Travel makes everyone happy and is an essential part of everyone’s lifestyle. However, the travel industry was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, causing travel companies and tourism-driven economies to be harshly affected by travel restrictions and lockdowns.
Across the globe, international arrivals dropped by 74% in 2020, according to the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Running a travel company is highly competitive, as even travel giants with years of experience can fail due to poor management. New tour operators and online travel agencies (OTAs) are popping up so often.
On the other hand, the ones that survived the crisis are determined to get new revenue in the travel rebound market.
The latest trend of travel reels and blogs on social media has provided travel companies with a new avenue for exposure. But, excessive travel content from individuals on social media has led to a lot of content becoming more noise than music to the ears.
Such vast content on social media makes it more challenging for travel companies to get noticed. Moreover, lead generation gets trickier since there are too many platforms and stiff competition.
In this article, we dive deep into the travel industry and see what successful companies are doing to get more users to sign up, further generating more leads.
Ways in which your travel company can generate more leads
Like most businesses, the travel industry is also undergoing a digital transformation. As a travel company, you cannot just sit back and rely on leads walking into your branch; you must also put effort into your online lead generation.
So, how to get leads for a travel agency?
1. Work on your partner engagement
Hotel partners form a significant fragment of an OTA business compared to airline bookings. For instance, you need to create an effective network that provides hoteliers and bus operators suitable platforms to distribute their products and create experiences beyond booking numbers.
InGo-MMT is a one-stop shop for train, bus, flight, hotel, and car bookings with multiple choices for its users. They provide a smooth experience through relevant engagement with the platform striving to deliver a top-notch experience to the end users.
To provide a stable and smooth experience to the hotel partners, the InGo-MMT team was looking for a marketing automation platform to:
- Faster live connection to avoid using much manual bandwidth and technology operations.
- Report and examine growth and engagement metrics in a single place.
- Build an exciting user journey by configuring different rules aligned around the events in their backend system.
By choosing to work with WebEngage, they could:
- Provide seamless user experience to the hotel partners by understanding their behavior and actions while interacting with InGo-MMT’s InGo-MMT’s app or website.
- Increase user engagement by assisting them in updating the price and listing content, which results in an increased number of bookings.
- Understand the lifecycle of hotel partners and boost their engagement through cross-channel communication.
- Increase the property listings, which leads to increased end-user hotel bookings.
- Provide excellent user experience to the hotel partners across all channels and offer a seamless experience to retain the users.
2. Leverage gamified referral programs to get more travel leads
Using gamification elements in your referral program is precisely what you need to generate more digital travel leads with the help of your existing customers.
You may already have a few ideas on how to get more travel leads, but have you ever considered referral gamification as a way to make it more fun and engaging?
Gamified referral programs are a win-win for everyone. These programs are fun for customers, and they are more likely to be involved in promoting your product and earning rewards. When the customer enjoys sharing your brand with others, it will create a buzz for your company, and you will benefit from it.
Customers are more likely to opt for a company recommended to them by a friend or family member, especially expensive or luxury services like a holiday.
Incentivizing your existing customers with a discount on their next holiday is an excellent place to start. You could even up the incentive for your existing and new customers by giving a discount if the referred customer books online. In this way, you generate two travel leads from one online referral.
You can ramp up your referral game by providing your customers with points, referral progress bars, badges and achievements, contests, and limited flash-time offers.
Referral gamification creates enthusiasm amongst your customers, leading to customer loyalty and more referrals.
So, get creative and remember that the better the incentive, the more travel leads you’ll get.
Get Inspired By How Pickyourtrail leveraged RFM analysis & witnessed a 50% increase in its user engagement
3. Participate in trade shows and networking events
In the travel industry, staying up-to-date on current trends, practices, and customer preferences is essential. Business events such as trade shows, exhibitions, and networking events can be an excellent way and efficiently used as part of your marketing mix.
41% of companies consider event marketing their top channel for lead generation. These business events can be an excellent way to:
- increase awareness of your business
- showcase your existing services and products
- introduce new services and products
- network with industry professionals
- explore partnership prospects
- learn what your competitors are offering
- generate new business leads
- attract and convert customers
But, before you establish your plan and set specific trade show goals, you should understand that it is not an inexpensive exercise. So, ensure that you select the right conference, convention, or trade show for your business goals.
Be mindful and choose the right location for your trade show booth and remember that the most effective booths are the ones with dynamic booth staff.
Visit other trade show booths as what better way to understand your competition than keeping an eye on what best they are doing!
Use QR codes at these business events to get people you meet to connect with you online and capture their details and interest.
Finally, the real deal is to follow up promptly with all your leads to keep the conversation going and the potential deal fruitful.
