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Ensemble Travel Group 
 Newsletter Success Story

Ensemble Travel Group is a consortium of travel agencies and individual travel agents who join in order to receive specific benefits only available to consortium members. These benefits are geared toward the luxury sector of the travel industry. Ensemble Travel provides its members with a full range of marketing materials, supplier special offers only available to members, online and onsite training, an annual conference, and 3 weekly newsletters. 

Each of the 3 weekly newsletters provided not only up to date information from  headquarters marketing, but also a wealth of supplier offerings, and discounts that agents could use as sales tools and incentives. These newsletters were e-mail text, containing no graphics and no formatting. It was also not possible to track opens, bounce backs, or click throughs. Many of the members were making comments that the format was hard to read, not easy to quickly locate specific information, and in one word “boring”. How could some life be injected into this tired communication vehicle?

Ensemble Travel Group Canada had been experimenting with using Constant Contact, an internet based supplier of e-mail services, for their e-mail efforts. They reported that it not only allowed for the use of exciting graphic templates, but tracking was available. Our marketing department was tasked with investigating this as an option to our current newsletter system.

At that time I was the editor of these newsletters and also had experience in using Constant Contact for e-mail campaigns. I worked with the group to determine the pros and cons of this provider. Constant Contact allows a period of free testing so it was decided to try a mailing. None of the templates were satisfactory as to corporate standards. The web design group worked to create html templates as a custom solution. Since the web designer had just been hired, my input on the design was vital as I was the only individual who knew the contents and variations of the newsletters from week to week.

After our successful trial and no hassles with importing the mailing list of over 2500 addresses we proceeded to plan the switchover to a fully graphic capable newsletter. Over the weeks of the phase in, I conferred with various department individuals as to an upgrading of content style. We went with “zingy” advertisement like headings, and benefit driven introduction copy to all links. We also divided each newsletter into sections, aka online newspapers, so that information would be logically available. Each issue received a subject line guaranteed to stimulate curiosity so the open rate would increase over the old format.

We could see from our first analysis of the open and click through statistics that recipients were excited about this new format. Many commented that now they had all this wonderful information in an easy to locate manner. This new format enhanced one of the most important benefits of membership and was instrumental in reaffiming to members the value of being part of this consortium.

“They really look terrific and are jam packed with good info! The information that is provided by Ensemble to the membership, in this new format is simply outstanding!” Jill Romano, Manager, Dimensions in Travel Inc, CA

“Leona Seufert works very hard to get the newsletters the best they can be and I know that at times we present her with great challenges that she meets so well” Suzanne Hall, Senior Director, Marketing & Development Land Products, Ensemble Travel Group.

View page 1 of the hotel newsletter
View page 2 of the hotel newsletter

View page 1 of the land newsletter