With the high level of discount travel websites available today, it can be difficult to bring people through your doors as a travel agent. It’s easier than ever for people to plan their whole trip from their home computer or even a travel app on their tablet! How can you communicate the value in your services so that people will want to come see you instead of clicking on Google Chrome to load up their favorite travel site?
It all begins with the amount of actual value that you can provide. If you have a relationship with a transportation company, like an airline, that lets you get discounted fares that are better than the online ones, then use this relationship as an advantage.
Great Travel Agent Marketing Idea
1. Your Data Is a Mine Filled With Gold
Every contact you have with a customer gives you information that you can use at a later date. Birth dates are a good place for birthday cards, for example. Travel itineraries are a glimpse into what your customers love to do. When you get a great deal on something that you think they’ll like, then contact them about it. The more you communicate, the better you business is bound to be.
2. Know Your Stuff
Even though you might be able to book travel opportunities anywhere in the world, it is your niche expertise that is going to attract people to your office. If you know how to travel well by train and can plan exciting stays, then focus on this and you’ll get a number of complimentary requests over time.
3. Make Every Day Your First Day
When business is good, it’s easy to become complacent and not keep up with your marketing efforts. If your attitude is that each new day is like your first day as a travel agent, however, you’ll stay more active and provide people with a higher level of customer service.
4. Create Customized Promotions
You might be able to give someone a great deal on a Mediterranean cruise, but what if someone would rather spend two weeks in Cedar Rapids? Don’t be afraid to make contacts, get good deals, and book places that will give your clients the exciting add-ons that will make their trip special whether they are headed to Iowa or Italy.
5. Get Into Mobile Marketing
Deals that people receive on their phones or tablets have the highest open rates in the industry today. A simple text about a great deal you’ve just received not only makes people feel special and exclusive, but it could entice them to take that one trip they’ve been putting off for so long.
6. Start a Mobile App
Mobile bookings are becoming one of the most common forms of creating a travel itinerary and if you’re not able to provide this service, you’ll be losing business. A helpful mobile app will let people explore all of your current opportunities with ease and you’re putting the decision to book a trip directly into their hands at all times.
7. Get Your Social Media Right
Many travel agents assume that Facebook is the place to be and that might be true in some cases, it isn’t always true. You’ve got to know your target demographic and be where they are. If you cater to people who focus on trips to further their knowledge, then Google+ might be a better option for you. On the other hand, if you’re marketing toward Millennials, then Twitter could be a better option. Even Pinterest works for certain target demographics better than Facebook does.
8. Don’t Be Everything to Everyone
You’ll get burnt out quickly trying to post original content to all of your different social media platforms, blogs, and your website. It’s important to focus on your target demographics. Instead of casting a net over the entire ocean, cast one in an area where you know there are customers to be found.
9. Get Their Email
With someone’s email address, you can send out tempting emails about travel opportunities that can strike a chord with their discontent, especially if you send it right after a lunch break. Even people who are passionate about their career need a break every once and awhile and this method will get higher open rates because you’re striking when they’re most likely to be discontent.
10. Utilize Video Marketing
You don’t have to start the next hit talk show on YouTube, but video marketing can help people get to know who you are in a more intimate way than words can provide. Go on camera, talk about your specials, and be specific about the problems you an solve for those who are watching the video.
11. Share Your Knowledge
Sharing your knowledge about a region or a city will help to establish your expertise within your field. You don’t need to share your secrets about getting good deals on travel costs, but letting people know about a favorite little coffee shop or a great restaurant at a destination will provide an extra level of value for your services.
12. Start a Travel Blog
The only thing better than reading about a vacation destination is booking a trip to experience one first-hand. A travel blog that has stunning pictures of each destination you tend to book will encourage more bookings because people will experience the sights and sounds in their imagination and wish to replicate them for real.
13. Use Foursquare
Checking in on Foursquare is a great way to generate reviews and can even be the foundation of contests. The most check-ins for a certain foreign country, for example, over a 12 month period might win a deep discount for another trip or something else that you prefer. You’ll also boost your site rankings because of the extra links and traffic and reviews left on sites like TripAdvisor can give you even more exposure.
14. Use Your Leverage
Use your influence to lock good rates in with your suppliers and request marketing supplies that you can use with your clients. Get exclusive upgrades that you can upsell. The better you use your leverage long-term, the more clients you’ll have on a long-term basis as well.