How to Market Travel Deals to Last-Minute Vacation Planners

May 31, 2018 | Back to the Blog

promote travel deals via sms service

What if there were a better way to drive customers to your travel deals?

Is it possible to accomplish this without fighting crowded social media feeds and competing for attention with paid ads?

While it may seem like no easy feat to bypass all that at first, it’s totally within your wheelhouse when you have a mass texting service available to use.

As you’ll see in today’s guide, text messages are a growing form of communication many brands fail to take advantage of.

But those who use a texting service often see perks like:

  • Increased sales
  • Improved communication to potential customers
  • Greater awareness of last-minute offers and travel destinations

Since these are all positives, we’re spending time today diving into exactly how a business SMS service can help you accomplish all three.

To start, you can’t skip this crucial first step:

Build Your Subscriber List the Right Way

While you may be using email and web communications to reach out to last-minute planners, it’s also worth considering mass text alerts.

Mass texts should be your go-to method of communication because they:

  • Are delivered instantly right to your customer’s phone or other device
  • Don’t require a WiFi connection or a smartphone
  • Bypass overflowing email inboxes and busy social feeds

Texts also have a 98-99% open rate, which means your customers will have a much higher chance of seeing your messages.

So if you’ve been using email or social media to communicate with your customers in the past, it pays to reconsider your strategy and start using mass texts instead.

Once you find a reliable business SMS service, your next step is to start building your subscriber list.

Similar to email, it’s illegal to add anyone to your list who didn’t give their permission to receive texts. So you’ll need to come up with ways for your customers to opt-in.

One way to do this is with a pop-up on your website; here’s a great example from a travel agency:

This travel agency’s call-to-action is perfect: Get exclusive and last-minute offers delivered right to your inbox.

The CTA on the button, specifically, is also clever and catchy.

But since this is one of those times it’s better to use texts vs. email, you can replace the word “inbox” with “favorite device via text” in your pop-up copy.

And instead of asking people to enter their email like the example does, you can have them add their phone number.

Each time someone adds their contact information you’ll have another subscriber receiving your mass texts alerts.With a healthy subscriber list you’ll be ready to move on to this next step:

Plan Out Your Content Calendar

If you want to build an engaged list, you’ll need to communicate regularly and send travel deals throughout the year.

As you start building out your text subscriber list, plot out the promotional offers you plan to send on your calendar.

Think about upcoming holidays and times of year that you’re typically the busiest, and then create a timeline.

This gives you and your team enough time to strategize.

Once these items are taken care of, you can then move on to capturing the last-minute vacation planners.

Send Last-Minute Text Reminders

If you’re regularly sending out deals — which you should be — then you also want to make sure you follow these up with reminder texts.

In the same way you wouldn’t just stop at the first “no” when it comes to selling in-person, text reminders can help you close the deal for travelers who may be on the fence.

So your next step here is to also schedule follow-up reminder texts that are appropriately spaced out from your initial message.

These follow-up texts could include an offer that’s even sweeter than the first incentive, or they may just include the right language to help motivate your customers to take action.

Never assume it’s too late to send a reminder text.

send last-minute deals via text

No, you shouldn’t text your subscribers at midnight to let them know your deal has started, but you should always try to capture last-minute shoppers who need a bigger nudge.

If your perfectly-timed reminder comes in at just the right moment, you may be able to close a sale and save the day, or weekend, for a last-minute traveler who will be sure to leave a glowing review.

Consider how your business fares during holidays and think about how late you can send last-minute offers to your customers.

Play around with timing to test your theories and uncover the sweet spot.

You may find sending a text the Monday before a holiday is just enough time to motivate people while the Sunday right before the day off is a wash.

Here’s another tip that may help you convert:

Use the Right Language

Sending a last-minute offer at the right time may not be enough to get your customers to book your deal.

That’s where the language of your mass texts comes in to play.

The right message creates urgency and can motivate your customers to immediate action, in this case booking a room or securing a travel package, while a generic one will just sit unanswered.

So how can you make sure your messages are on point?

Consider weaving these phrases in your texts (when it makes sense):

  • This last-minute hotel deal ends soon on [Monday, June 4th] at 11:59 PM [EST]
  • Discover [Italy’s Amalfi Coast] this [4th of July] and save 10% when you do!
  • Our tour spots fill up quickly. Book now or you’ll miss your last chance to see [Koh Phi Phi Leh]!
  • Act now to capture this limited-time discount of 20% off your next hotel booking!
  • Discover our latest tour of [Paris] where we go beyond the typical [Eiffel Tower] sightseeing to show you the [Paris] the locals love.
  • No plans for Labor Day? We have you covered. Save 10% instantly when you book your next hotel stay!

And last, but certainly not least, this next tip can encourage your prospective customers to book sooner rather than later.

Don’t Forget About Temporary Closures

When it comes to traveling, people often look for experts — or at least, someone who can give them tips and pointers for their destination.

One way to show you have your customers’ best interests in mind is to send your subscribers updates about upcoming closures.

For example, the beach in Thailand where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed the movie The Beach is closed for four months due to heavy tourism and pollution.

Boracay, a popular destination in the Philippines, is also experiencing a similar situation.

If your hotel chain offers vacation packages near these areas, you can let your customers know about these closures before the official off-limits period begins.

This helps your customers experience the best travel destinations before they can no longer do so.

And you get to provide exceptional customer service by letting them know ahead of time.

Since all of this can be done via text, your subscribers will feel as if they have true insider information before anyone else knows about it.

To create this feeling: Send a short message about a destination closing temporarily and provide a link in your text with more information and details.

Do this and you’ll create a sense of urgency that encourages people to take action before they miss out.

These same style texts work well for letting your customers know what’s going on in the area too.

So if Comic-Con or another event is coming in town and traffic is going to be a little more congested than usual, let your customers know and provide tips on how to get around these situations, so they’re not caught off guard and unhappy with their entire trip.

As we talked about in this guide, sending a text that your team can help arrange transportation around any big events to avoid the craziness is a great way to offer a solution to what could be a frustrating situation.

Start Sending Last-Minute Travel Deals via Text Today

As you can see, there are many ways you can use mass text messages to drive sales and improve customer communication all at the same time.

But you can’t tackle either of those if you don’t have a reliable SMS service and a solid subscriber list first.

Fortunately, it won’t take you long to accomplish either one, especially since you can start your free, 14-day trial with MTA in as little as 2 minutes.

Follow this roadmap and you’ll have everything you need to start building an engaged list of subscribers who can’t wait to score your latest travel deals!

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About James Pelton

James Pelton is the Founder and CEO of Mobile Text Alerts

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