Here’s a dilemma travel sites face: They want visitors to sign up and receive emails. They want to send deals and offers directly to people’s inboxes, knowing that email marketing is typically far more effective than generic ads people see across the web. A relevant and timely email can get prospects back to the site when they’re ready to book. The problem is visitors are often reluctant to sign up. Let’s look at some of their reactions to email signup on travel sites, and how to overcome objections.
I don’t want to be bombarded with loads of emails of special deals I’m never going to use
That was one customer’s reaction to an email signup form on a well-known travel site we studied. Another said:
I don’t really want to be receiving loads of emails. I’d rather just come on and look for it when I want it. So no, I wouldn’t sign up.
The problem for travel sites is they don’t want to rely on people coming back when they’re ready to book. Chances are something will happen in the meantime. Maybe a prospect will do a fresh search on Google, knowing prices and availability change all the time. Perhaps they’ll find another site and book there instead.
A relevant and timely email, advertising whatever the prospect is interested in – e.g. 7 night holiday in Majorca – is a powerful incentive to return to the same site. It comes at a time when the prospect still wants to book a trip; it’s totally relevant to what they’re looking for; and it’s more convenient than starting a new search: the prospect simply has to follow links in an email.
The fear of email overload
But people are reluctant to sign up because they fear being bombarded by irrelevant emails. As one visitor said:
They might just flood you with regular special deals.
‘Flood’ and ‘regular’ being the operative words. People are hesitant to sign up because they don’t want a deluge of irrelevant emails clogging up their inbox.
Overcoming the objection
One way to ease the fear of irrelevant email bombardment is to reassure people you’re not going to do it. Specify in the email signup form that you’ll only send deals and offers the visitor is interested in: things they’re searching for and looking at. Say you won’t overload them with messages. Say they can unsubscribe anytime.
Another way of tackling the relevance hesitation is to dynamically generate the signup form content based on the current page. So when visitors are on a destination, hotel or flight page, for example, show them something like:
‘Sign up to receive exclusive Majorca hotel deals and offers’
I wrote about the power of email marketing here. If you can capture visitors’ email addresses instead of hoping they’ll come back when they’re ready to book, you can send targeted and timely emails. Which means you can draw prospects back to your site when they’re ready to book.