3 Ways Travel Agencies Can Take Full Advantage of SMS Messaging
The recent weather likely has many people thinking about their summer holiday. It’s great news for travel agents looking to book ahead for the coming months. If you’re a travel agent, SMS messaging is fast becoming a primary way to communicate with your clients. This is true even for the non-tech savvy over 50 demographic. According to an article on ttgdigital.com, the over 50 crowd is more mobile and Internet aware than most people assume.
More than 93% of Brits own a mobile phone according to Ofcom. SMS messaging lets you interact with them almost instantly, with very high (98% or more) open rates within just a few minutes. But what sorts of messages would you send? Here’s a list of three types that could help streamline your travel business:
- Support the sales process – Text messages are perfect for sending details regarding purchases, quotes, or accounts. For example you can send payment reminders before the due date and get more of your money on time. You could also send a reminder for late payments with a link to pay online so it’s very easy for the client to do. Lost passwords, account numbers, or quotes for an upcoming holiday are also great ways to use SMS messaging to improve your sales process.
- Keep clients up to date – These days clients like to be informed. Help them out by sending any weather alerts or warnings regarding their travel or destination. If there’s a delay in travel or tour, send them another message letting them know. Before a trip, you could also send safety tips or advice specifically for their destination.
- Send them confirmations – Once you have all or portions of the holiday confirmed, send the confirmation to the client via text message. Include confirmation numbers, or even links to a webpage with all the details. Your clients will appreciate knowing the details are confirmed and they’re all set to go.
You might already send these types of messages via email, and that’s great. Email is wonderful, but when you need to make sure a message arrives and that the client will see it, nothing beats SMS messaging.
For lots of ideas, tips and insights into how text messaging could help you download for free our Travel Agents Guide to SMS Messaging. It’s based on how our travel sector customers tell us the have benefited from fastsms in their businesses.
“European travel agents don’t like it”. That’s a statement made by one of the gentleman at my table during the mCommerce Summit earlier this month. He is from Cruise America, a successful RV (camper) vacation rental company based in Arizona, but with 123 locations around the US. We were talking about his company and their online and mobile reservation options.
Even great hotels sometimes have a mix up or some sort of problem that can affect a guest. And with social media and hotel review sites, chances are a disgruntled guest isn’t going to keep their complaints to themselves. Here are three examples of how to use SMS messaging to gauge customer satisfaction.
SMS marketing has seen a huge uplift in popularity in recent years, with big brands investing in the technology to better engage with their customers. There are so many benefits of SMS marketing, from the ability to directly to reach customers with your communications, to the fact that over 80% of SMS texts are read. With over approximately 90% of the world receiving mobile coverage, you’re highly likely to be able to reach your audience, regardless of where they are. SMS marketing is cost effective, and campaigns are quick to develop, in as short a time period as the time it takes to write a text message. This gives you the advantage of being able to communicate quickly, and effectively with customers, reacting to information almost instantaneously. With so many reasons to use SMS marketing, we’ve highlighted four sectors successfully using SMS messaging as case studies to highlight the advantages of investing in the technology.
Today we’re bringing our technology with us on our travels - using our smartphones to create a more personalised experience, one that points us towards tailor-made itineraries. This means those who promote certain sectors of the travel industry are in a strong position to have their SMS marketing campaigns favourably received.
The campervan and caravan industry grew 16% this past year. Campsite and holiday park owners can connect with the thousands of new travellers using SMS messaging. After all, 76% of travellers prefer to take their mobile on holiday rather than a friend.
Using people’s names in marketing is great. It does provide a certain level of personalisation that can get people more interested in what you’re sending them. Of course in text messaging, you don’t always have the room for a name, your message, and the required opt out information … usually there just isn’t enough room. So how can you make your marketing messages personal?
The lure of quick, easy and cheap travel arrangements online has revolutionised the way people find and book travel. Travel agents offer so much more than search, click and book, but still find themselves facing competition from online booking. But none of the major online booking sites can offer the personalised service an agent does.
Sometimes bloggers or journalists get a bit carried away. They see some data or fact, and run off to declare there’s a trend you need to know about. The latest one I’ve seen is all about how to reach the generation of “cashless shoppers”. The argument goes that you need to use SMS messaging to reach customers because they are all shopping online – where you obviously can’t pay in cash.
Can something as simple as adding SMS messaging propel your business to higher levels than you thought possible? That’s what happened to these two companies. Read the last blog in the Results series to see what happened, and how you can start growing your business too.