One of the things I love most about the tourism industry is that it's not just made up of huge corporations. Sure, people travel the world to see tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall of China. But those of us in the industry know the real truth—this industry is mostly made up of small businesses. In fact, over 90% of tourism businesses are considered small businesses by the SBA definition.
Why am I reminding you of that today? Because my readers reflect that reality. Many of you are solopreneurs or wear many hats at a family-owned company. You are passionate about what you offer and the thought of helping visitors create wonderful lifelong memories is what gets you up every day and has you working six days a week. So, today's post is for you.
SMALL BUSINESSES ARE STILL BUSINESSES.
In my more than 20-year tourism career, I have worked at a small family-owned attraction, a DMO with only a few full-time staff and a large internationally-known museum. And I have seen that there can be huge differences in standards, processes and procedures.
When I worked at small organizations, many times we were left to figure things out for ourselves and sometimes basic business practices never occurred to me because we had no guidance.
MY MAILBOX GIVES ME GREAT IDEAS
The idea for this post came from emails I have been receiving over the past few weeks. I conduct online education and training programs that DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations) offer to their partners. I always encourage webinar attendees to follow up with any questions they have for me. It's always exciting when I see a new name in my mailbox with a follow-up question. I can't ask for anything better than that!
HOW'S YOUR SIGNATURE LINE?
I have noticed a trend with many of these emails from smaller organizations: the lack of a signature line. A signature line is information that automatically populates at the end of your emails. It can contain your full name and your phone number. But here's a hint: it can also contain a lot more! By taking the time today to learn how to set up your signature line and optimize the information you share, you are creating a tool that can let potential customers know more about you without having to do a thing. Sound good?
Every signature line should have these elements:
- Your full name.
- Your phone number.
- The company website, that is linked directly to the website. (That way people can just click on the link in your signature line and go straight to your website.)
And before we go much farther, let me say that I am not a tech guru that can help you set up your signature lines—every email provider does it differently. And I will remind you that it will probably be a challenge to figure out. But don't give up. Stick with it or find someone that can do it for you.
Bonus hint: Create a Loom video to document how you set up your signature line so when you want to update it, you can watch your video to remind yourself and save time.
OTHER ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER
Do you have a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence? Add that logo or at least a link to your TripAdvisor listing. Have you won any awards? List them as well. Add a link to a short YouTube video. Potential customers can do all kinds of research from your signature line.
Add your social media links. In this case, the icon for each platform with a direct link is the cleanest way to do it. Don't forget LinkedIn!
Once you've got it set up, send an email to yourself at another email address to check everything out. Make sure the links all work correctly. Here's another hint: Change it up once a year. Do you have an event scheduled for later this year? Start promoting it now. Put a reminder on your calendar to remove it from your signature line once the event is over.
Here are some great examples:
ACTION STEP FOR TODAY
If you don't have an up-to-date signature line, decide that today is the day to create it. To my DMO/CVB/Tourism Association partners: Share this post with your members and encourage them to do the same. And if you would like me to take a look at your newly created signature line, send me an email and I will be happy to give you my thoughts.
Written by Sally Davis Berry, tourism industry expert. Berry provides consulting services and marketing expertise, and runs Tourism Pro Academy, which has online courses and free resources for tourism professionals.
This article was republished with permission and originally appeared at Sally Davis Berry.
Photo courtesy of Sally Davis Berry.