Aviation Email Marketing

Aviation Email Marketing – 14 Experts Insights and Tips

By: Frank DePino | May 22, 2024

With an average ROI of 4,200%, email marketing is still one of the most effective tools for any business to have in its arsenal.

If you work in the aviation industry, you might be wondering if having a comprehensive email marketing strategy can provide your company with new opportunities and better customer retention.

With direct communication, aviation email marketing is one of the most targeted marketing strategies airline and aviation companies can use to optimize their customer engagement and create brand loyalty. By keeping your customers informed about your latest services, updates, or offers, you create more opportunities for revenue growth.

In this guide, we’ll look at 14 unique strategies used in email marketing for the aviation industry and why they’re key to a successful campaign.

14 Proven Strategies for Aviation Email Marketing

Aviation industry email marketing is one the most comprehensive tools you can use to reach your audience with immediacy. Of course, having the right approach is key to any campaign’s success, which is why we’ve outlined 14 tried and true strategies.

1. Segment Leads for Aviation

Personalized emails have a 14% higher open rate on average, which is why it’s important to segment your email based on specific characteristics of your target audience.

When a consumer receives an email from you, it should feel personal and relevant.

Some of the ways in which you might choose to segment your target audience could include demographics, travel preferences, or booking history.

2. Personalized Emails

Simply addressing your recipient by name in your email campaign won’t do the trick.

Personalization entails providing unique offers and content based on that recipient’s past preferences and interactions.

74% of marketers who implement personalization in their email marketing strategies say that it is one of the main reasons for increased customer engagement.

On the other hand, 65% of business buyers say they’d rather switch brands than continue receiving impersonal communications.

3. Automated Trigger Emails

Instead of putting in the mundane work of sending emails individually (a nearly impossible task considering the potentially millions of emails sent out each day), you can set up automated emails based on preconfigured triggers, prospect attributes, or audience segmentation.

Let’s say a customer books a flight.

That booking could trigger an email for 24 hours prior with a “pre-flight reminder,” or 24 hours after their return with a post-flight survey.

4. Mobile Optimization

Taking a mobile-first approach to design is the best way to increase engagement.

73% of businesses prioritize mobile optimization in their marketing campaigns.

When creating your aviation email marketing campaign, it’s important to make sure each email is mobile-friendly.

This includes easily clickable links, quality visuals that are optimized for mobile viewing, and short, compelling subject lines.

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5. Visual Design

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in aviation email marketing, having compelling visual content in your campaign is key for capturing the attention of your audience in their already overflowing inbox.

Here are a few best practices for mobile-optimized design:

  • Use inspiring and eye-catching travel photography with proper formatting
  • Simplify navigation with tappable CTA buttons, bold, single-column layouts, and line spacing
  • Use graphic design tools like Canva to create stunningly consistent email templates

6. Exclusive Flight Deals

Aviation businesses that want to encourage immediate action might leverage exclusive flight deals.

Sending emails with special offers based on that traveler’s preferences and past purchases is an excellent way to grab a recipient’s attention.

For example, you might include a limited-time promotion that includes special discounts to numerous locations from you recipient’s local airport to create a sense of urgency.

7. A/B Testing

With A/B testing, you can adjust the characteristics of your emails to see which version generates higher open, click-through, and conversion rates.

Some of the campaign elements you might consider adjusting include:

  • Subject lines
  • Send times and cadence
  • Email content
  • CTAs

Don’t guess and leave your emails up to chance. Instead, test to find out what’s optimal and move forward confidently with a strong campaign strategy.

Aviation Content Marketing

8. Clear CTAs for Booking

By incorporating a clear CTA in each email, you motivate your recipients to take action and book their next flight. The way in which you phrase your CTA will depend on your audience.

“Grab Your Seat Today!” is a much different approach than “Escape With Us.”

The ultimate goal is to be direct and action-oriented so that the reader makes a booking decision promptly.

9. Improve Deliverability

If your messages aren’t reach your audience’s inboxes effectively, then your aviation email marketing campaign is fruitless.

Some of the best ways to ensure your deliverability is optimal include:

  • Regularly removing inactive subscribers
  • Using a reputable email service provider
  • Authenticating your emails through DMARC, DKIM, and SPF
  • Avoiding spam triggers in your content

Ensuring your emails make it to your subscribers’ primary inboxes increases the likelihood of better engagement and conversions.

