If you’re leaving your bookings up to chance, Facebook, PPC or last-minute customer spontaneity, you probably want to bookmark this page. Forget the weather, forget the price, here’s how to sell any holiday.
Google research in early 2015 has established that it there are 7-12 touch points (or brand interactions) between a consumer showing an interest in your brand and them making a final purchasing decision.
As holidays have a higher ticket price than the average retail item, the necessary interactions with your brand before a potential customer is convinced to book with you will be higher. So the only way you can consistently guarantee repeat bookings from new and existing customers is by understanding how many brand interactions the average holidaymaker will need before they book.
THE 6 FACTORS WHICH DEFINE HOW MANY BRAND INTERACTIONS CONSUMERS WILL NEED TO CONVERT AND BOOK YOUR HOLIDAYS
1| Is the holiday seasonal or calendar specific?
Time specific holidays mean the consumer has a reduced choice – for example, skiing holidays limit consumers to specific geographical areas, landscapes and temperatures as well as restricting their holiday to a specific time of year. Unless the consumer has an established passion for whatever makes your holiday seasonal, they will require more brand interactions to convince them the restricted choice is worth it.
2| How expensive are your holidays?
The more expensive, the longer the conversion time and almost always a larger number of touch-points required to convince the potential holidaymaker to book. In order to build consumers towards making an expensive commitment, you must first establish (over the course of several emails/interactions) why your holidays stand out and why they’re worth the cost. For more information on this process see our lead nurturing blog post here.
3| How long are your holidays?
Short breaks and weekend getaways will appeal to spontaneity and require less customer engagement. Holidays which require time off work or school will need to have a higher justification in the form of extensive lead nurturing
4| The weather when looking out of the window
Depending on whether your holidays are domestic or based abroad, the weather at the time of booking/reading your emails/browsing your website will affect the likelihood of potential customers converting. If someone wants to book a UK holiday and it’s raining, chances are they won’t. If they want to book a holiday abroad, the rain will spur them on.
5| Where are your holidays?
If your holiday destination is more than 4 hours away by plane the average booking will last over a week and therefore take more interactions. Hotter and more well-known destinations are more likely to convert sooner
6| When do you expect consumers to book with you?
Over 50% of all UK breaks of a week or longer are booked in the first 3 months of the year and over 60% of all overseas breaks are booked within the same period – gear your nurturing process towards this timeframe but do not forget that introducing a holiday in June may lead a consumer to book it in 3-6 months time. Your nurturing process must be a year-long one
Patience and commitment to your process are what makes consumers book with you
When carrying out a lead generation campaign it is essential to let the campaign build momentum, it can take a minimum of about 3 months before you should start to see a good ROI. Keep in mind the ROI you achieve will be directly related to how much time an effort you put in to nurture each of your leads. It takes time to build trust, especially if the holiday maker has never heard of your brand before.
If you are expecting to see high volumes of sales and profit after 2 weeks, lead generation is not a marketing avenue that you should explore – it is a longer term process that builds gradually and requires a commitment on your part.
Once you have your lead nurturing and customer interaction processes in place, the rewards for your effort can significantly out-perform any other marketing channel. See for yourself.