With the online world being as hyper-responsive as it is, travelers have a certain level of expectation when it comes to the overall ease of booking their lodging and activities. A few clicks and boom—they’re ready to go!
As an adventure brand, you’ve most likely taken this to heart with creating an easy online booking experience. But what about the continued experience of interacting with your brand between the time of booking and their trip/tour/stay? And what about after they are done with your brand?
It’s easy to funnel your focus and energy into acquiring new customers—but it’s so important not to overlook the customers who have bought from you and will be joining you, customers who have recently been out with you, and previous customers.
Why Follow-Up Breaks Down
It’s no wonder that follow-up is not a priority: you are a busy adventure brand owner. You are constantly putting out fires, you have a to-do list that is longer than the Great Wall of China…
But the fact is, people buy when they’re ready to buy—not when you’re ready to sell. And if you aren’t connecting with people when they are ready, then chances are they’re going to head to your competitor.
So how do you stop your follow-ups from breaking down? How to you systemize your process so that it’s consistent and perfectly timed to help them exactly when they need it?
Automating Follow-Ups Saves You Time, Money, and Helps Promote Business Growth
Automating your follow-ups will save you time and money because it shifts you from the manual trap of having to do it all yourself to freeing you up to focus on more than just immediate customer service. You’re able to step in only when you need to—for high-value contact with customers.
You may be thinking, “But Michelle! I like the personal touch and would hate for my customers to feel like they’re not talking to a real human being!”
There is absolutely no reason why your automated follow-up can’t feel personal. In fact, when done right your customer will feel much more supported, which translates to growing trust between them and your brand.
5 Ways Automated Follow-Ups Help Your Adventure Biz Growth
1. Send Automated Abandoned Cart Emails
This one is often overlooked, but very powerful: a timely email can be sent to anyone who has abandoned their booking on your website.
As a part of the messaging in your abandoned cart email, consider encouraging potential customers to respond with questions or feedback. This helps build trust and shows your customers there are real people behind your adventure brand who are easily accessible to answer any last-minute questions before they commit. Inviting them to a live chat feature or Facebook messages has proven highly successful for our clients.
You also have the opportunity to collect invaluable customer insights by identifying common questions, hang-ups in your booking process, and overall customer experience.
Other ways to leverage your abandoned cart email include things like suggesting new or related products to encourage people to keep shopping and giving them an exclusive, limited-time offer.
2. Send Automated Confirmation Emails and Pre-Trip Emails
Using email addresses collected from the checkout flow, automatically send confirmation emails after a customer completes their booking. If you offer multiple activities, you can design each individual email automation to have its own content and send timing.
You can leverage confirmation emails by including helpful resources, information like a reminder to wear comfortable clothing or bring their own snorkel gear, and more. You can also develop a single email or a set of automated, pre-trip emails to all confirmed guests with timely information like your trip packing list, area information, tipping guide, what to expect and weather information, etc. For big, multi-day trips booked far in advance, schedule the series to send every week or each month.
3. Send Text and/or Email Reminders to Customers
Take the stress out of last minute changes like weather conditions, traffic updates, meeting places, or important reminders by sending notifications via email or text to your customers. Pre-write these notifications and have them ready; while you can’t exactly automate the sending of them, you can certainly have them prepared and at the ready.
4. Send Follow-Up Emails After Their Experience
Not only can you send your customers a timely message of appreciation for joining you on the adventure you offer, but you can also affirm an on-going relationship with them.
Ask them to leave a review on a trusted review site like Facebook or TripAdvisor, or hit reply if they had anything less than a 5-star experience to connect directly with a manager. This helps grow your credibility and field some of those less-than-stellar reviews with a personalized approach, leaving your customers feeling valued and heard.
You can also ask them to share their photos and videos with a dedicated hashtag on social media, and to follow you if they aren’t already. This is also a great time to invite them to join your newsletter (you have one of those, right?!).
5. Surprise and Delight with an Automated Email to Old Customers
This isn’t a tactic many adventure brands think of using, but it yields pretty amazing results: aim to surprise and delight your old, inactive customers (depending on your industry, this can be a year old or older) with an email that has something awesome inside, like an invitation to get a free gift from the shop, a photo memory from their trip, etc. The trick for this tactic to work is that there are truly no strings attached.
Interested in chatting with us about how you can implement these automated follow-up strategies in your adventure brand? Feel free to let us know by taking the next step!