In this space I have been writing about the importance of using different channels to reach all your customers. This column will address e-mail. Yes, don’t panic: you can still e-mail your customers provided you’ve got their permission.
The introduction of the new Canadian Anti Spam Legislation, or CASL, threw terror into the travel industry this spring as the industry became aware of the impact it would have.
To make matters worse, the legislation is subject to considerable interpretation and even lawyers who specialize in the field are still trying to get to the bottom of it.
It reminds me of when GST was introduced. Even the federal departments responsible for explaining it didn’t have a clue as to how it applied to many, many scenarios. And so it is with CASL.
I am no expert in this legislation and that is not the purpose of this column. You should get the right advice from an expert. But I am here to tell you that e-mail remains an important channel to reach some of your customers, and it is one that you should not abandon.
There are a few simple rules about e-mail that I’ve always felt are critical to getting them read instead of deleted and effective as a sales tool.
Create a subject line that’s clear, concise and enticing. Would you open this up?
Don’t use attachments. Embed your message right in the email.
Keep your message short and simple with a call to action.
Don’t send ‘heavy’ files that may get rejected.
Check to see how your host agency can help you. Do they have an e-mail marketing system. Do they handle it for you? Is there a limit to the number of names you can provide on your customer list? Does your host agency provide regular promotions that can be e-mailed to customers?
And very important, does your host agency target market your customers according to their interests and activities? This will also ensure your e-mails are read and not discarded.
E-mail marketing can be very cost effective, so long as you can find ways to ensure you don’t end up in Junk Mail or Spam. Your host agency should have solutions for this.
And always remember, when it comes to marketing: if you are out of sight, you are out of mind!