3 Tips For A Killer Email Travel Marketing Campaign

As someone who travels a lot, I’m always looking for the best deals and the best experiences. I often find these via social media or through emails that come into my inbox. You need to really catch my attention to make me want to interact with your campaign. So I read these tips for a successful travel email marketing campaign, compiled by Campaign Monitor with interest.

I’ve talked previously on here about email marketing do’s and don’ts but the list compiled by Campaign Monitor is certainly all do’s. 


Personalise



There are so many ways you can interest me and make me click through and read more of your email. One such way a brand can always engage me is a personalised email. Using my name or previous information from when I’ve engaged with you such as previous stays with your company or previous experiences with your brand will definitely make me want to use your brand again.

Incentivise


Campaign Monitor also suggests giving incentives for customers to use your brand or to set up a loyalty system. These are both ways that brands have engaged me in the past. I mentioned that I am always looking for the best deal and if an incentive or a loyalty programme can help me achieve that in any way, I am all for it! We’ve previously managed trips on a budget that we never thought possible, simply from checking out an interesting and engaging email from a brand where we managed to get a major discount. It really is all about managing to engage your audience.

Inspire





Something that always catches my attention and that the list suggests is providing inspiration. I have visited many cities and many countries over the years and am always looking for a new adventure but sometimes inspiration just doesn’t strike. A well-timed email, providing me with some inspiration for where next to head to with my husband, is always going to be received well. What I love about campaigns which give you inspiration is that they often make you think about something or somewhere you would never have considered before. There are so many experiences I would have never thought to try in the past that I have now experienced because of that email campaign.

There is a reason why email marketing works and why certain campaigns will be successful whilst others won’t. You need the right mix of things to ensure that potential customers are clicking onto your emails in their inbox and then spending their hard earned cash with you.

Do you use email marketing at all? Do you have any tips for a successful campaign?

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London - Vintage Markets And Car Boots Sales You Can't Miss

The Beatles, Queen Elizabeth, cricket, James Bond, the red telephone box – all things traditionally associated with Britain. However, perhaps more authentically, that should be fish and chips, accents, tea, queuing, car boot sales and a love for all things vintage.


Of course, you can't get much more British than London – home to Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the iconic red bus. Moreover, there is such a wide variety of vintage markets and car boot sales in the capital that it's easy to find a different style to experience each day of the week. There are both specialist markets and more general street markets, so there really is something for everyone.

Old Spitalfields Market


Now, when we say vintage, you may envisage a range of ionic '70s garments or an LP from your favourite artist – but, here, we’re talking clothes, children’s toys, home items and even artisan food products. This market received a major revamp prior to the turn of the millennium and has since transformed into a one-stop shopping destination. This rejuvenated market can be found in the heart of East London, just off Commercial Street.

On Thursdays, a specific antique market runs all day long, offering a bonus cluster of stalls awash with collectables you could find yourself just dying to get your hands on. Five minutes away from this vibrant vendor is the multicultural Shepherd's Bush, the perfect neighbourhood in which to stay overnight during a jaunt in the capital. 

The Dorsett Hotel in this area provides an ideal base after a busy day of scouring the markets, while there's also Dorsett Hotel, City of London accommodation if you would prefer somewhere more central. 

Hackney Flea Market


Antique furniture is back in trend, and Hackney Flea Market is the place to find it. This monthly market is held at Abney Hall on Stoke Newington's Church Street, and if you’re on the hunt for a bargain, you’re in luck, as you’re sure to find throwback pieces stretching back to the '60s here. If you’re not after furniture, there are also stalls selling vintage fabrics, ceramics, prints and some amazing jewellery.

St Augustine’s Car Boot Sale



Found in Kilburn Park, this is arguably London's most famous car boot sale. It has been growing rapidly since its birth in 1996 and continues to attract a trendy crowd on the lookout for hot bargains. If you rummage thoroughly enough, you're sure to find a treasure, whether it is an unspoilt violin, vintage cake stand or virtually brand new Laura Ashley tea set.

Portobello Market



At the south end of this wonderful street market, you'll encounter some pristine antiques and, at the north end, you’ll find a manner of small collectables and goods you’re likely to describe as bric-a-brac. In the middle, the aroma of fresh fruit and vegetables is sure to consume you. 

