Members of the Hays Travel Independence Group are being offered a new e–mail marketing system to help them communicate with existing clients and attract new ones.

The web-based Mailing Manager can be used to e–mail customers special offers, confirm booking details and welcome them back from their holiday. It comes with ready-made templates that the user can manipulate, or agents can create their own template.

Hays Travel e-commerce manager Paul Bolam said: “People are more likely to sit and read their e–mails rather than sift through post. Even if they don’t book they won’t unsubscribe because they want to see what’s coming next.”

The tracking tool on Mailing Manager also means agents can see who has opened their e–mails, who has clicked through and what they have viewed.

Hays Travel managing director John Hays said all agents should be asking for customers’ e–mail addresses when they come into the shop, even if they do not book.

“At Hays Travel we e–mail a set of offers once a month to everyone on our database. By doing this, customers are more likely to come back and book.”

Nicholson Travel partner Gary Nicholson is the first Independence Group member to trial the system. The former cruise director at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines set up the Castle Donnington-based agency late last year. He said: “Anything that makes it simple for us to contact customers is great.

“It’s easy to use and you’ve got everything you need. It’s easy to track who is viewing what and we’ve had a good response so far.”