Improve Your Travel Lead Conversions and Grow Bookings/Sales

Today’s post is likely the most important reading of all. We’re exploring how to increase bookings and revenue from all the traffic you generate through content marketing and PPC advertising.

Wouldn’t it be nice to double or triple those bookings/subscriptions? My experience with clients is they need often just need a pep talk to get serious about their conversion rate challenge and move forward to find out what will work.

You may have a few tricks you use (I hope you’ll tell me), and actually, there are many ways a travel company can move visitors and customers to purchase.

However, would we get a much better and more profitable outcome if we are strategic and utilize the right combination of actions to grow sales?  Tactics driven by insight and strategy will be more effective, even if all they do is get rid of the things that are ruining your sales.

Build and Focus your Marketing Strengths

I’m all about strategy and always strive to learn more about how conversion experts and consultants fix low-performing marketing campaigns. They get paid ridiculous fees, yet if you can even double or triple a travel agency, SaaS travel software company, or tour operator’s bookings/subscriptions, they’re worth it.

And you learn a lot through them too. I think the advantage of hiring consultants is in how much you learn and grow your organization. We’ll make you broaden your mind one way or another. And we can make take chances, experiment, and look at analytics a little more closely. There’s gold in them there conversion strategies!

Let’s not get into an academic review of conversion rates and a full course on conversion rate optimization, because that extends into other matters such as branding, UVP’s and promotions. Instead, lets assume you’ve done your best with those and now the customer is on your website. What is it you’re not doing?

Because right now, many of your visitors aren’t taking the bait, they’re just swimming around and staying out of range at your storefront. That’s a good insight too. Because, most window shoppers do stay outside the store, which is why many retail stores design the store’s exterior to force them to come inside. Smart technique!

So, outside your store, these mysterious shoppers might be just reading a blog, viewing a YouTube video, skimming your travel packages, viewing a Facebook post, checking out your travel software features, calculating hotel room rates, peering at tour photos, going to your about us page, and reviewing your traveler testimonial page.

But there’s no commitment there. They’re ready to leave.

Win Your Selling Battles!

It is likely your competitors are winning these battles because they know how to convert visitors/leads better. There is something they presented or communicated that was pivotal to the traveler’s decision. Was it a more beautiful website, or a combination of features, lower prices, and better photos? Was it one specific thing that got the sale?  Or was it your company brand and reputation?

It’s a mystery but the more you’re tuned into conversion strategy and your web stats, the greater your insights. Sometimes we need to collaborate with consultants to get over our blind spots.

Dropping Prices or Adding Value Isn’t the Solution

Before you go and offer unbeatable deals and price reductions, and thus lose your profits, you might want to look at your unique value proposition and your selling proposition.

Your UVP is the full promise of value, whereas your selling proposition is more in the moment, right now, to win the sale. At least this is how I look at it.

If window shoppers aren’t buying, they may not be convinced of your brand quality — your credibility, reliability, trustworthiness, and value. That’s a big-picture view of your company. If it’s not good, they won’t buy anything. It’s a key sign your brand may be weak or unattractive to them. Maybe your site is bland, uninteresting, uninspiring, or has an awkward look to it. Or perhaps your content isn’t engaging (see your web stats for engagement/reading time spent).

Converting New Visitors is Extra Tough

It might also be that you’re attracting a lot of new visitors who don’t know your company or brand. There is no familiarity or trust. They need to be wooed and brought back to get to know you better — via email/newsletter subscriptions, social media connections, or frequent PPC ads. Trying to convert first-time visitors is hard and can be demoralizing with poor analytics and insights.

That’s why conversion and sales consultants always talk about email subscriptions and form fills. They want that contact data so they can reach that visitor again and run offer experiments. Because as you likely know, it takes quite a while to get people to buy.

But we can do a lot in the moment to get a sale, or move them along faster.

Because, conversion is the final phase of customer engagement, and it’s all about nudging them past the finish line.

8 Quick Things You Can Do

What are the best things you can offer to help grow your sales conversion rates?

  • well-designed landing pages
  • specific, engaging content for a winning edge vs other competitors haven’t explored key benefits
  • with compelling headlines that makes them engaged in your brand/offerings
  • excellent, well-selected, original photos/videos that capture the experiences they cherish most
  • well-crafted tour descriptions, hotel descriptions, and destination descriptions — putting a perfect voice to the experience
  • bios of great staff or contributors — people in your team who know travel to your destinations to help visitors feel more confident of taking the adventure
  • reviewers’ ratings of tours, hotels, destinations, countries
  • a clear, posted price plus a booking button ready to click

Each travel site including all the big hotels, tour companies, and destination website have their own unique layouts and presentation style, and purchase process. One thing for sure, the good ones make it easy. Consider how hard it is to see all the key features and benefits of your product/service and how they can book without fear or doubt.