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10. Social Media Integration

Whether it’s Emirates using social media to showcase its premium amenities or Airbus launching the #FlyYourIdeas challenge to gather ideas for the future of aviation, it’s clear that social media is a key part of any successful airline’s marketing campaign.

By something as simple as integrating your social media icons in your email templates to boost your online presence or leveraging user-generated content from your social media platforms, you can increase your company’s credibility.

You may even consider running cross-promotional campaigns where you give email subscribers early access to special deals announced on social media.

11. Educational Content

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to content when it comes to email marketing content, focusing on educational content has been shown to create customer loyalty, which, in turn, can lead to better customer retention.

Consider crafting emails that provide readers with valuable information, such as detailed destination guides, travel tips, safety information, or insights into the ever-evolving aviation industry.

12. Celebrate Milestones

Has one of loyal customer reached a new tier in the loyalty program? Maybe one of your past customers is celebrating a birthday or anniversary?

Whatever the case, acknowledging a personal milestone with an email can have a significant impact.

A milestone email might include a special offer or bonus points as a celebratory reward.

Not only can it help deeper your relationship with customers but it’s also an excellent way to retain them over time.

13. Use Storytelling

Creating a narrative in marketing is an art, and when you consider the fact that 86% of consumers priotize authenticity in a brand’s narrative, having a connection to you messaging becomes all the more important.

In your next email marketing campaign, you might consider including something along the lines of a featured story from a recent traveler that took an unforgettable trip to their dream destination, all through the use of your services.

14. Update Email Lists

If you’re sending emails to inactive subscribers or incorrect email addresses, your KPIs won’t be accurate.

Not only that but continuously sending messages to these addresses can lead to high bounce rates and spam complaints, which can have a negative impact on your brand’s reputation.

For this reason, making it a point to regularly update your email lists is key.

Plus, doing so can benefit your personalization and segmentation, as you’ll be sure each message you send is reaching the right audience at the right time.

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Why Email Marketing Matters in the Aviation Industry

With the right strategy, email marketing provides endless benefits in the aviation industry. To this day, it’s one of the most effective ways for aviation companies to reach their target audience.

Direct Communication Channel with Customers

No other form of digital marketing acts as a direct form of communication quite like email marketing.

With an aviation email marketing strategy, you have the power to deliver personalized messages straight to the inboxes of your customers.

With ever-changing preferences regarding loyalty programs and travel options, taking a personalized approach is more important than ever.

Plus, email communication is the primary touchpoint for crucial information when it really matters to the customer, including booking confirmations, flight updates, and check-in reminders.

Cost-Effective Method to Boost Engagement

Compared to traditional marketing, such as print or television, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective methods for boosting engagement.

The main costs are typically associated with content creation and list management.

With the right segmentation and a targeted approach, you also ensure none of your marketing efforts go to waste, which can do wonders for your ROI.

Personalization at Scale

Customer preferences can vary greatly, and when you’re dealing with several thousand customers or more, more nuanced characteristics like service expectations, travel frequency, and destinations must be taken into account.

With a quality data analytics platform, you can segment your target audience into distinct groups and send them ultra-targeted offers.

Someone who often travels for leisure might receive more emails for exotic destinations, while frequent business travelers might receive more updates on direct flights to major hubs.

Measurable Results and Analytics

The aviation industry is highly competitive, and gut instinct is no longer the sole driver you can rely on.

The best takeaway from email marketing is the ability to gather real-time data that you can use to make business decisions in the future.

Beyond standard performance tracking, data from your email campaigns might tell you that particular segments have unique preferences, such as booking last-minute weekend getaways on certain days.

That information can be used to optimize future campaigns.

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Increased Customer Loyalty and Retention

The long-term health and success of any airline is determined by its loyal customer base.

With an effective aviation email marketing campaign that offers personalized communication, you can show customers they are valued.

Doing so regularly keeps you at top of mind when they’re getting ready to book their next trip. The better your customer retention, the more predictable your future revenue streams and growth.

High ROI Compared to Other Marketing Channels

Compared to other popular marketing channels like social media, print, and television, email marketing is relatively affordable. In fact, many brands see a 42:1 ROI for email marketing campaigns, which is $42 for every $1 spent.

With such a targeted approach, you minimize ‘waste.’

