Customer Engagement Tips for Travel Marketers

Evergage Blog

Ideas and Strategies for Real-Time Personalization
Customer Engagement Tips for Travel Marketers

November 10, 2015 by

One of the biggest challenges that travel brands face today is fragmentation. According to a recent report from ThoughtShift, 66% of leisure travelers and 59% of business travelers use search engines to research online travel. Couple this pattern with the trend of 87% of website search queries being unique and 90% of people performing searches won’t browse past the first landing page. In other words, trip-planners will explore multiple options before making a purchase decision.

As a marketer at a travel brand, you need to fight hard to attract, engage and retain your target audience. You also need to communicate a strong value proposition, incentivize loyalty, and find ways to better empower your website visitors. Check out these tips and use cases for inspiration:

Craft a 1:1 personalized experience

Travel companies have access to a wealth of consumer data. Think about it…you have access to arrival source, browsing records, favorites, wishlists, and purchases on a per-traveler level. You have all the pieces to understand each individual’s full research and buying journey.

Make the most out of this information by building a one-to-one personalized experience. You can decipher a visitor’s intent based on browsing activity: pageviews, scrolling, time spent, and category preferences. Recommend destinations and offers based on each person’s unique actions.

For inspiration, take a look at Hotels.com. The travel aggregator features a recommendation widget with top hotels in recommended cities, tailored to audiences’ past browsing patterns and interests.

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Collect data from content

A recent report from Amadeus found that ‘next generation’ travelers expect and demand website experiences that appeal to their interests. When researching kayaking excursions, for example, travelers want to see content about ecology, history and other specifics.

This content allows travel brands to learn about their audiences and make their messaging more precise. By seeing what individual consumers click on and read, companies can create irresistible travel offers.

Target nature enthusiasts with packaged outdoor excursions. Reach history buffs with collections of top museum destinations. Pay attention to what your audiences are reading and engaging with, so you can launch compelling and effective campaigns.

For an example of a compelling content strategy, check out the ZOZI blog. The getaway and activities aggregator has launched a blog that’s laser-focused to its target audience. The company is in a strong position to collect data about its readers and, over the long-term, recommend more targeted experiences.

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Bring in-app messaging to your mobile experience

Travel is a complex, logistics-heavy industry. With both business and leisure travelers looking for destinations and offerings that match their interests and needs, it can be challenging to track travelers at multiple touch points in their buyer journeys.  

According to the global travel market research company PhocusWright, leisure travelers research an average of 6.5 sites before booking. And once a transaction takes place? The next big milestone is travel day, with travelers needing to look up their booking information, flight details and other miscellaneous logistics.

As a travel brand, one of the most important assets will be your mobile app. And your user experience (UX) is mission-critical. Your shoppers may, at some point, be feeling frazzled, which means that your post-purchase experience needs to be impeccable.

In-app messaging can help streamline your UX. Instead of leaving travelers hanging–to find what they need on their own–create a guided experience through messages that are tailored to specific actions and signals. With in-app messaging, you can reach audiences with real-time travel alerts and messages.

For an example, take a look at Booking.com’s mobile app. The app ties in data from the website and vice versa. A traveler can find their search history, booking info, unique travel guides, real-time price alerts, and trends for popular cities no matter what digital device they’re on — whether it be a desktop, smartphone or tablet. (Want more ideas and inspiration on in-app messaging? Check out Evergage’s Guide to Personalized In-App Messaging.)

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The bottom line?

You need to find new, creative and relevant ways to stand out across all digital channels. When optimizing your travel site or app, you’ll need personalization and real-time technology to capture your audience’s attention and stand out from your competitors.  

If you’re attending The Phocuswright Conference this month, stop by Evergage’s booth to learn how personalization can help you meet your business goals!

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