3 Ways to Get Travelers Back to Your Website and Book Direct
Getting travelers to your website is just the first step to increasing occupancy. Even though website traffic is important travelers aren’t necessarily booking on their first visit. With an average of an 80 day buying cycle for travel, it is important to not let these travelers who visit your website once fall through the cracks. With that being said here are 3 ways to get travelers back to your website and book direct.
- Ask for Email Sign Ups
- Keep in Touch with Email Subscribers
- Use Ads on Social Media
Ask for Email Sign Ups
One of the best ways to encourage travelers to return to your website is with conversion optimization (Con-Op). Con-Op consists of a pop-up on your website asking for an email address. There are many reasons why someone might give you their email address. You can advertise a specific offer for providing their email address or simply say “subscribe to get all the latest news and offers from us.” You should include a high-quality photo with a clear call to action. Make them want to learn more from you like in the example below from TravelNet Solutions client Alaska’s Gold Creek Lodge.
Although Con-Op can be highly effective it is only as good as the website that it’s on. If your website is of high quality with good content and high-quality photos, Con-Op will be more effective. Travelers will want to learn more about your property(s) to see whether it’s a great deal or to learn more about the surrounding area through your blog. You need to make them want to come back!
You’d be surprised how many travelers will give you their email address and want to learn more about your company. They’re looking to travel and you’re giving them a valuable tool for them to continue their research. In this case study, a luxury resort and hotel captured 6000 new email subscribers. So now the question is what do you do with those subscribers?
Keep in Touch with Email Subscribers
Capturing emails is just the first step in getting travelers to return to your website. Now you have to keep in touch with those who subscribed to your email list with compelling content. Once a traveler subscribes to your email list you should enroll them in a drip-email campaign. If you use our TravelNet Solutions conversion optimization services we enroll travelers into a 4 email drip campaign. Avoid making common email mistakes by being concise, having high-quality content and having a clear call to action.
So what kind of results can you expect with your email campaigns? The same luxury hotel resort that received 6000 new email subscribers had 4,139 sessions and $77,000 in revenue from their email campaign to new subscribers. Once they are a subscriber there are many other ways as well that you can reach out to them with your email marketing. Overall email marketing can drive a lot of conversions from those in your email list.
Use Ads on Social Media
Not everyone who visits your website will turn in to email subscribers. This doesn’t mean that you can’t stay in front of them. One great way to get travelers who don’t turn in to subscribers is through display & retargeting on social media. You can install a pixel on your site for each social media platform you wish to market on. This pixel will add a cookie to any traveler that visits your website. Once they view your website, the ads you created will start showing up within their timeline. By staying in front of them you make it easy for them to find your website again and hopefully book direct!
To optimize your ads you want to use compelling photos and calls to action. Here is a great opportunity to showcase your property with stunning photos. As for your text, it should be short and concise as people tend to scroll through their social feeds fairly quickly. You can even base your ads on what pages they visited, their interests or their relationship status. This is where you can get specific in your targeting and try new strategies.
In the end, these strategies to get travelers back to your website can help you increase direct bookings. These travelers found you and had enough interest to visit your website so it’s your job to make it as easy as possible for them to find you again. If you don’t have these strategies to get travelers to book direct then they will probably end up booking you through an OTA or worse, a competitor.