Whether you have been in travel for 10 months or 10 years I hope you understand that your client list is the most important asset your business has. But it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t do anything to reach those clients. If the only time you access that list is when you are pulling up a client’s information to create a quote, then you probably won’t have those clients for long.

So how do you leverage that list? The very best way is by introducing an ezine. An ezine is an electronic newsletter you send regularly to your clients. The ideal frequency is weekly, but you can opt for other frequencies.

Some of you may be concerned about sending too much email. The last thing you want to do is to be sent as a pest or an annoying marketer. Good news! You are probably worrying too much about this. You can certainly do some testing to see if your open rates change depending on how often you send out your messages, but if you are sending once a week you have no reason to worry. If you are emailing once per month, you may need to worry. What you don’t want to happen is for a client (or potential client) to forget you and when they finally see you in their inbox they don’t recognize you or your brand. Remember, if a client doesn’t want to open your email, they don’t have to. They can let it sit there for years if they want to, but if you aren’t sending it in the first place it can’t be working for you.

And it is a good idea to periodically revisit the system you are using to manage your list. There are lots of them out there but some of the big ones are Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response, and iContact. Technology is changing all the time and some companies are better at introducing new features than others. Of course, many of these “autoresponder” systems can do the basics like allow you to set up a welcome series of emails to send to new people automatically, but there are lots of new tools coming online all the time. It pays to periodically check around and see how the system you are using compares to what is out there both in terms of prices and features.

One last nugget about why you need to focus on email. There are 3.2 billion email accounts in the world and that number is consistently growing. Yes, there is always lots of buzz about social media, but don’t forget about the tried-and-true platform that should be the backbone of your marketing: email.

Now you know WHY you should have a weekly ezine, but the HOW may be the challenge. We have a solution for that! My colleague and ezine goddess Lisa Fletcher is hosting the Easy Ezine Challenge to help you conquer this critical marketing tool. During this 4-week challenge you will have Lisa’s guidance to conquer your doubts about your ability to generate great content AND write 18 feature articles in the process!  The challenge launches August 13 so sign up now. (If you join the Travel MBA or Travel Agent Startup School you do receive a significant discount so do that before you sign up for challenge so you will get your discount code.)

The most important thing is to CONNECT with your clients and the ezine is a fabulous way to do that. We have heard many success stories over the years of people who got the ezine for months or even years and never booked with the agent and then popped up and made a $50,000 booking. Nice! But that only happens if you consistently build “know, like and trust” with the client through regular communication.