Combining email with SMS provides an interesting set of marketing options. Motorcycle adventure tour operator Toursareus took the step to augment their regular email marketing output with targeted SMS messages – combining both email and SMS now generates 86% of their bookings.
Toursareus was born out of the ambition of founder Graham Saunders, after he and 20 others rode their motorcycles around the world in 2002. They travelled through 5 continents and 17 countries covering in excess of 32,000 miles in 90 days.
Having had the trip of a lifetime Graham wanted to share some of his unique experiences with other like-minded two-wheeled explorers. Today, Toursareus offers a wide range of organised motorcycle tours in Europe, Africa and the Americas, including a trans-Transylvanian adventure, the Alaskan Epic and a number of MotoGP race trips.
Graham explains their marketing journey.
“Traditional advertising simply wasn’t working well for us, and collecting and managing our enquiries and customer bookings was a manual, paper-based process. Convinced that we needed to go digital we looked at a number of email service providers but, until we met Sign-Up.to, we hadn’t found a solution or a provider that we were comfortable to move forwards with.”
Like many of Sign-Up.to’s customers Graham’s journey into the world of digital marketing started with a free Sign-Up.to trial account.
“Opening the trial account was quick and easy. With the help of a brief online demonstration I was able to upload our subscriber data and start creating and sending emails and SMS text messages straight away.”
Graham’s free trial was a resounding success. After sending just 12 SMS messages to previous enquirers he generated 2 bookings and over £4,000 of new business. Convinced of the value, Graham quickly converted his free trial to a convenient pay as you go package of email and SMS credits, upgrading again after a few months to further expand his capability.
Graham continues. “After just a few months of effort our email database has now refined to approximately 1,000 engaged and loyal subscribers. We also regularly communicate with over 700 mobile users via SMS.”
Combining both email and SMS for different purposes and different audiences gives Graham a unique set of communication options.
Regular subscribers receive the monthly Toursareus email newsletter and other one-off promotional campaigns, for example their forthcoming ‘Great Escape’ motorcycle tour through the European landmark sites of WW2. Graham also uses SMS campaigns which are used to deliver more time critical and immediate response messages.
At the recent Motorcycle News exhibition in London, Graham complemented the regular Toursareus newsletter and special pre- and post-event emails with a series of SMS messages, delivered each morning of the event, inviting visitors to the Toursareus exhibition stand for their daily in-show offers. Graham and his partner Jane are pictured here with their latest Sign-Up.to newsletter.
What does Graham like best about the Sign-Up.to platform?
“It took us a little time to fully understand the possibilities, and there are many features that we are still to explore, but now we are set up it’s really easy to use our branded newsletter template to quickly create and deliver our content. Because much of the news content is accessed via embedded links to our main website we can also track traffic to each item. This allows us to monitor and follow up individual interest with a targeted and personal response.”
And it clearly works. Like most UK based travel companies Toursareus’ peak booking season is between November and January, and Graham is pleased to confirm that 86% of their bookings in this peak period can be directly attributed to their Sign-Up.to email and SMS campaigns.