Digitalization has transformed how you can generate travel agency leads. However, it doesn’t mean traditional or old-fashioned lead generation strategies don’t work. The idea is to combine online marketing and offline strategies to achieve the best results to bring more prospects your way. For it, you shouldn’t consider all strategies separately but rather create an entire business plan followed by your marketing campaign.
You must add websites, social media profiles, and branding at the top when creating the latter. From there, you should be able to set every step and part that tends to come from them. If not, you’re doing something wrong.
A wide range of lead generation strategies is usually considered individuals or nothing related to another. However, here we will show you how everything connects in the end.
Once you notice it, generating travel agency leads (qualified ones at that) will be a piece of cake.
Don’t Lose the Decision Micro-Moments
Decisions are made in a matter of seconds, and you need to make sure you are there at the top to be THAT decision.
As people are browsing travel websites, they will eventually see something they love and decide to take the trip or, at least, they suddenly want to know more.
They soon decide that they want to travel there and start searching for a travel agency that can book them a hotel or prepare every part of the adventure.
You MUST be there every time someone is going through the process of watching something, discovering more, researching, and deciding to take the “buying” action.
In fact, you could be the one inciting them to take all the steps. If you focus on these, you will have clients directed your way:
- Dreaming – Customers should dream about the destination based on the visuals or details you provide them.
- Booking – They want to find the best travel agent to book this destination.
- Planning – Your customer will be happy if you plan their trip down to the last detail.
- Experience – Your client will never forget the moments you create for them. Before you create the experience for them, learn about their preferences and preconceptions. If your customer is passionate about something, always include it.
Website But with Mobile Optimization
Consumers are more likely today to search for travel agencies online and to book holidays. Therefore, a website is essential to generate leads.
However, having one doesn’t end there. No, it’s not enough to have a website. Your website must be optimized to offer the best user experience (UX).
This means a fast-loading time, a visually appealing layout, great use of images, videos, and most importantly, optimizing it for mobile viewing.
If you want your visitors to turn into qualified leads, try to follow this pattern, or more like achieve this, go for the website:
- They must be engaged by the homepage, which features the latest offers and promotions.
- The website’s interface must be consistent throughout with clear calls to action to encourage sales.
- Customers are less likely to abandon their purchase if the ‘Search for Flights’ and Book’ pages are easier to use.
- Make sure visitors can also access the website from their mobile devices.
This will allow you to generate more leads by optimizing your website for good UX.
Make sure your images are compressed to speed up loading. If this is still a problem, you can try lazy loading. This prevents images from loading until the user scrolls to them. It also speeds up page loading times.
The importance of having a mobile-friendly website lies in the fact that most of your visitors and leads will come from these devices.
Talking About Optimization: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
You can get more organic travel agency leads by working on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO is about helping potential customers find your business through an internet search. When people search for your business, you want to be in the results thanks to your search engine marketing.
Imagine that you’re a travel agency that specializes in all-inclusive vacations at an affordable price.
For their summer vacation, a couple is searching for an affordable, all-inclusive holiday to Cancun. They type in the search bar terms like “cheapest all-inclusive trip to Cancun” into Google.
Your SEO skills will ensure that your travel agency appears in the top three Google results and is the main focus for this couple.
The couple then clicks the link to your site. You’ve just generated a lead to your travel company. Yes, the leads are that simple with the right strategies.
SEO includes many elements such as keyword research, optimizing titles and meta descriptions, link building, and more technical aspects to ensure that your website offers the best user experience.
You could hire an SEO expert if you don’t have the time or budget to learn. You can find tons of free resources online and affordable courses online as well.
Pay Special Attention to Landing Pages
Optimization is a lot of things from which we have mentioned a few already. However, there’s one more: The landing page.
It remains to be asked if landing pages are an important component of lead generation for travel agencies. Here’s the answer: The storefront for online travel agents is on the first page.
We all recall the look of conventional travel agencies’ stores. These images are large and display big font sentences such as “Discover your dream location” or anything that is a bit cheesy yet effective to attract people’s attention.
Landing pages are the same since they have the same purpose but just in your online or digital lead generation strategies.
In the latter years, however, there were endless possibilities for lead generation landing pages, making it a bit hard to design one and know what performs better. What we can tell you is to include the essential elements.
Pop-up pages, CTAs, subscriptions for newsletters, upcoming discounts, and displays of the best offers should be found on the landing pages. If you don’t have space, find something to remove but don’t miss these.
If you have a hard time designing this page in particular, you can also find a template that helps with it or even your entire website.
Referral and Incentive Programs
Use your existing customers to generate more travel agency leads. Referral programs online are an easy way to get more customers with little effort on your part.
These are particularly effective for more expensive services (such as holidays) because people are more inclined to choose a company that they have had a positive experience with.
It’s a great idea to offer existing customers a discount or incentive for recommending you to their friends and family. If the customer is referred, you could provide a discount for both the existing customer and the referee.
Although it might sound intimidating to offer discounts, an effective online referral program will help you save money on marketing and increase your leads.
