During the pandemic, travel brands lost a vital connection with their core client base. As the world reopens from nationwide lockdowns, we can see a resurgence of the travel industry. US air travel has touched pre-pandemic levels, and hotel bookings are also at a 52-week high. This can be a golden opportunity to grow your client base and reinvent your core values as a travel company. In the post-COVID era, travel company CEOs must start marketing from scratch to boost post covid travel sales.
How to Boost Post Covid Travel Sales
Many business analysts and market surveys have pointed out three major themes for post-COVID tourism marketing. While rebuilding your cold-calling or email marketing strategy, you can work on the following themes to boost post-covid travel sales.
Rebuild Connections: Brand loyalty was hit hard during the pandemic. Many brands collapsed altogether, creating a supply vacuum that can be an opportunity for existing travel companies. However, you need to first connect with your core customer base. You can run a short email or cold-calling campaign to your known client base to let them know you are in business and the steps you took to enhance traveler safety.
Personal Wellness: Accenture's survey found that people are more interested in wellness tourism post the pandemic. Whether it's the availability of a gym in a hotel or detox holidays, people want to stay healthy on the go. Ensure to promote any wellness feature in your plans during cold calls and email campaigns. A simple reassurance can go a long way during tough times.
Work-From-Home Possibilities: Hashtags like workcations, laptop luggers, and bleisure stormed social media circles during the recovery phase. There is a surge in travel vacations among work-from-home employees. This can be a lucrative sector that you can target through email campaigns, cold calling, or Facebook ads. According to a Deloitte study, the work-from-home crowd is primarily young, prefers property rentals and dormitories to hotels, and is twice as likely to spend more on their vacation than regular travelers.
Reinventing Email Marketing Strategies for Post-COVID Success
Email marketing for the hospitality sector is back to the center stage as brands try to reconnect with lost customers. Here are some actionable email-marketing tips
Reassure Clients- Give your existing clients a reassuring comeback letter. The tone of your content should be light-hearted and warm. Don't try to sell anything on the first email, and let them know that you are back. You can also inform them about your steps to enhance travelers' safety. Then you can send promotional emails and share-worthy content. Most people won't open your first email. You need to send out multiple emails to get their attention. Make sure to space out your emails by a week to avoid repetition.
Data-Driven Marketing- Make sure to implement data-driven processes into your email-marketing strategy. For example, if you know that a certain age group is more likely to visit a particular place, you should micro-target your campaigns by filtering out the rest and sending them a personalized email. Using a list-building service, you can also personalize your emails according to age groups, income groups, past travel history, etc.
Content Creation: Content remains the king of email marketing. A successful travel sales email starts with a strong subject. Most people won't open an email that sounds salesy. Try to frame a catchy subject line that personally connects to your reader and arouses curiosity. Make sure to add value to the content and not "betray" the reader with fluff. Make sure to include a CTA at the end of the email.
Actionable Cold Calling Tips
Cold calling can be an effective way to boost post-COVID sales in the B2B travel industry. Let's take a look:
Create a Reason for People to Listen: If you are making a B2B client call, do basic research on the business. It will provide you with a context to start the conversation. If there is positive news about the company, make sure to include that in the conversation. You can even talk about COVID and how traveling can help people cope with the pandemic trauma.
Keep Success Stories Ready: Travel sales are about connecting with your clients. Make sure to keep 5-10 success stories you can tell your clients to keep the conversation going. You can also create a story-based flowchart for different situations in the conversation. For example, if the client is apprehensive over COVID safety, instead of blankly reading out your safety measures, you can talk about positive experiences your recent clients had while traveling. A story-based conversation is naturally powerful and is easier to remember.
Keep Your Goals Clear: You need to have a clear goal from your cold calling campaign before creating your pitch. If the goal is to reassure the clients and build a stronger brand, you can be a bit personal and listen more. If you wish to convert your calls to sales, establish a desire for your services.
Pitch Your Products Gently- Do not be aggressive with your sales pitch, and do not be in a hurry to close a sale. Keep pitching your products/services in between conversations. Give your client some time to make a decision. You can give them all your service details and politely ask for a time to call again. Note down the time, and contact them on the date. It shows sincerity and provides a comfortable space for your client to decide.
Many analysts believe that the long COVID winter for tourism has ended. As we approach a new spring, tourism demand will likely rise further. How we position ourselves in the new normal largely depends on how deeply you can reassure your clients of their future wellbeing.