Travel Marketing – Don’t abandon your Travellers!

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travel marketing

Spring is here! Finally! After what feels like the longest winter of my life (I know it hasn’t been the worst winter ever, but for some reason, to me, it just feels like it has) the winds of change are in the air.

I am currently discussing my holidays for the year with my family and the only way we tend to look at and book holidays is online, via our phones or a laptop. We were reminiscing on how we used to book a holiday, heading in to a travel agent and discussing the different options available, leaving the agents with a boot full of brochures and then spending the next number of days going through all of the different destination and hotels available. The whole process took weeks.

But nowadays, normally prompted by an email with special offers, we just plug in the dates, location and type of holiday we want and are presented with all of the relevant options. A quick discussion and then all of a sudden the holiday is booked, whilst still sitting on the sofa.

How the world has changed. I was talking to a colleague about this this morning and started to wonder how many people still book in person at a travel agent. After a quick bit of research I stumbled across the ABTA Holiday Habits Report 2017 and there it was, the stat that I had been looking for, 17% of the responders book in store (down from 19% in 2016) and a whopping 83% book online (up from 76% in 2016), So it appears for once in my life I am very much normal!

It’s no real surprise is it, with the ease of online shopping, that the preference for holiday bookings is to do it all online, which makes your digital marketing strategy all the more important in the travel industry.

With the focus on email, how are you utilising your campaigns! If you don’t have an abandoned basket programme you are really missing out, as I found that 81.6% of baskets are abandoned on travel sites, and the reasons for this abandonment are;

  • 39% just browsing
  • 37% price too high
  • 21% need to check with other party members
  • 13% booking process took too long
  • 9% technical issues
  • 7% lack of payment options

Looking directly at the top 3 of these responses, your abandoned cart email programme could be the solution.

For people just researching, your abandoned cart email can remind them of one of the options they are looking at. Use this as an opportunity to highlight the benefits of booking with you; security, customer service or your USP’s and to speed up the process you could offer a timed discount code to win the business.

This could also work for the “price too high” camp. Would a discount be the solution to winning that business?
And finally, for the people who need to check with other party members, sending this abandoned basket email that fully itemises the booking will mean they can just share it with the others in the party.

So one email that could satisfy all three of the main reasons for basket abandonment.

One of our Travel clients added a cart abandonment programme and it was so successful that they covered the cost of the project within one and a half weeks. You can read all about this case study here.

About Rupert Adam

Marketing Manager at Emailcenter, the UK's largest independent ESP.