As we know, a crisis is always an opportunity and has its “heroes” who jump out, whether it is new products or some old products / services come back into the game stronger than ever. Thus, email / newsletter marketing during the covid crisis proved to be a very effective tool, it experienced a new youth and a new development cycle as a digital communication channel. Especially in tourism, where newsletters and our guest databases were our main means of communication, and now a sales tool to turn the reader into a customer.
On the topic of new trends in newsletter marketing, I talked to Martin Šepić, from Webpower, the only company in the region specializing in email marketing, email marketing automation and mobile marketing.
Until 2020, it was known to occasionally come across comments that email was an outdated way of promotion and that it was overrun by social networks. And then the first lockdown occurred where most service providers or product vendors were prevented from having direct physical contact with potential customers and clients.
"Those who had not used the email communication channel until then quickly realized that this was the only way they could continue to communicate directly with the client in the then only active, digital world, because the non-digital world was temporarily shut down at that time." - says Martina Šepić and adds that email marketing is the only advertising that you 100% manage and govern.
Today, everything revolves around (data) contact / client databases as well as personalized communication - and the newsletter is the right tool for direct personalized communication. But it is much more than sending one email to all contacts. It is necessary to have a concrete strategy, do follow up, follow reactions, trends which links open and which do not, why they do not open… There are a lot of questions, and here are some answers.
“Not all brands that do email marketing reach, the ROI of that channel is 1:55, it depends on many factors, the most important thing is to have a healthy contact base. Primarily do you have a healthy contact base, which has really expressed interest in your products or service. If you have inactive newsletter subscribers and you persistently send them content they don't respond to, you're just throwing money away. ” - explains Šepić.
When asked how to know whether a user is active or not, Šepić points out that the first and foremost thing to observe is whether he has opened your newsletter in the last 3-6 months. “Furthermore, after opening, did he click on something you offered him and in the end did he buy / book anything on your website. Until recently, it was said that content was "king", but this role was taken over by "context", which is actually content adapted at the right time, for the right person, for the best communication channel. Reduced to a common denominator, it is, in short, personalized communication. This personalized communication continues even after you have made a conversion (purchase or reservation) with the newsletter. Even greater visibility of personalization in follow-up communication, through pre- and post-stay communication. In the pre-stay phase, you do an upsell by offering additional content that will enrich the initially purchased service, while through the post-stay you express that you care and want to examine the satisfaction and encourage a new reservation.. In the end, the main question is how to reach this last mentioned "victory", ie shopping? Relevant content for that reader ” - clearly says Šepić.
When we talk about the tourism sector, newsletters play an important and big role in the continuous year-round communication with guests. Especially because we can communicate with various groups of tourists, if of course we have made a profiling of the base according to certain criteria, motives for arrival, habits…
“Profiling and knowing your customers is terribly important. It brings you greater potential for timely response which is best demonstrated in the covid crisis. As the situation changed day by day with the opening and closing of national borders, knowing from which countries your guests come, last minute accommodation offers were sent to those guests coming from countries open to travel. Guests were informed directly by email about all epidemiological measures in the country and the actions taken in accommodation facilities, which instills security in the guest who makes the reservation and makes it easier to decide to book directly with the hotel, in such unpredictable circumstances. When you receive an email address and consent to contact from the guest, you have received a real fortune and do not gamble it. How much will any type of advertising or agency commissions cost you more than what you spent on sending newsletters? ” - the interlocutor points out.
Also, today in tourism, especially in the hotel industry, the imperative is direct sales, ie booking - and it is through newsletter direct communication that we achieve this goal.
“Large hotel houses in Croatia are aware of the importance and benefits of email marketing, but smaller hoteliers and private renters are not yet using this potential to the full. Maybe because it seems expensive to them, but things become clearer when a simple calculation is made: agency commission vs. own cost for email marketing, and what is the income from direct reservations generated through email channels " - said Šepić.
The question everyone wants an answer to - Why Webpower and not MailChimp or what is your comparative advantage? Let's "test" how Šepić does his own sales pitch.
“When was the last time someone from MailChimp personally met with anyone in Croatia and the region and shared email marketing tips? Have you perhaps attended an event, conference or training held by MailChimp in Croatia, which brought together top experts from the region who share their knowledge and experience in email marketing? I don't think so. The question is: Has MailChimp heard of Croatia at all and where is this paradise on earth? For a start, Webpower Adria is a Croatian company that employs young people from Croatia. Thanks to clients who decided to work with Webpower Adria instead of MailChimp, these young people still live in Croatia today and have jobs. The job, which includes high-quality personalized customer support for each of our clients, is in the Croatian language in our time zone. ” - Šepić clearly points out.
As for the software itself, Šepić adds that Webpower software is originally Dutch software and offers numerous opportunities for email marketing and marketing automation as well as MailChimp. “Apart from the characteristics of the software, what makes the difference is that with Webpower you have secured data storage within the EU, which everyone who has heard of the GDPR knows is one of the fundamental regulatory requirements to be met if you want to comply with the GDPR. Having a local Data Processor makes a significant difference, especially when needed. What everyone involved in email marketing also needs is for newsletters to be delivered to the reader’s INBOX, not to SPAMbox, which Webpower software, with a continuously high server reputation ensures, in more than 99% of cases. When you start working with a new program / software, the fact that you have someone to educate you in the local language how to use the software is also a great benefit, as it saves you time and ensures that you are using the full potential of the software. This is exactly the approach that Webpower has and which is recognized by almost 100 clients in the region who are satisfied users of Webpower software and the entire service that comes when doing business with Webpower Adria. - concludes Šepić.
Free webinar “In Love with Email Marketing”
If you use the benefits of newsletter marketing or are thinking about it, Webpower Adria organizes a webinar on the importance of this communication channel as well as all new trends in newsletter marketing. A free online event organized by Webpower is scheduled 12. February 2021. year from 9: 30-11h, called "In Love with Email Marketing".
The keynote speaker is Dutch Rick de Wit, co-founder of the award-winning Dutch agency 100% EMAIL and 100% driven, which provides email campaign management and consulting services on email automation projects. Through a lecture in English, he will discover the latest trends and award-winning email marketing strategies.
While in the second part of the event, an interesting panel discussion in the Croatian language with renowned experts from the tourism and hotel, retail, e-tail and media industries is expected.
Panelists: Petar Milevoj, Maistra Hospitality Group Internet Sales and Marketing Director, Ivan Kovačević, Marketing Director at SofaScore and partner at Wine & More and Craft Technology, Nataša Dević, Lider media doo, Event Manager, Željko Radin, Pevex dd, Head of Direct Marketing. Moderator: Dragan Petric, editor - in - chief of Bug.hr