Canada…Like Marketing to US Consumers…Only Different

It may be cold up there in Canada but they have cities with European charm, free healthcare, a family-friendly maternity leave policy and a propensity to travel.

In fact, Canadians make twice the number of international leisure trips than US consumers. And while Canadians are open to emerging destinations the United States remains a steady favorite – with 72% of Canadian vacations taking place to the US (Florida tops this list). And since sun and beach vacations also rank high on their list of travel plans the Caribbean, Cuba and Dominican Republic have seen growing numbers of Canuck visitors.

When Canadians travel to Europe, France and the United Kingdom are the most popular destinations. And, if you go on a cruise I can pretty much guarantee you will meet at least a handful of Canadians.

Travel marketers should be focussing on getting a piece of this potentially lucrative audience with a separate and distinct strategy. Canadians are active on social media, comfortable with technology and will respond to digital media and traditional media campaigns. Canada’s strict (and strictly-enforced) Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is different than the US laws and makes marketing via email and retargeting more challenging. On the flip side, having these laws in place ensures that marketers are paying to reach consumers who want to engage with brands in this manner.

Like their US counterparts, Canadian millennials travel more than other age groups and while they are very dependent on their digital devices, Neilsen research shows that “more than 90% of millennials make purchases based on direct mail.”*

Cruise lines, destinations, airlines, tour companies and all-inclusive resorts can all benefit from marketing specifically to Canadians – armed with an understanding of where they are most likely to travel and what they like to do once there.

Ready to get started? Check out our list of marketing partners and options for reaching Canadians with direct mail or fully CASL certified email and direct mail campaigns.

*Canada Post – Marketing to Canadian millenial travelers – 2015.

The un-sexy art of writing intriguing subject lines

I help clients send a lot of email and I get a lot of email. Most of it goes unopened – in many cases because the subject line didn’t do it’s job. Subject lines are tedious to write and the best intentions of testing usually fall to the wayside. So we end up throwing together something like “Exclusive Offer”; “25% Savings” or a travel marketer’s favorite — “BOOK NOW” and hoping for the best. Sometimes when I’m in a bind I look to my own inbox for inspiration and this week i made a note of some subject lines that made me open the email.

#1 – “Earth to Angela” – sent by a lead-generation firm that I’ve signed with but have yet to use their product. They know I expressed interest but have yet to follow through. On the downside — I got another email from them on another topic about 15 minutes later. I appreciate a good trigger campaign more than anyone but know when to cut me some slack and please put me only into one funnel.

#2 “10 bra-friendly dresses under $100” — I wear a bra and I wear dresses and the struggle to hide those straps is real – so this one was relevant to me and further proof that Top 10 lists will never die.

#3 – “Yassssssss!” – A bit extreme but it stood out among all of the savings-based subject lines. There was indeed an ‘exclusive offer’ inside but this worked. Telling me I could save 20% on business cards probably would not have worked.

#3 “Cancel your cooking plans” – Sent at the appropriate time of day this proved to be relevant at that exact moment. Done deal!

#4 “We Heard You Have a Thing For Overwater Bungalows” — I’m sure I do but i have not expressed specific interest in overwater bungalows on this web site…but it’s a pretty safe assumption that most travelers wouldn’t mind taking this trip and the conversational tone helps here. Worth noting — this is the ONLY subject line from a travel company to make this list.

#5 “Are we on for this afternoon?” – This was for a webinar I signed up for and the familiar tone made me think it was from a client or friend.