Travel agencies: Take advantage of New Year’s resolutions
Every year about this time people are doing their best to keep their New Year’s resolutions. Many resolutions are broken before the end of January, but others linger through the year. Fortunately for travel agencies, many different kinds of resolutions involve travel.
People want to get fit, volunteer more, “unplug” from their everyday life, spend more time with the family, or work on improving themselves any number of ways. For many of these, a trip would be the perfect opportunity to work on those resolutions.
As a travel agency, you can help them live up to their own expectations. But you need to get their attention first. But as January is nearing a close, you’ll want to get out in front of them quickly.
Since resolutions are very personal, you’ll also want to connect with people on a personal level. SMS messaging lets you speak to each individual about their goals for the year and how travel can help achieve them.
Here are two ideas for using SMS campaigns to connect with people interested in travel.
- Gather your list. If you don’t already have a list of people who’ve opted in to receive marketing messages, you can use a contest to gather opt ins. This can be done on your website, in your offices, or through regular printed advertising. The contest could be as simple as gathering mobile numbers and offering a chance to win something like a travel voucher. It could also be something more informative like a mini-survey where you ask 2-3 questions about their goals for the year. The benefit of a survey is you’ll be able to segment your list better for future offers. The survey could be implemented on your website, shared via social media, or by having people text you certain keywords. For example, ask people what their self-improvement goals are this year and let them use one of several keywords. For example: “UNPLUG”, “VOLUNTEER”, “GETFIT”.
- Send travel deals that fit the person’s goals. If you run an opt in campaign where you collect information about the people, you’ll be in a great position to target opportunities to each of them. Those that want to unplug can get offers for spa retreats in Bali. People who want to volunteer can be sent travel offers for Africa, South America or any place you can connect them with a charity organisation. You may also have this information on the people you’ve already helped in the past. In fact, you may have even more information on them. If so, you’re in a great position to really offer people what they want when it comes to travel. By sending them SMS messages you’ll be letting them know what opportunities are available in a more personal way than via post or email.
One of the best things about SMS messaging is how quickly you can get started using it. Even though the new year has started, you still have time to get your campaigns going while people are still thinking about their resolutions. We have options you can use to get started now, in just a few minutes.
Did you have a resolution to grow your business in 2015? SMS messaging can help you do that starting today, as many travel agencies have already discovered. Simply sign up for a free account, or you can connect with us via live chat, email or phone. We’d be happy to help you get started.
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.
“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.
In order to appeal to new customers and interact with existing ones, businesses are always looking for new marketing methods. Whilst many companies are using traditional and online marketing techniques, these aren’t always effective. Email filtering, for example, means that many recipients may not even be aware that they’ve received contact from your company. As many email hosts provide in-built spam filters, it’s easy for email marketing content to be overlooked or ignored completely. SMS marketing, however, overcomes many of the obstacles associated with online and email marketing. Whilst potential customers may not see your company emails, SMS messages aren’t filtered in the same way. The delivery rate is, therefore, far higher for SMS messages in comparison to marketing emails.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.