In the past few years, the travel industry, like many other industries, has undergone a transformation typically led by expansive digitisation. Over the years, travel has interestingly become one of the top 5 services that were accessed digitally. There has interestingly been a growing inclination of both customers and travel service providers towards digital platforms for availing and providing these services. It has also brought to the fore the need for tapping various lead generation platforms with less and less reliability on leads walking up to the agency for booking.
As qualified lead generation is crucial to the growth and success of a travel operator, it is only prudent to find the right platforms that take these businesses a step closer to their prospective customers. Leads generated through the right marketing funnel can help a travel business extend its reach and earn growth in the long run.
Top 5 Lead Generation Platforms To Utilize For Travel Agents
Lead generation platforms can either be B2B or B2C, with both bringing in their unique sets of advantages to the table. Check out some popular platforms that have been the most adaptable in today’s dynamic landscape of the travel industry for lead generation.
Word Of Mouth
Travel is almost irrevocably synonymous with life experiences. And, when it comes to gaining experiences, what better way to go for it than on the suggestion of your near and dear ones. It is rightly so with word of mouth serving as an ever useful lead generation platform for travel agencies.
Although not a platform in the traditional sense, it deserves the top spot on this list for its unsurpassable efficiency to bring in leads even in one of the most dynamic and evolving industries today, the travel industry. In the fast-paced world, people are more likely to go by the suggestions of their near and dear ones for travel explorations than undertake an in-depth research to find the right location and activity.
Clearly, it is more reliable than many other lead generation platforms for bringing in new prospective customers for a travel agency.
Through Official Travel Website
When making travel bookings, most consumers go for extended travel agency comparisons. The first and most authentic touchpoint for such comparisons is a travel website as it serves as the first face of the travel operator. It is only natural then that the official website of the travel agency serves as a vital platform for potential leads.
A well-designed website always provides an edge to the travel agency in serving as one of the most useful lead generation platforms. Along with a website that is neatly designed with an impressive interface for the best user experience, it also needs to be optimized for utmost performance.
While the website interface forms the face of it, the actual potential of lead generation remains in technical optimization of the website which increases its overall visibility in the digital space.
Aspects like website page ranking, fast page loading, appealing layout, optimized multimedia elements, etc. work potentially in exposing the travel agency to gain organic traffic. This naturally directs the swarm of travel enthusiasts present in the digital space looking for suitable services to the website, opening up a multitude of leads to pursue.
Given that a good share of all travel searches come from mobile devices today, optimizing your travel website for mobile loading and viewing can only multiply the prospects of lead generation.
Web Calling And Call Backs
For a travel agency, the fact that 98% of travel operators still take bookings through phones should hardly come off as a surprise. Given that travel bookings are often preceded by extensive queries regarding the various features and facilities available with selected travel services, they can best be addressed through one-on-one conversations.
For this reason, the potential of calls for generating valuable travel business leads cannot be underestimated, which makes them one of the best lead generation platforms to exist for the industry. These calls also enable travel agencies to provide detailed guidance related to trip queries, leaving the leads with a wide spectrum of travel features to choose from for the final booking.
For generating inbound travel leads, thus, web callings and call back features on travel websites can serve just right. Through web calling, a prospective lead can instantly connect with the travel operator for their queries. Alternatively, the web call back feature on travel websites allows them to schedule a call back from the agency. Including the click-to-call contact feature on your travel website can help visitors reach out to you with ease.
As per statistics, travel agencies that integrated the web calling feature on their websites witnessed a 20% increase in inbound digital leads.
Lead Generation Tools
Various dedicated tools also serve as useful lead generation platforms for travel agencies. These lead generation tools work across several vertices to bring in qualified leads for the business with high potential for conversion into customers. The lead generation tools can be of various types, like inbound, outbound, on-page, CRO, marketing management, and such other tools.
Depending on the type of campaign your travel agency is running for lead generation, you can determine a suitable tool to leverage as a lead generation platform. Some common lead generation tools available in the market for integration into a travel business’s marketing strategies for effective lead generation include the following.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- Hello Bar
- LinkedIn Helper
While this list is long, these tools often serve as one of the effective lead generation platforms strategically combing the wide market of prospective travel customers.
Social media is a powerful lead generation platform today for travel agencies as it is known to bring in the most diverse group of travel leads. Social media can be leveraged as a useful lead generation platform in two primary ways for generating quality leads.
A travel agency can create its social media presence through customized profiles that filter and reach out to the target audience segment through various marketing strategies. For instance, Increased visibility of brand, free content promotion through blogging, increased customer engagement, and such other initiatives can bring organic leads to the travel operator’s profile.
Alternatively, social media can be used as a paid lead generation platform by travel agencies. Running paid advertisements on social media platforms can be a good way to bring in customers that have previously visited the travel agency’s profile but not made a final purchase. Advertisements that are visually appealing often attract widespread attention and are a great way to bring in new travel leads through social media platforms.
While these are the top lead generation platforms that continue to dominate the travel industry for gaining qualified travel leads, the potency of some other useful ones cannot be sidelined. Here’s a list of some additional ways a travel operator can utilize for useful lead generation.
- Live web chats/chatbots
- Email marketing
- Referral and incentive schemes run online
- By creating product breakthroughs
- Paid ads
With this list in place, here are some top tips a travel business can utilize for maximized and qualified lead generation as per their customized business model and an overall profitability.
- Compete based on service-price value provided. Keeping your services efficient to provide the right value to customers can override the benefits of low travel service pricing. You may thus want to leverage service efficiency for better lead generation.
- Make an economic sense out of all lead generation initiatives. Irrespective of the lead generation platforms being utilized, it is crucial that you know the cost incurred in acquiring new leads as against the returns gained.
- Target your possible leads strategically. Make sure that you know the market segment to target for lead generation rather than going all out on the entire market for collecting leads to ensure efficient resource utilization.
- Cross promote through the travel community. Partnering with travel agents who you can form a co-dependent partnership with can bring in two-way benefits. It will help reach out to the partnering agent’s audience effortlessly for lead generation. Further, it will also enable expanding travel services through specializations that your partnering agent provides.
- Create opportunities that relate to personal interests rather than targeting leads aimlessly. Customizing travel offers based on the most widely opted for activities can bring in just the right leads from across lead generation platforms.
- Address passion with precise information and do not overload messages to your targeted leads with details not useful immediately. Instead, nudge them to visit your website for collecting detailed info.
- Keep your online profiles speck clean and organized as it can promote better lead conversion. If your online profile is not organized, a prospective lead may never explore its service options irrespective of the quality you provide.
- Stay reachable 24/7 as travel queries are interestingly placed mostly at odd hours.
- Avoid being the jack of all trades and specialize your travel services by leveraging specific service verticals like locational advantage, activities possible for exploration, etc.
With more and more travel operators entering the tour and travel industry, reaching out to useful leads and nudging them to conversion is an ever-increasing challenge for travel agencies. Choice of the right lead generation platforms thus plays a crucial role in bringing one closer to the right leads and extracting opportunities out of them for the final conversion. To get the most out of these platforms, one can always keep the cost perspective in mind and compare it with final conversions and return so gained to determine the efficiency of these lead generation efforts.
With Pathfndr’s huge travel database readily accessible from across the globe, finding the right leads only gets simplified. Benefiting from various algorithmic leverages and travel partnerships, websites can clearly get an edge over industry competitors to reach out to their prospective customers through various lead generation platforms and earn new customers for business growth and expansion.
Waiting is clearly not an option now with Pathfndr extending its innovative resources to leverage your travel agency to new heights with a well-equipped travel website building!