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3 Reasons Email Campaigns Remain the Best Marketing Tool for Airports

9 Sep 2021
Victoria Wallace

In recent years, social media has dominated the consciousness of destination and venue marketers. Easy shareability and image-centric appeal made channels like Instagram and Facebook a straightforward and attractive choice. But while social media offers new and sleeker ways to reach customers, it doesn’t mean you should give up on email.

Even in 2021, email remains a powerful communication tool for airports. In fact, email marketing has proven the most effective of all marketing channels over the last decade. So if you’ve already written it off, we urge you to reconsider for the sake of your airport marketing strategy!

The ROI of email marketing for airports

Traditionally, email marketing was a method for building and nurturing lasting relationships with current and potential airport users. But according to an article in Marketing Week, Saul Lopes, customer lifecycle lead at Virgin Holidays, claims email is “becoming cool again.”

Lopes says, “Email is generating a lot of money and, in my opinion, it is having a rebirth; many companies are rethinking it.”

The statistics agree. According to KUB, almost 60% of marketers claim email is their largest ROI and figures from the DMA show that UK marketers received approximately £35.41 for every £1 spent on email marketing in 2020.

According to Community Flights, 66% of consumers have made a purchase online due to receiving an email, and 74% of airport customers prefer to receive commercial communications by email.

Discover the true value of email

Email is about much more than just brand awareness. Using Rezcomm’s easy Drag & Drop Email and Landing Page Builder, airports can create interactive emails that allow customers to take direct flights, hotel, holiday and parking bookings, capturing customers at the point of purchase.

What’s more, you can upsell airport lounge and fast track security tickets and target personalised offers and discounts for retail and food and beverage partners. All while using email to inform and even reassure passengers, which is crucial to rebuilding their confidence in travel during COVID-recovery.

Optimising all touchpoints with email marketing

To return to the example of Virgin Holidays and Lopes, whose team won the email category at Marketing Week’s Masters of Marketing Award in 2017, the brand uses email to increase sales at all points on the customer journey – pre-booking, post-booking and post-holiday. Email campaigns are designed to manage customer interactions throughout the journey, with a different strategy for each stage.

Virgin Holidays worked with artificial intelligence and technology experts to improve reach with better subject lines and optimise content using real-time data such as weather feeds, pricing and the number of people looking at certain offers.

The brand’s email campaign aimed to be timely, relevant, valuable to each unique recipient and visually appealing to convert website visits into bookings. It resulted in a 31% increase in site traffic. Awareness through emails opened increased by 65% compared with the previous sales period, and revenue from CRM communications grew by 37% to £10.6m.

Email builds connections with customers, developing trust and giving you the opportunity to present the value of your airport services. It remains the best marketing tool for airports for three reasons:

1.  People like email discounts & promotions

Just think about the volume of special offers available – daily discount emails, vouchers for restaurants and Black Friday deals. You could say we’re addicted to discounts!

Currently, there’s a massive appetite for travel post-pandemic, as travel restrictions ease. People are looking to book flights, so now’s the time to inspire them with personalised travel recommendations and discounts. Promotional email marketing effectively engages customers with deals and special offers, especially when consumer interest in booking flights is high.

Email marketing also works at other points in the customer lifecycle, such as when they’ve returned home from a holiday. Use discounts to incentivise a purchase when they’ve got the post-holiday blues and feel the need to book another trip.

Discounts and special offers can be helpful for customers who are overwhelmed with choice. 62% say promotions have helped them to make decisions. Executed properly around relevant seasonal opportunities, your airport can offer timely, time-sensitive deals that drive conversions. Offers like ‘buy one, get one free’ are the most attractive to consumers, and figures from Paymentsense show that women (71%) are more likely to respond to a bargain than men (57%).

Remember, discounts delivered via email are not only great for kickstarting customer relationships but retaining them. 80% of business professionals believe emails boost customer retention [HubSpot]. They facilitate a deeper level of communication between an airport and its customers. Keep customers in the loop with your plans (particularly important post-pandemic), reward them with discounts to make them feel good, and they’re more likely to stick around.

2.  Emails are convenient and mobile-friendly

Did you know that 99% of people check their emails every day, and it’s by far their preferred way to receive updates from brands? While new and sleek digital marketing channels are constantly popping up, email continues to be effective, and that’s likely because it’s convenient.

Yes, email offers a level of convenience that is hard to replicate, particularly now most (46%) people interact with emails via their mobile phones. As predicted, we’re almost at a point where mobile surpasses desktop, so if you haven’t already, now’s the time to make sure you’re joining the 73% of businesses already prioritising mobile optimisation when creating email marketing campaigns.

Rezcomm makes this easy with a user-friendly drag and drop email builder, optimised for mobile. Follow a template or enjoy total design freedom with the tools at your disposal to build professional, on-brand communications with a few clicks of the mouse.

Email your entire customer base, a segment or individual customers in less than 2 seconds with our convenient email sending service, and use our powerful tracking tools to identify the true value of your email marketing campaigns.

3.  Emails can be personalised

Personalisation has become an essential part of digital marketing. There is lots of evidence to show that sending personalised communications drives results. And you only need to look at email for the proof. According to Campaign Monitor, personalised emails have an average opening rate of 18.8% compared to non-personalised emails of 13.1%.

But personalisation is more than just throwing your customer’s first name into the subject line. Customers naturally engage with emails tailored to their preferences, previous purchases, and so on. So the more data you have about your customers, the better. With intuitive data collection and email automation, there’s also the potential to send targeted content to your customers based on where they are in the buying cycle.

Do you need to generate brand awareness, or is the customer ready to book their flights? Do you need to send pre-travel information, or has a customer returned home and needs incentivising to book another trip? Get answers with Rezcomm.

Gather marketing permissions with Wi-Fi data capture and track everything in our Centralised Customer Information Management system to join the dots and build insightful passenger profiles. Unify your data and insights from all touchpoints to create and deliver hyper-personalised emails tailored to your customers’ needs. Give customers travel information and offers at the optimal time to improve their overall airport experience.

Email is here to stay

Regardless of how many cutting-edge marketing tools arise, email remains a crucial player in the marketing mix. As long as people keep checking their emails, it will remain the best channel for reaching customers and motivating them to spend money with your airport. Get in touch to discover how the Rezcomm Marketplace can help you optimise your airport marketing strategy and deliver a joined-up experience to your customers.