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Conditional Content Basics for Emails in Tourism Engine™

This will show how to create content that shows for specific conditions. You can show content based on the data in Tourism Engine™. That includes all the data imported into Tourism Engine™ as well. 

Why You’d Use It

Being able to control what content shows based on conditions allows you to understand what engages your audience. Are they more invested in deals or video content? How early in the season and they planning? 

How It Works

Tourism Engine™ reads script inside curly brackets: {}. These scripts will control what content shows to whom and where. You can use any variable from the user profile (so first_name, email, statefield, or any other custom field you created). These are case-insensitive.  You can use these operators:

  • = (which means equal)
  • != (which means not equal to)
  • > (greater than, think revenue)
  • < (less than)
  • ~ (contains the string)
  • !~ (does not contain the string)



#1. Show a special offer to in-state People.  

{if:statefield=CO}Hello Locals! To show you how much we love you, here’s an offer just for you. Take 15% with this link: 15% Off. {/if}


#2. Display text based on the user’s interests 

If you create a custom field with checkboxes to capture a user’s interests, you should then use the operator “~” as a user may have several interests.


#3. Display text according to the list subscription

If you want to display some text according to the list subscription, you can use the tag giving all lists the user is subscribed to. Then search if your list name is inside: 

{if:var.{list:names}~your first list name}Message for your first list{/if}
{if:var.{list:names}~your second list name}Message for your second list{/if}

Essential Email Marketing for DMOs


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.

Creating an Animated Slideshow GIF for Use in Email

We’ve been using animated GIFs in email marketing for over a decade. It’s still an easy way to stand out a little and provide some movement in the otherwise static medium of email. There are virtually no drawbacks to using GIFs, other than the short amount of time it takes to create them. They’re compatible with just about every email client out there, and for users of Outlook 2005, they fail gracefully and simply show the first frame of animation.

Here, we’ll show you how to create a simple slideshow of four header images using Photoshop.

Create a file with four photos in four layers:
Screen Shot 2018 03 08 at 4.16.01 PM

Bring up the Timeline palette by clicking on Window > Timeline, and then create 3 more animation frames by clicking on the little “Page” icon in the Timeline palette:
Screen Shot 2018 03 08 at 4.19.56 PM
Screen Shot 2018 03 08 at 4.21.48 PM

Select the first frame in the Timeline and then “hide” all of the layers in the Layers palette:
Screen Shot 2018 03 08 at 4.26.09 PM

Select the second frame in the Timeline and then “un-hide” Layer 2 in the Layers palette:
Screen Shot 2018 03 08 at 4.27.53 PM

Do the same thing with Layers 3 and 4, so that each frame in the Timeline corresponds with a Layer in the Layers palette. Then change the Frame Delay from “0 sec.” to “2.5 sec” by clicking on the tiny triangle and selecting Other and entering “2.5”:
Screen Shot 2018 03 08 at 4.31.38 PM

 You should also change your Loop from “once” to “forever” (unless you want to end the animation on a specific frame):
Screen Shot 2018 03 08 at 4.34.01 PM

You can test the animation with the Play button (right-pointing triangle). To finally save the file, click on File > Save for Web:
Screen Shot 2018 03 08 at 4.37.09 PM

From the Save for Web dialog, select “GIF” as the image type, then click “save”:
Screen Shot 2018 03 08 at 4.39.06 PM

You can then upload the image to Tourism Engine and treat it the same as if it were a JPG or PNG file. We’re going to use this one in the header section of an email. Here’s the result:
seaside animation

Note: Animated GIFs are limited to 256 colors. If your animated GIF looks too “grainy”, then you can reduce the number of animation frames, or use images that have more similar colors, fewer colors, or less color variation.

Pro-Protip: Transparent colors don’t add to the filesize, so feel free to use layer transparency in your animations.

 Here’s something fun that Bobby created for his personal website:
super mario footer background

AGENCY Tourism Marketing

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