On Saturdays, masses of traders erect over 2,000 stalls here and sell everything from collectables to vintage clothing to books to various fabrics. Understandably, this market attracts a large crowd with people vying for bargains or one-off unique pieces. The market is situated on Portobello Road, north of Notting Hill.

*Collaborative post

Serious Readers Need A Serious Reading Light - Welcome To The Alex

Since I've become older my eyesight has got worse. I've always been short-sighted but over the last year or two my reading ability has changed and I've had to succumb to reading glasses. These have helped me focus on fine print and I've also noticed that I need to use the light on my iPhone to read a menu in low lighting conditions. So when Serious Readers, a lighting company, got in touch to ask me to review one of their reading lights I could hardly say no. I really did need a quality reading light!

Serious Readers came about on the back of their original company that sold essential reading lights for 25 years to a range of places including lifeboats and space ships. When the founder Alex Pratt couldn't find a good reading light for his mum, he decided to invent one himself, and so the company was born. 

The Alex range from Serious Readers is their classic range. 


Unboxing

Unboxing was easy, it was well packed and all assembled so no worrying about following complicated instructions.




The light comes with a simple booklet on how to get started.

Getting started


You just plug in the light and away you go, just flick the standby switch for the light. 



The model I was sent was a dimmable model. The arm was adjustable and needed a firm movement to change the position.





To use the dimmer, you switch the light on once,  then hold the switch down again and the light will adjust to the desired level. It's that simple.



The base I requested was a heavyweight base but you could also request a lightweight base if you wanted one.



I liked the simple chic black design of the Alex reading light. It fits in with many colour schemes and is a perfect style for a home office, lounge or bedroom.

Quality of light


The Alex light is their closest LED reading light to natural light. It uses eco-friendly LED technology to provide a bright light that will help you see clearly.  Apparently, they use LED Daylight Wavelength Technology™, which can help you focus longer, without the strain so that's good to know. 

I definitely thought it was the best light I've used to read. Everything was well illuminated but I didn't get any glare. I thought the dimmable option was great when you didn't want such a powerful light and the adjustable angle of the arm was perfect for close up work, such as sewing or other hobbies that need extra light. The print looked sharp and colours looked true, and the light was not overly yellow.  The lamp felt strong and robust.

Specifications



The light has a number of options and you can get it with or without a dimmer,  with a lightweight or heavyweight base, and as a table lamp too. They even have rechargeable lights which are brilliant if you haven't got access to a plug socket. The colour scheme you can choose from is black, brass or nickel colour and the body in black or white.

If you don't want a fixed light you can order a 'varifocus' light which will let you adjust the beam between 20 inches and 40 inches too.

Conclusion



I can see why the Alex range is for serious readers, it's a very useful and excellent quality reading lamp. It's also been recommended by over 500 opticians, the Chelsea pensioners, and is used by air traffic control staff, and you can't say fairer than that. 

The Alex reading lights have a range of prices. The floor light retails at £269.99 and for the addition of a dimmer, there is an extra £30 charge. With a 30-day risk-free trial for those ordering from the UK and a 5-year guarantee for peace of mind, you really haven't got much to lose. If you want a quality reading light then I personally feel you can do no wrong. Recommended.

*Sponsored post, all words and opinions are my own

Interview With Jacynth Bassett Owner Of Fashion Boutique the-Bias-Cut

Today on the blog I am interviewing Jacynth Bassett, the owner of the-Bias-Cut - an online fashion boutique that celebrates style at every age. 

Could you tell me about why you started your business and your ethos of why ageism is never in style?


I first had the idea for the-Bias-Cut when I was 19, whilst studying Law at Cambridge. Having realised I didn’t want to become a lawyer, I decided I wanted to start my own business, ideally in Fashion as it had always been one of my main passions.

Whilst I had a lot of respect for the Fashion Industry, I knew it was by no means perfect, and I wanted to make a difference. It was 2am one night and, unable to sleep, I started thinking about my mum. Like me, she loved fashion and style, but since her late 40s had started to feel irrelevant in the eyes of the Fashion Industry, largely due to her age. She was fed up with youth-focused imagery and struggled to find beautiful, quality clothes that were both flattering and stylish. This both saddened and frustrated me. 