Because you’re focusing your marketing efforts heavily on those who are most likely to book through you, you increase conversion rates that would otherwise disappear into the ether with a more hopeful marketing approach.

Private jet owners are monitoring the performance of their email marketing campaign

Measuring Success: Tracking Your Email Marketing Results

Refining your approach means keeping a close eye on your performance metrics so you can see what’s working and what isn’t.

Open Rates, Click-Through Rates & Conversions

There are three main KPIs to keep track of in your aviation email marketing campaign:

  • Open Rate: How many subscribers opened your email (averages around 38%).
  • Click-Through Rate: The number of times a specific link was clicked in your email. (averages around 8%)
  • Conversions: This tracks downloads, sign-ups, email-driven sales, or any other goals you might want to reach.

The goal is to track these KPIs and continuously compare them with past performance to increase percentages over time.

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Analyzing Data to Optimize Your Campaigns

There are several aviation email marketing platforms out there that make tracking performance seamless. When choosing your platform, look out for:

  • Digestible KPI insights
  • User-friendly campaign analytics dashboards
  • A/B testing
  • Segmentation filtering

With insights into the performance of each campaign, you can continue fine-tuning your CTAs, personalization, and visual content until you’ve reached your engagement goals.

Tips to Increase Email Open Rates

Metrics of the average results by message type for email marketing campaign
Image Credit: GetResponse

Optimize Your Send Times

There are specific times of the week and day that your subscribers are more likely to open and engage with your emails.

One way to find out which time works best for your specific audience is to segment your list into three groups of equal size.

Then, send the same email to those different segments at different points throughout the day (morning, afternoon, and evening are good choices).

Test this out with a few different emails and keep track of what delivers the best engagement.

Keep Your Subject Line Short and Engaging

Your subject line is one of the most critical parts of your email to get right.

Generic subject lines won’t cut it anymore, especially with the noise found in any modern inbox. Capture their attention with the curiosity gap and keep it short.

Remember, more than 75% of consumers open their emails on mobile, so we recommend staying within the 50-character limit.

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Create a Sense of Urgency of Exclusivity

The fear of missing out is no joke, and in marketing, we can use that to our advantage.

By creating a sense of urgency, you can make it so your recipients feel the need to act NOW.

Just make sure to use this method sparingly, as people will begin to realize everything you’re sending out is “time-sensitive.”

Avoid Spam Triggers In Your Email Content

Now, with all of that said, there are certain words and phrases you’ll want to avoid in your email content that are often linked to spam.

These “spam triggers” may cause your emails to get flagged by spam filters, and what use is your beautifully crafted email if it ends up in someone’s digital junk pile?

Some common spam triggers include:

  • Buy Now
  • Limited Time Offer
  • Free
  • Winner
  • Urgent
  • Bonus

One of the best ways to avoid spam is to make sure your subject line clearly and accurately reflects your email’s content.

Case Studies: Examples of Successful Aviation Email Marketing

The following aviator marketing email examples are meant to provide a bit of inspiration for when you’re getting ready to craft your next email marketing strategy.

American Airlines – Abandoned Cart Feature

Email marketing campaign of the American Airlines with their offers

American Airlines introduced an Abandoned Cart feature to its email strategy back in 2013, and in a short time, the company was able to increase its open rate and click-through rate by 300% and 400%, respectively.

The Abandoned Cart email campaign informed customers about unpurchased trips that were left in their carts for over 24 hours.

Air Canada – Comfort Fares

Air Canada email marketing campaign with their offers and services

Educational emails are great for keeping subscribers engaged, while announcements show them that you’re consistently improving.

When Air Canada’s Comfort Fares feature came to fruition, the company sent out a detailed email detailing the many benefits of their

Delta – Birthday Email

The email marketing campaign by Delta for exclusive birthday surprise for only SkyMiles Members

Delta’s Birthday email for SkyMiles Members is an excellent example of celebratory personalization in an aviation email marketing campaign.

 In the emails, Delta includes a few unique birthday offers and a list of targeted destinations the recipient might be interested in.

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Conclusion

The aviation industry is in a never-ending state of change, though with the right email marketing strategies and data collection, you can scale your business like never before.

Focus on segmenting your audience, crafting engaging emails for each segment, and monitoring your results using high-quality marketing tools.

If you want to learn more about how our team at Mediaboom can help you optimize your next aviation email marketing campaign, get in touch with us today.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals, building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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