Skift Take

Mobile continues to be an increasingly important channel, not only for planning and booking, but for all stages of the travel journey. To help travel companies leverage the power of mobile marketing, Acoustic has released its “SMS as a Competitive Advantage” handbook, with key insights into messaging practices that can help maximize customer engagement and boost return on investment.

Mobile is one of the most effective ways for travel companies to share relevant messages with customers at key touchpoints in their travel journey — from dreaming and planning to booking and flying to the in-destination experience, with utilitarian services like check-in reminders and nearby activity recommendations.

According to Google, 71 percent of U.S. travelers agree that they “always” use their smartphones when traveling. Given that Americans check their phones almost 100 times per day on average, it’s clear that travel companies need to prioritize mobile marketing to strategically engage with customers throughout their journey.

While mobile is the primary device for travel planning in the majority of the world, according to Skift Research, mobile travel bookings have yet to surpass desktop bookings in volume or value. With mobile usage continuing to grow, travel companies should seize this opportunity to develop mobile strategies that also support sales goals.

“If the tool used to research is not the same tool used to make reservations, it opens up the door for consumers to lose momentum rather than converting,” said Kelly Owen Grover, vice president of growth at Acoustic. “To avoid this conversion friction, travel and hospitality companies must invest in the mobile customer experience. SMS and other personalized mobile communications not only provide connection with consumers during those critical conversion moments, they also allow companies to continue to drive value throughout the entire lifecycle. This presents a unique opportunity for this industry because they can continue those personalized communications while someone is enjoying the ‘product’ — the actual travel experience.”

The best way to catch the attention of on-the-go consumers, not only when they’re in transit but throughout their travel experience, is often through SMS messaging, which offers unmatched immediacy and boasts 99 percent open rates. Popular uses of SMS in travel and hospitality include flight alerts, hotel check-in alerts, gate changes, last-minute deals on flights and hotel rooms, travel reminders or tips, loyalty program alerts, and quick customer satisfaction surveys.

This handbook from Acoustic will help travel companies identify the right touchpoints to focus on, grow and enrich their database, develop the right copy, and avoid common mistakes as they integrate SMS messaging into their mobile marketing strategy.

“Consumers today are inundated with marketing materials across channels, but SMS presents an opportunity for travel and hospitality brands to send hyper-personalized communications that cut through the noise,” Grover said. “When included as part of a multichannel marketing strategy, SMS can drive significant ROI by improving the digital customer experience and boosting brand loyalty.”

In this handbook, you’ll also find:

  • Popular use cases to help travel companies harness the full power of SMS marketing
  • Advice to help travel companies use SMS marketing to increase customer satisfaction and revenue
  • Best practices for SMS marketing, with tips on timing, frequency, use triggers, testing, and leveraging mobile data for segmentation and targeting
  • Advice on getting started with SMS marketing
  • Resources to develop a full mobile marketing campaign built around behavioral data from any source

This content was created collaboratively by Acoustic and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

Tags: acoustic, marketing, marketing technology, mobile, mobile technology, SkiftX Showcase: Technology, travel marketing

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