Travel and hospitality companies can use marketing automation to streamline communication with their customers, showcase personalized offers, and segment customers. Whether you run a hotel, a tourist agency, an airline, or a booking system, marketing automation can be of great help. And today, we want to show you what your options are.
When covid had begun, the travel industry took the biggest hit. For good several months, the whole industry has almost stopped altogether. Just take a look at this chart showing the number of flights recorded by FlightRadar24:
Another source, Economics Observatory, reports that because of the worldwide lockdowns, the whole industry experienced a 49% decline in activity. Today, thankfully, the situation is going back to normal, but the truth is travel companies (such as hotels, ticket brokers, booking platforms, airlines, and tourist agencies) need to buckle down, increase profits, and target potential customers more effectively. How can marketing automation be of help here?
Traveling is rarely a prime necessity. Your customers frequently need to be inspired to look for travel opportunities and make a reservation. The work starts with marketing automation scenarios – a scripted list of actions and reactions leading to an intended outcome. Here’s a brief example of such a scenario:
When you have a ready-made list of customers or subscribers, you can create a scenario that includes push notifications, text messages, or emails with your latest or most attractive offers. This way, you can reach potential customers who weren’t even thinking about booking a hotel room or a flight.
Here, our iPresso Satellite feature is incredibly useful.
It collects data about external conditions, e.g., temperature, weather forecasts, or smog indexes. You can use this kind of information and create a scenario encouraging your customer to travel somewhere. Consider this example. The weather forecasts show that soon the temperature will drop significantly in Berlin, Germany. With this knowledge, you can send a push notification to all of your customers living in this city saying something like this:
“Hey, Mark, the winter is coming to Berlin! Let’s go somewhere warm! Check out our hot deals on trips to the Canary Islands! Book today, and enjoy the never-ending summer!”
Add a good, personalized offer into the mix, and you have a new reservation! Of course, it’s just an example, but it perfectly shows how marketing automation can leverage different kinds of data about your customers to reach them effectively.
You can also use MA scenarios to:
- Rescue abandoned booking processes
- Remind your guests about upcoming visits/trips
- Target anonymous users (e.g., by displaying them a request to allow notifications or showing pop-up ads)
Direct communication is one thing; displaying personalized offers is another. With our recommendation frames, you can display personalized offers for flights and bookings, all tailored to a given person’s interests and previous activity on your website. For instance, if you run an online booking platform and you gather data about your users’ activity within this platform, you can use it to display offers that are similar to what a given person was interested in previously.
Moreover, these frames can show not just offers! You can use them to guide your users to specific places on your website, e.g., to your latest blog posts with TOP5 travel destinations in winter. Inside such a blog post, you can put links to attractive offers in different countries.
To fully benefit from personalized offers and communication, you need to have as much information about your guests and customers as possible. This way, you can segment them into different groups based on their characteristics, interests, and previous activities. Again, a quick example. If you have a customer who always books tickets for his family of three, you will get better results when such a person receives pre-configured offers for three people. Most likely, such a person won’t be interested in a last-minute flight to Barcelona with just one seat available.
But to know this, you need to collect available data, process it correctly, and then feed your MA algorithms with it. Here, we can help you with two useful solutions:
- Contact database management: In iPresso, you can freely create attributes (custom fields) with different types and quantities of data. This way, you can keep all the customer information in one place, well-organized, and ready to use.
- CDP: It’s our most advanced customer data solution. CDP constitutes a single place for data about your guests/customers from many sources. iPresso’s CDP platform integrates data from internal and external sources and updates customer data as quickly as possible, usually in real time.
With these two solutions, you can make the most of segmentation and personalization – two keys to effective marketing.
Stay in touch with customers – always
Imagine this situation: Your customer is stuck at an airport; the flight has been canceled due to poor weather conditions. It is obvious that such a person would love additional assistance on the next steps. In such situations, people are very stressed, and the last thing they want to go through is endless wait on an airline’s hotline.
Something quicker would be nice, correct? Something like WhatsApp – a mobile messenger that’s very popular worldwide and requires only an internet connection to work (almost all airports, hotels, and train stations offer free wi-fi). Give your customers access to your company via WhatsApp to enable quick communication 24/7.
You can also use this channel to send personalized messages to keep your customers updated about the current situation.
As you can see, there are many options for you concerning marketing automation in the travel industry. And that’s not all we can help you with! Take a look at our list of features and go to our subpage for travel and hospitality companies. We invite you to schedule a quick meeting during which we will show you how our platform can be tailored toward your requirements and business profile.