travelWith Christmas almost behind us, people’s thoughts will soon be turning to what they’re going to do in the New Year. With the prospect of the coldest months of the year ahead of us, it’s not surprising that many people’s thoughts turn to holidays!

January is a great time for travel email marketing. With the expense of Christmas over with, and the persistence of the less than desirable British climate, people have holidays on the mind. A well-timed marketing email could tap into exactly what your customer is thinking, and it could be the motivator that they need to take the plunge and book their next break.

However, travel email marketing, particularly in January, isn’t always straightforward. After all, every travel company will be thinking the same thing so, at the start of the year, your customers’ inboxes are likely to be inundated with emails promising the best travel deals. You have to make sure that yours is the one that captures their attention. Here are some tips to help you:

Start With the Subject Line

As I’ve mentioned many times before, the subject line is one of the most important elements of any marketing email. It needs to be succinct and eye-catching, perfectly summing up what’s in the email, while still offering enough mystery to encourage the reader to open it. However, because of the prevalence of holiday emails in the New Year, travel agencies often need to do much more to grab their reader’s attention.


One trick to make your subject line stand out is to use emoticons within it. This simple addition could be just the thing you need to catch people’s eyes. And, emoticons look particularly good on mobile devices; the devices that over 50% of people now read their emails on.

The emoticons you use in your subject lines can be travel related:

Jet2 Subject

TravelBird Subject

Or, if you’re having a sale or discount, you could indicate the passage of time:

Expedia Subject Emoticon

Just like with the subject line itself, the emoticons you use should be relevant to the body of the email. However, emoticons need to be used with caution. Not every email client supports them, so make sure you think about the needs of your subscribers before including them in your subject lines.


Personalisation can also help make your subject line stand out. This subject line, from Blue Bay Travel, makes it seem like the deal has been selected specifically for me:

Blue Bay Travel Subject

Just adding your subscriber’s name to the subject line like this is a quick and simple way to make them feel more valued.

Use Desirable Imagery

In travel email marketing, pictures can say a lot more than words can. Don’t waste time trying to explain the beauty of the destinations you offer when one picture can explain everything you need. Pictures are particularly useful when marketing holidays in the new year. As many people are likely to be thinking about their next holiday, an attractive picture could tap into your reader’s imagination, showing them exactly the place they want to be.

TravelBird and Voyage Prive do this particularly well:

Travel Bird Images

Voyage Prive 1 Voyage Prive 2

Creating image-rich travel emails also makes your messages less about the ‘hard sell’ and more about offering your readers something that they’ll appreciate.

Travel email marketing, particularly around the new year, requires a lot of creativity if you’re going to catch the eyes of your subscribers. By using these ideas to show off the unmissable destinations your company has to offer, you’ll be sure to see your open and click through rates improve.