A guest blog by Assembly Software

There’s a general consensus that the tourism industry relies heavily on new customers. But through a re-engagement strategy, you can convince previous customers to engage with your tours and activities again and again. Unfortunately, this is a stage that businesses seem to struggle with, most likely due to the fact that previous customers aren’t local.

This poses a question for tourism businesses; is it better to try and bring these customers back into the fold, or should you focus on finding new customers? 

With that in mind, we’ll be asking the question, whether a re-engagement strategy should form part of your tourism business’s marketing approach. 

What is a re-engagement strategy?

A re-engagement strategy is your approach to reconnecting with lost customers. This could be users who no longer use your services or who have not engaged with your business for some time. Re-engagement is different from engagement because these customers already know who you are. You’re simply trying to remind them why they liked you in the first place. 

Re-engagement strategies can take many approaches. As the chart shows, different styles tend to have different levels of effectiveness. 

Below are some further examples: 

  • Sending re-engagement emails to users
  • Advertising targeted to inactive customers
  • Notifying users with push notifications
  • Using a business phone number to talk to customers directly
  • Adding new content and features to your platform

The goal of a re-engagement strategy is to prevent an inactive customer from being classed as ‘lapsed’. In other words, instead of just not engaging with your travel agency emails or never making a repeat booking at your hotel, they unsubscribe from all communications entirely. As such, part of a re-engagement strategy is finding customers at risk of lapsing and targeting them. 

Re-engagement campaign effectiveness

See the effectiveness ratings of various re-engagement offers in the table below:

Effectiveness of re-engagement strategy

Why are re-engagement campaigns important? 

Re-engagement is important because, to put it simply,  generating new leads and customers is expensive. New customer acquisition can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. But cost and time aren’t the only reasons many businesses opt for a re-engagement strategy. 

In the travel and tourism industry, cultivating happy, repeat customers who advocate for your business is essential. The more customers that stick around, the more positive reviews you’ll receive. You’ll also get other benefits like customer referrals and customer loyalty.

How to develop engagement

Re-engaging customers can also help you maintain stability in the face of socio-economic shifts. Take The Thinking Traveller, for example, a villa rental company that saw its customers plummet due to the pandemic. They recognized that instead of focusing solely on lead generation, they could re-engage existing customers. So, by strategically using existing customer data to personalize and optimize experiences, they uplifted inquiries by 33%.

What are the four methods of engagement? 

To re-engage customers, tourism businesses can deploy lots of engagement methods. If you opt for a re-engagement strategy, you’ll probably make use of some of the approaches below: 

  • Emotional engagement involves pulling on the heartstrings of your customers. It means presenting users with content that they will have an emotional response to. To utilize this method, you’ll need a lot of data to understand your audience
  • Contextual engagement means looking at all the information you’ve learned about your audience and using it to your advantage. For example, factors like gender, age, and search history will all impact your re-engagement 
  • Social engagement avoids out-and-out marketing and focuses on the community. This might involve creating groups on social media, running activities, and encouraging group discussion. This helps keep your business in the minds of customers, making it more likely that they’ll shop with you again in the future
  • Convenient engagement focuses on removing barriers that prevent customers from communicating. In other words, you’ll introduce multichannel forms of interaction (social media, phone, etc). By pulling down the barriers, you help make it easier to bring customers back into the fold

Building a re-engagement strategy 

So, we’ve looked at some of the reasons that re-engagement strategy can be important. If you do go down this route, where should you even begin? Of course, strategies will vary from business to business. For example, divorce lawyer marketing will be different from an e-commerce business. 

Let’s look at some important elements for building a re-engagement strategy. 

Track down disengaged customers  

The process begins by identifying exactly which customers you want to target. You’ll want to ensure your resources are going towards re-engaging the right people. Not all disengaged customers can be brought back on board. 

Some users may simply be uninterested. Perhaps your tour or activity just wasn’t for them — and that’s OK

Other users, however, have simply moved on to other things. But by reminding them how much they loved your experience, they will continue to engage with you.. It’s these users that your re-engagement strategy should focus on. 

To determine which disengaged customers you should target, you need to look at the data. Their previous activities will indicate their thoughts on your offering. Let’s say your data reveals that a disengaged customer has been checking out a competitor. This is the perfect opportunity to drop them an email reminding them of how great your experience was and what exciting new things you have to offer.

By choosing the right customers you guarantee engagement not only in the short term but the long term. 

Restart the conversation 

Once you’ve decided on a list of targets, it’s time to restart the conversation. It’s best not to delay this stage – the longer you wait to re-engage customers, the higher the chance they will lapse. 

A good place to start is with a re-engagement email campaign. Send customers an email reminding them of their love of travel and touring. To do this, use catchy, enticing subject lines and copy that emotionally appeal to your reader. You can even utilize FOMO (the fear of missing out) to create a sense of urgency.

