With the demand for travel on a consistent rise is the increase of travel agencies offering the same packages and services as yours. How are you going to stand out?
More travel agencies are jumping on the lucrative opportunity, making competition intense and plentiful. Thus, your marketing skills have to be top-notch. In this article, we will be providing actionable tips on how to attract customers to a travel agency. With these tips, you can stand out from the rest and sustain a profitable travel business.
1. Create an Engaging Website
In these digital times, your first point of contact with leads is your online presence, especially your website. Customers rarely show up at physical offices, hoping they can get everything they need to get done on their devices right in the comfort of their homes.
Your website is thus very crucial in leading potential clients to your business, because it creates the client encounter, and thus, trust and interest.
The first impression a customer gets when visiting your official site does a lot to determine how responsive that potential customer would be.
You need to have an engaging website where your customers can easily find the needed information: your different travel plans, packages, dates, and more. Ensure it is constantly updated. You must also make sure these visitors can book anytime through an online booking platform. Without it, you can lose a potential customer if they have to wait till you contact them.
Further, in ensuring your customers have a seamless transaction on your site, it is important that you make your site mobile-friendly. A lot of people prefer to get whatever they need done on their mobile phones. Making it responsive on mobile devices will also guarantee that more people would be able to access the site and check out your services.
2. Make Sure your Website is SEO-Optimised
Even if you have a great website, if it cannot be discovered, then it has not quite achieved its purpose. This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in.
How will SEO help?
There are thousands of travel agency websites on the internet. Based on studies, only those sites that land on the first page of Google will get the leads.
To ensure that your website is seen, you have to be certain that it is SEO-optimised.
If you want your travel website to be visible or to rank high, you have to be focused on the SEO and make sure the content on your page is actually what people want to see.
This is not an easy task as it requires some software and an SEO specialist’s experience to do this. It is best you leave it to SEO experts.
3. Start Blogging
Once you have an optimized website, if you want to know how to attract customers to a travel agency even more, you should start blogging. It’s not enough to just offer these travel packages and list out its amazing features. Sometimes, a prospective client has no idea what he or she wants and as such, might need to go online to research on the best locations to travel to.
Create a blog to meet this need. You could upload articles describing some of the locations you have in your travel packages. You could talk about their history, architecture, landmarks, cuisine, social relationships, and so on. This gives the potential client a feel of what they are getting into.
Aside from reviews, you could also get your returning customers to write about their experience in these locations and post it up on the blog as a guest post. You also have to be very consistent if you are going to attract a lot of visitors.
This blog would help your potential clients make the best decisions while building a cordial relationship with the agency which is good for the business.
4. Use Promotional Videos
Promotional videos deliver the message better and are 95% more effective than texts or images, needless to say, especially when it comes to travel of course!
You can use this to your advantage by having your clients make videos of their experiences and share it with you.
Sharing these videos on your social media platforms and also the website will give potential clients an idea of what they are getting into.
You should take videos of the state of the accommodation, the sights, the landmarks too. It gives your potential clients something to look forward to and they won’t be able to wait to experience it too!
5. Build a Strong Social Media Presence
When you have a strong social media presence and get a throve of followers, it is practically promoting and marketing for free. Social media can be very instrumental to your brand’s visibility and success. Be more invested in building and maintaining strong social media presence and getting more followers.
The great thing about social media is that you could have people from all age groups on your page. You could also use it as an opportunity to create relationships with old customers and building new relationships with potential customers. Consistently post pictures, videos, and testimonials of trips and your travel packages.
Engage your followers by teaching them more about choice locations and how you can help them get there at a minimal cost. Continue enticing your followers with these promotional materials, and watch them flock in to get your services for their next adventure.
6. Use Influencers to Attract Customers
Influencer marketing is leveraging on the following and audience of a popular figure. Many people would rather go for what the influencer advises because that person has managed to build a trustworthy relationship with the followers.
Using such influencers ensures that your services are seen by a great number of people, many of whom would be interested in such an offer because of the person recommending it.
There are influencers in almost every sector. Look for travel influencers and strike a deal with them. Have them market your agency in return for an incentive.
These influencers could also go further to organise campaigns that will improve your visibility and guarantee commercial success. Asides from word of mouth referrals, most people get their travel ideas from looking up places online, and from the social media accounts they follow.
Advertising with an influencer is one effective way of marketing as the followers all have emotional ties which inspire them to trust whatever the influencer says.
7. Email Marketing
Aside from blogging, if you want to know how to attract customers to a travel agency even further, use the power of email marketing.
It has been said that the money is on the list. Have a squeeze page in your site that collect leads’ addresses. The fact that they signed up for your mailing list is a good sign that these are warm leads and interested in your travel promos.
It is good practice to get the lead’s email address, location, even their birthday! Send perfectly-timed and customised newsletters to your email list about new travel promos. Update old clients on the new packages, give them some useful travel tips, and so on.
The idea is to continue to grow a relationship with them, so that as soon as it becomes time to travel, you’re the first point of call.
Make your emails short and to the point. Send them choice locations for different seasons- Valentine, Christmas, Winter, Summer vacations, and so on. Inform them of promotional packages or referral programs.
8. Run Digital Advertisements
If you want to know how to attract customers to a travel agency other than on page techniques, use digital ads. Digital advertisements like social media ads, AdWords and Display ads are some of the oldest yet most effective ways for travel agencies to get more clients. It is a tested and trusted method, if you know what you are doing.
