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Mission Control / Travel

5 Reasons to Rethink Your DMO’s Email Newsletter (and 3 Great Examples)

Does your newsletter need a rework? We have five questions destination marketers should be asking about their emails — and three examples of A+ newsletters for inspiration.

It’s obvious to say the average inbox is humming with incoming shopping deals, paperless bills, and personal connections. Your DMO’s carefully crafted newsletter on the highlights and current happenings of your beloved city or region is then tossed atop the pile.

Your DMO information has gotten this far, but readers and prospective travelers may be taking one of two undesired actions: moving your newsletter straight to the trash before opening it or cracking your thoughtfully sent highlights and then unsubscribing.

Maybe your newsletter isn’t as cleverly crafted or well designed as you thought. Ask yourself these five questions to determine if a newsletter reorg may be in your near future — followed by three great examples.

1. Too text heavy?

It may not be a wise choice to promote a treasured destination with a wall of text. Of course, content may be the driving force behind your website, but the emailed newsletter representing your DMO should act as a vessel to that content. Entice with engaging imagery, headlines and calls-to-action. However, it’s always good to make it short and simple.

2. Too image heavy?

Conversely, an artwork-heavy email can leave readers confused. Where is the information? Am I supposed to click something? If it’s too busy, it’s probably going to be deleted. Large photos may not load, the email service may not download images by default, something went wrong on your end — the possibilities go on. In other words, subscribers get a blank email. Horrifying.

3. Is it responsive?

This is another way of asking if your email newsletter is mobile equipped. Most people read emails on their phones, and your email should be responsive to meet those demands.

4. Is your content actually useful?

Your first chance to hook an overwhelmed subscriber is in the subject line, and here are six quick tips to help you along. The key is creating actionable content — meaning readers are guided to purchase tickets, review a new travel itinerary, or reading a regional article. Then it comes down to basic original content with an SEO spin.

5. Do you know what to shoot for?

If you’re not sure what some email marketing benchmarks might look like, check out the Average Email Campaign Stats of MailChimp Customers by Industry. Hint: Travel and Transportation has an open rate of 20.69 percent.

Ready to get started a fresh approach and need some inspiration? These three great examples of destination marketing email newsletters check all the right the boxes.

Visit Utah

Before you even click subscribe, Visit Utah asks if you’ve ever visited the state, and if you’re currently planning a trip with multiple timeframe options.

Visit Charlotte

If there’s a major event happening soon in Charlotte, these people will let you know. The email displays a well-designed event announcement, an easy-to-find promo code and a button for purchasing tickets.

Travel Portland

The Portland Travel Update presents a palatable calendar of events and festivals, plus regional, food and drink, and outdoors news — and it’s all super mobile friendly. (We also love the DMO’s travel guide.)

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