Email Marketing Tips for Travel Agents
There is an opinion that it is easy and simple for travel agencies to attract crowds of customers through social networks. You just need to create accounts and start producing content. But, as a rule, only a few achieve success at these sites, while most are left with nothing.
Numerous advisors can endlessly talk about hundreds of thousands of tours requests every day and how much the relationship between travel agency and client improves when they start communicating via social media. In reality, only a few travel agencies achieve at least an average return on social networks. Most are disappointed in them, realizing that the costs do not pay off with the results.Publishing high quality fresh content every day is not enough to see the impact of your investment. Of course, it still works in well-promoted groups, but it brings less and less results. You can easily see for yourself. If you find groups of travel agencies in social networks, you will see hundreds of communities, but only 10-15 of them will be "alive". At the same time, only 2-3 will bring applications from clients.
Creating and promoting a group from scratch is a very energy-consuming and absolutely thankless task. To start receiving applications, you will have to work hard for more than one day.The standard ways to attract subscribers no longer work. People don't want to like, repost, and comment on posts. They are fed up with contests and may even be sceptical about the promise of a discount on a tour for a subscription.There is only one way out - to look for new methods and extraordinary approaches to attract potential customers. This article will help you take a fresh look at social media promotion, understand mistakes and how to deal with them.
7 reasons why travel agencies do poorly on social media and tips to avoid them
First reason: there is no systematic approach
This reason can ruin even the most brilliant promotion programs. Often, the head of the TA (travel agency) believes that social networks can be worked on from time to time, allowing long breaks. Employees can hold four contests in a month, and then remain silent for six months; then communicate with the audience, then abandon it and even stop writing posts. The company's actions turn out to be “ragged” and do not lead to a sustainable result.
Because of this work, the group loses its audience, but this is not so bad. The worst thing is that potential customers who see a "dead" and unstable community are forming the same impression of the travel agency as a whole. And of course, they won't want to trust such an organization.Wasted time, money, energy, and the client ends up with a competitor - no one wants to be in such a situation.
Tip: Introduce a rigid systemic approach and control the process.
Remember, in order to succeed in social networks, you need to draw up a clear work plan for each day and stick to it strictly. With the help of a well-designed checklist and content calendar, employees and management will clearly understand what needs to be done over a certain period. It will become easier to control the execution of tasks, and it will be almost impossible to forget something.
First, answer your four most important questions:
- What opportunities for promotion are presented in social networks?
- For what purposes do you need a group in social networks, and which of the available opportunities can you use?
- What actions need to be taken to achieve the goal and how often should this be done?
- Who are you willing to entrust this work to and how can you control the performer?
In social networks, you can create your own group, attract new representatives of your target audience to it with the help of interesting and useful content. You can also use targeted and personalized advertising to influence target audiences, stimulate sales through contests, etc.The goals can be different from creating the image and brand of the company to attracting as many subscribers as possible who will leave applications for the selection of tours. It must be remembered that the community should have a large number of likes and reposts, and the number of subscribers should increase every day.
Reason two: online customers don't go offline
Another serious mistake is that sales managers do not fully understand the purpose of communicating with a client on social networks.After receiving a private message from the user, they immediately start selling the tour. They find out the needs of the client for a long time and in detail, select a hotel and discuss prices. And then quite often the user disappears because he just went and bought the same tour from those who offered a lower price.
Tip: prohibit online sales managers and teach them to take a client to a personal meeting.
There are several reasons for a travel agency to create social media accounts, for example:
- Attract potential customers by increasing the number of subscribers.
- Post messages that will encourage them to submit applications.
- Find out the full name, phone number and email address from those who left the application.
But this list should not include tour sales or online subscriber consultation. You just need to contact the person and work according to the standard tour sales funnel: take them to the office and sell them there.Communicate the importance of this kind of communication with online customers to managers. Because it is psychologically more comfortable for them to correspond with people than to persuade them to meet in the office by phone.Prohibit consulting users on social networks and make two scripts: how to take contacts from a client in an online chat and how to make outgoing calls to persuade them to come to the office.This method will significantly increase the number of sales to customers from social networks.
Reason 3: Employees Don't Drive Sales
How is the standard travel agency community filled?
The administrator periodically publishes messages about promotions, special offers, last minute tours and dilutes everything with funny pictures. In addition, his tasks include inviting new subscribers and nothing else.Many people think that such a strategy is effective and optimal in terms of labor intensity. But the problem is that most TA think so. And for a potential client who is subscribed to several travel agencies in the city, they all look the same, only the prices differ.
Social media offers a unique opportunity to actively stimulate sales, but typical travel agencies prefer to take a passive position, only publishing posts and periodically inviting new users to the group.
Tip: Begin to actively stimulate the growth of the number of applications from social networks.