Thorough research proved that many of her peers felt the same way. So it became my mission to cut through ageism in the Fashion Industry once and for all. There are so many stereotypes and ageist attitudes regarding older women and fashion, which are both insulting and nonsensical – why would a love for style and wanting to look good just disappear with age? 

So, as soon as I graduated, I started working on creating a contemporary shopping platform and community that truly celebrates and empowers women of all ages. It’s about being inclusive rather than exclusive – from our use of ‘real women’ models of different ages, shapes, heights and sizes, to our ‘shop by body’ filters, to our unique curation process. 

Our “Ageism Is Never In Style” ethos and movement is an extension of this. It brings together women and men globally, to raise awareness and encourage discussion on the topic. Whilst we are seeing more inclusivity in the industry, there is still a very long way to go before ageism is no longer entrenched in it. So it keeps the conversation going.  

What’s particularly important is that we welcome women of all ages to engage – after all ageism is the only ‘ism’ that inevitably affects all of us. 

What do you look for when you source new labels?



I have a very particularly specific set of criteria: 


  • Quality - The label must value quality and gorgeous fabrics so that they will last and be loved for years.
  • Flattering cuts – Women’s bodies change over time, so I only work with labels that appreciate that and create pieces that will flatter different figures.
  • Ethical - The label has to believe in ethical and fair manufacturing standards, and the price has to be fair and reflective of the work and craftsmanship that has gone into them. A lot of our pieces are handcrafted, and showcase local artisan techniques
  • Attitude – I select labels that have a unique, often playful, point of view. Style should be fun and a reflection of who you are on the inside. So the labels are unique without being eccentric, and won’t be found easily elsewhere
  • Modern and stylish, without being trend driven –The label has to be contemporary without being a slave to trends. Their pieces have to stand the test of time.
  • If I won’t wear it, we won’t sell it – I work on the principle that, if I at 26 wouldn’t feel stylish wearing it, then why should someone older? She might style the item differently, but she shouldn’t only have ‘second-best’ clothing available to her. 



Of course, they must also support our ethos. I still meet plenty of designers who are inherently ageist even if they’d like to say otherwise. In one case, a representative for a label told me that their main customer is over 40, but the designer wouldn’t want to acknowledge it. And another designer admitted to me he refused to dress an A-lister for the BAFTAs because of her age.  

Not only do I apply the strict criteria when finding labels, but also when curating our collections. I spend hours going through each label’s collection, filtering it down so we only feature the very best pieces. It’s why our return rate is ¼ of the online average. Occasionally we’ve had customers ask why we don’t sell a particular piece by a designer and have bought it elsewhere, but then they’ve come back to us to say they had to return it, so understand why we didn’t stock it!  

What's your best selling item (or brand) and why do you think it sells well?


Cashmere sells very well – it’s why I’ve started with it for my eponymous label. There are lots of options out there, so we only sell fun, unusual designs which our customers love. They can also feel confident shopping for it online, knowing what they will get. Shopping online for clothes can be difficult, especially when you don’t know cuts or quality, and photography can make anything look good. So cashmere – and knitwear generally - is a safe option; a good first purchase. 
That said, our jackets and dresses sell really well too, and it’s lovely seeing how our customers’ confidence grows to try new pieces. They might have started with cashmere, but they progress to other labels and styles. POM Amsterdam and Fabienne Chapot are particularly popular – they offer fun, unique prints and vibrant styles that are still very flattering and versatile 

What’s your about opinion about fast fashion?



As someone who loves style and shopping, I understand the craving for new clothes. And, of course, some people cannot afford more expensive items. But I feel fast fashion is very damaging, both to the industry and society.

My feelings can be perfectly summarized by this quote from Trend forecaster Li Edelkoort in 2016:

“How can a product that needs to be sown, grown, harvested, combed, spun, knitted, cut and stitched, finished, printed, labelled, packaged and transported cost a couple of Euros? On the hunt for cheaper deals, volume companies, but also some luxury brands, have trusted the making of their wages to underpaid workers living in dire condition. What’s more, these prices imply the clothes are to be thrown away, discarded like a condom before being loved and savoured, teaching young consumers that fashion has no value. We should make legislation to have minimum prices”Fast fashion encourages undervaluing clothes and the industry as a whole and often results in people believing more expensive clothes are just overpriced. It may be the case with big known designers where you’re often paying for the name, but not with smaller independent brands. Which makes it harder for them.

