Plan E-Mail Newsletters Your Guests Will Love In 2017

Last Updated December 14, 2016

EzTix Monthly Exercise – Newsletter Planning from EzTix on Vimeo.

When I say “email newsletters”, you probably have a sour taste in your mouth because you receive — sorry, “delete” — so many email newsletters that you wonder why anyone would possibly want to read yours. It’s because there’s an effective way to market through email, and an ineffective way. The ones you delete, those are the ineffective ones. 

A recent Return Path study found “when newsletters deliver great content and follow email best practices, they help marketers measurably strengthen subscriber engagement and stay connected to their audiences.” This is what we’re looking for. We’re looking to strengthen those relationships with potential guests, and nurture that relationship with past guests. 

Quick facts on email marketing:

According to Experian, $1 spent on email marketing typically provides a return of $45 to $50.
• The idea that people don’t buy because you sell. They buy because they trust you, are loyal to you, and are fans of your business.
• You can increase your social media following, and engagement, through your email newsletter.

As part of our initiative to help you better promote your tour, we’d like to take some time this month to provide direction on planning out a monthly newsletters. By setting up an outline for your monthly newsletter you’ll be able to quickly place in new content and schedule newsletters to be automatically sent. Now, let’s get started!

Pre-requisites: 

• For the purposes of this article we’ll be focusing on MailChimp but any type of email marketing platform will work
• Have an understanding of your “ideal guest”

When I say “ideal guest”, I mean the type of person who is more likely to take your tour than someone else. For instance, if you’re one of our Caribbean tours, you know your guests are primarily cruise traveling tourists. This is different from the team in New Jersey who’s focus is primarily locals who host corporate events. 

By understanding “who” you’re sending the email to, you’ll get a better idea of the value you can provide. 

Step 1: Plan which day each month you’ll be sending your newsletter

Look at the calendar for 2017 and choose a day for each month. 

January ___, 2017
February ___, 2017
M
arch ___, 2017
April ___, 2017
May ___, 2017
June ___, 2017
July ___, 2017
August ___, 2017
September ___, 2017
October ___, 2017
November ___, 2017
December ___, 2017

Step 2: Plan out 3 different categories of content

This doesn’t have to be anything complex. We just want 3 different pieces of content you can send every month that your ideal guest would be interested in reading. By knowing in advance what day you’ll be sending your newsletter, you can start to plan for content around that time to keep it relevant. 

For example: If you’re an American-based tour sending a June or July newsletter, you may want to mention something about independence day.

Here at EzTix, we know that our partners would love:

• Help with digital marketing
• To know about updates to the product
• To be kept up-to-date on tour & event best practices

If you don’t “know” what they like, take a guess. Try it out. As with any marketing tactic, the best thing you can do is try it out, get feedback, and adjust.

Step 3: Write 1 bullet points for each newsletter category

To make things easier on yourself in the future, we want to create a quick outline for each newsletter. Nothing too in-depth. Just 1 bullet point that quickly summarizes the type of content you will be sending. If we use the example above, ours might might look like.

April 12, 2017
Category: Help with Digital Marketing
• Find an infographic online that outlines a new strategy

Category: Product Updates
• Announce new EzSites designs

Category: Best Practices 
• Tips on preparing for a busy tour season

Step 4: Create a newsletter campaign in MailChimp and place in your set of content

If you’re not familiar with creating an email newsletter, you can read this great step-by-step guide from Envato. https://goo.gl/HLNDgg

Step 5: Schedule your newsletter campaign to send

Within your program you have the ability to choose when this campaign should be sent. 

Here’s a great look at building effective newsletters with some excellent tips on when to schedule your communications.

Step 6: Schedule yourself time next month to put together the next newsletter

 On the instructions for that day, write:

1) Open MailChimp
2) Replicate last month’s campaign
3) Update content

As you begin sending your newsletters remember that all digital marketing is a process of “trial & trial”. There’s no 100% right type of content to send because every tour is unique. And every set of guests interested in that tour are unique. Best you can do is to send something out, see how it’s received, adjust, and send again. 

We’re also offering you an easy to use spreadsheet for planning out the year.

Download Now: Excel | Numbers

If you have any questions, I’d encourage you to search online for a more in-depth analysis. We’re also happy to answer any questions you might have. When you have the opportunity, you have my permission to add joe@eztix.com to your mailing list. I’d love to see what you’re putting together!

Thank you for your time and happy planning!

JEREMY CRITTENDEN

As the Director of Communications for EzTix, Jeremy is always open to hearing your feedback and understanding how we can help serve you better.

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