Rural Tourism Marketing Tip: Gather Email Addresses For Later Use

by Joanne Steele on June 28, 2010

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Travel Daily News reports that the US hotel industry is forecasting an increase in summer travel for the remainder of the season. Let’s hope some of that increase is coming to your US small town.. and to rural areas worldwide.

Since this is a busy season, no matter where you are located, I’m going to focus for the next month on short, easy to implement marketing tips.

Today, I want to stress the value of your customers’ email addresses.

People respond to the kind of intimate, friendly exchange that is part of our everyday, small town way of life.

We naturally chat with our mail carriers and store clerks. We stop on the street to greet friends and acquaintances, and even make it a point to say hello to visitors.

We can expand these friendly exchanges to our customers and prospective customers through the use of email notes and newsletters.

Don’t have an email newsletter program set up yet? Not to worry.

You can do it in your slower season. But NOW is the time to gather email addresses of your customers.

If you’re a small retail, lodging or adventure business, collect email addresses as part of your check-in or check out procedure. Reassure your customer that you never share email addresses with anyone else. Let them know when to expect your friendly, newsy missives (Monthly? Weekly? Beginning in the fall?).

If you are a visitor’s bureau or a chamber office, collect email addresses in your guest book. Check whenever possible to be sure you can read your guest’s handwriting. To save time, place a card near your visitor log book telling signers that they will be receiving email newsletters from you with specials and news about your town.

In September I’ll be devoting time to setting up and sending effective newsletters. For now, just collect those email addresses!

Here are some past posts about email newsletters:

Email Newsletters for Rural Small Tourism Businesses – Why Bother

Write Effective Newsletters Your Customers Can’t Wait to Open

Photo by Rene Ehrhardt

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