But we shouldn’t attack or shame those who do buy into fast fashion. Instead, it’s about having a conversation and educating society on ways to shop differently.

Who inspires you in the fashion world? 



Caryn Franklin MBE. She’s the definition of a trailblazer. Aside from her endless list of accomplishments, she is a dedicated fashion activist, calling herself a “Disruptive Fashion Lover” – someone who critiques and changes the fashion industry she supports. She challenges the fashion norms and encourages brands and companies to embrace diversity and authenticity.

Whenever I hear her speak, I’m inspired. She is so passionate, eloquent, insightful and measured. I’ve met her a couple of times, and whilst I don’t know her well, she has been very supportive of my activities and introduced journalists to me.

Moreover, when faced with big obstacles, I remind myself of her tireless commitment to changing the Fashion Industry. For example, for years she was one of the only people to speak out against photographer and “fashion predator” Terry Richardson (allegations started in 2001), with few willing to listen. Journalists weren’t interested, and she said she ended up virtually knocking on doors asking why brands were still happy to work with him. But she relentlessly carried on and, finally, due to the Weinstein expose, the industry paid attention. It proves that, whilst it may take time, you really can make a difference.

What are your plans for the future?



For the-Bias-Cut.com , my current plan is to grow our overall presence. We’re still very small, so I want to get our message out there, both in the UK and internationally.

We’re also going to be introducing some fantastic new labels, and I’m developing my eponymous label. And we’ll be hosting more pop up parties around the UK – with our next one on 11th and 12th April in Mayfair.

I also recently founded a 50+ Industry Activists group, comprised of leading individuals who are challenging ageism in their respective fields, and we have lots of ideas in the works on how we can move the anti-ageism narrative forwards. 

Let me know what do you think of the-Bias-Cut's ethos of why ageism is never in style? Do you think the fashion industry is ageist? 

*Collaborative post

The Bristol Marriott Royal Review- A Stylish Historic Hotel

In Bristol, on College Green, a short walk from the Bristol Hippodrome is the historic Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel. The city's oldest hotel it has pride of place moment's away from Clifton and in the centre of everything in Bristol. Mr W and I were invited recently on a complimentary basis to see the effects of the recent refurbishment, check out the rooms and attend an influencer event. All words and opinions are my own, we were not paid for this review.



The beautiful building has been here since 1868 and has offered a warm and friendly welcome to a number of famous people during it's time including Queen Victoria, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Winston Churchill to name a few.


A recent refurbishment has brought this grand dame up-to-date but still in line with its Victorian heritage with a navy, grey and chic metallic colour scheme.  The hotel has an air of grandeur and class about it but is definitely not stuffy. 

Check in was super efficient by friendly staff, a few details were taken like our car registration number (for the parking underneath the hotel) and our room card was issued in less than two minutes. I was impressed!

I liked the welcome drink of water flavoured with fresh fruit in the foyer. So nice when you've been travelling a while.


We were staying in the Royal Junior Suite. Located in the Royal Wing the Royal Junior Suite features a luxury king bed, ensuite bathroom and lounge area with sofa bed. Adjoining the room is a Royal King superior guest room which can be used to create a two bedroom suite.  Perfect for families or friends that want to be close together.


The room oozed understated luxury. 


From the quality of the bed linen to the flat-screen TV, the roomy king size bed to the Nespresso coffee machine, everything was impeccable. The only thing missing was delectable George Clooney, but I guess Mr W will have to do!


It was nice to have a tea and coffee tray as well as a Nespresso machine and complimentary water too. 



The room had a sofa bed and two chairs so you could sit and relax and a small table. Blackout curtains added that extra touch and are always a good thing especially when you are in a city centre as it helps eliminate noise. 



A welcome gift of cheese and biscuits was a lovely and tasty touch which was well appreciated. 



The bathroom had marble effect counters and a stylish white and dark grey/green paint. The rainfall shower had an eco setting which I've never seen before, which is a great idea.



