One of the most overlooked elements of Travel Business has to be how companies engage their leads (prospective customers) and customers. For the sake of this article let me break down what a best practice looks like and what you should be doing to ensure a higher ROI.
The same rule applies to both DMC’s and TMC’s. Your first and foremost plan has to be to capture as much Data as possible. (I have seen most of the companies being pretty content by just asking for the email address (newsletter sign-ups on the website) I have always insisted on at least 3 elements to this, Name, Email and Phone number, Lets assume you want to sell your product later using Social Media, having Name, Email and Phone number is better, it helps to map out the exact customer, by uploading your customer data to lets say Facebook and creating your exact audience profile to ensure laser-sharp targeting. If you were to just upload the email or name the targeting isn’t 100% exact. So always try and get as much data as you can and upload the entire file.
The future is going to be big data, the more data points you have the better your sales funnel. Your marketing department should have set up a few basics things for your Website.
Facebook Pixel Tracking code.
Tracking code like leadworx or your CRM tracking code.
Push Messaging & Chatbots (if you have someone manning your website)
Data capture (I prefer using 2 types of Lead opt-ins Inline (displayed with the content) and exit intent.
Integration of your Email into the CRM (Good CRM’s let you read your email inside of the CRM, so no need for Microsoft Outlook or any other email client)
The clients I consult, I ensure that all the data is always recorded into a CRM. This way you can track every engagement of the customer let me walk you in detail here:
Customer calls or Walks in or Emails: Record the data first into your CRM. CRM’s have a thing called tag or trigger. I usually recommend setting up one to fire a welcome email to the client as soon as you put the Tag (if a new customer or a feedback trigger if a returning customer). Set it up in such a way that the client is added to your Email Marketing tool as well. (MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor are all such tools. I prefer Mailerlite or self-hosted tools as then I have 100% control over my data. (happy to help you set one up, Self-hosted automation tools can save you up to 2000$ a year while giving you complete control over your Data but need you to have some working knowledge of designing your emails.)
Make sure that every conversation, Email sent or received is via the CRM (calls can be logged in as well or manually entered as a note)
This way you have a 360-degree view of the client’s journey with you.
Any queries the clients have should be logged in under the section called deals, (deals are also your financial pipeline and tells you how high or low the conversion rate for your clients and team members is. Lets say you have a client who queries and queries but never buys, you know he is a shopper and can safely put him aside for the time being if you have other urgent matters. If your team uses the CRM properly you also know about your Targets being achieved or not being achieved in real time and know how hard to push the marketing team for more leads.
So coming back to engagement, the emails you have collected should be put inside what is called drip marketing or automation marketing. Feels kinda cold to say drip marketing but the truth is that you want to ensure that you are not out of sight and mind of your leads and customers.
Send out regular promotions to your database. Make sure that you share at least 1 promotion a week (ideally I recommend having 2 Emails a week being sent out, based on your client’s segments (If you don’t understand Segmentation read the article here) and past history with you, so that you are able to have higher conversions. These emails you send out should always have a link back to your offers and promotions being promoted on your website.
You should connect your CRM with online tools (multiple ones available) so that your contacts are being synced to your Facebook audience now let’ tie this whole together to show you how Magic happens when this is done right.
All the codes you have installed on your website are tracking the traffic you are sending via your Advertisements and Emarketing campaigns. Similarly, all your customer database is already being synced to Facebook or whatever Social Media platform you are using. If your marketing was to sync the 2 audiences and take the common data, this would be your High converting and relevant data. Any promotion you run targeting this data would produce instant results with regards to conversions.