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Preparing for Takeoff: The Keys to Successful Travel Loyalty Programs

Michelle Peel

Successful marketers in the airline and hotel industries know the effectiveness of direct mail and its ability to successfully target loyal customers. Many leading companies trust IWCO Direct to manage their direct mail-focused travel loyalty programs, and we continue to see high-volumes of mail used in this sector.

The airline and hotel industries sent more than 64 million pieces of mail during the last 12 months (September 2013-August 2014) according to market research firm Comperemedia. Airlines had their highest mail volume quarters in Q2 2014 and Q4 2013, while hotel industry mail volume peaked in Q1 2014.

As a company that produces a wide range of travel related direct mail loyalty programs, we have extensive experience with welcome kits, statement and reward program summaries, as well as other promotional campaigns. Across these messages, we find that relevant and timely offers remain key and are one of the most important things to consider when designing a direct marketing campaign for your loyalty program.

Over the past three to five years, the growing use of variable-data digital presses and technology that links physical communications to electronic commerce have allowed travel providers to speak more personally and provide more relevant offers to their loyal customers. Direct mail is driving more hotel stays, flights and participation in affinity credit card programs by using these strategies:

  • Welcome kits with relevant messaging targeted specifically to the recipient can increase repeat business;
  • Newsletters and reward summaries that include personalized offers drive increased response rates;
  • Highly personalized statement summaries featuring mobile barcodes linked to personalized online experiences to support targeted, variable offers that are relevant to your most loyal customers.

What really matters to consumers when booking travel?

According to Deloitte’s “A Restoration in Loyalty” survey, customers want the latest travel news, discounts and offers and a secure and easy purchase process. Marketers in the airline and hotel industries should take advantage of the flexibility of direct mail while incorporating loyal customers’ needs and desires.

Here are some recommendations to incorporate these trends and messages, to expand your loyalty program and to make your direct mail campaigns more successful than ever:

  • Utilize full-color, variable-data digital printing technology to create personalized, highly targeted customer communications. Be sure to include the latest travel news and discount offers to increase ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment).
  • Engage in cross-channel marketing by directing loyal customers to your website. Better yet, set up a PURL or specific landing page with content tailored to each customer’s needs. Make sure the purchase process is easy and secure.

Contact us if you have any questions regarding the best way to increase the effectiveness of your airline and hotel loyalty programs. We’d love to help strengthen your relationships with your most loyal customers.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2014/10/10/keys-to-successful-travel-loyalty-programs/
Michelle Peel

Author

Michelle Peel

Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager and graduate of Elizabethtown College. Bringing the “make it happen” attitude to IWCO Direct for more than eight years and the direct marketing industry for more than 20. Favorite recognition: When her daughter was asked in school what she wants to be when she grows up, she responded, “Just like mom.” Pittsburgh Steelers fan who enjoys dancing, shopping, and spending time with family.

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