July 21, 2024

Force24 founder and CEO Adam Oldfield shares his strategy guide to email marketing, revealing the mistakes all cruise lines and travel agents need to avoid

A strong email marketing strategy is crucial when it comes to communicating with cruise travellers in an engaging and memorable way.

However, promoting the right offer to the right person at the right time is often easier said than done, especially when there’s a crowd of other cruise lines and travel agents attempting to do the same.

Fortunately, Adam Oldfield, founder and CEO of Force24, has some useful tips to prevent your email marketing strategy from going stale. It’s all part of a clever concept he likes to call ‘content nurture’. Cruise Trade News speaks to Oldfield to find out more.

Most people tend to get dozens of marketing emails a day, most of which go ignored. Is email marketing still a fruitful strategy for cruise brands?

In a quiet room the first person to shout gets the most attention, but in a room where everyone is shouting the first person to scream gets the attention – this is where we’re at with email right now. We’ve learned to zone out, so in order to cut through, personalisation is key.

Why does it pay to have a more personalised approach to your email marketing strategy?

It’s very easy within a business to go for short term wins – pushing offers, deals and discounts – when in actual fact the bit the consumers are leaning on the brands for is the knowledge and insight. We work with brands to establish nurture strategies that align to what they’re trying to achieve commercially and start to get them to think about a contact on a timeline rather than within a campaign as a whole.

How does the concept of ‘content nurture’ fit into this?

The whole point of nurture is to start looking at audiences as individuals so you can start to map out what you want them to experience from each stage of the campaign.

Most marketeers [think they] need to push out a generic offer, but actually what’s more important is taking an individual on a journey to determine what cruising means to them and then understanding the sales message that would work best with that individual.

How do you work out what the right sales message is?

The first thing is looking at someone’s booking data and seeing what we know about them already?

For example, we know when they went, where they went and how much they paid, but usually we have no other data to support any level of personalisation. Ideally, we’d like to know their income and if there was a special reason that drove their initial booking.

Once you understand what’s missing, you can plug those gaps using open-source data, so next time you’re looking to sell an affordable cruise for the family, , you’ll know exactly who you’re going to go to and what you’re going to say to them.

Where do cruise lines and travel agents tend to go wrong in their email communication?

One interesting thing I’ve observed is that marketeers within the cruise industry tend to over burden their emails. What marketeers are trying to do is they’re sending an email with all this qualifying information that creates all this noise in their inbox.

By simplifying the message and recognising that email is part of a conversation – i.e. there’s another email coming in the next day or so– means you can be a bit more direct and work the full message in over a period of time.”

Force24 will be speaking about the power of email marketing in the cruise sector at this year’s Cruise Summit on 17 June at the NewsUK office in London Bridge.

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