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Essential Email Marketing for DMOs

Written by Jason Herzog on . Posted in , , .


Remember this movie? And the excitement of hearing that “You’ve got mail!” jingle? Those were the days…

It’s 1998. You’ve Got Mail is in theaters. Tom Hanks in his hey-day.

The internet is now available to the masses (with dial-up connection!) and email is EXCITING. You got 1, maybe 2 emails a week and it was almost always your mom or grandma writing you.

Email marketing has come a long way since then. Pretty much every business organization has, at the very least, an email subscriber list and a basic newsletter they send on a regular basis.

The tools to help these businesses make the most of landing in a subscribers inbox have come a long way too. The options can be overwhelming.

Since we’ve worked in this space for years, and helped many clients with email marketing solutions, we’ve boiled the key focus areas down pretty well. For DMOs, here are our tips below.


Pique curiosity during a traveler’s decision making window and inspire them year round with interesting and informative content. As a DMO, you are the ultimate expert on traveling in your region.

Email is a great way to deliver fun, catchy content at scale to an engaged audience. After all, they’ve already expressed interest in hearing from you. Now is your time to wow them with a professionally designed and expertly written email delivered straight to their inbox. Extra Pro Tip: Make your email stand out with an animated GIF, providing movement in an otherwise static environment.

Make it Personal

Many on your email list will get there from your website form. Make sure to collect as much as you can while balancing the fact that too long of a form will leave people wanting to bounce.

First things first: Collect their First Name! This allows you to speak directly with your subscribers, providing just a small touch of personalization can increase your open rates by 10-15%!

Besides knowing WHO your subscribers are, you can also learn what interests them about your destination, when they might visit, how they might visit (solo, group, with family, etc) and if they will need lodging. This seems like a lot – and it is – but with the power of email automation, you can provide engaging and relevant content to each of these segments with very little effort.

Visit Fort Collins collects lots of great info about their subscribers.

Be There for Them (while they’re… there)

Have a clue that a subscriber has booked a trip to your destination? Now what? Leave it up to fate to make sure they’re all set for a smooth, enjoyable trip? I don’t think so!

Automated campaigns can be sent before a subscribers trip begins with insider tips or an offer for an activity from one of your partners. Going one step further, deploy these messages as SMS messages to make sure you are being heard and communicate with your visitors while they are at your designation. Some email platforms have cross-channel functionality to deploy SMS messages to (like Tourism Engine™).

Get Them Talking

It’s been pretty much a one-sided conversion thus far, hasn’t it? You’ve given your subscribers a lot of (great) information, but haven’t heard a peep from them!

If you collected travel dates like we mentioned before, make sure to follow up with them to see how their trip went. Going one step further, ask them to share some of their favorite vacation memories on social media.

Ready to take the next step in creating a brilliant email marketing strategy for your destination? Contact us and let us know.