How Travel Brands Can Use Loyalty Rewards Emails

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If there’s one industry out there who knows how critically important customer loyalty is, it’s travel and hospitality companies. 

Many travel brands have loyalty as a built-in part of the overall brand; it’s not something that’s an add on for a few members. Those consumers who stay at hotels or fly, for example, are frequently members of programs — and usually don’t need much convincing to join. 

However, for customers, there’s a big difference between joining a loyalty program and being served well as a member of that program. Great loyalty programs stay in touch with members, make them feel special, and drive bookings and revenue. Not so great loyalty programs, well, usually customers don’t even hear from them, which makes it pretty hard to engage.

Here’s what you can do with your email loyalty campaigns to make sure you stand out from the crowd.

Hook them in from the start

A vital tool in any email campaign is the welcome email. For loyalty emails, it’s even more critical. A great welcome email will introduce consumers to your program, and most importantly, how they can benefit in an easy to understand way.

You want your customers to think about how they can cash in on those loyalty and rewards points, make it clear and easy right from the start. 

Keep the communication going

Once your brand sends out that first welcome email your job is not done. Here’s where a lot of companies screw up. They send the welcome email and then call it a day. Customers never hear from them again; there are no reminders about promotions, no updates on points, and no suggestions to get out there and travel. 

When you aren’t willing to reach out to your customers, they are more than likely going to turn to another brand, one that is keeping in touch. 

The good news is with loyalty emails, keeping in touch is really easy, and you have plenty of excuses to do it. 

Here are just a few examples of emails you can send out:

  • Monthly points updates
  • Reward program changes or updates
  • When customers approach a new rewards level or tier
  • When customers reach a new rewards level or tier
  • When customers are close to being able to cash in miles, points, or rewards
  • When customers have enough miles, points, or rewards to cash in 
  • When your brand has a special deal, sale, or promotion, especially those geared at your program members

This email is a perfect example from Alaska Airlines. It shows the current mileage information in an easy to understand visual, teasing a free flight. For someone itching to travel, they are probably going to click that call to action button.

And that’s just the tipping point. If you do these updates well, you’re going to stay at the top of your customer’s inbox and the top of their mind too. 

Use the data you have

Another huge benefit of loyalty programs is that you have a ton of available data about your customers right at your fingertips. 

So use it!

You can tap into your loyalty program management tool, plus your email service provider and your commerce tools to find all sorts of valuable information about your customers. What you want to do is use that to personalize the loyalty emails you send out. 

Here are a few examples:

This email from HomeAway uses browsing data to see where a customer was exploring homes on the site. Then they sent out an email that highlights specific homes in that area. 

This email uses geolocation data. The brand knows where its customers live and can send personalized emails about staycations that only feature local hotels. 

Here’s another way to use geolocation, and this one involves the weather. Sending emails to customers highlighting that it’s never too early to think about the slopes is a great way to use weather to personalize.

And don’t forget to use your data to surprise and delight, like this email. Customers love getting little prizes that will make them more likely to buy. Tie in your gift with browsing data or recent purchases, and you’ve got a winning combination.

Explore your options

Too many brands drop the ball when it comes to using email to give members a great customer experience. Don’t be like them. Make sure your company embraces email and uses it to boost your loyalty campaigns, driving more bookings and revenue.