6 SMS marketing ideas for travel and tourism businesses

Find out the different ways you can use business text messaging to enhance your customer experience, increase bookings and develop brand loyalty.

According to our new white paper, The State of SMS, 13,384,337 holiday makers have opted in to receive SMS marketing and alerts from the travel and tourism sector.

Yet, despite these impressive figures, the travel and tourism sector are only using SMS at 18.19% of its capacity. This means that around 13 million customers are willing to receive more text messages from these businesses.

Plus, with the number of mobile opt-ins set to rise by a staggering 70% to 22,733,675 customers by the end of 2020, there’s no time like the present to get your SMS marketing right.

Sounds good – but how can you achieve this?

Confirm bookings

When it comes to making an arrangement, how many times have you double booked? In this day and age, customers make their bookings months in advance, but often forget the exact dates of the event or holiday. Either that or I’m old before my days!

The point is, customers need a little gentle reminder from time to time. And let’s face it, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll complain about receiving a simple SMS alert informing them that their holiday is in two weeks.

With SMS, you can instantly send automated booking confirmations to give your customers essential information and a peace of mind within five seconds. You can then follow it up with a couple of gentle reminders in the run up to the big day. This not only improves the customer experience, but it could also be an excellent opportunity to upsell travel insurance and seat upgrades.

Live travel and service updates with SMS alerts

If you want to minimise complaints and satisfy irate customers, provide a SMS short code and keyword for your customers to text in. You can then send them real-time SMS updates on any travel delays or service interruptions. This will not only improve your service to customers, but it will also save you valuable time spent on answering the same question multiple times. If you want to learn more about using SMS short codes and keywords, take a look at my recent article.

SMS ticketing/boarding passes

Send secure, trackable, highly customisable mobile tickets/boarding passes that can be sent out via an SMS, stored in your customers’ phones or Wallet app, ready to be redeemed in a wide variety of ways. Instead of customers having to dig through their pockets and bags for their ticket when they’re checking in at the airport or entering a venue, they can just use their phone to get in.

SMS loyalty cards

With the average young person spending around five hours a day on their smartphones, SMS loyalty cards are the convenient way to encourage brand loyalty. This is particularly important in the travel and tourism industry, where a large majority of shoppers search for the best deals instead of using one particular business.

With a personalised SMS loyalty card, you can offer customers incentives and discounts to make further bookings with you. This could be particularly useful for theme parks and attractions trying to encourage customers to return.

Personalised mobile vouchers

Have you got an upcoming summer sale coming up or a last-minute event to fill? Boost sales and entice customers to book by sending your opted in or loyal customers exclusive vouchers via SMS.

Customer feedback

When it comes to improving the customer experience, capturing customer feedback is essential. Yet, while surveys remain an important method of gathering vital information, email and paper ones have their limitations. In fact, Chief Marketing Officer of Clarabridge, Susan Ganeshan, recently argued that “response rates are as low as 2% and rarely ever reach 20% anymore.”

However, with mobile surveys, a customer can honestly complete it in their own time and on the go. SMS also boasts an average 98% open rate, so there’s a strong possibility that your customers will see your survey. Furthermore, the Textlocal tool allows you to use your own branding, dynamic drop down boxes and star ratings. The convenient format means customers are more likely to open and complete it.

Try business SMS today

Whether you’re new to SMS marketing or simply like the sound of some of these features, give our award-winning platform a go.

open rate

Over 98% of the text messages sent from our SMS tool are opened and read. That’s unmatched communication power for your business. Try it for yourself.