Sales & Marketing Automation Solutions for the Travel Industry
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Delight your Customers throughout their Travel Experience
Travelers today have a world of opportunity available to them at a touch a button. You can build-your-own holiday packages, book quick weekends away and even book experiences while travelling.
The question is, have you set your Travel business up to deliver the experience that consumers want? They want to be in control in this mobile-first world.
Just think about the last time you started your travel planning journey. You probably picked up your mobile phone and started comparing flights, hotels, excursions and you most likely clicked from one website to another but the point is that the research and comparison stage can take days or weeks with hundreds of touchpoints.
These touchpoints can give you the ability to use Sales and Marketing Automation software to harness this information and convert it into actionable marketing campaigns.
Most Travel Companies have built multiple business systems and because of all the legacy systems that are used, it makes it impossible for companies to understand customer behaviour so that they can create seamless buying journeys that are personalised and relevant.
Not being able to clearly see your customers activity and engagement with your company in one simple view, means many online travel companies are losing out on customers every single day, and the worst part is that they probably don’t even now how many customers they are losing.
Your potential customers are using email, SMS, social media, websites, reading articles, viewing photos any anything else they find relevant to help them research and plan their travel. They are giving you very valuble, actionable insights that you can harness – but if you have the tools to use this information.
The Lifecycle of an online travel customer
When you understand what a customer wants, how they want it, and you have the right Sales & Marketing automation software, you are then in a position to fulfil your customers expectations.
The customer lifecycle or customer journey is broken down into four phases.
1. Awareness and Acquistion Phase
2. Engagement Phase
3. Monetisation Phase
4. Retention Phase
Lets explore these a bit more……
The Awareness and Acquistion Phase
Are you appearing in the places where your customers are looking for travel packages?
Just like a consumer expects to select their entertainment via streaming services like Netflix, Deezer, Spotify etc, they expect to pick and choose their travel and experiences in the same way, so make sure your content is available in the places your prospective customers will use to do their research.
At the Adobe North American 2018 Summit, a survey confirmed that younger travellers view personalised experiences as an expectation when chosing their favourite travel brands. These travellers are going to be your next set of new prospective customers over the next 10 years.
Step one is to ensure that when they meet/find your company online, they feel like you are offering them a seamless experience.
There are hundreds and hundreds of studies that have been done looking at how consumers book travel. In one example, one travel customer had 850 touchpoints over a three-month period. She looked at maps, airelines, restaurants, and more with 24% of these touchpoints via mobile.
That’s right – 850 touchpoints.
Some of these touchpoints where viewing content like blog posts, photos, video etc. She also viewed content using different devices and mutliple channels.
So who is this customer? What matters to her? What content does she want and when does she want it?
Let’s call this traveller, Samantha.
Samantha, is a 36 year old professional who has decicded to take a luxury getway to Mauritius. Part of the growing number of solo female travelers. Samantha wants to enjoy Mauritius and have a a relaxing getaway. While she is there, she wants to take some yoga classes, eat well, and visit some tourist attractions.
She does not want to take a pre-packaged tour but she is not against meeting up with like-minded people for a meal or an excursion while she is there. She wants to stay in a self-catering hotel that has a good spa, yoga classes and she wants a view of the ocean. She wants to have restaurants within walking distance.
Over two months she spends two months researching her options before reaching out to a travel advisor she met on social media.
Samantha has chosen this destination because she knows a few friends who have been their already and had great reviews.
She knows she can catch a direct flight from where she lives.
She knows that the beaches are amazing, there are great restaurants because her instagram feed is full of pictures from the area, however Samantha has not purchased anything yet.
If you have a Sales and Marketing automation solution in place, you would have been able to track all activity Samantha has taken and retarget Samantha. LeadSquared goes beyond just tracking how long she spends on a site and what pages she views. It combines that data with her demographical data, location and can deliver content that is relevant and personalised to Samantha.
A customer profile is created for Samantha, and the more data points (touchpoints) you have stored in a customer profile, the more you can use personalisation and cross channel communication to Samantha.
Beyond this, imagine if you could get automated buying signals and pro-actively have one of your travel advisors reach out to Samantha and help her make a buying decision. This is how you impress a customer.
This type of customer-centric, multi-channel approach that incorporates machine learning will help your travel business lower its acquistion costs and increase sales.
The Engagement Phase
Companies like HelloTravel sell holiday packages that usually include flights, hotels, and include discounts.
Their challenge was they were manually handling their email campaigns. They did not have an automated system for customer segmentation and while they knew that sending preference based emails would be the right business decision, they did not have a system to do this for them efficiently.
For companies to achieve this, it requires a change in data management processes and more importantly using integration between legacy systems used for sales, marketing, customer relationship management, finance and partner management, pricing etc so that you can implement a logical, automated sales process for email delivery. Just by implementing this solution, HelloTravel boosted their click rates by 115%.
It starts with a prospect who is just starts browsing travel packages but not booking. If you are smart, you would have captured the propsects email address which means you can send an automated follow up a few minutes later based on the prospects preferences.
This type of data-driven insights combined with the intelligence of LeadSquared means an exceptional customer experience that is always relevant and personalised. LeadSquared enables you to do this at scale without human intervention.
Let’s go back and use Samantha as another example…
Samantha searches for hotels in Mauritius. She is attraced by the upscale rustic look with flowing curtains that look over the blue Sea. She sees one that has a strong yoga program in an ocean view yoga studio and a spa with treatments.
But she does not book.
She keeps looking because she wants to see what else is nearby and she is not ready to make a decision yet.
When you have a centrally managed marketing automation platform, then you can build highly personalised offerings for Samantha that help move her to the next stage in her buying journey.
Marketing automation to engage prospective travelers & customers
The Monetization Phase
Personalization is more than a buzzword in the travel industry. In an increasingly fragmented world, it’s not only desired but expected by todays travellers. This expectation will only increase as the millennials and Generation Z mature because its the world they have grown up in.
Before the introduction of single platforms like LeadSquared, this has been a tough task for Travel Companies to do at scale.
LeadSquared makes it possible to see a prospects behaviour across channels, and you can deliver personalised messaging across multiple channels.
The future travel brands is not simply about moving prospects from A to B, unveiling new destinations or organising trips. It is about a thoroughly progressive, complete 360 degree view of the traveller and everything that goes into creating special, unique, memorable experiences.
When we work with travel companies, they want to;
- Improve lead conversion rate
- Engage with existing customers
- Retarget anonymous leads
- Cross-sell and upsell to existing customers
- Reduce acquisition costs
- Use advanced customer segmentation based on past behavior to help them serve their customers based on their preferences.
Reduce response times for new enquiries
Marketing + CRM + Lead management – all in one place
LeadSquared is a global award winning Sales & Marketing Automation Platform.
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