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.
More and more industries are tuning in to the advantages that SMS marketing can offer their business. SMS marketing is not only useful for acquiring new customers, it can be used to increase brand loyalty as well. This is particularly true for the hospitality industry, which faces challenges unique from other industries, in that they are on the front line when it comes to delivering customer service.
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 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.
For travel agencies, SMS messaging allows you to connect with travellers on a one-to-one, or one-to-many basis, yet still be personal. How can that be? People guard their mobile numbers and only share them with the people or businesses they really want to hear from. It's their personal number after all, and they won't hand it out to just anyone.
The travel industry has made some inroads into using SMS messaging, but hasn’t yet taken real advantage of the potential of A2P messaging. Find out how it can be used to save time and provide the high-quality service today’s mobile travellers expect.
Online travel and review sites are great for travellers. They are good for hotels too, but they offer a double edged sword. User reviews are unfiltered – that is the travellers can say whatever they like both good and bad. And managing a bad review can be difficult, but how can SMS help?
“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.
Now that the peak travel season is over, how can travel agents stay top of mind in their customers? If you look around, you’ll notice everyone seems to have a mobile. That means SMS is the perfect way to reach them and make sure you’re not forgotten.