Oyin Bamgbose, Global SDR Manager for ResponseTap, explains all about how, with a little help from call tracking, travel marketers can reimagine their next campaign.
The holidays are over, so you can breathe a brief sigh of relief before you join the rest of the travel industry in quickly moving on to next year’s summer season. In these months leading up to another round of bookings, you can reassess your marketing strategy and calculate the ROI of your last campaign.
If you’re aiming to optimize your marketing strategy in time for the post-Christmas wave of summer holiday bookings, knowing how to measure ROI using call tracking can give you the opportunity to complete the user journey and assess the success of your campaign.
Working closely with global clients means I know how combining your online marketing with call tracking software can enhance campaigns and help travel companies to see where customers are heading. Here, I’ll answer some common questions to explain how to track sales calls and how this can steer your next campaign.
Question 1: The summer holidays have ended. How do I use call tracking ahead of the post-Christmas booking rush?
The peak period for travel companies is January. This is the time when priorities shift from panicking about Christmas shopping to planning for trips to warmer shores away from home.
As a travel marketer, you’ll know that this is also the time of the year when travel companies do everything they can to get their brand to the front of consumers’ minds. To make the most of this peak period, you can fully use your historical data to make sure that the best possible marketing decisions are being made.
So, how do I use this data?
This is where call tracking comes in. For example, historical data shows that travel companies get the most clicks to their website on Boxing Day, which may suggest this is the moment to launch a campaign.
But the order statistics coming through from call tracking tell a different story. Here, most of the orders come in January, with December being the research phase. This is crucial information if you’re trying to work out how to track your phone call conversions.
By understanding the true user journey of customers who do all their research online but end up booking over the phone, marketers can target these high-value customers at the key moment in order to maximize ROI.
Knowing that January is the peak booking period for travel companies allows marketing to proactively launch campaigns in December to target higher-value customers.
Question 2: If I’m using call tracking software, how granular can it get?
There are various metrics that travel marketers consider when making decisions about their marketing spend. Some of the main ones are:
– Generic and brand PPC keywords driving bookings
– Top conversion route
– Influence of offline marketing on digital activity
For granular information that covers each of these areas, you’ll need call tracking data that takes a deep dive into the metrics.
What’s the PPC path to bookings?
It’s possible to use call tracking to monitor the online visitor journey and the phone conversion that follows this right down to the PPC keyword level. As a travel marketer, you’ll know that this is big news. If you’re trying to establish how to measure ROI using call tracking software, this is where you can really begin to understand the return on investment gained for every pound spent on PPC.
So, what does this look like when we tally it up with your targets? If you have a PPC target that’s, for example, generate £3 for every £1 spent on PPC, this kind of KPI can only be achieved by attributing revenue at a keyword level – and you can use call tracking to do that.
How can it be used to focus on conversions?
Your consumers have a relatively long consideration phase. This is typically about three months. This means that they’ll interact with various digital and perhaps even offline channels before making a booking.
For insight into how to track phone call conversions, you’ll discover that call tracking is a useful tool to find the answers you need. This is because it has led to the phone call conversion.
It highlights the top conversion paths for different holidays and destinations, and this ensures that travel marketers continue to invest in all contributing channels and not just the ones that drive the final conversion (aka last click).
How can I strike a balance?
Travel marketers who invest in a combination of offline (print) and digital advertising want to understand the influence of their offline media on digital advertising. So, are customers reading my ad in a newspaper and then going online and making the booking?
Here at ResponseTap, we often carry out bespoke work for our travel clients to help them answer this question. I’m no data scientist but I’ve seen this work first-hand and what they do here is quite remarkable. We essentially monitor their day-to-day traffic and look for spikes and inconsistencies in months/periods where they do not release any offline media.
The insights gained have led to renewed contracts as in some cases, offline media has proved to have a significant effect in online conversions if timed properly.
By getting granular details on your online conversions, you can understand the amount of influence your offline media has based on the full customer journey.
Question 3: How does call tracking tech integrate with Google Analytics? And what does this mean for travel clients who are tracking conversions in time for next summer?
The most important advantage of integrating call tracking with Google Analytics is that it allows travel marketers to compare their online booking conversions (when someone books on the website without calling) alongside their digital phone conversions (when someone calls the number on the website to make a booking).
If you’re doing this and looking at the data side by side, it will help you to get a full view of your marketing channels. Plus, you’ll be able to see the role each one plays in driving conversions – and this means you’re accessing all the information you need to help make your plans for the next campaign.
Getting your online and offline data together helps you understand what channels are driving conversions so they can optimize their campaigns moving forward.
Question 4: I want to focus on my marketing strategy in time for the peak holiday booking season. Can I use call tracking to form marketing strategies?
Absolutely! Here are some of the ways that this can be done:
Unlocking keyword gems
As we mentioned earlier, the holidaymakers who are booking in January are beginning their research much earlier, with most of the clicks to brand websites happening on Boxing Day. Being able to tap into keywords that are driving conversions that travel marketers aren’t bidding on is always a revelation. This sort of insight informs their strategy going forward.
So, if you start researching keywords in the months leading up to the big Boxing Day search, you’re likely to hit the ones that your potential customers will be looking for.
Where are the conversion pages?
With a little help from call tracking software, you can find out where the main conversion pages are. Conversion pages are the ones on your website that drive telephone bookings. Having an insight into which pages are the most popular for leading to conversions means you’ll be able to create PPC and digital campaigns that are specific to these product pages, which will result in more holiday bookings.
What are holidaymakers looking for?
Now you know when to begin targeting consumers, it’s time to understand what your customers are looking for. The average consideration period for a travel consumer has increased year on year, which tells us that consumers are beginning to pay for their trip further in advance.
Plus, there’s a clear link between the booking and departure date. At the moment, they are booking on average 133 days ahead of their holiday. Here’s how this breaks down:
– In the week from Christmas Eve to the end of December, consumers were generally booking travel for around 7th May.
– For those booking in the first two weeks of January, that average date shifted back a few weeks.
This analysis helps travel marketers understand what departure dates they should push in their marketing activities and at what time.
One interesting point is that the average booking time falls between May to mid-June, which goes against the common conception that August – the traditional summer holiday peak – is the departure month that consumers are most looking to book for in January.
Question 5: Are there any specific call tracking features that work especially well for the travel industry at peak booking times?
There are two call tracking features that I recommend if you want to know how to successfully track sales calls:
ResponseTap’s Call Whisper feature prompts contact center agents of the campaign or website page where the caller has come from. This gives the agents the chance to provide a bespoke customer service that will improve the overall customer experience.
This is particularly useful in peak times where agents are handling a massive amount of phone calls at once.
Missed Call Email Alert
The increased number of phone calls travel companies receive during peak booking season means there are bound to be missed calls. We offer a Missed Call Email Alert function that sends an email to the agent or their manager in real-time with information about the caller. This includes their telephone number, the campaign that drove the call, and the page on the website they called from.
The agent can then follow up and aim to make a booking on what could have been missed revenue for the company.
By using call whispers and missed call email alerts, you’ll empower your agents to better handle calls and to never miss a potential sale.
So, what now?
Are you feeling ready to try call tracking to chart your conversions? Maybe you’ve already got call tracking, but you want to focus on fully using the tools it offers in time for the next holiday booking season? Wherever you fall, now is a great time to use call tracking to direct your campaign.
To do this, call us to chat about what you want to do for the next popular holiday booking period.