We all know that the travel industry goes mobile. According to the eMarketer study, the percentage of digital travel sales coming from the mobile devices is predicted to grow from 40% in 2017 to an estimated 50% in 2021 in the U.S.
What does it mean for your business? Apart from optimizing your website for mobile, providing increasingly more payment options and being active on social media, you should also be present in other mobile-connected areas. One of them is the bulk SMS messaging service.
What is a bulk SMS service?
A bulk SMS service allows you to send SMS messages automatically to numerous users, just as if it was an email newsletter. You can manage it via dedicated tool, like JookSMS, right from your browser. All you need to get started is a number, an account and a customer database.
The SMS messages differ from other types of communicates by their shortness, clearness and accessibility on virtually all mobile devices. Included correctly in your strategy, the bulk SMS messages will not only bring you value on their own. They can boost the results obtained from other promotional channels.
What speaks for bulk SMS messaging in the travel industry?
High results of bulk SMS messages
Generally speaking, the bulk SMS service, comparing to emails, is incredibly more efficient in terms of the open and response rate. Take a look: the average open rate is 98%, and the response rate is 45%. In the case of email messages, the numbers are 20% and 6% respectively. Also, SMS messages are the go-to way to receive updates from companies. 3 out of 4 customers state that they wouldn’t mind an SMS text message from a brand, obviously after they opted in.
The messages you send to the customers can be used in different moments of their experience with your business. That is what makes SMS messaging so versatile. They will help you in spreading the word about your new promotion or be a customer support channel. Actually, about 44% would start texting the business instead of waiting for an agent’s response on the line.
Bulk SMS messaging also has some strengths that are especially useful in the travel industry.
Independence from the Internet connection
When travelling, especially within an area where you don’t have affordable rates of mobile data, you often rely on Wi-Fi connection to avoid splashing out. That means that any urgent information sent via email can reach your customer with a significant delay. The SMS messages work independently from the Internet connection and can reach your clients always when they have a mobile range – and they usually take care of it themselves.
Compatibility with any mobile device
It may seem to you that almost everyone uses a smartphone to communicate with the world. Although, according to Statista, in 2020 there will be around 4.8 billion users of mobile phones, of which 3.5 billion are smartphones. Even though the majority has a smartphone, a group of approximately 27% users still go for a Nokia rather a Huawei.
A group that can be pretty much representative, in this case, are older people. Their skills often are limited to call or read SMS messages, so browsing the Internet or receiving another kind of notifications on the phone may be inaccessible for them. Why is that important for your business? The trend of senior travellers arises, so you should also adjust to that group.
Let’s gather the bright sides of the bulk SMS-based communication in the travel industry. They can be received in almost any situation, used for various purposes and bring you incomparably high open-rate.
Of course, your customers still need a mobile phone to receive the message. They may leave somewhere the device, lose it or run it out of battery, yet usually they prevent those situations themselves. It wouldn’t affect only the SMS communication channel, though, so it still stands out comparing to other options. That is what makes the strategy of sending out important information via SMS almost foolproof.
How can you use bulk SMS messages in your business?
As we have already mentioned, bulk SMS is extremely versatile and will find use in almost every business. We could leave you with this thought, but let’s dig a bit deeper and shed light on the opportunities opened by SMS messaging.
Of course, we won’t cover every single possible use. That is why we chose one specific goal for each industry sector and proposed accurate solutions. Some are universal, so don’t hesitate to implement it where you find it suitable.
Travel agencies – maintain loyalty
Probably, you are aware that keeping the customer is much cheaper (even five times!) than acquiring a new one. And bulk SMS messages may be your tool to stay in touch with them! Think about how much data you have about your customers’ preferences and use it to inform them about offers that may be interesting for them.
This would be especially useful with some last-minute deals. Here the wise segmentation may come in handy. Think about asking your customers if they wish to be informed about last-minute offers – in this way, you’ll invest only in the group that would be potentially interested in the deal. Also, focus on limiting your area. If the flight is today in the evening, probably people living far away from the airport won’t be interested in it. Excluding some groups can help you invest your money in the most efficient way.
Another way of working on the relationship with your customer is to share some important information. Probably, you’ll be aware of new luggage regulations sooner than your customers. Sharing relevant pieces of advice with them will build trust between you and your clients.
Afraid that you have too much information to put in one SMS message? Publish an article with all information and include the link to it in your bulk SMS messages. If you want to take the most out of it, shorten and customize URLs via Rebrandly and add retargeting pixels to them. That way, you can improve user experience and reach people who clicked your links in your further social media and Google Ads campaigns.
