Give them something for nothing | Travel Research Online


Give them something for nothing

After my column last week lamenting the lack of results I have seen from what would be called “traditional” marketing, I heard an ad on a local radio station about a local retail agency that caught my attention. I reasoned that if it caught my attention, it may have caught others as well. Without the benefit of a script, the gist of the 60-second commercial was “we’re great, the world is great, we need to travel responsibly and call us for our free responsible travel booklet.” I was intrigued.

I called and started the conversation and was told that it was indeed a great marketing tool for the agency. The printed pamphlet offered very minimal advice, but was enough to pique the interest of someone considering some travel. And if it all worked out well, the agency would be top of mind when the time came to make the decision.

I also remembered an Internet company called Hub Spot that built their customer base for inbound marketing by giving away free white papers on various topics.  I say it was free–there was no monetary cost, but you did need to register your email. It was wildly successful for them and I received a ton of really good actionable advice for the cost of supplying them my email address. Why not marry the two concepts and toss in a little bit of Facebook?

People love a bargain and there is no better bargain than “free.” People are on Facebook–according to them, there are 1.39 billion monthly active users. Why not target your audience and give them something for free?

We all know that we cannot solely survive as a generalist any longer. Sure we can be a generalist, but there really needs to be a niche that sets us apart from everyone else that wants to be a travel agent. So, why not develop a valuable document that you can distribute to prospects for free as it relates to your specialty? The cost for this is likely several hours in front of a word processor.

Upload it to your website on a non-published page and then create a landing page for people to receive it and for you to capture their information.

Create a very affordable, targeted Facebook ad to your demographic and measure your results. For a hard cost of $100 or less, I bet it will be very successful. In fact, I am going to do it myself and report back!

The process is simple:

  • Create the Facebook ad and targeting. The desired action is to click to receive a FREE document pertaining to their upcoming trip (remember, we targeted them)
  • The click returns them to your website and validates your legitimacy. You ask them for their email address and tell them how much you intend to contact them (this is important)
  • After they complete that they are taken to another page where they can download or read the information.

Have you done something like this? The topics for the documents are endless–top ten tips for first time cruisers, traveling with tots in tow, visiting Europe for the first time, don’t let these 10 items ruin your honeymoon, three things you never want to forget on a business trip, etc.

Make the title alluring and I suspect they will bite. Collect their names and do the simplest thing you can do–ask if you can help them.

Are you doing or have you done anything like this?  Let me know in the comments and I will report back on my results shortly!


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