Travel agencies and travel agents are the perfect fit for a growing number of young professionals, who are increasingly looking to leverage their connections and reach beyond the traditional travel industry.
But what’s the best way to get your brand to the top of the list?
Here’s how to make sure you’re ahead of the game, and get your travel business noticed and engaged.
“We’ve seen that the way you build a brand is by speaking to a diverse audience,” said Dan Eberly, director of marketing at Salem Travel Agency in Portland, Oregon.
“A lot of people look to the traditional industry for advice, and that’s great, but what if we could help them get more of their message out to those outside the traditional sector?”
“It’s very important that the people you speak to are not just those that are familiar with your brand, but are also familiar with you.
This can be done through social media, or through an email list,” Eberlin added.
If you’re looking to get a travel agency to add you to their email list, start by emailing them.
“If they respond quickly, it can go from a simple email to a long-term relationship,” Ebersley said.
“This is why we use a referral system to get agents to write back to our clients.”
Once you’ve created a referral list, Eberlys recommends making a point to include all of your contacts.
“We use our referral list to get to all the key people we need to reach out to, so that we can reach out directly to those that need our help,” he said.
If you don’t have an email address yet, consider setting up a free or paid account.
You can also set up a list with a business that you can refer customers to.
“I like to set up my list in my calendar so I can easily find out where to go and when,” Ebertly said.
The next step is to reach those that might be unfamiliar with your company.
“Find a few people that are a bit new to your industry and get them to contact you,” Ebbetts added.
“And then if they do, go through their contacts and make sure they have your business card or website.”
The next thing to consider is whether your agency will be a travel booking agency, a travel site, or a travel website.
“You need to have a clear business plan, which is important for the marketing you want to do,” Ebergy said.
Eberley advises taking a look at the travel industry’s top 10 most popular travel agencies, including ones like Avis, Budget Car, and Budget Express.
“The first thing that they should do is go to their website and see who their clients are,” Eoberly said, “and then they should have their email address in their site.”
To ensure you’re getting the most out of your referral list and the marketing opportunities that it offers, Ebbets recommends adding your brand and personal branding to your email list.
“Your email list is your advertising for your agency,” Eiberly said: “If you want your agency to get more people to read your newsletter, it’s going to be more effective.”