Reinventing Travel Marketing

In the midst of a challenging economic climate, characterised by a growing cost of living crisis, individuals and households are tightening their belts, seeking ways to cut back on expenses wherever possible. From reducing household bills to limiting discretionary spending, many are reassessing their financial priorities. However, one aspect of life that remains non-negotiable for many UK households is the annual holiday—a cherished respite from the demands of everyday life.

Yet, the evolving financial landscape has prompted a shift in consumer behaviour, particularly when it comes to travel choices. As individuals strive to make prudent financial decisions, travel marketers face the daunting task of adapting to these changing preferences. With fewer customers able to afford traditional holiday options, there is a heightened emphasis on acquiring new clientele—a challenge that necessitates innovative approaches to marketing and customer outreach.

Traditionally, travel marketers have relied on broad-reaching advertising channels, such as press advertising, to target a wide demographic audience. However, the evolving economic landscape underscores the need for more targeted and measurable acquisition strategies. As consumer spending tightens, the importance of reaching specific prospective customer segments at an individual level becomes increasingly apparent.

Paid digital media has long been a staple in travel marketing, offering an accessible avenue for acquiring new customers. However, the impending disappearance of third-party cookies from major platforms like Google presents a significant obstacle for marketers reliant on digital channels. In light of these challenges, travel marketers must explore alternative channels to diversify their acquisition efforts and future-proof their businesses.

One such channel that holds promise is direct mail—a tried and tested method that has seen resurgence in recent years. While traditionally associated with large, costly mailings to existing customers, direct mail presents an untapped opportunity for acquiring new clientele when approached innovatively.

Direct mail boasts unparalleled cut-through, with research indicating that 95% of addressed mail is opened, read, filed, or set aside for later—a remarkable feat in an era dominated by digital advertising. Moreover, the tactile nature of direct mail provides a physical experience of the brand, fostering trust and engagement among recipients.

Contrary to popular belief, direct mail need not be extravagant or prohibitively expensive. Travel marketers are increasingly leveraging cost-effective formats, such as A5 mini-brochures, to showcase their offerings and convey brand values. These campaigns drive recipients to the brand's website, resulting in increased web traffic, inquiries, and repeat bookings.

By activating first-party data, travel marketers can identify prospective customer segments based on actual discretionary spending, allowing for targeted and effective outreach to individuals most likely to afford their offerings. Brands leveraging direct mail report impressive returns on investment, with some achieving ROAS ratios exceeding 20:1 during peak seasons.

Epsilon Abacus, a leader in direct mail audiences for B2C marketers in retail and travel, empowers brands to reach scalable, measurable, and guaranteed new-to-brand prospect audiences. By investing in the direct mail channel, travel brands can effectively navigate the challenges of customer acquisition and drive long-term growth and success.

In conclusion, as travel brands confront the uncertainties of the current economic landscape, direct mail emerges as a powerful tool for acquiring new customers and driving business growth. By reimagining traditional marketing channels and embracing innovative strategies, travel marketers can position themselves for success in an ever-changing marketplace.

To take advantage of our expertise in direct mail marketing and celebrate 25 years of success, reach out to us for a call back! Simply email us at enquiriesuk@epsilon.com.