5 Ways the Travel Industry can Make Use of SMS Marketing
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.
In addition to this, over 90% of recipients open SMS messages, meaning that your content is reaching the intended target. Whilst SMS messaging allows for a relatively small amount of content, this is often advantageous.
Key information and details can be passed on to customers via business SMS messaging and they can then be invited to respond or encouraged to visit a link to access further information. Rather than being bombarded with information, customers will be able to grasp your message quickly and easily.
Getting travel information to customers quickly
Perhaps one of the most useful benefits of business SMS messaging is the speed at which you can connect with potential or existing customers. Information can be disseminated almost instantaneously and this is particularly useful for companies operating within the travel and tourism sector.
Often, travel plans are subject to changes and it’s vital that customers are made aware of this as quickly as possible. Whilst your company may not be able to prevent delays or stop journeys being cancelled, providing informative and speedy customer service can still result in glowing customer reviews.
Tour operators, for example, may have no control over flights which are delayed due to bad weather conditions. If safety or weather concerns prevent flights from taking off, most customers are understanding of the situation but they can become frustrated and angry if they are unable to access up-to-date information.
By using business text messaging and SMS services, however, you can contact affected customers quickly and keep them informed of any changes to their schedule. In these types of situations, a lack of customer service can quickly lead to bad press and even a subsequent loss of revenue. Keeping in touch with customers and providing useful information via SMS marketing can, however, result in satisfied customers and positive reviews, regardless of delays or postponements.
Responding to crisis situations
Companies which operate in the travel sector may, on occasion, have to respond to emergency situations. As they may be responsible for hundreds of tourists in any one area, it’s vital that they can be contacted quickly.
Most people carry their mobile phones at all times so SMS messaging, or business text messaging, can be the quickest way to spread information. If a diplomatic crisis occurs and holidaymakers are required to leave a specific area, for example, travel operators can use SMS messaging to contact all relevant customers and inform them of the situation.
Alternatively, if a tourist is lost or unaccounted for, SMS messaging can be used to alert other holidaymakers, and this can help to reunite people far more quickly than relying solely on word of mouth.
Unobtrusive marketing with SMS messaging
Most people are used to receiving numerous text messages per day and they can use certain phone settings to alert them of the contact. If they are unavailable, for example, they may turn their phone on to silent or, if they’re in a busy area, they may increase the volume so that they are aware of any messages they receive.
SMS marketing doesn’t, therefore, interrupt recipients or irritate potential customers. If regular travel updates are required, for example, customers are unlikely to find this form of contact intrusive. Indeed, many people prefer to be contacted via SMS messaging, particularly in comparison to phone calls or emails.
Increasing sales with SMS marketing
Whilst SMS marketing is an ideal way for companies in the travel industry to alert existing customers of itinerary changes or issues, it is also an effective way of building business and attracting new consumers.
With many businesses providing offers and travel incentives, SMS messages are a perfect way to alert potential customers of the latest deals. The rise of last-minute breaks, for example, may mean that you want to advertise low-cost deals quickly. Furthermore, you may want to contact a specific demographic and SMS marketing enables you to do just this.
An 18-30s budget break on a party-themed holiday island is only going to appeal to a certain demographic, for example. Advertising this type of break to all your existing customers could be a waste of resources but targeted SMS marketing will enable you to tailor your marketing activities to the appropriate audience.
Similarly, if you want to make people aware of low-cost, last-minute flights, you may want to market them to people within a certain radius of the relevant airport. As people further afield may struggle to get to the departure venue in time to make use of the offer, sending business SMS messages to potential customers within a certain area will help to reduce costs and create a more effective campaign.
Building your brand using SMS marketing
When it comes to the travel industry, people want to use companies that they feel are reliable and professional. In addition to making savings and grabbing last-minute offers, passengers want to feel that they are putting their trust in a reputable firm.
By using SMS marketing to gain new customers and provide on-going customer service, you can increase customer loyalty and associate your brand with these key attributes. This, in turn, will lead to repeat business, increased revenue and an enviable reputation within the sector.
To learn more about using SMS marketing to build your business, why not get in touch with us today?
“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 many ways, SMS messaging is so commonplace people don’t think about it. They just do it. For example, using SMS for mobile marketing in retail is a fairly standard use case whether you’re a company or the consumer. But there are always exceptions – those who innovate when it seems there’s nothing new to be had. Here are two examples of companies from the US using SMS in ways no one else is – yet.
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.
SMS marketing can be a double-edged sword, which is why it's crucial to ensure that each one of your campaigns is well thought out, immaculately spelt, financially accurate (i.e., the prices listed are correct), and, perhaps most importantly, the time and date is 100% accurate. Only once you have triple-checked each one of the components should you then consider sending out a batch.
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?
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.
How SMS Marketing can help guarantee a sold out summer season for independent travel agents and tour operators. In this article we explore how small and medium-sized independent companies in the travel and tourism sector can take advantage of the opportunities offered by SMS marketing to ensure a sold out summer season.