Fáilte Ireland's Email Marketing Industry Toolkit

Page 1

Your guide to using your database to deliver more bookings

5 free tools for smart email marketing

Email subject lines that work

10+ tips for improving open rates

How to test your email and measure success


Increase bookings with Email




TABLE OF CONTENTS How to get your emails opened and read


The email body


Get started with email templates


Automating emails that work


Test your campaign and measure its success


Final thoughts


Keep Discovering Industry Assets - Our Terms and Conditions of Use By using our Keep Discovering suite of assets and the Discovering Begins Here logo, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions of use. You must be a tourism business to be permitted to use these assets and you must only use them in accordance with the guidelines we have outlined in this Keep Discovering Industry Toolkit. The assets may be used in print and digital marketing materials, provided they follow the guidelines outlined in this Toolkit. The assets may not be used in signage, vehicular branding or packaging or merchandising of any kind including clothing and uniforms. Fáilte Ireland (who are the owners of these assets) reserves the right to withdraw the use of the assets from any ineligible business or a business that is using the assets in an inappropriate manner.




Welcome to your email marketing guide With so many fantastic destinations, experiences and places to stay in our wonderful country, how do you stand out from the crowd in a noisy digital landscape? Email marketing is an efficient, low-cost tool that sends useful promotional content directly to your customers’ inbox and entices them to book. The average open rate on a tourism marketing email is 17.7% (1). How do you ensure your message gets clicked on, read and acted upon? In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to create great emails that readers will want to open and click on, increasing visits to your website and drive bookings. We will show you how simple email tweaks will connect with your audience and encourage them to choose your business. We will show you the impact that great images can make alongside conversational content. Email is a direct line to your guests. By optimising how you’re sending, and what you’re sending, it will engage visitors this year and beyond. Best of luck in using this guide. We hope you find it very helpful.

Niall Tracey, Director of Marketing Fáilte Ireland


How to use this guide This is an interactive digital toolkit. Throughout these pages you will see text underlined in green, or a finger pointer. Simply click these to access.

1) 17.7% for the travel, hospitality and leisure industry - data from Campaign Monitor in 2021.

Get People Clicking

How to get your emails opened and read GORTEEN BEACH, ROUNDSTONE, CONNEMARA, CO. GALWAY


43% of Irish adults plan to take a short break in Ireland in the next 6 months. (Fáilte Ireland, April 2021)

Get people clicking Email marketing might seem like a lot of work, but when it’s done well, it helps to drive bookings. A regular newsletter reaches the people who want news and offers about your business. 4

Don’t know where to begin with your marketing email? Follow our tips to create winning emails that will get your customers clicking and more importantly, get them booking and visiting your business.


Read on as we run through the anatomy of an email and what to watch out for to improve your email marketing results as part of your marketing strategy.




Email is a great tool for engagement. You are 6 times more likely to get a click from an email than a tweet.

Hotels and tourism businesses have access to a gold mine of customer data, that can be used in customisable emails.

Using an email provider like MailChimp, you can check and optimise every aspect of performance, clicks, open rates and bookings.


Email recipients delete as much as 65% of messages based on the subject line.


The subject line First up is the subject line. Pick up any newspaper and you’ll see how a snappy, eye-catching headline catches a reader’s attention. Your email subject line does the exact same job. Here are our top tips: K eep it short 70 characters or less, any longer and words will get cut off. Use this free character counter to check your subject heading length.

(Travel Professional News)

Make it urgent You want people to click and take action now e.g., ‘48 hour sale on our Family Rooms’ or include the day of the week in the subject line, e.g., ‘Happy Wednesday, time to plan your weekend in Dublin.’ Add value with extra info ‘9 great outdoor activities on the Wild Atlantic Way’ (odd numbers are more effective than even in headings).

D on’t be afraid to use emojis Cute smiling suns and umbrella emojis can catch the reader’s attention .


M ake it actionable Always include a call-toaction, urge the customer to make a booking, e.g., ‘Time to start planning your summer staycation!’


Get People Clicking

We’ve compiled 20+ ready-made subject lines for you to choose from. Click here to access the Word document and simply copy to use.

