Personalization in Travel Marketing

Personalization Improves Holiday Travel Marketing

Use these three travel marketing personalization techniques to improve your customers’ experience and help them feel in control of their vacation plans.

As data technology improves, personalization has emerged as one of the prime differentiators for effective marketing. Companies that reach out to customers with extremely relevant offers, content and campaigns stand a higher chance at conversion success. For instance, emails with a personalized headline are 22.2% more likely to be opened by the recipient.

In the travel industry, where the risk of commoditization is great, personalization can help brands reclaim market share and become entwined with a customer’s decision-making process. This ability could soon trump other tried-and-true marketing methods, as millennials feel less drawn to campaigns such as travel loyalty programs.

So get ready to amp up your personalization marketing efforts with the following techniques as people start planning their year-end holiday trips.

1. Capitalize on Where Guests Arrived From

Context is the most powerful piece of information to fuel personalized travel marketing. By being able to tell how a website visitor arrived at its site, for instance, a travel brand can optimize campaign pitches to precision-target customers.

One hotel chain found success with this strategy by pointing a particular campaign at only visitors arriving from a review site. Armed in this way, the campaign found a 500% increase in bookings from that segment of customers, according to a real-time marketing study. Another hotel brand used the number of site visits an arriving customer had in their browsing history to subtly adjust the content and campaigns displayed on the homepage. This content optimization boosted their customer engagement and campaign ROI fivefold.

2. Use Social Listening to Personalize Vacation Pitches

The idea of “Christmas in Cancun” or “Hannukah in Hamburg” offers massive appeal over the doldrums of domestic holiday travel. Travel brands can plant the seed of a destination holiday early and can do so with precision. Social listening on platforms like Instagram and Twitter — in combination with cross-site tracking — can allow airlines and hospitality to pitch the perfect vacation.

For example, a travel agency could pitch adventure travel to outgoing clients and prospects by posting pictures on Instagram showing other clients on previous trips to the Himalayas or by conducting a Twitter chat about enjoying adventure travel.

3. Send Customized Content

Once a brand has an idea of someone’s vacation plans based on browsing history, social posting or other data, it can use this information to send custom content to the consumer. For example, an algorithm can detect top restaurants in an area by category using popular review sites, including Yelp. People can then receive an email or in-app list of the restaurants they would likely enjoy on their trip.

Just imagine how appealing a subject heading such as “Joanna, Try These 6 Incredible Thai Restaurants While You’re in Frisco!” would be to a customer, and how it would help improve their trip in general.

Make Travel Marketing Helpful

The most effective travel personalization efforts let customers feel more in control of their vacations. Making suggestions based on social media feedback, presenting ancillary options like restaurants and reflecting customer preferences in content and booking all give the travelers a sense of added control.

Ensure that your personalization program works within this goal while making smart use of data and your customers will have a very “Happy Holidays” indeed.

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