Running a travel agency is a dream come true for many entrepreneurs.
You’re not just selling travel tickets and hotel accommodations: you’re also offering dreams and the opportunity to build cherished memories.
Communicating your ability to do this is a vital part of your travel business’ success. To do it successfully, equip your travel agency with the right marketing tools to ensure your message reaches potential customers.
Here are the top free travel agent marketing tools to help you stand out among the competition and secure your customers’ trust.
Create Travel Agency Marketing Materials: Canva
When it comes to free marketing tools, Canva is a hot ticket for new travel agents wanting to create their own brand. Canva is one of the best online tools for DIY graphic design.
When businesses primarily engage with potential clients through websites and social media, creating great visual materials is essential. The use of free marketing tools, like Canva, allows you to access templates and fonts that make content creation a lot easier. Generating marketing materials is as easy as creating your designs on the app, exporting the file, and uploading it onto your website or media channels.
Canva allows you to create a wide range of visual content for your business clients: social media posts, advertising posters, videos, and even presentations. It’s easy to learn, and the interface is intuitive, making it an excellent option for small businesses. It has found its way into the travel industry with travel agents, and travel business owners, using it to create the marketing images they need.
A paid subscription plan you have access to more features and capabilities. Canva Pro is great for freelancers and individuals, while Canva Enterprise allows multiple team members to use the added features collaboratively. So, you can customize your plan based on the size of your business and its needs.
A bit of beforehand research will help you devise design options that are engaging and suitable for your travel business!
Generate Travel Industry Guides and Infographics: Piktochart
Step up your content marketing game with Piktochart.
Maps, guides, and itineraries are vital tools of the travel industry. As travel advisor and tour operators, you will increase client trust and travel bookings by demonstrating that you can provide the guidance and information your clients will need.
Piktochart’s free app (with paid subscription upgrades) allows you to organize content into meaningful tables and charts that turn your ideas into organized images. Use these images to create informative materials that add value to, and build, your social media influence and authority as a travel advisor
Piktochart can create condensed versions of travel articles such as Top Tourist Destinations or Traveling Must-Haves. Capture your audience’s attention, then invite them to read the rest of the long-form article. This type of content marketing strategy a good way to funnel traffic to your other business channels.
Learning Piktochart is a bit more technical, which might not be a worthwhile investment if the branding for your travel agency doesn’t lean too much on providing statistics and infographic-style materials. Still, its free option allows you to experience, and experiment with, the app before making a financial commitment.
Productivity Marketing Tools for Travel Agents: Evernote
Evernote’s productivity and organization app has convenient features that also function as travel agent marketing tools. The desktop and mobile version conveniently sync across devices, so you can even stay organized when you’re working on the go.
Successful travel agent marketing requires organization. Tracking what you have shared, where you have shared it, and being consistent with your messaging ensures that you won’t miss an opportunity to engage with a target audience. It will also help you gain trust by keeping your brand consistent.
Evernote’s Notebook feature is a standout tool for organizing your travel agent business’ marketing plans. Here are just a few of the many ways it can be used:
- Create a social media update—travel agent blog post—library. If you share your travel writing or agency social media across more than one platform, Notebook can house all of it in one easily accessible, and searchable (huge bonus!) location in Evernote.
- Make a weekly social media/blog post calendar in Notebook and use it to store topics and notes for scheduled updates.
- Collect customer questions in a Notebook that can be used for future topics!
- Compile a stock image library in Notebook of your favorite inspiring images to compliment your posts.
- Share Notebooks with your team for collaborative marketing efforts!
Evernote’s web-clipper tool is a productivity rockstar. With it, you can easily and quickly save articles, web pages, screenshots, and even pdfs to the app. Highlight, text, and annotation features make it an easy way to enhance social media and blog posts.
The best part is that you can tag what you save with keywords to quickly recall later. See news of a great deal or new restaurant during your off time? Clip it, save it, forget it for now. Call it back up during the workday.
This feature is free, but if you use it a lot you might hit the storage limit. Consider upgrading to Evernote Personal or Pro to maximize its potential.
Run a Mailing List: MailChimp
MailChimp has remained an industry leader in various marketing niches, so it’s no surprise that successful travel agents are recommending it.
MailChimp is an email marketing service that makes it easy for small businesses to set up and maintain their mailing lists. Having this marketing automation tool on your side means you no longer have to worry about missing out on opportunities to update clients or spark conversations with your target market.
Mailing “lists” refer to the regular sending of business emails—news, updates, promotional activities—to registered users. Usually, this requires you to keep a list of email addresses and contact information. With MailChimp, these processes are automated. You only need to prepare the main content of your message.
MailChimp offers several travel agency templates for layout and content, making it simple and easy for a travel agency owner to create inviting messages. This is paired with a notification feature that keeps you updated, via desktop or mobile device, whenever a customer sends a reply.
Tracking Progress and Reach: Google Analytics
An equally important aspect of travel agent marketing is monitoring your audience reach and the outcomes of marketing efforts.
Aside from launching engaging graphics and offering customer-centered services, your travel agency should always have access to relevant data about its marketing endeavors. You can make informed decisions, and better tailor your services to suit your customers’ needs, by gaining access to business intelligence.
Data analytics is a necessity if you’re operating a website or social media pages for your travel brand. You can start with Google Analytics, a “freemium” platform that allows you to observe relevant data regarding your online presence. (Paid options are also available for more advanced features.)
Through this service, you can view how many people have visited your website or social media pages, and see the bounce rate for each page you run. You can see at a glance how many people viewed your posts—and who reacted, commented, or shared your posts.
Monitoring Ad Cashflow
For bigger travel agencies, this platform can also help you monitor your expenditures and revenue relating to online ads. It has features that automatically compute your revenue from ad clicks and the available Cost Per Click (CPC) rates. These indicators help inform you for significant marketing decisions, such as preparing for larger budgets or for assessing the feasibility of engaging in these types of campaigns.
Work with Travel Agency Experts
If you think your travel agency has what it takes to rise above the competition, start using the free marketing tools listed above to get your new venture up and running. Or, use them to boost your clientele when you’re looking to grow your business.
You’ll have everything you need to start: visually appealing content, engaging business email updates, and the ability to determine the success of certain marketing endeavors.
Still, working with travel experts can give you a competitive advantage, for both home based travel agents and large travel agencies.
A paid membership with Travel Industry Solutions (TIS) can provide you with valuable tools such as training, scripts, checklists, business strategies, pre-made social media post packs and newsletter content, and the industry’s only warrantied legal contracts and travel agency disclaimers.
Additionally, our industry partner, Travel Industry Marketing Association (TIMA), provides travel agencies with tailored travel marketing and media solutions, website options, and branding strategies to establish their unique position in the market.
With a platinum plus membership at TIS, you get the support of both groups with a single membership plan!