You can also offer referral incentives online, such as first-class or early booking discounts if you don’t have the budget. You have the freedom to be creative.
Keep in mind that the better your incentive, the more travel leads you will get.
Utilize Paid Ads
You don’t need to be afraid of them, but you will need to, as a travel agent, face two main questions:
- Where should you advertise?
- How much should you invest?
Paid ads don’t have to be a nightmare, but if we have to start talking about them, we must first add that you can also choose to use traditional methods such as billboards and flyers.
How effective will that be for your travel agency? It won’t allow you to build a client base or track leads, but it continues to be effective to a certain degree.
However, digital channels are the most effective way for travel agencies to advertise.
Google Ads is in the first place, which drives traffic and boosts sales for your website based on a basic concept of SEO but with a paid option. You work around keywords but pay for them to be the touching point for your prospects and agency.
Basically, this results in your agency being ranked among the top pages of the search engine. You would be among the top results if a client typed a set of keywords that agents paid for.
You will also be found on numerous websites and platforms that offer Google Ads, such as YouTube or whenever you are reading a site with them displayed.
Paid advertising has the main advantage of attracting people who are interested in buying your travel packages or just requesting any service. All of them are qualified, and the best part is that you only pay when someone clicks your site or ad.
Google Ads often suggests keywords that match your offer. For example, if a tourist searches for “traveling to the Maldives,” they will find you as long as your site has the same keywords or related ones.
Google Ads is best used in a way that you can operate and optimize.
Now, it is not as simple as it appears. To be successful, you need to know certain practices. You’ll also get tracking as a benefit of using Google Ads to generate leads for travel agents.
Most travel agents now have the ability to monitor the progress of their clients and ask questions such as:
- Did the Google Ads campaign succeed?
- How many people clicked on the ad to view it?
- Who purchased any travel package or requested a service?
If you missed the chance for some leads or visitors, the platform and service allow you to retarget users who have previously visited your travel site.
Google Ads offers endless possibilities for travel agents looking to generate leads.
Email Marketing DOES Work
Email marketing is a tried and true method of reaching your target audience. They are able to see content, and you are nurturing them at this point since obtaining their email addresses was the first step to becoming leads.
Now, more than information, emails can also serve as a call to action.
You could, for example, send an email newsletter each month that features your most recent holiday deals.
You can include a button at the bottom of your email that states ‘Book and Save’ or ‘Get A Quote Now.’ Clicking this button will take customers to an online booking page or to your website, where they can contact your booking team.
Either way, your email generates digital travel leads for your business.
You must grow your email list before you can start any type of email marketing. A ‘Lead Magnet’ is the best way to achieve this.
This can come in many forms: A downloadable brochure, access videos of destination destinations, or a monthly newsletter with the most recent holiday deals are some of the attractive incentives customers can receive for giving their email addresses.
Bet for a Live Chat
Only 50% of travel agencies have a live chat integrated into their websites, and this percentage is the one that is getting the most leads.
You might feel that a chat solution is redundant in an industry where calls dominate. In reality, live chat can be a cost-effective way to generate more high-quality leads.
Chat is a great way to start conversations with clients. You can encourage customers through pop-ups or nudges to speak with advisors at any stage of their customer journey.
Maybe a customer requires more information about an all-inclusive vacation. Live chat allows customers to ask an advisor in real-time without leaving the website and quickly receive their answers.
Talkative live chat has the advantage of being connected to a phone system such as Mitel. This allows for chat interactions to be escalated quickly to a phone or video call if necessary.
This allows for seamless omnichannel customer experiences, which can help to generate more travel leads.
Branding (We Didn’t Forget It)
Travel agencies have relied on branding in recent years to increase their leads. Well, almost every company and industry has done the same, but travel agencies have a certain advantage when utilizing it.
After all, agents’ main focus was to identify their target audience and connect with them. This was followed by creating a brand image using visuals and written content, which aids in SEO.
Sorry for using “was” when it is actually “is.”
A brand community is also created because it brings together all clients and generates organic leads. But due to the recent decrease in the leads generated with these basic steps, branding gained relevance.
The lead generation strategy is crucial for customer retention and maximum exposure for travel agents, and just in case, we are not talking about the website or logo.
Instead, we are focusing on the brand identity that will represent the agency’s purpose as well as the clients it serves.
This is why it is important to dedicate a lot of resources to the marketing department in order to build a brand image that goes beyond the looks.
If you don’t know where to start or how to approach this strategy, ask questions such as:
- What is your primary purpose?
- What makes you different from other agencies that specialize in travel?
- Do you have the ability to connect with your target audience?
- Are your clients happy with your services so far?
- How can you make sure they continue to be happy or to improve for them to be so?
The efforts of travel agents will ultimately have a significant impact on their lead generation. So, don’t miss any of this, or other lead generation strategies will fall down.
Outbound Marketing: Cold Calls
Cold calling is a tool that has been used for many decades by travel agents. It is one of the most important tools for the lead generation program, and this takes us back to our mention about how this niche goes around calls.
You can decide if you want to do it yourself or hire a lead-generation call center to help you.