A reconfirmation email kickstarts the process of re-engagement. Usually, it reminds them that they haven’t opened an email for some time. You could send digital business cards, reminding a customer about your business. It also represents a chance to ask for feedback: you could send a user a series of options for why they haven’t engaged. 

Remember, this is a chance to impress a customer and convince them to become involved again. Avoid seeming ‘pushy’ with your re-engagement email campaign, this will only put customers off. 

Additionally, make sure the email isn’t too long and contains interesting and relevant content. A customer will only give you a few seconds of their time so make it count.  

If you ask for feedback, keep it minimal. For example, making use of an online form builder can be useful for a constructing feedback form on your website. But for an email it’s better to give a series of short multiple-choice options that can be clicked. 

Build a community 

Community can be a great way of re-engaging customers. Let’s say a customer subscribes to your marketing emails. They might use your platform for a month but then move on to something else and forget about you. After a period of inactivity, the customer might decide your content isn’t worth it and unsubscribe. 

If the customer had been involved in an active community, this might not have happened. Communities help to ensure your organization is always in the mind of the buyer. What’s more, users will be invested in the group, giving a boost to brand loyalty. There’s much less chance of them forgetting about you or discounting the value of your service. 

Communities can take multiple forms. This could include a forum on your website, or creating groups on social media platforms. Customers can share user-generated content to these platforms, such as videos, images, and reviews of them enjoying their activity. Viewing this content may re-ignite your customers’ love for your activity and tempt them to return.

With the right approach, your community can be an important part of a re-engagement strategy. You can even provide incentives for active members, such as discounts. 

Remember to personalize

One thing we can say for certain about the modern customer is that they like personalization: it’s become something they’ve come to expect

Personalization shows customers that you’re invested in their experience and value them as a unique individual— not just another faceless customer. 64% of travel and tourism customers say that a lack of personalization makes them feel like a number, and 79% want personalized interactions with your brand.

Personalized customer service and marketing are integral to reminding your customers that they’re important to you. This is why so many businesses are now pouring resources into constructing a personalized customer experience

Personalization can form part of your re-engagement strategy in numerous ways. Below are some examples of a tailored user experience. There are numerous other ideas you can try. 

  • A birthday greeting that addresses the customer by name
  • Sending personalized product recommendations and discounts
  • Sending a ‘recap’ at the end of the year

Take this example email by Palisades Tahoe. They send customers recaps of their experience so that they can relive their own personal experience and get excited to do it all over again.

Is a re-engagement strategy worth it? 

Let’s go back to our original question ‘Is a Re-Engagement Strategy Worth Incorporating into Your Tourism Marketing Plan?’

As you can probably tell, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Let’s quickly recap some of the reasons for investing some time in a re-engagement strategy. 

  • Retaining customers is more cost-effective than finding new ones
  • It takes less time than tracking down new leads 
  • It boosts customer loyalty, leading to positive reviews, referrals, and more

How Rezdy can help you execute your re-engagement strategy

As the world’s leading independent booking software and distribution system within the experiences industry, we understand the importance of building trust and loyalty with your customers. 

Some of our features and tools have been carefully crafted to provide tour and activity operators with the ability to plan and execute a re-engagement strategy with minimal hassle. Here’s how:

Streamlined customer data management

Rezdy’s robust features allow you to maintain a comprehensive database of your customers, their preferences, and their engagement history. This data is a goldmine when it comes to identifying the right customers to target in your re-engagement campaigns.

Efficient communication channels

Rezdy offers various communication channels, such as email and SMS, to reconnect with your audience. Utilizing these tools can help you craft engaging re-engagement emails and messages that resonate with previous customers, reminding them of the fantastic experiences they’ve had with your business.

Dynamic booking and scheduling capabilities

Rezdy’s booking and scheduling system can help create personalized customer experiences. By offering tailored recommendations, discounts, and personalized services, you can reignite the enthusiasm of past customers, making them eager to book with you again.

Analytics and insights

Rezdy provides in-depth analytics and reporting tools, which can help you track the success of re-engagement strategies. You can continually refine your approach based on data, ensuring that your efforts yield the best results.

Incorporating Rezdy into your tourism marketing plan can be a game-changer, as it aligns perfectly with the concept of re-engagement. By leveraging the tools and capabilities offered by Rezdy, you can rekindle the passion and loyalty of previous customers, turning them into advocates for your business.

Ready to make some re-engagement magic? Start your FREE 21-day trial or book a demo today to discover all the features and benefits Rezdy offers.

We’ve provided some key steps to get you started. Now it’s your turn – have a look at your customer base. How can you win back lost customers? With the right re-engagement strategy, you’ll be well on your way to success.

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