Why is mobile messaging so crucial to the travel industry?

Over the last phone years, mobile phone usage has exploded. Mobile phone penetration is over 100% in the West, and smartphones are rising rapidly, with now over 70% of people in the UK owning and using one. As with any channel, as mobile usage has grown, the number of ways marketers can think of to engage with that channel has grown too. Mobile use has finally outstripped desktop use this year, so it is more important than ever for your company to be present on a mobile platform – especially if you’re in the travel sector.

We already know that people are glued to their phones – at work, on the bus, in bed, but a 2014 study by Expedia found that 94% of people also take their smartphones with them on holiday. If they’re going on a business trip, that number creeps up to 97%. Not only this, but smartphones are used at every stage of the travel process, from initial research, booking, entertainment on the journey and for showing off their holiday photos once they return.

What could this mean for you?

Consider the possibilities! You could reach your customers at any and every stage of their purchase journey, from beginning to end, with targeted and relevant offers and information to enhance their experience. The majority of users would be happy to receive messages from a brand they were interested in, and our research found that there were over 4.5 million people interested in messages from travel companies in 2013 – imagine how big that figure is now.

Enhance the customer experience

Let your customers know what the weather will be like in their destination the day before they travel, so they can make any last minute adjustments to their packing. Attach a travel guide to a message that they can download and store right on their phones so that it’s right there when they need it (remember, they’ll be taking their phones with them!). Send out vouchers, feedback surveys, booking confirmations, flight updates – we’ve even developed a method of creating and sending unique, trackable and secure tickets, which are fully compatible with Passbook, through SMS! You could join the ranks of the global businesses already using mobile tickets and boarding passes to enhance the customer experience, including the likes of British Airways, Easyjet, American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, but without the huge financial outlay of developing an app.

Sell more holidays

If you’ve got last-minute holiday offers to sell, what better than a medium that delivers within 5 seconds, with an open rate of 99%? If it’s new customers you’re looking for, or you need to build up a database of people to send your messages to, a Keyword and Short Code could help. Simply add the details to your advertising, for example “Text TRAVEL to 60777 for more information” and watch the potential customers pile up. Incentivise your keyword with a competition or giveaway to encourage even greater numbers – if you need some inspiration, we’ve got plenty of guides and case studies to help you out!

Want to see more about how SMS can help your travel company? Check out this case study from P&O Ferries, or open a free trial account now to see the platform for yourself with no obligation!