20 EFFECTIVE EMAIL SUBJECT LINES 1 Time to explore Ireland and book that summer getaway 2. See you soon in Ireland’s Ancient East 3. 9 great family activities on the Wild Atlantic Way 4. Check out our great deals and start dreaming of summer

5. Spend the bank holiday in the sunny south – our doors are open 6. Discover Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands with a weekend break 7. Get 10% off a three-night stay with this exclusive hotel coupon 8. Explore Connemara with 15 great outdoor activities 9. And breathe… relaxing breaks and great deals this way 10. Rekindle the romance with a couple’s weekend break in Dublin 11. Pack your bags and join us in glorious Donegal


12. Goodbye back garden, hello Ireland! Book that summer getaway now 13. 9 perfect ways to spend your Sunday in Ireland’s Ancient East 14. 15 wonderful walks in the west and where to stay 15. Taste the sea with an oyster farm visit on the Wild Atlantic Way 16. What are you waiting for? The time to book your staycation is now 17. We can’t wait to welcome you back – plan your break today


18. Plan a perfect family break in Kerry – book your stay now 19. Wish you were here (insert person’s name)? Now you can be 20. 5 great reasons to visit Galway!



To save you time, simply choose one of our email subject lines and tailor it your business. You can download a list of subject lines here

Create a compelling subject line.




Write preview text that prompts curiosity to encourage clicks.

Create subject and preview texts that complement each other and don’t repeat.

Preheader or preview text (the second subject line) This is the small line of text (usually around 40 characters) that appears after the subject line in an email inbox and should entice the reader to click. It’s especially important for anyone reading on a mobile device because it appears front

and centre below your subject line. Use it to add context and a little more information about what’s in the email specifically. This text should be enticing and the aim is to make the reader want to open the full email.

GOOD TO KNOW 49% of all emails sent are now opened and read on a mobile. Campaign Monitor, 2019

5 TOP PREVIEW TEXT EXAMPLES 1. Swim in the pool, enjoy afternoon tea and a relaxing spa treatment 2. Time to explore the undiscovered coast 3. Meet Galway’s newest old hotel 4. Your wait for a holiday is over, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands is open 5. 36 hours in Cork City, see what’s waiting for you


Get People Clicking

The email body The email body gives the reader the extra information they need to decide whether they will visit your business. If you’re stuck for ideas, choose a theme for your email, e.g., summer holidays, undiscovered gems, city breaks, latest offers. Follow these five tips for a great email body.

1. Personalise the email by

addressing the customer by name in the introduction. ‘Hi Sandra, your 15% return offer is waiting’ or ‘Hi Derek, did you know Ireland’s Ancient East is perfect for family adventures.’ You can personalise like this through an email service provider.

2. Add a bright, colourful, good-

quality image behind your email heading, so the reader can immediately picture themselves

at the destination. Extra images of scenery or interiors, further down the email, will add more context. Optimise your images with Alt Text (in case they do not display on a person’s email). Not sure what Alt Text is or how to use it? If you have six minutes check out this handy explainer from Hubspot.

3. Less text is more. Keep your

email copy short and friendly. Break it into small chunks. Ideally shorter sections with no more than 250 characters per section and four to five sections max is a good starting point. Use the present tense and descriptive words throughout your text explaining the benefits from a visitor first perspective. Make it about your customer and not yourself. For example, try out different

ideas like, ‘Stroll the soft sandy beaches at the Dingle Peninsula before tucking into dinner at our award-winning restaurant’. ‘Enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly ahead of a girlie weekend in the city of the Tribes.’

4. Include some activities

available in the area and any cross-promotional discounts you offer. Don’t forget to mention your business’s cancellation policy.

5. Finish each section with a short

call-to-action e.g., ‘Book now’, ‘Visit Galway’, ‘Sign me up’, ‘Check availability’ with a link to the relevant section on your site. If possible don’t just link to the home page but rather to the specific offer so visitors can book without too many clicks.


Decide on the frequency of your email, weekly or monthly and test it. Customers like to know when to expect news. E.g. Regular offers could become ‘Friday Freebies’. KINSALE, CO. CORK





GOOD Sending occasional ad hoc emails and offers.

Scheduling your emails to coincide with local events, including seasonal deals or asking for a review a few days after a visit.

Personalise and automate emails to celebrate birthdays or occasions based on your customer’s information while complying with GDPR legislation.

