step to creating successful email marketing, then, is
to understand who your audience is. Only when you know what exactly
your customers need from you can you deliver that right to your
subscribers’ inboxes.

These days, consumers have plenty of places they can go to book
hotels and flights, find restaurants, and discover the hottest
spots in a new city. In order to drive traffic to your website or
business and convince prospects to convert with you, your
brand needs to stand out.

Email roundup: The best travel email marketing campaigns

And the best way to stand out in 2019? Anticipate what your
subscribers are looking for and then deliver it. These days,
consumers seek authentic connection with their favorite companies.
Consumers know that companies collect data, and they expect
companies to use that data to deliver a more-targeted, personalized

But knowing what you want your email marketing campaigns to do
and actually accomplishing it are two different things. So we’ve
uncovered the best email marketing campaigns from across the travel
industry and gathered them here in this roundup.

Read on to discover the best travel email marketing campaigns
and how you can adopt these best practices to see your best results
from a marketing campaign yet.

1. T + L Destination of the Week travel email

One of the challenges of email marketing is getting people to
read your message in its entirety. Truthfully, most people skim
their inboxes and, if they decide to open one, their emails: while
in line for coffee, during their commute, killing time while
waiting for friends. In order for your emails to be effective, they
need to be easily understood at a glance.

This email from Travel + Leisure does exactly that. Despite the
fact that this message is packed full of good information, it’s
still easy for their audience to skim and then click or tap the
most relevant links.

Travel and Leisure travel email roundup

The whitespace in this design makes it easy to spot the
calls-to-action and keeps a packed email from becoming
overwhelming. In an industry where images can encourage
conversions, piquing people’s interest and curiosity, including
relevant graphics is necessary, but too many can distract from one
another as well as the CTAs, making the pictures—and as a result,
your email—less effective.

But this email avoids those problems by keeping the images and
CTAs clearly contained and differentiated by providing ample
amounts of whitespace.

This email also anticipates one of the most annoying aspects of
travel: having to scour website after website gathering information
about their destination. Travel + Leisure offers their subscribers
everything they need to book a fun and exciting trip to Venice,
including where to stay, what to do, and even the latest news from
the area.

After reading this email, you can bet subscribers will open the
next one to discover what destination Travel + Leisure is
spotlighting. Furthermore, next time a subscriber wants to plan a
trip, they’ll have Travel + Leisure at the top of their mind and
head to the website to see what they can discover.  

2. Scott’s Cheap Flights travel email

Scott’s Cheap Flights provides updates on, you guessed it,
cheap flight prices. Members can pick their region and Scott’s
Cheap Flights will keep them apprised of great flight deals through
email. But they don’t just send alerts through email. They also
regularly send subscriber success stories.

Scott's Cheap Flights Travel email roundup

These success stories share feedback Scott’s Cheap Flights has
received from happy customers likes these. User-generated content
(UGC) like this saves your marketing team time and
energy—especially when your marketing team is just you—and
builds trust with your subscribers.

These days,
84% of people trust online reviews
as they trust their own
friends. When you share the great experiences of satisfied
customers, you’re not just asking prospects to trust you or take
you at your word. You’re proving to them your services or
products are worth their investment.

User-generated content also allows you to spend less energy
creating your own content. Instead, you take the feedback your
customers send you and publish that the way Scott’s Cheap Flights
does. Their customers even include images to keep subscribers
reading. That means that the marketing team doesn’t have to spend
time coming up with new content. Instead, your team has content
already waiting at their fingertips. Spend a little time creating
the email (which is simple if you’re using an email service
provider that uses templates) and proofreading, and your next email
campaign is ready to go.

This user-generated content also makes a great addition to a
welcome series, building trust with your new subscribers by showing
them the ways other satisfied customers have made your products and
services work for them.

Plus, user-generated content keeps your satisfied customers
engaged with your brand even when they aren’t in the market to
buy. When customers see you share their images and stories, they
become emotionally invested in your brand. Just like in any
relationship, if people like your brand, they’ll like you even
more when they know you’re listening to them.

3. Lonely Planet travel email

Lonely Planet is well-known for their travel guides that can be
found online as well as in physical books. They offer in-depth
knowledge about various destinations and have information to help
even the most experienced travelers.

Lonely Planet travel email roundup.

This email offers a few CTAs that will drive subscribers to
their website. From various articles to a sale on their guides,
this email has something for everyone on their subscriber list.

But even so, it’s clear that this email has a primary CTA that
stands out among the rest of the information provided here. The
first headline in the email is the story promised in the subject
line “10 romantic getaways for city lovers.” Lonely Planet
doesn’t make their readers read the full email until they find
the headline that caught their eye, which is important when you
can’t be sure your subscribers will read the whole email.

