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Successful Email Marketing in the Travel Industry in 2023 – Part One

Email Marketing Success as a Travel Professional in 2023

Email Marketing can be the best Marketing Tool for a Travel Professional.

Here are some reasons why and how to use it in your business!


Written By: Tom Ogg, Founder and Co-Owner – Travel Professional NEWS



One result from the COVID pandemic was the raising of the bar for email marketing. Millions upon millions of consumers who used email for communication during the pandemic have achieved a much more sophisticated understanding of email’s capabilities and functionality. The pandemic saw an explosion of phishing and other email scams at an unprecedented rate. Consumer awareness of scams soared to a level that had never been seen before.


As a result consumers adopted an entirely new set of rules when it came to opening email. Here is what most consumers think about when it comes to email.

  1. Do not open unsolicited email from people you don’t know.
  2. Do not click any links in emails.
  3. Never open any email attachments, unless you know that they are safe.
  4. Do not supply any personal information, especially passwords, to anyone via email.
  5. Never click on email links from companies that you may work with.
  6. Always go to the source of the email by visiting your account directly.


In addition to the above issues at the consumer level, spam filters grew the spam trigger word inventory by hundreds of words and phrases. There are many websites that list current spam trigger words and you should become quite familiar with them. For the most part words that tend to over promise, puffery words and phrases, hype and deceptive words and phrases are likely on the spam trigger word list.


Complying with the CAN-Spam Act of 2003

Not complying with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 which established rules that apply to commercial email, will cause you great damage. This law carries a potential penalty of $46,527 per email for violations. Yes, that is “per email”, This law must be complied with for commercial email campaigns and if you are not in compliance, your email will most likely end up in spam folders.


Complying with the CAN-Spam Act of 2003 as a Travel Professional in 2023


Here is a link to the FTC’s “Compliance Guide for Business” that outlines the specific elements of the law. Basically. there are seven elements you must comply with. Here they are.

  1. Don’t Use False or Misleading Header Information
  2. Don’t Use Deceptive Subject Lines
  3. Identify Your Email as an Advertisement
  4. Tell Recipients Where You Are located
  5. Tell Recipients How to Opt Out of Receiving Future Emails From You
  6. Honor Opt Out Requests Promptly
  7. Monitor What Others Are Doing on Your Behalf


Eleven Additional Reasons that Email Can Lead to the Spam Folder


Eleven Additional Reasons that Email Can Lead to the Spam Folder as a Travel Professional in 2023


  1. You do not Have Permission to Send Business Email to the Recipient:
  2. The Sender Information is Incomplete
  3. You Are Using Spam Trigger Words
  4. Your Subject Line is Weak
  5. Your Email Includes Attachments
  6. There is no Opt Out Link
  7. There are Spelling and Grammar Errors
  8. You are Mailing to a List that You Purchased Online that Contains Numerous Bad Email Addresses Driving Your Bounce Rate Through the Roof
  9. You Address the Recipient as “Friend, Dear or any other Generic Title”
  10. Your Subject is in All Caps
  11. Your IP Address has been Associated with Spam


You can see the challenge facing all email marketers has grown immensely. You have to consider the reality from the consumers perspective and also the harsh realities of email marketing laws and making sure you avoid the spam folder. The worst case scenario is when your email recipients complain that you are sending spam. This will cause your email reputation with email servers to pretty much block your mail from ever being delivered. When this happens it is very difficult to get it reversed. So let’s take a look at what you need to do to operate a successful email marketing campaign.


Successful Email Marketing in the Travel Industry in 2023

Of course, you must comply with the CAN-SPAN Act’s rules and regulations. Once you read the FTC’s “Compliance Guide for Business” you should immediately structure your email campaign for full compliance.


Why You Need a Permission Based Email Server

The days of sending your email using Outlook are now long gone. If you see using email as a travel marketing tool, you need to migrate your email list to a sophisticated permission based email server. Besides the obvious technology enabling you to build html emails, using a permission based email server offers several benefits.


Why You Need a Permission Based Email Server as a Travel Professional in 2023


Authority and Trust

The most important benefit is the authority and trust the permission based email server has established. Email delivered from the host server’s IP address is immediately recognized as a secure permission based source and will rarely be treated as spam. Even if you are with a host that is not permission based and your email meets all of the criteria to avoid spam folders, if the IP address of that host server has had problems with others that use the service, your email will be affected by using their IP address.



Starting out with a quality host email server allows to you grow your list quickly and with little effort. Since your list has been opt-in only from the very start, your emails will be dealt with as such. We grew our list of travel agents from the first one back in the late 1990s to well over 100,000 now. This has provided us with terrific open and click through rates that are well above our competitors.



Today’s host email servers are quite sophisticated and offer you the opportunity to brand each and every email that you send. Your branding may include logos, images, text, color palettes, social media, landing pages and branded email addresses. The entire process should make your business platform uniform regardless of if a client is reading your email, visiting your website or social media platforms or sees you in person at trade show, fairs, chamber of commerce functions or anywhere else.


Data Security

Host email servers offer a level of security that would be difficult to duplicate on your own private email server. This is huge simply because in today’s world virus and malware attacks occur frequently. Maintaining the security of your email list is of the utmost importance and using a sophisticated host email server is the way to go.



Should the day come when you want to sell your business, having your email list on a sophisticated email server will add a ton of value for the buyer who can access detailed information about every recipient on the list.

Segment Your List

You should capture as much information about your clients in your CRM and then focus your email marketing on the various segments of clients in your list. As an example, if you have clients that love to cruise, then create a separate list of them and send them information that is timely and interesting about cruising. Many sophisticated host email servers offer segmenting tools that can help with this task if there are too many names on your list to do it yourself. By focusing your email campaigns on segments, you will achieve higher open and click through rates. This will result in not only more authority and trust for your campaigns, but more conversions and sales.




Personalize Your Emails

Having the ability to personalize your email will dramatically increase your open rate. You should make sure that your host email server offers this important feature and that you have structured your recipient database in such a way that you can easily capture the client’s first and last name. When you are sending to a segment of your list by personalizing both the subject line and the content, it gives the client a strong feeling of loyalty and appreciation for the message. Sending personalized email to your segmented lists will dramatically increase your open, click-through and conversion rates in the niche that the segment is focused on.


Use a Branded Email Address

Your business email address should tell the recipient exactly who is sending the email to them. It should be professional and easy to understand. A branded email address shows your client that you are serious about your business and also projects professionalism. A branded email address looks like you@yourbusiness,com. Let’s say that you are a river cruise enthusiast, which email address would encourage you to open an email? [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]? You can easily see the advantage of having a branded email address.


Consistent Branding is Mandatory

We discussed the importance of branding under the discourse about why you need a permission based email server, but we need to discuss the importance of consistent email campaign branding. Consistent branding makes you memorable and contributes to brand recognition. It builds awareness, loyalty and trust. Consistent branded email campaigns can lead to increased revenue.


When branding your email campaigns you should always use a template consistent with your corporate branding. This will allow the reader to immediately connect your email with your website, social media presence and other branded media. You should use the same color palette as all of your media branding and also include your logo in every email. Using a consistent email schedule for your campaigns is also very important. Don’t over send or under send emails to clients, but try to understand the appropriate scheduling for your client base.


You can easily see that email marketing has become a very finite activity. There is no shortcut, but done right your email campaigns can drive revenue to your business.