Intrepid Travel

I like what Intrepid Travel does with its website. The whole experience seems so easy and obvious, it feels natural to just go ahead and book! However, the photos aren’t convincing or poignant.  And the details of hotel accommodation is lacking. After a long day of biking and socializing in the hot, dry, and sunny Italian splendor, where you’re going to rest and relax is important. That is one gap that can turn away quite a few cycling enthusiasts from acting on their buy impulse.

Any conversion strategist might tell you, buyer intent and impulse are key emotions you must jump on right away. Not to be desperate with offers and discounts, but rather to make sure there aren’t any impediments to buying. I’ve worked with companies with major ecommerce business and they had to collaborate, labor over and test to get their unique selling presentation right and all of the wrinkles and knots ironed out.

Intrepid Bicycle Tours in Italy.
Intrepid Bicycle Tours in Italy. Screenshot courtesy of Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is very successful, therefore they’re worth studying. They have a barebones easy to understand content layout that describes destinations, tours, packages, and more. They don’t clutter the minds of visitors thereby losing a sure sale from a repeat customer.

So perhaps treating all your visitors as repeat customers delivers the best experience for newcomers?

Conversion Impulse and Emotions

It’s all about emotions, no matter how many times they’ve come back to view your product page. Of course, the flow and conversion touchpoints on the path to fulfillment as it’s called are unique to your business.

It’s vital to list and prioritize the items that have the most impact on getting visitors to buy. Here’s what I believe will create the best results:

  1. Brand Credibility and Brand Marks — ensure you’ve presented your brand as a market leader so they believe there’s no reason to keep shopping all the other sites. The brand makes the sale.
  2. Comfort — ensure your site makes them feel welcome and at home with warm images, words, messages to make them feel like they belong and are safe with your company and associates.
  3. Clear, Uncluttered Layout — eliminate unnecessary elements for their decision and ensure the layout flows in sync with their order of decision making (see Intrepid Travel image above).
  4. Clear Headings — tell them that they are on the right page to buy the great experience they want.
  5. Clear Listing of the Benefits they Want and will Receive — definitive photos of places, experiences, and people involved in your offering.
  6. Clear Cues to Next Action or to Buy — An unthreatening styled buy or booking button with a reassuring call to action such as View Dates & Availability or Start Here.
  7. Customer Service Chat — Most visitors will have specific or unusual questions for you, or they just want to talk with a real person from your company to connect with you emotionally, and during that conversation see how they really feel about going forward with the trip.
  8. Customer Testimonials — reassures them that others have done it and liked it. And it helps them visualize more completely about the trip/tour and them enjoying it.
  9. Personalization — Personalized content makes the visitor feel the offer is just for them and a well-suited vacation experience. When something fits good, like clothing in our style for instance, we often buy it.
  10. Discover your Worst Features — in your analytics, find out where visitors abandoned the page and shopping cart to see if there was buying friction or they suddenly lost confidence due to some wording or images.

Review Your SEO/Content/PPC Strategy

SEO Book Content StrategyThe real secret to improved conversions is better-qualified traffic and a clear, orderly and natural presentation of your travel offer. Rework the order of your headings, text, photos, and product descriptions so there’s a clear flow experience for your top targeted audience.

Of course, with deep analytics insights, you can determine what channels, content, and tactics are working to attract prospects.  Then you can modify your offer, promotional tactics, and content to personalize it even better it for the best 20% of your visitors. They’re the ones who buy, and buy again.

A content flow with no gaps/stopping points keeps them engaged, building that emotion of certainty, confidence, anticipation and decisiveness that gets the booking/subscription — right now while they’re in the mood.

Build Your Confidence — You Can Do This

There’s so much to learn and implement when it comes to conversion rate success. For some businesses, it might be wise to hire a conversion rate expert for a review. They’re tuned to the problem, however, always remember that gimmicks can backfire.

The CRO consultant should be honest in their audit/review. If your brand, UVP suck, then that might actually be the problem. At this point though, you can push forward to get on top of the challenge and work through it to success.

The best way to grow your sales is to pull up your sleeves and find out what visitors like best about your offer.

Read more on how to promote your travel site, create excellent travel content, build trust of customers, and find a good Travel Marketing Specialist with travel marketing services.

2024 could be a breakout year for you if you get strategic and present your prospects with unbeatable presentation of value.

Contact me at 416 998 6246 to discuss your challenges.