Reservation services – add value after purchase
If your service is to reserve flights, cars or accommodation for the clients, the bulk SMS messages will be very useful. You can trigger sending out SMS notifications in various situations. Think about confirmations, discounts for next reservations or flight details. By keeping them updated, you’ll add the feeling of reliability.
Guides, excursions, attractions – spread the word about your special offers
In this case, SMS messages may be used in the recommendation programmes. You can send out some promo codes that your users can share with friends and get something in return. Similarly, you can cooperate with another service and offer timely deals for excursions, with a link or code sent out in the SMS message.
After completing your service, an SMS message-based survey may help you in gathering the feedback that will let you improve your services.
Hotels & accommodation – provide hospitality from the very beginning
You can take special care of your guests by sending out relevant information for them. It can be the details like room code or the hours of checking in and out: talk with your staff about the most frequently asked questions. If you need some inspiration on how to make the most of the bulk SMS messaging in the hotels context, take a look at our other blog article.
Insurance – smooth the communication flow
In terms of insurance services, the crucial moment is when something bad happens. If your agents can’t be reached via phone, your customers are likely to get upset and spread the word about the unreliability of your service. Providing SMS messages as a two-way communication channel may help out in such a situation.
Also, you’ll be able to send out emergency messages to all your customers in a given area.
How to implement bulk SMS messaging?
Set up your account and your database
This may seem like the easiest part of the process – setting up your account on JookSMS takes no more than five minutes. Don’t forget about the 30-day free trial, so you can take your time to decide on which plan should you opt.
After starting your account, you should proceed to set up your database accordingly. Give it a moment to think about what information you will need in your campaigns, as asking for them at the beginning will be way easier than completing it later on. If you’re worried that building your database will take ages, stay cool. You already have your customers, all you need to do is to ask them for permission for the new contact channel.
Think about your goals and campaign ideas
The SMS marketing strategy will differ from case to case, depending on your needs and business. When you were reading the anterior paragraphs, you might have spotted some goals that would make a perfect fit for you: that is where you can start.
Also, don’t hesitate to reach out for some inspiration. Whether it will be reading blog articles or signing up for an SMS contact to peep at your competition, you can notice some interesting ideas and implement them in your actions.
Segment and personalize
If you signed up for some email newsletters or SMS messages, you could instantly recognize when a message is generic and doesn’t fit your situation at all. This observation produces repulsion and generally negative sentiment towards the sender. On the other hand, as a sender, you care about automatization and easy set up of the messages. There is where your bulk SMS tools, like JookSMS, come in handy.
It allows you to segment your customer database accordingly, so you can send messages that are relevant for that precise group. For example, an offer with a quick weekend getaway won’t convince those clients that opt for family holidays. The personalization will give even more personal touch. Whether it will be simple, as greeting your customers by their name, or more sophisticated, like mentioning their last trip destination and proposing another one, it will make your clients feel you have more personal relationships.
To make the most out of the SMS messaging, you need to keep your eye at the analytics and find out what solution is the most profitable. By using a tool like JookSMS, you can obtain the open rate, click-through rate, and other measurements. It will help you in choosing the best actions and taking your marketing to the next level.
To learn more about implementing the bulk SMS messages, the steps and good practices you might want to use, or errors to avoid, head to this article: SMS for brands – step by step.
What should you remember about?
Get the necessary consents
This is the crucial side of SMS-based marketing, yet it’s easy to oversee. You have to be sure that you operate accordingly to the laws in your area. For example, in the EU, you should follow GDPR guidelines. Spam prevention, data privacy and security, and similar topics are of high weight, so treat them seriously. An example of that requirements is to get the necessary consent to use your customers’ phone numbers and enable an easy way to opt-out of your newsletter.
Test out various options
If your first attempts of SMS messages don’t hit the expected targets, don’t get upset. You’ll need to dedicate some time for trial and error learning. Think about it as of investment: you’ll be delighted with the return.
Don’t stop developing your message
Gather the observations you get from the tests and implement them in your messages. Do you hear everywhere that the messages shouldn’t be overloaded with emoji, but the best converting ones in your case are based mostly on sun, sea and sand images? Go for it.
In need of more precise advice? Read about 4 steps to effective SMS communication to make the most of this channel.
The bulk SMS messaging has strong points that can be a game-changer in your travel business. Whether you need to reach out to your client with important information or offer a timely deal, one message can be enough.
If you’re looking for a tool that can help you in implementing bulk SMS messaging in your actions, take a look at JookSMS. You can make use of our 30-day free trial period and explore the possibilities that open up for you.