Article first published July 2017, updated July 2019
A growing number of people are using their mobile devices to make travel reservations. Fifty-one percent of travelers booked a vacation on their smartphone or tablet in 2016, up 8% from the year before, according to research from eMarketer.
The growing use of mobile devices points to the need for travel and hospitality brands to elevate their mobile marketing strategy and game.
The benefits of mobile marketing
Is a mobile marketing campaign really profitable? Let’s look at the top four benefits of mobile marketing:
- Keeps you current and relevant
- Increases the chances of your campaigns going viral
- Enhances the customer experience
- Reduces drop off rates as customers can interact with your brand on the go
Obviously you can’t afford not to optimize your travel and hospitality email marketing campaigns for mobile. So, how do you nail mobile marketing?
To help you out, we’ve created a list of mobile marketing strategy tips for email marketing, social media marketing, and landing page best practices.
Mobile marketing tips for email
Email and mobile are made for each other. In 2016, email open rates on mobile grew to 68% and it seems subscribers love emails about far-off destinations, accommodations, and local activities.
To make sure you’re attracting and converting subscribers, here’s a look at three mobile tips.
Keep copy short
When subscribers open your email on their mobile device, you have a limited window of time to grab their attention. To be more precise, subscribers spend about 15-20 seconds “scanning” an email, according to research from MarketingSherpa, which gives the average person time to read about 50 words.
Knowing this, you should make every effort to keep the text inside your email short. Give subscribers the gist of your message, whether it’s a new hotel to check out or great prices on a weekend getaway, you need to be brief.
As you edit your email, do a quick word count. Use the 50-words-rule as a benchmark and try to stay within that range.
Here’s a great example of a briefly worded email from Air Canada:
Mimic a newspaper
It’s tough to say everything you want in 50 words, but if you use creative design tactics you can get your point across fast.
Think of your email like a newspaper. What’s the first thing you read when you pick up the morning paper? The headline, right? It’s big, bold, and eye-catching. You likely move on to a subheading next to see if the article is worth reading.
Use headlines and subheads in your email, too. If subscribers are only going to read a handful of words, they’re more likely to read text that sits on the top of the email and whatever is in a larger font.
Your headline should tease readers with an interesting piece of information and the subhead should complement it by providing a little more detail.
Here’s a great use of a headline and subhead from The Drake Hotel. “Spring into Summer” is prominently displayed at the top as a headline and the subhead, “Plan your small meeting or social event in style at The Drake Hotel with our Spring into Summer package” builds on the headline.
Let images do the talking
In the travel industry, images play a huge role in marketing. Images of white sandy beaches or well-known sites around the world say a lot.
Think about the last email you scrolled through. You may not have read every word, but you definitely saw the images.
There’s a renewed effort to use stunning images in every piece of content, with fifty-five percent of marketers making visual content a top priority, according to a recent survey from Content Marketing Institute.
Take a look at this travel email from Flight Centre. It has four compelling photos that are sure to grab attention and then it places basic information right on top of those images, including the location, deal details, and price.
Mobile marketing tips for social
Mobile users love to scroll through social sites. Eighty percent of social media time is now spent on mobile devices, according to research.
And guess where travelers go to find inspiration for trips? You guessed it, social media. Forty-seven percent of travelers search social sites to research destinations, according to Google.
Here are several social media marketing tips for travel and hospitality brands.
Show a destination through a traveler’s eyes
In the travel and hospitality industry, it’s easy to focus your social posts on deals or promotions. It makes sense. You want to promote your brand and get customers to make reservations. But, you should keep your “salesy-posts” to a minimum and instead focus on showing destinations through a travelers’ eyes.
The easiest way to do this is by incorporating user-generated content on your socials. Share posts from customers, other travelers, and photographers.
For instance, this post on Flight Centre’s Instagram page shows a traveler making her way through a cave in New Zealand. That’s a post that could inspire travelers to research a trip to experience something similar.
Make it easy for customers to promote your brand
Create a campaign that encourages travelers to share their travel experiences on your social channels. Fifty-one percent of Americans trust user-generated content more than other content on a brand’s website, according to a report from Bazzaarvoice.
For example, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts uses the hashtag #FairmontMoments to encourage guests to share their travel stories on social media. Here’s an example of a shared story on the brand’s Facebook page:
Guests at Marriott Hotels in 17 different resorts in the Caribbean and Latin America were given a GoPro during their stay to document their vacation and share it with the brand for a chance to be featured on the Marriott website.
Virgin Limited Edition asked its customers to snap and share photos of their signature ducks that were placed at various locations all over the world. When a customer shared a photo with the hashtag #GiveAFlyingDuck, the brand donated money to charities.
Bonus points if you incentivize your fans to use your hashtag and socials by offering a reward or a contest.
Create shareable videos
Videos provide great marketing opportunities for travel brands to capture potential customers in the early phases of their travel journey. Sixty-one percent of travelers watched a video when they were choosing a vacation destination, according to Google.Consider investing in a captivating video that showcases a beautiful location that you
service. Fairmont Hotels, for example, has a great video featuring the Fairmont Mara Safari Club.
Mobile marketing tips for landing pages
When designing your mobile marketing strategy, don’t forget to optimize your landing pages for mobile as well. Remember, a good percentage of your internet traffic comes from mobile devices, so your landing pages have to be ready.
Here are tips for ensuring that your landing pages are mobile-friendly.
Less is more
When designing a landing page for your mobile marketing campaigns, get rid of all the unnecessary elements that you may have on your desktop version.
In order to keep your landing page as simple as possible focus only on the main points of your message.
One way of helping keep your copy short without compromising your message is by using bullet points. You should also make sure to keep your sentences and paragraphs short to make your copy easier to digest.
Don’t rely on videos and images
Videos and images are data-sapping resources. Thus, they may take longer to load if your prospect is in an area with poor WiFi connectivity. They might also shy from loading the landing page if they’re using cellular data.
In order to avoid problems with videos and images, don’t rely on them to communicate your landing page’s main message.
Whenever you do use visuals, make sure:
- Images are compressed
- Videos are not set to autoplay
Your landing page should be easy to understand even without the media.
Include a click-to-call link
Mobile devices don’t have a lot of screen real estate. Because of that, your landing page can’t and shouldn’t be overloaded with information. One way of providing an unlimited stream of information without overcrowding your landing page is by using a call-to-click button.
A call-to-click button is simply a call-to-action button that is programmed to dial your company’s number when clicked.
Because it offers so much convenience, it has higher conversion rates. The reason your customers are more likely to click is that a call is an easier way of getting all the information they need, rather than digging through everything on your website.
To attract travelers and increase bookings, a solid mobile marketing strategy is necessary. Using the tips above, you can hone your mobile email and social skills to ensure you’re reaching travelers at the right time with an effective message.
The possibilities of mobile marketing are endless. In order for you to harness this fast-growing marketing channel, we’ve created some resources you can read. One we would highly recommend is our guide to email marketing in the mobile era. Go ahead and check it out.