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5 marketing shortcuts for the leisure and tourism sector

18 April 2018
by Force24

Savvy marketers are constantly on the lookout for hacks that help them generate more conversations with customers, attract the interest of prospects, and, ultimately, drive campaign ROI. So, when it comes to the leisure and tourism sector, what tips do we have to offer? Lee Senior, our Head of Client Operations, shares his top shortcuts for brands large and small…

1. Start simple and scale up

It sounds an obvious place to begin, but too many marketers overcomplicate things from the outset. By starting with small, simple steps, and scaling up from there, it’s far easier to learn, iterate and progress.

I’d recommend kicking off with a few key questions, such as:

  • What am I trying to achieve?

  • Which segments am I targeting?

  • How will I measure success?

  • How can marketing automation make life simpler?

Then, get some core journeys moving. ‘Welcome’ and other transactional journeys may be ideal for new customers, but ‘reminders’, ‘repurchase’ and ‘win-back’ journeys could maintain or boost the engagement of existing or lapsed contacts. The little details also matter a lot to customers, so if they’ve previously booked a holiday cottage allowing pets, remember this will probably influence their bookings moving forward.

Retargeting journeys must also be remembered, providing they are truly personalised. Someone who has expressed an interest in an action-packed skiing holiday is unlikely to be motivated by cruising content, so prioritise relevance above everything.

2. Segment carefully

Whilst it’s easy to get bogged down with segmentation, the careful creation of different lists is usually time and effort well spent. Look at contacts’ previous engagement with a brand, or their behavioural/purchasing dispositions.

This is the only way to send people truly meaningful email comms. Without this precision, the content is likely to be perceived merely as an impersonalised ‘batch and blast’ promo. Keep things relevant and unsubscribes will stay low, open and click-through rates should improve and, most importantly, passive or disengaged contacts should become far more interested in what a brand has to say.

3. Work with your sales team

It’s ridiculous to still be saying this, but far too many sales and marketing teams still operate in isolation of one another. A lack of coordination then means that prospects are nurtured by both departments at the same time, which will probably just leave them feeling overwhelmed by different emails and calls encouraging them to take different actions.

Decide when is the appropriate time to hand the nurturing over to the sales team, depending on the typical prospect cycle of your brand. And equally, encourage sales representatives to report back as to when marketing may need to support an individual through the funnel. With CRM and marketing automation integration, this process should be hassle-free and there should be a happy ‘marriage’ between the sales and marketing teams. But it requires mutual appreciation for one another’s roles, to truly work within an organisation.

Force24’s landing page builder works magic in this respect. If they visit a page but don’t fill out a form, for example, our marketing automation platform can then send them an email with an exclusive offer, a few days later. Conversion rates and sales should increase with this simple retargeting method, and there has been no need for a human to pick up the phone. That said, if this doesn’t work, marketing can liaise with the sales team to advise when a personalised call may provide the final missing link in a purchase journey.

4. Commit to content

Momentum can take time to build, but once you get the ball rolling, the activity will reap dividends many times over! The key is to create ongoing quality content that appeals to the different segments of your audience. Some people believe there’s a science to the perfect nurture sequence, which is why we’ve written a guide to help people nail it!

Think about dynamic content too – this can be really powerful for both emails and websites. Instead of having a generic travel brochure on your homepage, why not have a highly personalised message that changes based on the prospect’s location or getaway preferences? That’s sure to attract attention.

5. Remember to report

It’s virtually impossible to evolve marketing activity without analysing stats that show the success (or flop!) of campaigns undertaken to date. Understanding which metrics truly matter is not always easy, and the data that is important to one travel brand may not resonate with the next. But whether you love or loathe reports, it is important to run them.

A breakdown of who is using what device to view emails, could influence the mobile-first design of the next batch of comms, to give just one really simple example. But the more you delve into the detail, the greater the insight you will be able to glean.

If you’d like help bringing your travel marketing activity to life, give us a shout or, if you’d rather cut to the chase, why not book a demo? We’re here if/when you need us!

By Lee Senior

Force24

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