A lot of agencies use digital marketing strategies such as the Expedia, Priceline, Airbnb, Google AdWords, Google Display Ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads etc. Some of these ads are expensive and must be used in the right way if you are going to get any results.
There are some digital ads that you can run yourself, but if you really want to maximize the opportunity and have the best results, you must consider contacting a pro. For ads like Google AdWords, hiring a pro might be the best option. All these ads are tailored to ensure that your business gets the visibility you pay for.
9. Provide Exceptional Service
If you are providing the same service as the others out there, trust that these leads will be hopping from one travel agent to another. That being said, think out of the box to make your service stand out.
The only way a potential client would be able to entrust their travel plans to you is if they are convinced that you are a professional service focused on delivering exceptional services to its customers. Make it a very customised and personalised approach.
Satisfying your customer with exceptional service will also guarantee referrals. One of the most effective marketing strategies is by word of mouth from happy clients.
10. Leverage Staff Members
Richard Branson, the founder and CEO of Virgin Group, is actually head of over 400 companies. His Virgin Airlines alone is worth 10s of millions of dollars.
Unbelievable? How does he do it? The answer: leveraging and empowerment.
If you leverage and empower your staff, you are streamlining the process and everyone can do more to grow your travel business.
If you take good care of your employees, they will take good care of your clients. You thus need not micromanage everything and this can mean faster business growth.
As you train them to become independent and creative thinkers, they become part of the process. Involve them in every step of the business process from ideas to decision-making and you can leverage on them to achieve your business goals.
11. Partner with Local Providers
You need partners if you are going to be made visible to a lot of people. You can start from where your business is situated and look for partners around that area.
You could also go further to look for partners in the localities your offer in your travel package. It could be a retail store, a supermarket, a restaurant, or any company offering services that complements your own.
A lot of your clients might want to eat local food, or shop at local stores. They might also want to go sightseeing with people who are probably natives of the area. Partnering with such businesses will ensure that you bring more business to them, even while they continue to market yours. It’s a win win situation for everybody.
12. Create Exclusive Travel Packages
The reason why a prospective client would prefer to travel with an agency is because of the added advantages and the perks of the travel packages. If it was just so straightforward, there’s no point in using an agency, they could just get a flight ticket themselves!
Spice up your travel packages. Include enticing offers that would be too good to ignore.
Usually, some travel packages include just flight and accommodation, but you could go a step further to provide some products and services that you are certain your clients would need when they get to their choice location.
Maybe a trip to some of the area’s landmarks, a tour of the city, a free meal at one of the area’s choicest restaurants, a free pass to an event, and the list goes on and on.
A lot of customers prefer to have everything sorted in one beautiful package than having to do all the work by themselves. This is the truth especially with corporate travellers.
Don’t be scared of the hassle it would bring. Instead, be satisfied with the gratitude and referrals your clients would offer you for giving them an exclusive travel experience.
13. Upsell Products
By upselling, you persuade a customer to buy an additional product or service. This is one of the ways to generate revenue and is also a way of assuring your customers of your dedication to providing a quality and top-notch travel experience.
The extras you provide could start with even the flight reservations to even the food they decide to eat. You could clip in sightseeing adventures, excursions, a complimentary bottle of wine, or extra homemade dessert.
For upselling these products, you also get your own commission which is good for your business. If you are making travel plans for a couple, you could add in a few romantic extras, like a candlelit room, special lunches and dinners, couples’ exclusive events and even a few romantic getaways. What you’re doing is creating an unforgettable experience and they won’t forget in a hurry who made it happen.
14. Offer Giveaways
Everyone loves a good freebie. Having a custom-made promotional giveaway is an excellent marketing strategy.
You could conduct online giveaways, have the participants do something that would promote the business (you could have them share the agency’s information on their different platforms, have them make promotional videos, and so on) and then reward them with custom made products to increase your agency’s visibility.
You don’t have to give away things that would hurt the business. You could look for low cost products like luggage bags, tags, essential travel items, first aid kits, duffel and tote bags, camping gear, and so on. If you want to go the extra mile, you could also give the lucky winner(s) a free trip to a great location. The bigger, the better.
15. Work with Reviews and Referrals in Mind
Studies show that reviews showing up online does improve Click Through Rate (CTR). People would rather put their money on a service that has earned raving reviews to save them the time and risk of trying out a travel agency. Thus, from start to end of a client transaction, work with the aim of getting an exceptional review.
Keep in mind that every review is a step to getting more clients. A client having an amazing experience will not only be a repeat customer, they can also spread the word.
There are times though that not all feedback are pleasant.
When a client complains, he/she is actually trying to save the professional relationship and is giving you a chance to act on it.
It is at situations like this that you have that opportunity to save the professional relationship and earn back the client’s respect and trust.
16. Start a Referral Program
Like we said before, word of mouth referrals is a goldmine. This is the quickest and most effective way of getting more customers because it is a recommendation from a source others trust. Encourage your customers to mention your company to their friends, family, and even co-workers.
You can even go a bit further to create a referral program, where each referral attracts a specific incentive. It could be a certain percentage off their next trip, money, or gift cards. Whatever it is, make sure it is attractive enough to get people involved.
If your services are unforgettably excellent, your customers will not hesitate to scream your name far and wide.
Runing a tavel business is as lucrative as it is competitive so you need to step up your game. With these tips on how you can improve your travel business and how to attract customers to a travel agency, you are off to a great start. And while you stay consistent, you will surely begin to enjoy such growth and success comfortably ahead of competition!
Which of these tactics do you think you would like to try out first for your travel business?
Let me know in the comment section!