Show me a high converting email This marketing email from Powerscourt Hotel is a perfect example of a well-constructed and high converting email.

From: Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa Subject: Your Summer Staycation is closer than you think!


Inject personality and colour with 1000s of free images from Ireland’s Content Pool. Simply download and slot it into your email. Register here

Actionable, urgent subject heading. It makes your reader click.

Eye-catching image showing local nature at its finest rather than a hotel building

Short, friendly email heading

Short chunks of wellspaced text with special offer in bold

Cancellation policy is clear Call to action with button to website



Email Templates

Get started with email templates To get you started, we’ve created these template emails – feel free to copy and paste and customise to suit your needs. There’s lots of content you can

link to on DiscoverIreland.ie to add more colour and detail where customers want to find out more about your destination. A quick note on the tone of voice.

When we’re talking to guests, we want to be friendly, informative, and show our personality. Think of how you might chat with your guests and use that to guide your emails.

Email template 1

From: Boutique Hotel & Spa Subject: Book the Ideal City Break, with 15% off room only


T h e C i t y o f t he Tri bes w i ll c apti vate you Hi Marie, want to get away, but can’t figure out where? If you’ve only got two days to play with Galway is a great choice for a short break. From exploring hidden waterfalls in Connemara to fish and chips at the seaside in Salthill, you’ll be surprised how much you can see in just 48 hours. Find out what you can do with Two Days in Galway, an Insider’s Guide. Get your trip to Galway started with 15% off your stay at the Boutique Hotel, in the heart of the Latin Quarter. You’ll be in the middle of the best bars, restaurants, and shopping to discover everything that the City of the Tribes has to offer.

Book Now

Boutique Hotel & Spa, Latin Quarter, Galway, Ireland. H91 0000 +353 91 000 000 • reservations@boutique-hotel.ie UNSUBSCRIBE | PRIVACY POLICY




Email template 2

From: Kilmuckridge Hotel Subject: Book your trip to one of Europe’s longest beaches


We’ve put together these email templates for you to get started. Click here to access.

A dr e a m o f b l u e wat ers and w h i te sand i n I reland Hi Gary,


Did you know? Ireland’s Ancient East is home to one of Europe’s longest beaches? Morriscastle Beach runs for more than 20km along Wexford’s sunny coast. Our new hotel in Kilmuckridge is ideally placed to get you close to Morriscastle for lots of days discovering the dunes, swimming in the sea and maybe even a spot of dolphin spotting. Why not check availability and get planning your next break to the Sunny South East?

Plan my Staycation

Kilmuckridge Hotel, Wexford, Ireland. H91 0000 +353 53 000 000 • reservations@kilmuckridge-hotel.ie UNSUBSCRIBE | PRIVACY POLICY


Images bring emails to life, especially on small screens like mobile phones. Every tourism business should aim to use at least one show-stopping visual per email. Simply choose your theme for your email and find a picture in the Content Pool to match. 11

Email Templates


GOOD Include destination information in your email as well as an offer.

Use graphic buttons to create compelling CTAs.

BEST Partner with local restaurants or events to give guests an extra offer or seasonal event pass for their stay.

Email template 3 From: City Hotel Subject: I remember that summer in Dublin



Click here to download all these email header images

P e t e r , c h e c k out w h at’s on i n th e c api tal Hey Peter, It’s a year since your last stay with us. Thought you might like to hear, there is a lot on for when you feel like booking again. Culture Night, the Fringe Festival and of course, the hotly contested Championship is coming up soon. We don’t want you to miss out, so here’s 10% off our room rate.

Book Now

City Hotel, O’Connell Street Lower, Dublin, Ireland. H91 0000 +353 1 000 000 • hello@city-hotel.ie UNSUBSCRIBE | PRIVACY POLICY




Add a compelling call-to-action to your email, so your reader knows exactly what to do. It could be ‘book now’, ‘check offers’, ‘see availability’. Use one per section of your email.

Email template 4 From: Tranquility Spa Subject: A VIP visit to Athlone


E n j oy a spa treatment on us. Hi Derbhla, Sometimes you’re just looking for a little rest and relaxation to reset. Athlone is just the spot. Take a walk in some of the gentle woodlands and riverbanks in the city centre. At your leisure discover Athlone’s historic 12th century castle, or enjoy a cosy drink by the fire in Ireland’s oldest bar. Do as much – or as little – as you like. Make the most of you ‘me time’ in our hotel. Enjoy glowing candlelight dining, relax in our award-winning spa and recline on sumptuous goose-down pillows. You deserve it.

