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My Vision of the Future of Resort Email – Part 4: One Message Optimized for Each INDIVIDUAL Recipient

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This week I’m temporarily returning to my daily-posting roots to share my vision of how I see the future of resort email marketing. Enjoy.

Segmentation has been an amazing tool for marketers, but segmentation has a limit once we go past one dimension.

We can send one email to all families and one to non-families and only have two messages to create. If we add in another dimension like destination vs local, we have four emails (dst+fam, dst+non-fam, loc+fam, loc+non-fam). But if we try to get any more granular the number of variations grows exponentially.

The trick is that these variations could dramatically increase the relevance of each message. So how do we increase relevance without creating 256 different emails?

Action + Reason
First, let’s address a question: Why did I break up the words I mentioned earlier into actions and reasons? Beyond the fact that’s often how travelers think of their experiences; these are two pieces of sentences.

In other words, they can be used as interchangeable parts.

For example, what if your subject line read like this but anything in [ ] could be replaced:

“[Action] & [Reason]: Save 25% on Tickets Next Week”

Look familiar? It should, that’s a common format you’ll see in resort emails. But remember the model we’ve built where we’ve identified specific words for specific people:

The Big Idea
The idea here is that every subject line for a campaign would be dynamically created for every recipient based on what you know about them from previous interactions with your brand.

Read that bold part again, that’s kind of the whole point of this week’s posts.

Finished? Okay. Now, with that functionality in place, subject lines for three different people might read:

“Groomers & Memories: Save 25% on Tickets Next Week”
“Steeps & Adventure: Save 25% on Tickets Next Week”
“Sunsets & Relaxation: Save 25% on Tickets Next Week”

Just like you’d insert a %%FIRST_NAME%% into a subject line, with no extra work you could personalize EVERY message in a 100,000 recipient campaign not with their name, but with the reason they might come and the activities they are most likely to be interested in doing..

Not Just Subject Lines
Email copy could be the same. Name images “Groomers.jpg”, “Steeps.jpg”, “Sunsets.jpg”, and it would take only one tag to show a different image based on what they’d be interested in doing.

And notice the reason could be gently tucked into the call to action. The rest of the email would remain very much like you’d write it today.

A hero image on a website could be the same, displaying the image they liked last week on Facebook or the most popular content around that theme from last month whether they liked it or not. Or blocks of content, CTAS, pages as a whole could be completely dynamic, optimized for that specific visitor.

One for One, Not One for All
Let’s regroup with a quick recap:

  • Social is good at getting people to interact with your brand
  • Email is good at one-to-one communication
  • Websites are good and gathering transactions

What if we let the data points from each channel feed a system that let social interactions improve email relevance and email relevance drive more transactions on the website. These people are telling us volumes about themselves through their computer’s mouse, maybe it’s time to start harvesting those insights.

This is a more actionable example of this concept. Tomorrow, I’ll sum it all up and try to paint a simple picture of where I see all this going.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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