Toiletries were provided by Acca Kappa, an Italian luxury range and were excellent quality. I do feel though that hotels should be considering a more eco-friendly way of displaying the toiletries, instead of in individual small plastic bottles. 


You could access your bill with the TV set as well as check out the hotel services, use Internet TV, connect your device and check the weather forecast.

The room was p
articularly well thought out, with USB chargers built into the table lights and wall plugs by the mirror - a simple design feature and especially useful to dry your hair but you would be amazed how often this doesn't happen in a hotel room. The room also contained an iron and ironing board, trouser press, small fridge, robe and slippers and in-room safe. Air conditioning was efficient. Everything you could need for a leisure or business trip.


Room service menu was from the Miller & Carter steakhouse based in the hotel and included steaks, curry, lasagne and more as well as snacks such as sandwiches.






There is a spa with a range of treatments available including manicures/pedicures and messages and a swimming pool with some lovely frescos on the wall, adding to a Roman feel.  Aveda eco-friendly toiletries are available. There is also a fitness centre.



The hotel is home to a branch of Miller & Carter steakhouse. We didn't have a chance to try the evening menu but with the emphasis on prime steaks aged for 30 days and choices even for those that don't like steak (some interesting vegan options too such as the oven stuffed roasted aubergine with orzo pasta), we would definitely try the restaurant when visiting Bristol again. They advertise a 'buttermilk chicken experience' which sounds intriguing, how you can experience buttermilk chicken I don't know, but the description on the website makes me want to try it! 

Prices were in line with what you expect from a steakhouse and they also have a well-priced fixed lunch menu at £11.50 for two courses.


The bar next to the steakhouse was a great place to sit, have a drink and people watch.



One of the features of the hotel I enjoyed were the numerous works of art on every wall. 



The Palm Court area, a Victorian room with an impressive high stained glass ceiling, had a feeling of grandeur and can be hired out for civil ceremonies. To sit here and listen to a band or even a classical quartet when having your wedding celebrations must be a wonderful experience.



We had a big lunch that day so skipped dinner as we knew we would be going to an influencer party that night with canapes.








The party that night was a fun event!


A mixologist showed us how to make excellent cocktails and the canapes were an interesting mix from the Miller & Carter team, although I must admit Mr W's highlight was the doughnut (donut) wall! 

We were shown around the rooms in the Royal Wing, and I can confirm they are all of the same chic high standard as the suite we stayed in. There is also a four poster suite and an apartment with a kitchen area.  The rooms have been brought bang up-to-date and the Royal Wing is a cool area to be hired out by small groups of people perhaps for a wedding, family event or business opportunity. 


So after too many delicious cocktails, we headed to bed. 

The next morning after an excellent nights sleep due to the blackout curtains and extremely comfy mattress, we headed down to breakfast. 


Breakfast was held in the Miller & Carter Steakhouse and was a buffet breakfast.





A range of pastries, cheese, yoghurt and cereals as well as a full cooked buffet breakfast was available.

Some good points were the fact that there was an allergy sheet available which directed the reader to up-to-date online allergy information, and there were coconut yoghurt and soya milk readily available. Some not so good points were the fact that the juice wasn't fresh and they had run out of fruit salad and didn't bring any more when asked saying simply they had run out.

The breakfast wasn't the most extensive I've ever had in a luxury hotel but certainly a decent start to the day. A little more choice of fruit and making fresh juice available would take the breakfast up a notch I felt.






In conclusion, the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel is a historic, beautifully restored hotel in the centre of Bristol close to the waterfront area and the Bristol Hippodrome. Check out our video below from the dedicated travel blog and YouTube channel I created with my husband Fly Drive Explore.



Recent updates mean that rooms in the Royal Wing are chic and effortlessly glamorous without trying too hard. Facilities including a spa, pool, gym and its own parking make it an excellent luxury choice when in the city. The Miller and Carter Steakhouse is a welcome addition to this hotel. Staff were welcoming, efficient and well trained. We would return for sure. Recommended.

Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel
College Green 
Bristol
BS1 5TA
+44 117 925 5100


* We were given a complimentary stay in exchange for an honest review.