To receive more applications, you need to have more contacts of people who are looking for tours. But how to do this if only a few of them leave their data themselves?
Start working with interest groups of your target audience. Look for communities about travel and different countries, see their followers, monitor comments, and connect with those clearly determined to go on a trip. Track potential customers by hashtags, set up direct targeted advertising by interests (planning trips, vacations, etc.). Social media has many opportunities to expand your audience, use them!
The fourth reason: there are no goals, control and analytics of results
If in working with social networks there is no clear goal in numbers, there are no planned indicators and analytics of successes and failures, employees work ineffectively. They post something, invite someone, achieve insignificant results. Neither they themselves nor management understand whether they are performing well or poorly, and how to improve performance. They seem to be marking time in one place.
Tip: Set goals in numbers, set targets, and regularly review results with employees.
Working with social networks will become effective if:
- everyone will understand what goals need to be achieved in a certain time;
- employees will check their work against planned indicators;
- they will present how to improve performance through continuous analysis and discussion of results.
To introduce this technology into the work of your travel agency, you need to take three steps.
1. Determine what goals you want to achieve by working with social networks.
At the first stage, they will look something like this: have a constant influx of subscribers to the TA group and regularly receive a certain number of applications for the selection of tours.After that, they may be supplemented by such an indicator as a specific number of tours sold to those who came from social networks, or a specific amount to be sold for.
2. Determine targets for sales managers
These numbers will vary depending on your plans and volumes. For example, you can set a requirement to acquire 300 subscribers per month and organize 50 customer visits in the same time frame.
3. Monitor the progress of subordinates, analyze the results and discuss how actions can be adjusted to work even more efficiently.
It is optimal to conduct daily planning meetings. To determine which metrics should be met per day, divide your monthly plan by the number of work days. This will help to master the big goal piece by piece.
Fifth reason: TA employees do not fully understand how to effectively work with social networks
Travel agency employees responsible for working with groups on social networks may not have a clear understanding of how to achieve high results on these sites.It is often possible to face the fact that a group in social networks is strong only on one indicator, while the rest "sag" and do not allow it to develop and achieve success.For example, the person in charge of social networks writes good and interesting posts, but does not understand at all how to increase the number of subscribers and encourage them to apply for the selection of tours. It turns out that there is a group with great content, but it does not bring sales.
Tip: Understand the process of working with social networks and achieve high results at every stage.
To do this, study questions such as:
- Where and how to get applications?
- What should be the graphic elements of the group design?
- How to correctly form a group description?
- Who should be in the Contacts section of the group and why?
- What type and structure should the content be, and when should it be posted?
- How to interact with subscribers?
- How to create a special account with which the agency group will be replenished with subscribers?
The list goes on and on. There is only one conclusion: to work with social networks, it is better to trust a professional or become one yourself.
The sixth reason: the group has no followers
Paradoxically, people are mainly interested in what other people are interested in. A post in a travel agency group with three likes: from the group itself, from the TA manager and from its leader will attract a minimum number of people. Subscribers will have the impression that the community is screaming into the void and nobody is interested.
Tip: create a team of adherents of your TA group on social networks.
A large number of likes on the post says: “Look how many people liked it! Probably something really interesting, you need to see. " And the user watches, likes, comments and repost.
It turns out a vicious circle: "likes need likes". There is only one way to interrupt it: by forming a team of followers of your group in social networks, who will like, repost and comment on any content in the group.
How to create such a team?
Ask close friends and acquaintances to help promote your community. They may have at least three reasons for agreeing. First, someone truly loves you and wants to do something nice. Secondly, it is not difficult for someone, because he often sits on social networks. And thirdly, someone can also promote their group and ask you for a mutual favor. In this case, before agreeing, pay attention to the advertised product.
Invite existing clients to become experts. To do this, they just need to express their opinion under your posts. Don't forget to cheer them up and like them for good comments.
For maximum efficiency, you can make an individual mailing to all members of the team of adepts. Attach the link to the post and ask him to comment, clarifying that this person's opinion is very important to your business.
Such activities under posts will serve as "social confirmation" of what you have written for other clients.
Reason 7: the marketing specialist is missing out on important details
Inexperienced specialists often exaggerate their capabilities and believe that it is easy to promote a travel agency group on social networks. After reading the brochure and imagining themselves as a promotion guru, they drown in their own mistakes, dragging an excellent tool for your business into the abyss of nothingness.
Tip: entrust your social media work to a professional and don't overlook the little things.
A professional should work with social networks. It doesn't matter if it is a member of your team (internet marketer) or a hired manager from an agency, a person must understand all the intricacies, master all the tools, understand what mistakes can be made in order to avoid them, and what paths will lead to success exactly your business.
All promotion tools that may seem small and useless to an uninitiated user are actually important. In the right hands, they will turn from many small streams into a full-flowing river of your sales!