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Travel agency marketing: how to attract new customers

Travel agencies don’t need large marketing budgets – just determination, a creative mind and willingess to work outside normal hours.

Remember to give your customers a code or reference so you can track which approaches are working for you, and keep their contact details.

The principles of marketing have never changed – it’s the regularity and quality of communication that help build your brand and reward you with results.

Hold an open evening

Provide refreshments and a party atmosphere to attract customers. Get in touch with your local paper to promote the event. Both of you stand to gain, especially if you can obtain a prize from your supplier and invite the paper to participate in publicity.

Liaise with the paper to measure response, and ensure they are in attendance with photographer for follow-up publicity.

Make your agency look inviting

We’re not talking total makeover – just rearranging furniture and creating an interesting shop window will make a difference.

Ask suppliers for new posters or branded displays. Remove tables or counters that act as barriers and create an open environment.

Be community-spirited

By sitting on a local committee or board, or just attending meetings, you are likely to seize opportunities that allow you to set up shop at local events.

Check out your local charities or community organisations such as the local Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Round Table, Women’s Institute, school fetes or fairs – all will bring potential new customers.

Setting up shop does not have to be expensive – it may be just a table with brochures and latest offers.

Use the local press

Don’t forget your local paper – it can provide many PR opportunities. Local press generally support businesses in the area, and it’s surprising what can develop from a cup of coffee with a reporter or editor.

The trick is to not only consider the implications for your business, but also remember to find and highlight the benefits for the third party. Once the connection is established, maximise this by communicating your initiatives, offers and events on a regular basis.

Form partnerships

Keep your ears open for potential partners are also seeking to attract new customers. This may be a local retail outlet, restaurant or supermarket. All of these are excellent shop windows for joint promotion of events.

Offer to provide a placement/staff member in their environment on a trial basis to see if this attracts new customers – and demonstrate that you can attract new customers into their store in return.

Motivate your staff

Engage staff in your new approach so they are motivated to sell and understand the importance of acquiring new customers. Inform them of what you’re doing and why it’s important, and encourage ideas and suggestions – some of them may surprise you. Their support is paramount to your success.

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