11 Legit Ideas for a Tour Business to Build an Email List

Jelena Debeljak

Jelena Debeljak

Head of Marketing at Orioly
A sales and marketing specialist with a strong interest in digital tools. Jelena has an established track record in entrepreneurship, SME and startup community. ​She has an extensive work experience in international contexts and excellent interpersonal skills. A secret dreamer in love with the novelty, traveling adventures and different cultures.
Jelena Debeljak

Often times our users and potential users, who are a tour business, ask us about getting more leads. Many small tour businesses, especially in their early stages, fight to attract more guests to their tours. 

Sending out email updates to your target customers is a big part of it. You need to be reaching out constantly. Simply buying email lists is never a good idea. Good email vendors won’t let you send emails to people who never opted for it. Your email deliverability and reputation will be harmed. Good email addresses simply aren’t for sale. People don’t appreciate getting newsletters from companies they don’t know. You need people’s consent to send them emails.

The question is, how do you get those emails? The specific answer might be different for each tour business. Since we cannot sit with every and each one of you to help define your best ways, we compiled the list of 11 best ways. These ideas are not only practical but also ethical.

1. Enable Online Booking on your Website

In the 21st century, you really need to have your online tour booking enabled on your own website. So, implement that book now button on your website. Then, promote it, promote your tours! Whenever someone makes a booking or sends you an enquiry through that booking button, their email will be saved in the system background. You, as an admin, will easily manage it with all your bookings. Check out how easy it is with Orioly.

orioly, booking, online, book, now, button

2. Add an Email Signup Form to your Website

This idea seems natural, but many tour and activity providers don’t really exploit it. Some that do, often don’t place their email subscription form in an area where it will attract most signups. For example, your form won’t be visible enough if you place it in the bottom of your website (footer), or your contact page. You want everyone to see it and most people view pages such as your homepage, blog or your tour pages. Place the email signup form on all of them and not just one page on your tour business website.

Here are some nice examples of an email signup form I found online:

orioly, online, tour, booking, tour, business, build, email, list

orioly, online, booking, tour, business, sign, up, form

orioly, online, booking, tour, business, subscription, form

3. Add an Email Pop-up Form to your Website

A pop-up form is a small window that suddenly appears (“pops up”) on your website. It’s asking visitors to leave their details in return for information. It is a great way to connect with your website visitors. Sometimes they need a little alert to put their email on your mailing list. Pop-up forms are a great tool for this!

They come in many shapes and sizes, appearing in different areas of a web page. Some of the typical are: top banners, slide-in boxes or overlay modals (pop-up boxes in the middle of a web page): 

orioly, online, booking, tour, business, pop up, forms

orioly, online, booking, tour, business, pop up, forms

Adding pop-ups to every single web page of your website is unnecessary. It can annoy your visitors as they navigate through it. Instead, add email pop-ups where it is natural to ask for an email. For example, after reading your blog page, it’s natural to ask them if they would like to keep getting more fresh reads and updates like this? Or after they check some of your tours, a pop-up can appear to leave their email for news and updates. Everyone like getting the information they’re interested in first. This way you’ll build a mailing list with more relevant subscribers.

4. Add your Current Guests to your Mailing List

If you’ve been in tour business for a while now and have had some customers already, don’t forget to add them to your mailing list. It will then be worth your while to give them a call or to reach out to them through Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter. Simply ask if they would like to be included to your mailing list. Let them know that you won’t be spamming but just inform about new tour offers occasionally. This can help get that email.

Starting from the customers that are also repeating guests will be a wise thing to do if there’s just too many people to call or to message. Ignoring the ones that are not bringing too much value can save your time. Breaking your guests into segments like that will be a nice marketing practice for you. It will save you time and your future marketing costs.

