The turnover in the travel agency industry is ridiculously high…
And the reason is simple – most travel agents are unable to generate leads. You cannot rely on your host agency to bring business to you. Your family and friends can only travel so much during the year. You, therefore, need a steady flow of customers to not only keep your business afloat but also earn a profit.
In this article, we will give you daily actions to take in order to win a critical mass of both business and leisure travelers. Consistency and effort at the following actions will take your business to the next level:
To harness the power of the word of mouth marketing to generate leads, you need to;
Build Trust - According to consumer research, about 92% of all customers say they trust recommendations by the people they know. Thus if you are looking to grow your lead generation, encourage your current customers to talk about your product to their friends.
Build Loyalty - Using customer referral program, your customers can keep their peers loyal to your brand. According to a study conducted by Goethe University, customers are 18% more likely to stay loyal to your brand if they had been introduced to the brand by word of mouth.
Build the Buzz Around your Product - Giving fans an opportunity to engage about your travel product creates a buzz around your product. About 66% of those given social recognition by their travel agencies are likely to give referrals to their travel agency’s product in their circles.
Most decisions are reached at split seconds. You are flipping through travel sites and at the corner of your eye, you spot a beautiful lady on a beach and suddenly you are interested to know where that is. Soon enough, you also want to go there and are looking for a travel agent to book you a hotel there. The decision making process is this simple:
Watch Something>Discover it>Research it> Buy it.
For travel agents, most of your customers will go through the following steps:
- Dreaming – “I want to get away.” Your travel agency content should make the customer dream.
- Planning – “This trip has got to be perfect.” You must plan your customer’s trip to the minute details and they will have no problem recommending you to their friends.
- Booking – “I want to get the perfect travel agent to book this destination.” Ensure the hotel you book your clients are keen on pleasing their guest.
- Experience – “I want my money to work for me.” Create moments that your client will never forget. Learn their preferences and prejudices before you plan the experiences for them. For example, if your customer loves skiing, make sure that skiing is a large part of his itinerary.
3.Live stream New Destinations
Use tools such as Facebook Live and Periscope to make new content for your website. These tools are easily downloaded into your smartphone to create powerful marketing videos. They create real-time engagement with potential travelers.
The travel industry changes every day. Keep looking for chatbots that can help you keep your customers engaged. As artificial intelligence keep improving, chatbots such as Chatbot4travellers can inspire your travel agency into the uncharted waters of getting leads from chatbots.
5.High Flying Website
No matter where your lead comes from, their first port of call will always be your website. If your website gives the right impression, then you’ve got yourself a new customer. Ensure that your website has the specialized content that your lead will be looking for in order to make their decision. The information on how the lead can reach you should be prominently displayed on all the pages in your website.
There is so much to do in travel agency SEO that you cannot manage it on your own. Hire a credible SEO company and concentrate on your core business.
Don’t just send the industry gossip to your email list. Research helpful content.
8.Social Media Marketing
- You must have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Pinterest…for a start. Others channels can come after these.
- Follow influencers to keep yourself up-to-date. You can, for example, follow leading travel writers, hotel chain owners, cruising enthusiasts etc. Ensure that the people you follow are big in the niche you specialize in.
- Check out what other talented travel agents are doing on their social channels and become better than them.
- Join travel agent communities on social media forums.
- Utilize Social Media management systems such as HooteSuite. You will not only track the number of social platforms that you have joined but also pick up little gems that will help you steer client engagement to the next level.
- Use WiseStamp to create a professional signature that also attracts your potential customers to your pages and social channels.
It is old yes, but placing classified ads on the print media and lists regularly haunted by your target market is sometimes one of the most productive ways of generating leads.
10.Think Through Your Product
- Does your travel product feature the latest trends to give enhanced value to your clients?
- Do you have agents below you? Are they concentrating on their core activity of generating new leads or are they clogged in the administration drudgery?
- Is your travel product integrated with state-of-the-art software to make communication between you and your clients easier? You will need to be tech savvy to scale your business.
- Is your travel product properly automated so that you can reduce the dependency of your customers on your travel agents?
- Does your travel product have speed, reliability, scalability, and security in order to offer efficient services to your customers?
- Is your travel product all-inclusive? It must encompass hotel bookings, flights reservations, transfers, tours, car rentals, and sightseeing.
Tips for Your Business Model
Be open 24 hours. Sometimes the really busy travelers go looking for information at odd hours.
Don’t be tempted to do everything. Specialize!
Don’t sweat it when you are outcompeted on pricing. Some customers value efficient services more than the money you are charging them.
Enlist the help of lead generation companies. There is no need to waste your time on the non-core part of your business.
Always do timely and persistent responses.
Determine the cost of acquiring the lead. How you get your leads have to make economic sense.
Passion does not mean “Encyclopedic Knowledge”. Don’t bore your potential customers with unnecessary details. Rather, put these on your website.
Dress up your online profile. Some customers will assume your services are shabby just because you have not put in the effort to clean up your online profile… and you can’t blame them!
Strategic targeting is the cornerstone of lead generation. Know your market and go all-out on it. There is no need of spending your resources on a market that is not interested in your travel product.
Create opportunities for personal interests. Learn exactly what your customer prefers to do on their vacation and customize his itinerary to capture that. He will be so enamored that he will refer you to his friends that prefer the same things.
Cross-promote other travel agents. The travel niche is more of a community than a cutthroat competition. Promote others who offer a product that you do not offer and they will do the same for you when that opportunity arises on their end.
Social media is the new “Trendy Off-Beaten-Path Destinations” magazine. Ignore it at your own peril.
Looking for more innovative ways to enhance your lead generation? Contact our experts at Travel Agency Tribes for creative lead generation techniques.
Industry News: How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect Travel Retailing
Wait for it because it is surely coming! Artificial Intelligence will disrupt every business sector, and travel will not be...
14 Things that Your Customers Hate about Your Travel Ads
In the travel industry, people will mostly roll their eyes when you tell them you are an advertiser with a...