Achieving Alamosa’s Digital Growth Goals Through Email Automation
The future was looking bright for Alamosa CVB—and not just because of their notoriously bluebird skies. Since 2015, Alamosa had been making steady progress in developing its reputation as a diverse drive-to destination located in South-Central Colorado. Centered in the heart of what’s referred to as the “Majestic San Luis Valley”, Alamosa has landed on the radar for many travelers because of its authentic culture, eclectic attractions, and abundance of unworldly views.
The decision to expand upon Alamosa’s marketing budget in 2019 was made by Kale Mortensen, Alamosa CVB Marketing Director, after reporting another year of record-setting figures.
“2019 was a year for the record books and we felt our community come together for forward progress. Both Lodging Tax and Marketing District Tax collections broke record figures. The Great Sand Dunes National Park was a majority contributor, seeing a record number of visitors this year.” -Kale, Alamosa CVB.
Setting the Bar
Having been a full-service client of Agency’s for years, we sat down with Kale and his team to discuss ambitious goals for the year ahead. We each understood that there was still opportunity to optimize our current digital marketing efforts further as well as pioneer Alamosa as a leader in sustainable tourism strategies—an overarching goal of the organization. He decided to expand his marketing budget for 2020 to do just that.
“2019 set a high bar but 2020 holds an opportunity to continue smart growth and improve upon our current target markets.” -Kale, Alamosa CVB.
Agency Tourism Marketing founder, Jason Herzog, identified email marketing as a viable tactic. Alamosa had been an active user of Tourism Engine—Agency’s proprietary email software—for years but he felt that they weren’t using it to its full potential. Tourism Engine excels when it has the ability to connect a user between multiple touch-points, which opens the door for us to send highly relevant and personalized messages. After showcasing recent goals achieved through email automation strategies with clients such as Travel Oregon & Visit Seaside, Kale and his team were on board to give it a try.
“Marketing Automation provides a way to integrate with many other marketing components like email marketing, interest-based data collection, surveys, list building, e-commerce, and itinerary building. Whatever projects we choose to move forward with, and whatever budget we allocate to marketing components could be multiplied by integrating it with a marketing automation strategy.” -Jason Herzog, Agency Tourism Marketing President.
Off we went to the drawing board. Our first revelation was the idea that this project could achieve intersecting objectives between generating website traffic, increasing the amount of visitor guide requests, and growing engagement. Next, we drew up automation paths from various event triggers and started building our content and tracking mechanisms. One component of the initial design looked something like this:
At the completion of the project, we had set up three different event triggers relating to Alamosa’s website along with an assortment of carefully curated and conditional content.
Since the project’s launch, we’ve seen a 36% increase in visitor guide requests and a 40% increase in website traffic sourced from email year-over-year. Our email automation efforts have enabled Alamosa to further nurture qualified leads towards their end goal of converting them into new visitors. Furthermore, it has helped inform their audience of what to expect when considering travel during the pandemic.
The Icing on the Cake
If you don’t already know, user-generated content (UGC) is a great strategy for giving your digital communications an extra boost, often increasing engagement and click-through. Since signing on with CrowdRiff, Alamosa has done just that by implementing their web galleries into various locations across their website. To further utilize this technology, we decided to develop a plugin specific to Tourism Engine that allows for the direct sourcing of content through the CrowdRiff app. While it’s still in beta-testing, we used this plugin to source all imagery used for Alamosa’s automation campaign which further boosted engagement across the board.
This is what we at Agency call a win-win-win situation:
✅ Win #1: The end-user consumes high-quality and engaging content within emails.
✅ Win #2: Sourcing images for the email is easier than ever.
✅ Win #3: The original content producer has their handle showcased along with a link to their profile or original post (either or) which supports their creative efforts.
It probably goes without saying, but we really enjoy it when everyone comes out a winner.
We’re not done yet! We plan to optimize Alamosa’s email automation campaigns further by implementing more relatable content for the end-user. As the season’s change and marketing calendars navigate the pandemic, messaging and topics will change as well. We see these changes as opportunities to connect with future visitors and showcase all that this destination has to offer.
-Nicholas Niebes, Digital Account and Marketing Manager
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