There continues to be a rise in air travelers, making it a lucrative industry for marketers. In fact, the total number of people flying on U.S. airlines is projected to increase to 1.15 billion in 2034, which was only 745.5 million in 2014, as per the published forecasts. And, it’s not just the U.S.
The International Air Transport Association or IATA circulated its first 20-year passenger growth forecast, estimating passenger numbers to upsurge to 7.3 billion by 2034. This shows how quickly the aviation industry is extending its growth. But, here comes the question. How is an age-old email marketing approach related to this productive business? Will it help them uplift the revenue? Or is it only about spamming the customers with irrelevant promotions?
How Email Marketing Helps Aviation Segment?
Email marketing is the most robust tool that any aviation company can use! Yes, you read it right. It helps the aviation professionals reach the targeted audience immediately in a way no other advertising type does. And, we have listed the strongest set of answers to clarify your doubt.
As mentioned earlier, the aviation industry has a large number of customers. With this set of audience, email helps the airline professionals in quickly reach out to them. Being the most effective communication channel, it helps them add value to customers and thereby position the brand as most-reliable.
Email marketing aids the aviation industry in filling their sales funnel. It provides a compelling point of communication between the customer and the brand, right from the initial contact. It lets the marketers add an opportunity for their business by owning more of the customer journey.
Creating well-written content or distributing it to the right audience has never been easier for the aviation sector. While one can source the content locally, the lack of curation or timing has made the message irrelevant. Email marketing offers a layer of intelligence that aids the professionals in matching the content to a prospect’s preferences and delivering it at the optimal moment in a travel life cycle.
With every advantage, marketer must learn how to utilize email at the next touchpoint. So, how do we proceed with such strategies? To help, we have listed some simple aviation email marketing tactics to follow.
Proven Email Marketing Strategies for the Aviation Industry
1. Learn the Ultimate Motive of Your Audience
Have your aviation business recognized the motive behind the audience? What experience are they primarily interested in when buying a flight or traveling to the desired destination? Is it a fancy lifestyle of 10 hours in a space that is 35000 feet above the earth or merely an experience in-destination? It is crucial to know what your customer wants from your brand.
For instance, Airbnb has identified that 43% of its audience as “explorers.” For these travelers, the personality of their accommodation and the neighborhood vibe is of top priority. This is how Airbnb lead their email approaches with local experiences and offer timely accommodation for the clients based on their engagement.
This explains why valuing context over plain service is of utmost importance for any brand.
2. Strategic Narrative to Build Relationships
Strategic narrative or a storytelling approach positions the customer in relation to the brand. Unfortunately, most of the aviation marketing teams focus on sharing facts and figures, rather than stories. But, we as human beings live through tales, not statistics. Aviation marketers who hope to build an endearing business need to know the importance of storytelling and focus on framing the content in this viewpoint.
Aviation companies are full of stories that need to be shared but seldom are. For instance, the stories of aircraft engineers, designers of guided missile, long-serving airline staff, airplane passengers, or the pilots with magic in their veins. Some of the smart brands utilize emails to share these stories.
Southwest’s pioneers recognized the intensity of narrating stories to associate with the clients on a more profound level than any of the average firms. In the course of the most recent couple of months, their advertising effort has concentrated on sharing the 175 Stories of 175 seats on Airlines, beginning with the brand’s intuitive microsite.
Ryan Green, VP, and CMO at Southwest Airlines stated, “At Southwest Airlines, our Customers are the reason we fly. We are honored and pleased to tell stories inspired by the more than 115 million people who fly Southwest Airlines every year.”
Such stories can easily reach the large troop of the audience via emails. The recipients will know why Jane, a little girl in the seat 2D, had to fly frequently to the Children’s Hospice.
3. Understand the Context of the Customer Journey
In the aviation industry, understanding the customer journey and their lifecycle is of great significance. Customers play a crucial role in this segment. The industry depends on its customers – without customers, any part of aviation, be it manufacturing or airlines, would not exist. Therefore, companies need to learn people’s needs in a specific stage and deliver unique experiences.
You can make your customer feel unique with a more personalized experience. For example, Emirates provides the ‘Knowledge-driven Inflight Service’, making it easy for the crew to review previous customer’s trips and learn their current preferences or issues. Based on this data, marketers can offer a personalized service via email.
For an industry that is foreseen solely on the customer journey, it is crucial to learn the answers for the following queries:
- How a customer moves from planning to book the flight?
- Are they ready to buy from your aviation brand?
- How should email correlate to the phase of each customer?
With these answers, they can curate a highly-personalized email with a direct call-to-action (CTA), in a contextual narrative to resolve the customer’s present issue.
4. Improve the Relevance of Email Programs
This tactic is closely associated with the above procedure. You need to ensure if your messages are highly relevant to the customer’s preference or life cycle. Otherwise, you may end up losing your prospects to the competitors.
Consider the example of American Airlines. The company discovered this rule while embracing its Abandoned Cart Program in 2013. Its triggered email strategies such as Abandoned Cart worked perfectly well by personalizing the subscriber’s experience with the relevant content.
That is, the cart on the airline’s ticketing page contained an un-purchased trip for more than 24 hours prompted the professionals to send an email to the respective audience. The new email consisted of the lowest and most flexible flight charges based on what they left in the abandoned cart. The result?
- Increased the open rate by 300% than any other email outreach for Americans.
- 200% higher click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rates of 400% above other efforts.
Now it’s Your Turn
The aviation industry can become a valued travel resource for clients and build the audience’s trust by taking the email marketing cues mentioned here and adopting a process of sales through the context of a personalized approach.
Robert Duke is a Marketing Manager and Spokesperson of Blue Mail Media.