Once you have defined your goals and allocated your resources, create a contact list. In some cases, you may contact pre-defined leads, and you might promote to unqualified leads in other cases.
If the latter part happens, you will be wasting your money. However, I need to remind you something, cold calling is about persistence, patience, and organization.
It will be tough in the beginning, but great results can be achieved later.
Now, we must remind you that email marketing is cheaper than cold calling, but both should be utilized when you can afford this one.
Many email automation software and tools are available to assist with this process.
For any travel company, expanding the network of travel agencies is essential. A partnership is often the result of these networks and how you can get many sales-qualified leads.
A partnership is a term that describes a collaboration between active service providers in the travel industry. All parties have a common goal and purpose that revolves around lead generation.
One of the many benefits of such collaborations is the sharing of risks, resources, and competencies and the ability to gather the leads from each party.
You must first contact other major industry players and travel operators to form partnerships.
You should also ensure that the partner you are looking for has the same quality leads and qualifications as you. A partnership without this will not result in the agent generating leads.
That being said, there are many ways to find and contact a travel partner: Conferences, trade shows, events, and trade fairs for travel.
These events are expensive, but any travel business must participate when you get the chance to afford them.
You will see many travel agents at exhibitions and conferences to meet and connect with each other.
Participating in conferences and travel events will help you build relationships and possibly even partnerships.
Focusing on Social Media Marketing
Believe it or not, a very low percentage of travel agencies consider social media as important for their businesses, and, in the process, they are losing valuable leads.
It’s vital that people use these social media platforms to increase reach, and social media is just on everyone’s phones and computers.
Also, remember, it is completely free to take part and create your profile and presence if you decide not to utilize paid ads in it.
Social media platforms can be a powerful tool for word-of-mouth campaigns. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are used by people from all walks of the globe and have different backgrounds.
There is an opportunity to use social media for:
- Communicating your brand identity.
- Establishing a network of followers.
- Promote your travel packages and offers.
Two ways you can use social media to generate leads and traffic are possible. First, build your business profile on various platforms and grow your following to promote your content and offers free of charge to this audience.
Social media sharing is essential if you use content marketing, particularly blogging, to ensure that as many people see your posts as possible.
You can increase brand awareness by sharing new content or curating content from others. This will help you bring potential travelers to your site via social media.
Paid social media ads are another option. These ads are especially effective in retargeting customers that have visited your site but not converted. They can also be a great way to increase your audience.
A top option to get attention is to create an attractive ad that includes visuals or video. This will allow potential customers to take the action you want.
Blogging Works for You
Blogging is the most effective form of content marketing. It is also an affordable and highly effective way to get more leads for your travel agency.
A blog serves the main purpose:
To produce new content frequently that increases awareness for your company and leads more customers to your site.
Travel agencies have endless topics for blog posts, but there is a lot of competition because there are so many bloggers out there.
A niche blog will make your company’s business more successful. Focus your blog on specific destinations and trips if your agency specializes in them. Don’t write about something else since this can disperse your potential customers.
SEO is an important part of making your blog successful. A blog without readers won’t bring you any travel leads.
Additional Tips for Your Travel Agency Lead Generation
- Always be open: Some people are very busy and look for information at odd hours.\
- Do not sweat the price: Customers value efficiency more than what you charge them.
- Get help from companies (and sales team) for your lead generation efforts: You don’t need to spend your time on non-core parts of your business.
- Always respond promptly and consistently.
- Calculate the cost of the lead acquisition: It is important to consider the economics of your approach.
- Passion doesn’t mean “Encyclopedic Knowledge”: Don’t bore potential customers with unnecessary details. These should be included on your website.
- Make your online profile look professional: Customers will think you are lazy because you don’t have the time to maintain it.
- Targeting your market strategically is key to lead generation: Be aggressive in reaching out to it. You don’t have to spend your time on a market that doesn’t want your service or what you offer.
- Make it easy for customers to pursue their interests: Find out what they like to do and create a customized itinerary that reflects this. You will find him so infatuated that he will recommend you to friends who enjoy the same things.
- Promote other travel agencies: This niche is more like a community than it is a competition. Promoting others who offer a product you don’t offer will get them to do the same for yours if that is an opportunity.
The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Travel Agency Business
All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?
The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).
Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:
The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.
Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”
You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.
The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.
The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.
To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.
Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.
To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.
By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.
An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor
You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.
HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.
They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.
If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.
HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.
Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services. They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).
Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?
They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.
However, you need to remember two facts:
- Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
- They don’t generate “natural” leads.
Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.
Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.
What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.
When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.
What Is Local SEO?
Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.
What does this mean?
Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.
To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.
If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.
Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.
“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.
Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.
Can My Travel Agency Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?
If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.
Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.
Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.
How Powerful Are Organic Travel Agency Leads from Google?
For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.
This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.
I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.
However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.
On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.
You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.
What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?
Here it goes: you can work from home.
The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.
We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high. Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.
You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.
Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.
So, let’s summarize this:
- You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
- You can bet on passive income.
- There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
- You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.
How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?
Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.
Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?
You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.
You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.