As a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), your mission is to provide visitors with an experience that they are sure to never forget. One of the most effective ways to accomplish those goals is by engaging with those potential visitors through a well-crafted newsletter.
A newsletter is an excellent way to keep your audience up to date with what’s happening in the destination, share insider travel tips, promote unique offerings, and entice them to visit. In addition to reaching a potential customer, a travel newsletter also adds value to the community by helping locals stay up-to-date on the events of their community, increasing stakeholder buy-in.
In this blog, we will dive into the essential components of what a DMO should include in a newsletter to make it engaging and effective and help nurture your email list from prospects to tourists.
Save the Date! Adding an events calendar to your email
An events calendar is an invaluable resource to include in a DMO newsletter, providing a comprehensive list of all the upcoming activities in the destination, including concerts, festivals, sporting events, conferences and other community activities. This information will help visitors plan their trips and ensure they don’t miss out on anything exciting.
To incorporate an events calendar into your email campaign, consider using a dedicated section of your newsletter to showcase upcoming events.
Some email automation services may have tools that can incorporate your events straight from your website, while others may simply allow you to build out a calendar using a tool like Excel, manually building one yourself.
When building an events calendar for your email, include eye-catching visuals, brief descriptions of the events, and links to where readers can find more information or purchase tickets.
Make sure to also encourage readers to share the newsletter with their friends and family who may be interested in attending the events.
As important as it is that tourists are aware of what is happening in your area, it is just as important that locals know of the events that are coming up.
Encourage the community to sign up for your destination’s newsletters so they can stay up-to-date, and know when key events are happening in their neighborhoods.
By including an events calendar in your newsletter, you are providing valuable information to your audience and making it easier for them to plan their trip, ultimately increasing the likelihood of them choosing your destination for their next travel experience.
Featured Attractions: Showcase the unique selling points of your destination
It goes without saying that your newsletter should also feature the top attractions in the destination, but it goes deeper than just listing all of your top attractions in your destination.
To make your destination newsletter more engaging and effective, make sure to highlight the new attractions, hidden gems, or seasonal offerings.
Start by calling attention to a new attraction in each newsletter. Focus on what’s in season and rotate between all the other activities in your destination. Conduct research on what visitors are interested in seeing when they come to your destination by looking at analytics data and identifying trends in the research. Build a theme around your attraction that you want to highlight, and incorporate related events or activities near by your main attraction.
The key to staying organized is planning which attractions will be featured in each newsletter. Keep a document that tracks this information readily available to reference each time you sit down to write a new newsletter.
By highlighting these attractions, the DMO can encourage visitors to explore the destination further and stay longer, or entice a return visit to check out something they missed the first time!
Travel Tips: Plan like a local
In addition to featuring top attractions, your DMO newsletter should also include travel tips to help visitors plan their trip.
These tips can include information on the best time to visit, the top restaurants, and the most popular activities. This will help visitors make the most of their trip and enhance their overall experience.
If you have pre-built itineraries around a certain theme, attraction or season, be sure to include those to help a potential visitor maximize their time in their destination.
It will be important to note the seasonality and close dates of businesses in the area. This insider information is what tourists are looking for when planning their vacation.
Promotions and Discounts – Because everyone wants to save some money!
Including promotions and discounts in your newsletter can add even more value for your audience and help drive visits to your destination. Work with local businesses to create exclusive offers that are only available to newsletter subscribers, which can help incentivize people to sign up for your newsletter and stay engaged with your brand.
Promotions can include discounts on attractions, hotels, and transportation, and limited-time offers can create a sense of urgency that encourages readers to take action. Make sure to clearly highlight the terms and conditions of each promotion, including any expiration dates, and provide easy-to-follow instructions on how to redeem the offer.
By including promotions and discounts in your newsletter, you can make your destination even more attractive to visitors and help drive bookings, while also providing added value to your audience.
User-Generated and Partnered Content
Including user-generated and partner content in your newsletter can add a sense of community among potential visitors while providing valuable information about the destination.
This content can be sourced from social media and used to highlight the destination’s unique offerings. Sharing what other people similar to the reader have done in the area and their positive reviews increase brand trust and allow potential visitors to feel at ease with their decision to visit your destination.
If you do decide to incorporate user-generated content into your newsletter, always make sure to gain permission and credit the original creator whenever possible. To make things easier, consider running a campaign asking for photos or videos from the local community highlighting your destination. (Hint: this is another great way to get locals to sign up for your newsletter).
Partnered content can include recommendations and insider tips from local businesses and influencers, providing readers with an authentic and trustworthy perspective on the destination. This information can include new businesses, promotions and other offerings.
By incorporating both types of content, your newsletter can provide a well-rounded view of the destination and offer readers a glimpse into what they can expect when visiting. This can help to build excitement and encourage visitors to plan their trip.
Don’t forget to include calls to action throughout the newsletter to encourage readers to book their trip and engage with the content.
As a Destination Marketing Organization, you have a lot of ground to cover when it comes to promoting your destination. Don’t overlook the power of a well-crafted newsletter.
Not only does it keep your destination top of mind for potential visitors, but it can also be a valuable tool for driving engagement, conversions and increasing stakeholder buy-in.
By incorporating engaging content such as event calendars, top attractions, travel tips, and promotional offers, a DMO can effectively entice potential visitors and promote its unique offerings.
Speaking of newsletters – while you’re here, sign up for the new and improved Relic Newsletter! We are dropping tips and tricks for our DMO partners as part of our ongoing commitment to providing the best research, strategy and tips to increase the success of your destination’s goals.