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So you’ve gotten your website designed. You’ve crafted some pretty great tour descriptions and your site is littered with pictures of the highest caliber.

You’ve even spent sometime building up your SEO ranking and you’ve gotten your tours listed all over the internet.

Good, good.

But just getting travellers onto your website isn’t going to miraculously change your tourism business overnight.

Why? Simply put: we, as human beings, are extraordinarily indecisive. And we are heavily swayed by outside factors when it comes to decision making.

So when it comes to making decisions – such as how we’d like to spend our über valuable vacation days – we just don’t say yes from the word go.

We spend hours perusing the internet, painstakingly poring over each and every review site, city guide and social media outlet. We want to invest our time and money into something that we will enjoy. And we go to great lengths to find tour companies that we trust won’t let us down.

Well, it’s your job to build up that trust and credibility. And you usually can’t do it upon the first run in that a viewer has with your website.

So how do you do it? You need a way to capture contact details and create a series of seamless emails that build relationships with your audience.

#1: Create a piece of irresistible content relevant to your location.

Just because someone might not be willing to pay for your tours off the bat doesn’t mean that they want to leave your website empty-handed. And they most certainly won’t want to leave your website empty-handed if you have something completely irresistible and FREE up for grabs.

Wild SF Walking Tours decided that they wanted their website visitors to leave with a little reminder of them. So they created a pretty sexy free PDF guide of food and sights in North Beach (a cool part of San Francisco, the city that they’re based in).

image03 Tourism PDF Example

#2: Make the content only accessible by an opt-in form.

Did I say offer them something for free? Well, I may have toed the line on the truth ever so slightly. Because as the old adage goes, nothing in life is free.

And your piece of content won’t be free either. Ok, yes, in a monetary sense it will be, but your website visitor will have to cough up something pretty valuable in return.

What’s that? Well, your valuable piece of content will be ‘gated’. Meaning that it will only be accessible by an opt-in form that the viewer has to fill out with their contact details.

So anyone visiting Wild SF Walking Tours website won’t immediately see the PDF. Instead, they’ll be presented with a pop-up opt-in form showing off the lead magnet (the free PDF guide) and the contact form.

Tourism opt-in form

Pro-tip: You can get opt-in forms FOR FREE. One of our favorite opt-in providers is SumoMe.

#3: Once you have the email addresses, start making some email marketing magic.

You’ve worked hard enough to actually acquire a steady flow of email addresses, but they are absolutely meaningless if you let them sit and collect dust. You need to use them for all they’re worth.

So once you get their email address, immediately send them the piece of gated content that you created. But then send them more information too. You could send them content such as restaurant guides, safety tips and monthly events. You could also try sending through some emails based on the their behavior on your website.

For example, were they looking at a specific tour page? Send them reminder emails about the tour, and add a sense of urgency by saying that the tour is almost sold out. Then follow up on the email a couple days later with an exclusive discount for that tour.

Fat Tire Tours does a great job of this:

Tourism email marketing example

Pro-tip: Use an email marketing software to automate the process for you. We are huge advocates of ActiveCampaign — they’re cheap, and they get the job done.

Not convinced?

Check out this list of 25 Mind Blowing Email Marketing Sales Stats by Salesforce.

The main take-away: if you aren’t capturing leads and utilizing email marketing, you could be sacrificing the single most effective way of selling more tours.

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