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Email Automation Part 1: What are Drip Campaigns and How Can Operators Use Them?

Last updated on March 6, 2024
5 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Email automation makes it easy to have touch points with your customers.
  • Set up communications to send at a certain event or trigger.
  • There are several drip campaigns that would be beneficial to tour operators.

Skill Level

Beginner, Intermediate

Mastering your marketing strategy is a top way to bring in more bookings, from customers new and old. This time, we have a two-part series about email automation featuring tips and tricks from FareHarbor’s own Email Marketing Strategist, Liz Legatt. 

This guide will cover what email automation is along with a few types of campaigns that are beneficial to run as a tour and activity operator. Then, head over to part two, which will show you how to set up your new automation journey. 

What is Email Automation? 

Email automation, also known as a drip campaign, automation campaign, or automation journey, refers to marketing emails that are automatically sent to your customers based on an event or trigger.  For example, the automation would be triggered the moment they sign up for your newsletter or 24 hours after they finish their tour. 

This communication makes it easy to have regular touch points with your customers and keep them engaged with your business. Plus, since the emails are sent automatically, there is less work on your end once you set them up. 

Your campaign can consist of one email or become a series that covers different topics or offers promotions. The content of these emails personalizes the communication with your customers, hitting them at the right time in their customer journey.

Note that email automation is not the same function as sending canned messages within your Dashboard. Email automation can be set up through your email platform of choice, such as Mailchimp. 

Types of Automation Journeys for Tour and Activity Operators

As our in-house email expert, Liz has provided a few email automation campaigns that will help any tour or activity operator looking to increase engagement and save valuable time.  

1. Welcome Journey

What it is: This is the first email communication a customer will receive when they sign up for your email list.

Benefit: Since this email is sent to someone who entered their email on your site, you know they are interested in booking or learning more. Immediately sending communication can familiarize them with your brand and give a clear path to a booking. 

What to include: Make it fun and inviting! Feature pictures and information about your business and most popular activities. You can even offer a special promotion to persuade an immediate booking. 

2. Special Event or Occasion Email

What it is: This is an email that sends on a customer’s birthday, subscriber anniversary, or similar occasion.

Benefit: This is a non-invasive, exciting way to get in front of your contacts.

What to include: Thank them for being a customer and incentivize them to make another purchase, possibly with a promo or discount.

3. Recent Customer Automation 

What it is: This email is sent after a customer has completed an experience at your business. Timing is up to your discretion. 

Benefit: The goal of this series is to encourage repeat customers and/or collect feedback or reviews.

What to include: This email can get more personal. If your goal is to gain repeat customers, include tailored recommendations for future tours as well as a promo code. However, if your goal is to collect customer feedback, be sure to include your favored review sites, like Google or Yelp, or scored survey links.  

4. Re-engagement Series

What it is: This email is sent to your unengaged email segments.

Benefit: This is a chance to re-engage customers on your email list who haven’t opened or clicked your emails in a while. 

What to include: The way to win over these customers is with an incentive! Consider offering a higher discount or a free add-on. 

These emails are a great tool to increase conversions and keep customers in the know. Remember to read part two of our email automation journey series to learn how to set up your next drip campaign. 

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