Russian travel agents prefer details in mailings than beautiful words
For some reason, some hotels and tour operators are accustomed to set at naught on travel agencies. Unfortunately, I can’t find another word. How else to explain those absolutely useless newsletters that agencies receive a lot by emails? For information: on average, each Russian agency receives up to 100 e-mails per day, most of them from tour operators with the latest special offers. But “special offers is important information!”, you might say. Yes, if at least it is composed in such a way that the agency can take it and immediately send to its tourists without further explanation.
That is true, if the newsletter says: Why you need to book this particular hotel; Why now; Why exactly at this price; And why exactly it is important for this tourist. But not many try to make an effort, sending only photo with written below hotel name, travel dates and price. Well, sometimes they add a line about a «magnificent and wonderful holidays» at this hotel. There is one tour operator on the Russian market which sends three (!!!) such newsletters every working day with «creative» title: “Special Offer of the Morning”, “Special Offer of the Day”, “Special Offer of the Evening”. No, I am joking.
In our experience (Baginet Sales and Marketing Agency), the mailings are mostly opened, if information is directly related to the sales techniques of one or another hotel. I can highlight the most relevant and interesting topics:
- Interesting facts that can be mentioned in a conversation with a tourist or used as an argument. This information is not published in catalogs, it should be looked for individually - for example, the number of wines in the restaurant’s wine list, the chef’s awards.
- Comparative characteristics of hotels of the chain - for which person the certain hotel is more suitable, where the territory is more flat or where there are more staircases. Where can you accommodate a large group of tourists. What services are provided for families with small children.
- Lists of renovations in the hotel for the new season. For one customer, we made in January the newsletter "150 changes in hotels”. And it had opening rate of almost 30%, which is an impressive figure for the agencies net with average open rate of 6%. Of course, no one wants to miss the changes, because the professionalism of a travel agent is determined primarily by the knowledge of hotels.
- The new photos after the last photo session. But photos should consist no perfect views and sunsets, not the bright models on the beds, only concrete items - the types of rooms, restaurants, bars, the entrance in to the sea.
- Reference tables, infographics, instructions are on the pitch of the pyramid, since they most required. One of our newsletters with a table of hotels of one Greek chain, where it were clearly showed type beach, entrance in to the sea, type of water in the pools, if water is hasted in the pools – this table was downloaded literally by thousand times! The newsletter had opening rate of more than 35% (an average in tourism industry is 6%) and more than 1200 clicks on the link with table in PDF. Of course, you can create many tables of such kind - about services for small children, about the rooms for big groups of tourists, about conference halls and so on.
These comments relate to the content of mailings. Next time we'll talk about design.
Marina Zatsepina, With more than 15 years experience in Marketing in Tourism Industry, Marina is our expert in promotion on the Russian market. She worked in position of Marketing Director in one of the biggest tour operators in Russia, before to organize in partnership with Natalia Klimenok it's own enterprise. She graduated from Penza State University (Russia) with specialization in Public Relations, and has Master Degree in Russian-English Translation from Kent State University (USA).