Travel trade shows and networking events offer the chance to network, generate leads, and learn about opportunities in the global travel market.
4. Personalize on-site experiences
Personalization is profitable for all kinds of marketing strategies and more so in the travel industry. Consumers are more likely to spend money on a travel brand they trust and connect with. Creating a personalized travel experience will help your brand establish better customer relationships, higher conversion rates, and increased revenue.
According to research, it is found that companies that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue.
But do all travel companies tailor to individual interests and preferences?
Most travel companies only display top-booked packages on the home page, creating disjointed journeys instead of one contextual to the person. And appealing to the modern consumer isn’t easy as they know what other brands are doing and expect the same or more from their favored brands.
Travel website personalization is worth all the time and effort. Travel planning can be chaotic for customers, so when they have a personalized and seamless experience with a travel brand, they return to the same travel company for their next vacation.
WebEngage helps you enrich your personalization strategy with the following:
- Recommendation: This helps you personalize your communication with recommendations based on existing catalog and mapping it to custom events
Catalog: This helps you keep all your product information updated and enables you to send relevant personalized communications.
Personalization is the need of the hour for travel companies. Make the most of it with the help of WebEngage’s Recommendation and Catalog features to enhance personalized messages and boost engagement and conversions.
5. Omnichannel communication
82% of travel bookings happen through a mobile app or website. 90% of travelers look for personalized travel recommendations while planning their trip.
Omnichannel marketing is generally associated with the e-commerce industry, but it can also be applied to your travel business.
Most travelers prefer to plan their trips on their own, thanks to the convenience and ease travel portals offer. Still, the entire process can be overwhelming as there are numerous options to choose from.
This is where you can use omnichannel marketing strategies to grow your online travel business and simplify your customer experience.
Travel companies should support customers at every stage of their journey. GoIbibo and Yatra have increased their gross bookings with hyper-personalization email marketing.
Assist customers throughout their journey by helping them book flights and hotels by sending flight confirmations, boarding passes, check-in notifications, and flight status updates.
Your objective should be creating a hassle-free and seamless experience for your customer from the beginning of their vacation planning until they return.
Read more from our Travel & Hospitality Solutions Master Pack – A 3-in-1 collection for better retention and increased conversions!
6. Set up an app and personalize sessions
Setting up mobile apps has become more straightforward with Progressive Web Apps (PWA). In its simple terms, PWA is a mobile app delivered through the web.
A PWA can load instantly, even in areas of low connectivity. There is no need to download it from an app store as it runs independently in a web browser. With the help of the cached data from your previous communications, it enables offline operation even without a stable internet connection.
The development of PWA is increasingly becoming the norm for businesses trying to optimize user experiences. PWAs fit precisely in the budget, feature, development time, and more.
If your business needs a stable and consistent mobile app experience, Progressive apps are the way to go. WebEngage can offer an interactive user experience similar to a native app and deliver a personalized experience across your mobile app.
7. Monitor, optimize, and iterate campaigns faster
Suppose you’ve created a brilliant personalization strategy for your travel company and spent a lot of resources to execute it, hoping it will result in positive engagement and new prospects. But, when you track the results, you realize it didn’t achieve its goals due to your poor digital performance.
With businesses investing in digital marketing, competition to capture online audiences’ attention is getting more challenging by the day. Despite creating the best ad campaigns, you have to put in a lot of effort so that your ads reach a wider audience and convert them into customers.
That’s why you must optimize your campaigns to help you maximize your potential and, eventually, your profits by:
- targeting the right audience
- creating personalized content and messaging
- leveraging the right platforms and tools
- decreasing your customer acquisition costs (CAC)
Regardless of the competitive nature of today’s travel business, you can still outdo your competitors and drive revenue-generating traffic to your business by monitoring, optimizing, and iterating your campaigns.
Check out how Headout carries out faster campaign implementation using WebEngage.
Running a travel business is as competitive as it is profitable, so you must step up your game. With all these tips, you can improve your travel business, get more travel leads, and succeed.
While all the ways mentioned above for lead generation for travel companies are more advanced tips, you should not skip the basics, like good SEO, paid ads on search engines and social media, etc.
And ultimately, the most crucial tool for your success is an innovative engagement platform that lays the foundation for successful lead generation.
Stay consistent in your personalization methods, as staying on top of the consumer’s mind is crucial to get more travel leads. The best way to do that is constantly monitoring, measuring, and improving your campaign.
Capturing digital travel leads and converting them into real opportunities can be challenging for the travel industry. So, stay consistent with these strategies, and you’ll be equipped with valuable tools that will help you increase travel leads and conversion.
And that’s where WebEngage comes in.
Our platform offers a complete set of engagement channels enabling you to connect effortlessly and instantly with your digital customers.