5. Attract New Subscribers with a Free Contest or a Giveaway

All of us love free stuff. You can use this human nature thing to attract more people to your tour company pages. For example, a great idea is to organize a photo contest on your website and promote it through Instagram and Facebook. All your fans can post their best holiday-tour-photos. In return, you can give away free T-shirts with your tour company logo, free sightseeing to your town visitors or even an entire tour. A great way to promote a new or tour by the way! To enter the contest, or a giveaway, people should leave their emails and then post pictures with a hashtag you give them. For example your tour business name and the contest name. This can be a quick way to build your mailing list.

6. Offer Free Downloads

One of the basic ways to collect emails, and get leads for that matter, is to offer free content downloads on your tour business blog page. You can offer detailed tour maps, best adventure gear, top things-to-know about your destination, things to bring on a tour, etc. These useful pieces of information can be offered in a variety of formats. Some can be text format (pdf), infographics, checklists, etc. Make sure to make it looks nice, too. Use some free online tool to help you design your content, like Canva. Or you can ask a more skillful friend to help you! Only the most interested visitors will bother with filling out a form. This means you’ve scored a very qualified lead for future sales and marketing efforts!

7. Add a CTA to your Tour Business Facebook Page

As you know, CTA stands for a call-to-action. Like, you’d write “Book Now!” on your online booking button on your website. It is similar to Facebook and it offers different CTA-s to choose from. It would be a shame not to use this feature as it’s really simple to set up.
If you’re an admin of your tour business Facebook page, navigate to it, click the ‘Signup button’ and select ‘Edit’. A pop-up will be shown where you can select the type of CTA, like ‘Book Now’, and the URL you wish to send people to (the one leading to your website where all your tours are presented). Save changes when you’re done. That’s it!

orioly, booking, online, tour, business

8. Including Social Sharing Buttons

Social sharing is the practice of sharing content from a website on a social media site or application. The one reason is that you want to let your fans, customers, and potential customers share your content. This means including social sharing buttons in your emails, newsletters, every blog post and even on website pop-ups if you can. Social sharing buttons come in a variety of designs. You can place them on top of an article, make them vertically floating on a side of your website or place them underneath each blog post:

orioly, online, booking, social, sharing, buttons, tour, business

orioly, online, booking, social, sharing, buttons, tour, business


Use the advantages of such a simple online tool to grow your audience base. Your current fans will want to share your content. Especially those who have already had a great experience on your tours. People love sharing stuff with others so everyone would see how much great time they had!

9. Collect Emails Offline

You do know who the ideal customer for your tours and activities is, don’t you? Is it a family, adventurers no matter of the age or sex, or maybe older people, or young people? You are probably visiting events, industry conferences, workshops, exhibitions and fairs where such audience hangs out. These are all fantastic opportunities to start a conversation and offer to send them more details by email later. If you’re tech-savvy, you can make it even more interesting and print brochures or sell sheets with a QR code. People can scan with their mobile devices and subscribe immediately.

10. Host an Event to Present a Tour Experience

You don’t need to only go to other people’s events to attract new guests for your tours. You can organize your own. What an elegant way to build an email list! You can set up an online event, like a webinar, or an offline meetup, workshop or a discussion on the topic of your tours. Just keep it simple and make signup (with an email address) mandatory. For example, presentations of the best photographs from a recent popular tour or trip. Or you can bring in a presenter to present their most fun, dangerous or just beautiful experience from a trip. Or if you’re a tour guide, you can share your stories… there are countless ideas! Even if people can’t make it to your event, you still have their email address to add to your list.

11. Leverage your Social Proof

Maybe this just sounds too easy. People are still reluctant in giving out their email addresses. It’s a fact, no one likes getting too many emails. We only read the most important ones. This is what makes it hard to convince a potential guest that they should indeed give us their email. To bypass the reluctance, leverage your social proof that your mailing list is worth signing up for. Add social follow widgets to your website. When people see how many loyal fans you already have, they will feel more like joining the crowd!

orioly, tour, business, online, booking, facebook, widgets

Now, do you think there were some nice tips here? Be a pal and share the good! Your colleagues who can help you get started with building your mailing list would like to read it 😉

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