Marketing Strategy Guide For Online Travel Agencies (OTA) (Part 1)

Marketing Strategy Guide For Online Travel Agencies (OTA) (Part 1)

Yesterday, while I was on my evening stroll, the caffeine addict in me kicked in and minutes later, I was sitting in Starbucks. I would have kept observing people around me had my eye not caught a glimpse of a little notepad, kept on the chair next to me. I picked it up and looked for the rightful owner. The owner had obviously left by then.

The curiosity got better of me so I turned to the second page, “Marketing Agendas For The Next Quarter”. The marketer in me smiled. It was the feeling you get when you meet a person who speaks your language in a foreign land. At first, I was just searching for the owner’s details in the notepad, now I was searching for meaning in those scribbles.

Over 40% of people make a purchase after receiving a promotional email! It is as if they were waiting and delaying their plans for the email. Data proves that fact is in fact stranger than fiction.

SMSs have moved from being general to personal. Had to! I hated when I used to get an offer to visit Mumbai, almost every week, especially when I was already there. And if you’re catching on the trend, the following fact won’t surprise you.

You know who are the most frequent buyers of these businesses? The people who have a mobile app installed. Well, sometimes data also underscores the obvious.

I moved to the next page

Online travel agency report

Source- Octane Report, 2016

Online travel agencies- An overview

OTA? Before I would have started guessing, ‘tickets’ and ‘look to book’ ratio stared at me from the notepad. Now I knew it belonged to an Online Travel Marketing guy. Maybe from MakeMyTrip or Yatra or some other big company. Wow! I can find out online travel marketing secrets, right now. Psyched I was, seeing the travel trends.

This one was fascinating. So, evidently no travel site can acquire the market by unidirectional single channel approach. The objective should be to create a coherent, multi-channel customer experience whereby users becomes aware of your brand without becoming overwhelmed by it. Interesting!

I turned to the next page.

Customer funnel on travel website

If you see the sales funnel created using the users of this Online Travel Site, for every 100 people that visit your homepage only 70 actually go to a search page result that is only 70 people go and look for something specific and finally in the process of conversion, only 2 out of every 100 become customers.

We can clearly see the attrition rate is high. But there has to be some reason behind these numbers. 

And the plot thickens! Did you know while booking a tour or a travel package, a genuinely interested person will typically spend 45 days browsing through 38 portal, 6 months in advance?!

For international flights, the period is around 1-3 months and for domestic flights , it is 2 weeks on an average. The reason is simple, we all love getting the cheapest airline fares.

45 days, 38 portals, so many classes of flights, such huge marketing budgets and at an average only 2 out of 100 people visiting your website, end up buying from you. Wow!

Too much to churn and ponder upon. A glimpse at the next page tells me that, it all makes sense. It all apparently does but the Starbucks guy is calling my name and correctly so. Today must really be my lucky day. My latte-grande is ready. So I guess we all will have to wait for my coffee to finish.

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  • Created: 09 May 2016
  • Last Updated: 19 May 2020



Divya Sharma Content Marketer, WebEngage

Divya is a Digital Marketing Strategist at WebEngage. Before joining WebEngage, she played the roles of a Journalist and a Social Media Influencer at The Lucknow Tribune and respectively. She majored in Electronics and Communication from Lucknow University.

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