Book Now

Tranquility Spa, Roscommon Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland. H91 0000 +353 90 000 000 • info@tranquility-spa.ie UNSUBSCRIBE | PRIVACY POLICY


Use your database info to ask guests for a review after their stay. You can link to your Google My Business page which helps increase visibility in search. Download our toolkit to learn how to optimise your Google My Business page in just 30 minutes.


Email Templates

Automating emails that work Visitors might interact with your company many times before they become customers. By automating these emails, you can

reach out to subscribers and help turn them into customers. In email automation, you can “trigger” emails based on a specific date,

event or subscriber activity. Here are a few examples of great triggered emails.

The Welcome Email

From: Castle Hotel, Galway Subject: Welcome to our newsletter


T h e M a a m C ross Resort w elc omes you Hello Laura, Thanks for signing up for our newsletter! As a thank you for new subscribers, here’s an exclusive offer. Book on our site with the code BookDirect and save €10 on your next stay with us. This is for all bed and breakfast offers in any of beautiful rooms.

Book Now

Castle Hotel, Wellpark, Galway, Ireland. H91 0000 +353 91 000 000 • reservations@castle-hotel.ie UNSUBSCRIBE | PRIVACY POLICY




The new offer email

From: Eden Hotel & Spa Subject: The new spa at Eden Hotel is open!


R e l a x a nd i nd ulge at th e Ed en Hi Brian, We want to introduce you to our new spa. Immerse yourself in world class luxury at our stunning new relaxation rooms. We are now offering sumptuous spa treatments, infinity pool, salt earth room and tropical rain shower. Our garden features heated loungers, a light steam room and panoramic sauna. Your troubles will melt away at the Eden Hotel Spa. To celebrate we wanted to offer you 10% off your first treatment and complementary use of the thermal suites.

Book Now

Eden Hotel & Spa, Ardmore, Waterford, Ireland. H91 0000 +353 51 000 000 • info@edenhotel.ie UNSUBSCRIBE | PRIVACY POLICY


Get informed! Sign-up for other newsletters to get inspiration. Think about why you open or click on them. Why not start with Discover Ireland’s newsletter. Click here and scroll down to sign-up.


Email Templates

The upcoming stay email

From: Banner Hotel Team Subject: The Banner Hotel looks forward to welcoming you!


H e r e ’s yo u r p r e-arri val i nf ormati on pac k Hi Aoife, We can’t wait to welcome you to the Banner Hotel. We are all set for your arrival on 01/07/2022 and we hope you enjoy your stay. Here’s a map of the location and some information on the local area to help you get around while you’re here. Here are your reservation details for your convenience. If you have any further queries, please feel free to get in touch!

Check my booking

Banner Hotel, Co. Clare, Ireland. H91 0000 +353 65 000 000 • reservations@thebanner.ie UNSUBSCRIBE | PRIVACY POLICY




The after-stay email

From: Robert from Seaview Hotel Subject: Come back to the Seaview Hotel anytime


C o m e b ac k t o th e Seav i ew H otel anyti me Hi John, Thank you for visiting The Seaview Hotel and we hope you enjoyed your stay. To us, every guest is important, and we value your feedback. We would love to hear about your experiences on our Google My Business page. It only takes a minute and it will really help us to improve.

Leave a review Warm Regards, General Manager

Seaview Hotel, Dunfanaghy, Donegal, Ireland. H91 0000 +353 74 000 000 • hello@seaview-hotel.ie UNSUBSCRIBE | PRIVACY POLICY



Kick off your email campaigns

Test your campaign and measure its success We’ve all received an email that looks a bit broken. Before you hit publish, test your email. A good tip is to send a preview to yourself, or colleagues to check that links are correct, ensure it looks right on mobile and take a final sweep over the text.

goal and where improvements could be made.

Here are a few typical results and actions to take:

Your email metrics will tell you what you’re doing right and where improvements can be made. Once you know what works, you can replicate the process in the future.

If your open rate is low your subject line might need some work. Include strategies like short subject lines, or emojis which can help to increase open rates.

