Adventures in Email Personalization

Brandon Lake  |  April 2nd, 2010

How to properly collect and use data for email personalization

Have you ever received and email from an airline featuring fares from Dallas to Miami when you live in Portland? Or how about an email from a tour operator showing you the ultimate costal biking adventure when you really wanted to go sea kayaking? What’s worse is when the airline knows you live in Portland and the tour operator knows you want to go sea kayaking!

The reality, though, is that far too many companies are guilty of this kind of poor communication. For many companies selling tours, events, lodging, and rentals, the problem lies both in collecting customer data and using that information properly.

Collecting Data

Let’s say you’re a tour operator in San Diego. You sell sailing tours, fishing trips, biking tours, and sightseeing excursions. You have trips built just for couples without kids and other activities perfect for families with young kids.

A family with young kids goes online to find activities in San Diego. You’ve done a great job with your search optimization efforts and they find you! They click through to your website. They begin browsing activities. They really like the family sightseeing excursion, but they’re not ready to click the online reservation button yet or make a reservation over the phone. They bookmark the site or make themselves a note. They leave. Anonymously.

Wait a minute? Did we forget something? We didn’t collect any data about this wonderful potential customer. Let’s back up and try this again…

Where were we? …they really like the sightseeing excursion but they’re not ready to book the activity yet. They notice a prominent button on the site that tells them they can ask for a complimentary Guide to Best Tours in San Diego. They click on it. They fill in their name and contact information. They answer a few questions including the fact that they are interested in sightseeing excursions with young kids.

Now we’ve got something! The question is, what will you do with it?

Using Information for Personalization

Now that we have an email address for this person, we could just include them in our next email blast in 15 days about romantic sailing trips. Would that be a good idea? What do we know about this person? They are interested in sightseeing excursions with young kids. They don’t want to be part of a romantic sailing trip. They have young kids. They get seasick easily. It would be a bad idea to send out something about sailing trips. The timing isn’t even right. They may have already made a decision within 15 days.

How about this? What if 2 days after looking at our Guide to the Best San Diego Tours, the person received an automatic email? The email is all about the sightseeing tour with a review from a family with kids and a link to make an online reservation.

By now they’ve had a chance to look at our guide. Their confidence is reinforced. Our timing is right. They are ready to book the tour. They click the link, make an online reservation and voila.

What did you have to do? Nothing.

How do you do it?

For most companies, this scenario sounds like a great idea. But, how do you put all this in place? This is where an online reservation system like Resmark Systems comes into play. Unless you use some sort of marketing software, this becomes very inefficient to manage by hand. Resmark combines both an online reservation system with marketing automation software.

Resmark generates the request form so you can collect data. Resmark stores and advertises your San Diego Tour Guide. Resmark automatically follows up with the person and tells them about the exact trip that interests them. Resmark repeats this process until a booking occurs online, over the phone or via email.

After the reservation is made, a whole new set of emails can get triggered that take your customer service to a new level. But that’s another story…

If you’re not already a Resmark Systems customer and you’re looking for an online reservation system that can generate business for you, request a demo of Resmark.

online waiver on tablet with keyboard

See If RESMARK Works For You

Don't wait to make the next step in streamlining your business.


Share this blog post

Brandon Lake

Brandon Lake

Brandon is the founder and CEO of RESMARK & WaiverSign. He also runs Western River Expeditions and Moab Adventure Center, two of the most successful tour businesses in America. Brandon loves cycling, skiing and traveling with his wife and 4 children.
*All information is accurate as of April 2010.