Last week I was returning from Dallas where I gave a talk on Breaking the Rules of Email Marketing at Jason Falls’s Explore event. The flight leaving Dallas was delayed, resulting in some passengers missing their connection in Denver. I was not too worried as the plane I was taking to Denver was the same plane I would ride into Salt Lake City (my final destination).
Very long story short: They decided that the airplane I was on would be continuing on to Los Angeles (not Salt Lake City). The flight to Salt Lake City had already left when I arrived in Denver. I had to spend the night in Denver and waited several hours the next day (Saturday) to hop on a standby flight back home.
I understand this kind of stuff happens. Nothing in travel – or life, for that matter – is guaranteed. However, as I was sitting in the Denver airport on Saturday crossing my fingers that I’d be able to get on the next flight home, the following email landed in my inbox … at 11:57AM.
To be clear, this is the top (above-the-fold) portion of the email from Travelocity. The content below this simply showed my original flight itinerary.
Anything about this email jump out at you as “not ideal?” Before we look at the actual messaging, let me remind you of the timeline:
- Friday: Flight from Denver to Salt Lake left (without me on board)
- Friday night: I spent the night in a Denver hotel
- Saturday morning: I waited in the Denver airport for a standby flight
- Saturday at 11:57AM: This “flight change” email arrived in my inbox
Just for fun, I called.
I was informed that my flight had left without me – yesterday. That fact, as well as the email above, was not only poorly timed, but also not all that valuable.
3 Things Travelocity Could Have Done Better
The goal of this blog post is not to ding Travelocity. Instead it’s to get you – the email marketer – thinking about how to best use email to deliver timely and valuable content. Travelocity could have:
- Sent the email immediately after my flight had left Denver (without me on it). Timing, in this case, was everything. I realize they may not have had this information handy right away; however, by the time they sent it the next day it was out of date.
- Personalized the email more. Yes, they did include my original flight itinerary. I already knew that information. Why not include some links to alternate flights? Since I booked my flight through Travelocity, that information should be available to them.
- Provided a stronger call to action. The only call to action in this email was for me to call them. How about a link to their online customer support or live chat?
Are your email marketing messages timely and valuable? What are your thoughts on this email from Travelocity?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please share in the comments below.