Offering hotels, flights and holiday packages through an email newsletter channel has been a challenge in the travel business as customer satisfaction can be very cumbersome. By the time a newsletter subscriber opens the email, it is likely that hotel prices have changed or flights are already sold out. The travel seeker has to leave the email realm and is forced to visit the travel agencies’ website to check prices and availability again. In such cases, the traveler is also tempted to involve another travel provider in the search. With the launch of Google AMP for Email, however, that information and usability gap can now be closed, eventually leading to a higher ROI for the whole travel industry in email marketing.
Email the No. 1 channel in travel business
In the travel industry, especially for travel agencies and online travel booking portals, email marketing is the most important direct communication channel for getting in touch with their customers. Here are the reasons why:
- Turn quality leads into customers.
- Provide customers with important information and latest updates on the date and time of their upcoming trips.
- Provide customers with relevant offers based on their previous activity or booking pattern.
- Email Marketing has a huge average ROI (Return of Investment) of up to 3,800% according to a study by dma.
- Generate more direct traffic to your website and offerings.
- Activate your leads and customers for effective brand marketing.
- Build up a behavior-based email marketing strategy – reuse your subscriber’s email open and click activities for a better fit in your followup communications.
- Finally, here is the most important reason: Email simply kills cookies! The primary email address is the best consumer identifier across all channels.
There already plenty of good reasons to use email as your number one channel. But email is lacking dynamic elements. The recipient has to be referred to a website in order to perform further action. However, this technological gap is going to be closed rather soon with Google’s AMP for Email.
What is new with AMP for Email?
Google has just released a public beta version of their new email framework called ‘AMP for Email’ or AMPHTML Email which brings new components for image carousels, responsive forms, and updating content from remote servers.
“It’s the biggest thing happening to email since the creation of email.”Antony Malone, Senior Product Owner Direct Marketing at Booking.com
In short, with AMP for Email the email messages will become more actionable than ever before, bringing staggering new possibilities into email marketing:
- Up-to-date: Live update of content
- Dynamics: Event actions without the need to visit another website
- Interactivity: Increased engagement through higher interactivity
Recipients of email campaigns running off the new AMP components can view and interact directly in the email. Besides Google Mail, other leading email service providers such as Outlook, Yahoo and Mail.ru have also announced their support for AMP. It can be speculated that AMP will become the new de-facto standard for dynamic emails.
What are the benefits in Email Marketing for the Travel Industry?
With AMP for Email, the benefits in email marketing for travel agencies and booking portals are huge. Here are some interesting examples how the travel business can significantly benefit from more dynamic emails in their email newsletter campaigns:
- New booking experience: With AMP for Email, your subscribers can book right within the email without ever leaving it.
- Real-time: Show only selected products based on their real-time availability and up-to-date pricing. Even if the email recipient opens the email a day or two later, it will then show those products available and at the price at that specific moment in time. Basically: With every email open, quite possibly, the information rendered in that email can change.
- Behavioral targeting: Based on a first email open the following email opens can already lead to a more accurate choice of products for the subscriber based on click behavior, opening time, device or spatial data.
- More effective A/B testing: Running email campaigns in variable segments required a large test group and a delay for the other groups. With dynamic emails, however, these tests can performed with all first opener recipients until a threshold is reached. Eventually lowering complexity and time consumption for A/B testing to a minimum. Moreover, A/B testing will have an immediate impact on all future opens of every email.
- Live Updates: Instead of the need to search for updated information (e.g. flight delayed, new gate, etc.) in his inbox, the user can simply open one AMP-based email and the updated information is already available.
- Save website bandwith: Especially during seasonal peaks (i.e. winter holidays) booking websites tend to reach their request limits rather quickly. AMP-based emails will help to keep your customer busy and up-to-speed even if the website is down or slow.
- Advertising: Finally, the new email technology brings more room and design space for various forms of advertisements.
There are even more ways how AMP for Email will be used in travel, many of which we haven’t even thought of yet. The email revolution has just begun.
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