The promised article is front and center, and so is the CTA. As
you can see, the CTA for this article is centered on the page while
the other CTAs are left-justified. This is a small distinction, but
it’s enough to ensure “we heart cities” has a stronger
emphasis than the others. Similarly, this CTA features blue with
white text which stands out on the otherwise white email. The other
CTAs use blue text on a white button, which doesn’t stand out
quite as much. This emphasis ensures that the primary CTA is clear
and won’t result in your subscribers being overwhelmed with too
many choices, even when you include more than one or two CTAs.

4. Condé Nast Traveler travel email

Condé Nast Traveler sends a daily email newsletter to their
subscriber list featuring some of the best stories they’ve

Conde Nast Traveler travel email roundup

The first thing a subscriber notices when opening this email.
This particular email, sent on Christmas day, features content that
is timely and relevant to their readers. The first stories all have
a Christmas theme to them, from “What the North Pole Actually
Looks Like at Christmas” to a story on Christmas Island.

When you send a newsletter every single day, it’s important to
provide your subscribers with incentive to open your emails day
after day. Condé Nast Traveler accomplishes this by ensuring their
content is timely and relevant.

They also provide a very brief sentence that further encourages
their subscribers to click through to their website to read more.
For instance, a reader filled with holiday spirit will probably be
tempted to read more after seeing the short teaser telling them
about reindeer and polar bears.

This email from Condé Nast Traveler also provides a great
example for the ways whitespace ensures every image has the maximum
effect on your readers. These images wouldn’t be as striking or
as compelling if they ran together. Instead, placing them all in
the midst of whitespace is almost like placing each image under a

5. AFAR travel email

AFAR is a multi-media travel brand that has a website as well as
a physical publication. They offer readers city guides as well as
publish stories that make traveling and connecting with cultures

Afar travel email roundup

This is another example of how to cram your emails full of
information without overwhelming your readers. Though it includes
pretty much everything a person needs to know when planning a trip
to Venice—including a helpful tidbit about addresses that will
keep their subscribers in the know before they even land—this
email remains easy to navigate and easy to understand. Far from
being overwhelming, the wealth of information provided here makes
this email from AFAR highly-valuable to their readers. Not only are
subscribers likely to save this email—whether they’re currently
planning a trip or only hope to plan a trip to Venice—they’re
also more likely to visit AFAR’s website and check out their
other guides for a different destination.

The focus of this email isn’t on what AFAR can gain from their
subscribers, but rather the focus is on what value AFAR can deliver
to their subscribers. The information they provide benefits the
subscriber far more than it does AFAR. The email doesn’t push a
hard sell, trying to get subscribers to buy their magazine or
anything else from the company. Instead, the email is all about how
they can help their fans be better, more informed travelers.

6. AirBnB travel email

AirBnB sends email marketing campaigns to their hosts as well as
their guests. In order to provide these two distinct and very
different groups with only the emails they want to receive, AirBnB
segments their subscribers into different lists, making emails like
this one more powerful.

AirBnB Email Travel email roundup

Really Good Emails

This email wouldn’t be relevant to hosts, who are probably
already aware of what their city has to offer around the holidays.
By segmenting, AirBnB ensures that only their guests—and if
they’re segmenting well, only the guests who have expressed
interest in New York City—receive this email.

Additionally, this newsletter from AirBnB goes above and beyond
in order to provide their users with not just information on homes,
but also on what experiences they can be having. Providing curated
content helps your brand become more than just a site to book a
hotel or a place to stay. AirBnB becomes a resource for their

Wrap up

You can incorporate these best practices in newsletters,
behavior-based emails, and even confirmation emails in order to see
improved results. But these tips can do far more than just get your
emails opened and read. Solid email marketing can drive revenue and
improve the reach of your brand.

In order to craft emails that stand out from the rest, find ways
to include these tips and tricks into your next travel email
marketing campaign:

  • Use whitespace to make emails easy to digest on the go and keep
    your images impactful.
  • Make your emails a one-stop shop for planning their next trip
    in order to save your subscribers from what can be a rabbit hole
  • User-generated content can help your marketing team do more
    with less effort and builds trust with your subscribers.
  • Defining one primary CTA through small, easy distinctions will
    help your emails perform and keep your subscribers from getting
  • Provide a short teaser to encourage your subscribers to click
    through to your website to read more.
  • Include relevant and timely content, especially when you send
    emails frequently.
  • Focus your emails on helping your subscribers and you’ll see
    fewer unsubscribes and more conversions, even without the hard
  • Curated content means your brand will become a resource for
    your users instead of just a place to shop.

Putting your subscribers’ needs first and foremost will not
only earn you paying customers, but you’ll also gain brand
ambassadors, those people who tell their friends about your company
and how you’ve changed the travel game.

Especially in a saturated market, email marketing provides the
perfect opportunity for you to nurture the relationship you have
with customers as well as prospects in order to gain their trust,
loyalty, and ultimately, their business.

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Email Roundup: Top 6 Email Campaigns from the Travel Industry