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5 ways travel brands can increase customer retention with marketing automation

Apr 19, 2024

There’s no denying that the travel industry is a competitive market. With many customers still feeling the claustrophobic effects of lockdown, keen to get out and see the world.

And with this comes opportunities for new businesses to be born, offering a wider variety of travel options, both locally and internationally.

Whilst many travel businesses will be keen to bring on as many new customers as possible, they mustn’t forget about their current customer base, who bring many benefits. They are familiar with the brand, their offering, and their processes, they offer reliable repeat income, and of course, are a fantastic source of word-of-mouth recommendations.

And not forgetting that it can cost four to five times more to acquire new customers versus retaining current ones. It’s clear that customer retention is a strategy that should not be ignored.

But for travel brands, regularly communicating with customers isn’t an easy task. There are so many points where information sharing is crucial, from initial booking to trip reminders, and personalised content to post-trip feedback.

Completing all of the above manually is nearly impossible. Fortunately, marketing automation can make this consistent stream of communications a breeze.

In this blog post, we will cover 5 ways that travel brands can utilise marketing automation to boost their customer retention. Keeping their travellers happy and engaged, whilst saving time, budget, and resource in the process.

1. Trip reminders and updates

The lead-up to a trip can be both an exciting and hectic time. 

There’s a lot to remember; flight details, accommodation addresses, transfer information, and of course, packing the sun cream. This is why customers will always appreciate gentle reminders and tips as their much-anticipated trip gets closer.

With marketing automation, travel brands can trigger email and SMS notifications to provide customers with relevant information before, during, and after their journey. This could include flight status, check-in times, local weather forecasts, or personalised recommendations for excursions and dining options. 

Not only are these updates incredibly useful, but they maintain engagement with the traveller throughout, helping to build a positive brand relationship and reassure the customer so that they are more likely to book with the brand again.


2. Tailored destination content

Travel brands can continue to ride on the wave of travellers’ excitement pre- and post-booking with the use of automated and personalised destination content.

By using a marketing automation platform to manage data on traveller demographics, preferences, behaviour, and bookings, travel brands can utilise automation alongside segmentation to send tailored destination promotions to groups of similar travellers.

Even better, with the use of dynamic content brands can populate their email marketing with content individual to each recipient, emulating a one-to-one conversation.

And the options for content are vast, including destination highlights, guides, insider tips, local insights, and user-generated content (UGC).

By providing this valuable and personalised content, brands not only help customers plan their next trip but also reinforce their connection, helping to drive repeat business.

3. Upsell and cross-sell opportunities

By analysing past booking history, preferences, and interactions, brands can identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell complementary products or services, such as room upgrades, rental car reservations, or excursions. 

With the use of dynamic content, these campaigns can be tailored to each customer segment or individual, promoting relevant offerings and benefits that align with their interests and past purchases. 

Of course, timing is crucial. So, automated triggers can be used to send emails at the most strategic moments, such as after booking confirmation or nearing the travel date, to maximise relevance and increase the likelihood of additional purchases. 

In doing so travel brands are making travellers’ lives easier as they can book everything they need with one business, all whilst boosting revenue in the process.

4. Loyalty programs

One way to build customer loyalty is to reward the travellers who come back to book time and time again. Because who doesn’t love to be treated like a VIP?

Travel brands can leverage marketing automation to trigger messages that acknowledge milestones such as reaching a new loyalty tier, earning rewards, or receiving special perks. 

By encouraging loyalty program sign-ups, and nurturing relationships with loyalty program members through targeted and relevant communications, brands can strengthen their brand loyalty whilst also boosting repeat bookings.

Customer feedback and


The key to retaining customers is ensuring that they are happy, and if not, gathering insights into how a brand can improve their offering.

Travel brands can send automated customer feedback communications to help them gather insights into the booking and travel experiences of their customers. This can come in the form of post-trip surveys sent via email or SMS, triggered automatically after a customer’s return from their trip. 

Any responses can then be followed up with personalised communications, acknowledging their input and, if necessary, offering resolutions to any issues raised. 

By demonstrating a commitment to listening to customer feedback and continuously improving their experiences, travel brands can build trust and increase the likelihood of retaining their customers in the long term.

Are you a travel brand wanting to boost your customer retention?

That’s great, because customers are practically worth their weight in gold.

At Deployteq, we specialise in helping travel brands such as Center Parcs and Duinrell Holiday Park to keep their customers happy, boost retention, and save time and money.

Our innovative marketing automation platform means travel businesses like yours can consistently communicate with customers via a wide range of channels, such as email, SMS, WhatsApp, and mobile apps. So you can be confident the conversation is happening where your customers are.

We boast a friendly team of marketing automation experts who are always happy to discuss your goals and challenges. So, why not contact us to get started?


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