RESULTS WORTH LOOKING AT Try to think of every email with a specific goal in mind. When the email is complete, take some time to evaluate if you reached that

It’s worth tracking areas like your open rates, bounce rates, click through rates and unsubscribes numbers. Find out what these terms mean here.

If your open rate is high but the click-throughs are low, you may need to ask yourself, is your offer compelling, clear enough or useful to your database.

Send emails that convert lookers into bookers It’s a good idea to use an email service to send your newsletter. A dedicated provider means: Lots of analytics to help you measure the success of your emails.

Allows you to monitor and improve your email performance over time and compare results to previous months or years. Automatic unsubscribes so you don’t have to manage this manually and run into problems with GDPR.

Less likely to end up in spam. Optimise to send at the right time for your guest. Easily update Schedule and automate emails to free up your time to focus on other areas.

Don’t forget to incorporate your Keep Discovering industry partner logo in your email. It is created specifically for you, our industry partners to use on your own communications, like email. Download your industry partner logo on page 5 of our Keep Discovering toolkit here.






Easy-to-use, with drag and drop features. Free up to 2,000 emails/month


Free plans with templates and automation. Free up to 2,000 contacts. 10,000 emails/month.


Lots of detailed analytics and automation. Free up to 1,000 contacts. Unlimited emails/month.


Drag and drop and solid analytics. Free up to 2,500 contacts. Up to 15,000 emails/month.


Lots of integration options and delivery optimisation tools. Free up to 100 emails/day.


GOOD TO KNOW See how your email compares by checking your open rates, CTR and bounce rates against industry email benchmarks.


How to give visitors what they want in a marketing email Intro: Your customers are likely to have a few questions in mind when they scroll through your marketing email – What can I do nearby? Is this value for money? Where can I eat and drink when I’m there? What’s the cancellation policy in case I can’t go? Value: If you have any special discounts or package deals coming up, highlight this in the text. Perhaps readers of the email can get a discount if they enter a

Promo code when booking. This is covered briefly in the email marketing tools. Destination: Visitors want to know what they can and do during their visit. Do you have any crosspromotional offers with nearby businesses? For example, 10% discount at a nearby spa, free local bike. Make sure to mention these. Human touch: We are missing human interactions – a warm

welcome at the reception desk or chatting to the waiter at dinner. Adding a personal touch to your email with a smiling photo of staff, a quote from the business owner on how excited they are to welcome visitors or a few tips from locals on great activities to do. Safety: If your business has qualified for the Covid-19 Safety Charter, mention this to reassure customers.

COVID-19 SAFETY CHARTER Fáilte Ireland’s top priority is supporting Ireland’s tourism and hospitality businesses to survive, re-open and recover from the catastrophic impact COVID-19 has had on our industry. For more information on the Covid-19 Safety Charter visit www.failteireland.ie.


Send emails that people love


Final thoughts and one last tip… We hope these tips have given you lots of ideas on how to get the best from your tourism marketing email. Why not follow up with your customers, after they have left and enjoyed their visit, and ask them for a quick review? Email is a part of your overall marketing mix. Remember to keep a consistent theme across all activity, like social media, website and advertising. Email should reinforce your message, not be separate from it. We wish you the best of luck with your business and email marketing campaigns.


70% of consumers say online consumer reviews are the second-most trusted form of advertising (Edelman)




Watch our for our next Email Marketing Guide covering lead generation, database management, segmentation and more!

Need more support for your business?

Fáilte Ireland have created an extensive range of business supports with industry experts and sector bodies to guide you through operating your business during COVID-19. These have been developed in consultation with industry experts to meet urgent needs and help your business recover. Visit Fáilte Ireland’s Business Support Hub or click a support suite below. HR

Sales and marketing

Operational performance

Financial planning

Government supports

Operational guidelines

Learning hub

Inside Tourism Business podcast

Our regional experience brand teams are also here to help you. Get in touch with your relevant regional team if you have specific questions.

Miriam Kennedy

Liz Halpin



Paddy Mathews

Brian O’Flynn



Head of Wild Atlantic Way

Head of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

Head of Dublin Region

Head of Ireland’s Ancient East


#KeepDiscovering #TourismTogether​ © FÁILTE IRELAND 2021

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