If you are a travel agency that wants to sell online or you are just starting an online travel agency (OTA), it's very important to know how to sell to the right people. The online landscape is complex and over 80 percent of the population uses the internet one way or another. Of those, you have to know how to reach the ones who are ready to buy at some point. In this article we are going to show you some of the ways to do that.
Where does your customer’s journey start? Sometimes even before they reach your website in the first place, and sometimes after they reach your website for the first time. If we enter a customer's mind, we can see there are three phases in their journey: discovery, research and buying. We have discussed these phases in detail in other articles, but just as a short reminder: discovery, when the customer has little idea of where they want to go; research, when the customer searches for options; and buying, when the customer actually buys.
Of course, the best case would be to have only customers that are in the last phase before actually booking: the buying phase. This is where advertising is most effective. You are not sending ads to customers who are just researching, or just thinking about going somewhere. You are advertising to customers who are actually looking to make a booking right then.
This is the biggest difference between advertising on Google and advertising on social media. On Google, advertising is based on a customer's intent. They are doing a search, looking for an answer. Depending on the destination you want to sell and your budget, it is the easiest way to sell online. Start displaying ads to people who are actively buying.
Of course, the line between the research and buying phases is sometimes very thin. This is why some of your budget might be wasted on Google Ads, because you are reaching not only customers in the buying phase, but those that are just researching too. To avoid wasting this money, you can use re-marketing ads that reach only people who have visited your website but haven't bought. These ads will appear during their internet browsing because they are somehow passive. They are not based on current intent, but on the information you have about those customers that sometime in the recent past have visited your website looking for travel options.
Now, if you are sending traffic to your website, the best target for this kind of re-marketing is the people who have reached the end of the sales process, the last page before booking. If you don't have many people reaching that page you can move one step earlier, to the details page. In this way you try to recover people who did not quite reach the end of the sales process and guide them to the next step.
If you have a great platform on your website, these things are very easy to integrate and the platform should make things easier for you through specially designed URLs and scripts to communicate with external platforms.
One of the most interesting aspects in our experience with Travitude is with the last step. Many people reach the last page, input all of their data but don't actually click on the "Book" button. Strange, isn't it? Wouldn't it be nice to collect their contact data and reach them at that step and see what happened? Our platform has this mechanism built in and it is totally GDPR compliant. One of our clients tripled his conversion rate just by reaching out to these customers. If you think this is an exaggeration, let's do some math: if 100 people reach the last page and only one buys, but five complete their contact data (these are approximate figures), if you sell to two of those five, you have three sales instead of just one.
The mindset for reaching the people who are ready to buy is to think of their journey and always advertise to those who showed intent but didn't buy. With a good platform like Travitude these things are easy to do. If you want to see a demo, schedule it here with our sales colleagues. Otherwise you can enjoy our 25+ articles with strategies for selling online today. Check them on our blog