So, you’ve finally taken the plunge into the online market with a booking system that provides customers with a quick and easy way to book trips from anywhere in the world. Here at Billian, your success is our success, so we’re going to let you in on a little secret that will help you make the most out of your investment.
We’re delighted that our online booking solutions have been instrumental in the success of hundreds of travel businesses over the years, but investing in a system will only take you half way to the top. Promotion is key for those that want their booking engine to become a real cash cow. Here are a few tips on how to ensure that your website is open for business…
Talk of the town
One of the easiest ways to drive customers (and anyone else, for that matter) towards your booking engine is by simply telling them about it. Customers will be delighted to know that you now take bookings out of office hours via your website.
Another simple but effective way to do this is by updating your voicemail message, letting customers know that they can catch you online if not by telephone or in person. That way, you’re doing everything you can to ensure that ready-to-book customers are not being missed. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing!
Call to action
Remember, online visitors land on different pages of your website and can be directed from multiple sources. It generally takes a customer 1 second to decide whether or not you have what they need, before deciding to look and book elsewhere.
Ensure that customers know that your website is open for bookings with a clear call to action button on each web-page, directing them straight to your booking system. For example, placing a “Book Online” button at the top of each page is a subtle way of letting customers know that they can make a booking by clicking the button.
According to interface designer Paul Olyslager, there is an art to creating a call to action button that generates results. Factors to consider include: placement, shape, message and colour.
Social media has the power to connect you to people all around the world. Use it to interact with your customers and target audience, posting regular announcements about how customers can make bookings and payments online. If you’re excited about your new technology and shout about it regularly, your customers are more likely to remember you next time they need a travel agent.
Additionally, adding links to your booking engine on social media will divert more customers to your website…and social media is free!
Nowadays, you can personalise almost anything and make it your own. Branded materials such as leaflets, magazines, business cards and pens can all be used to advertise your online booking engine.
Get creative with your marketing materials by including a link to your website and something that tells customers that you’re available to take bookings online.
Having an online presence is not just about having a booking engine implemented into your site; it’s about how easily your business can be found via search engines. Regularly marketing all aspects of your business online will increase your search engine rankings, making it easier for customers to find your booking engine and website.
How can you do this?
- By writing blogs, guides and other informative content
- By interacting with other social media users
- By ensuring that your website is well laid-out
- By optimising your website copy with relevant keywords
…and the list goes on! Do you have any tips on how travel businesses can let customers know that their website is open for business?