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Selling more tours through your website is probably one of your primary marketing goals as a tour and activity operator, so don't overlook the wealth of opportunities that can attract more high-quality traffic season after season. As more of your customers turn to their smartphones to book travel or seek out information via social media—The Statistics Portal reports more than 50 percent of those surveyed count on user-generated content for travel planning while 37 percent use social media, as of January 2015—there are numerous ways to reach out to this responsive market. You can also take advantage of a few proven strategies and methods that will sell more bookings and help you build a loyal customer base.

Here are 10 easy ways to sell more tours online:

1. Update Your Blog Regularly with Direct Links to Tours and Activities

Generate more interest in your site and develop a stronger online presence by updating your blog regularly with fresh content. But, you don't have to limit yourself to a blog with posts that promote discounted tour and activities or special packages for the season.

For example, Hike Maui, a tour operator that offers guided hikes around the island, maintains a blog with useful tips and insights about enjoying a Maui vacation. This Hike Maui blog post covers some reasons why hiking is a great activity for any traveler and concludes with a link to a custom private tour.

How to do it:

Develop a series of blog posts about your destination or a particular activity that many of your customers have lots of questions about or you get inquiry calls about. Publish informational, educational, and even inspiring blog posts that include a direct link to a particular tour or activity — this is good for the search engines and can also prompt an immediate booking.

See Also: 5 Marketing Tools for Tour and Activity Operators (2 of Them are Free!)

2. Run an Email-Only Special Offer

Tap into your existing subscriber list by sending out an exclusive email offer to drive more traffic back to your site. This could be anything from 50 percent off bookings for the next 24 or 48 hours to 2-for-1 deals on certain tours or activities. The goal is to generate immediate interest and encourage the recipient to take advantage of an exclusive offer that is only available for a limited time. This strategy can be especially effective during a slow month when you need to stimulate sales.

How to do it:

Create a sense of urgency with your offer and emphasize that the recipient is receiving an invitation-only offer. Make sure to outline the terms and conditions of the offer clearly at the bottom of the message and verify all links to your site work properly for a fast booking.

See Also: How to Grow Your Email List: A Guide for Tour and Activity Businesses

3. Host a Contest

Running a contest for a free tour package or a new activity you are offering in the upcoming season can generate some quick interest in your business which in turn may encourage some new bookings. You can build your subscriber list by running this type of contest year round or during a slow season. On the Go Tours runs a "choose your dream holiday" contest where travelers must upload their best travel photo, share a few words about their experience, and provide contact information. This can help you build your customer list and encourage prospective customers to learn more about you.

How to do it:

Offer a free package of tours or let the traveler choose their "dream" tour or activity for the giveaway. Construct an entry form that requires the entrant to provide their full name, email address, and phone number so that you can add them to your database.

See Also: How to Enter New Markets by Building Strong Relationships

4. Develop a YouTube Presence

Many travelers will simply be intrigued by what your company does, what types of tours and experiences you sell, and what types of destinations they get to explore. Host your own YouTube channel as a "discovery" component of your business. Establishing a YouTube presence can make your business more relatable and provides some 'insider' information. Vietnam Motorbike Ride, a tour operator offering motorcycle and dirt bike tours around Indochina, has published a series of YouTube videos not only about the biking experience but also about the fascinating sites around Vietnam.

How to do it:

Release a set of informational videos about different tours and activities, or destination guides covering things to do and enjoy in a particular location. Make sure to include links to your website and any social media handles so that the viewer can contact you or stay in touch.

5. Make Sure Your Tour and Activity Site is Mobile-Friendly

Have you considered what your site looks like and what the booking experience feels like on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device? Recent research from Criteo and Phocuswright finds that at least 85 percent of travelers are turning online for the searching, shopping, and booking process, and 18 percent of travelers in the United States shop for travel on a smartphone or on a tablet. Make sure the mobile version of your site allows for a simple and streamlined booking and checkout process to capture this market.

How to do it:

Walk through the mobile booking experience by putting yourself in the customer's shoes. Condense content on the mobile site to make the experience quick, efficient, and more user-friendly. Run the Mobile-Friendly Test from Google to find out what needs to be improved. Clickz.com also recommends optimizing and resizing your images so they appear on mobile devices and using standard font sizes and styles.

See Also: 4 Ways to Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

6. Take Advantage of Dynamic Remarketing with Online Ads

If you're already investing some of your online advertising dollars towards display ads, consider a dynamic remarketing campaign to ensure more prospective customers see your ads when surfing the web. Remarketing is a process where customers see your ads more frequently when surfing the web on their desktop computer or mobile device because they have visited your site before. Hotel Urbano, a Brazilian online travel agency that sells travel packages, invests millions of dollars in digital advertising each year but only recently shifted gears with its dynamic remarking efforts with Google Display Network ads. This case study from Think with Google shows that once it was fully implemented, the new ad spend drove 415 percent more revenue and a 38 percent higher return.

How to do it:

Change your ad design and optimize your target market for ads by reviewing customer demographics and creating categories of different customer groups, such as young parents, single professionals, and seniors. You could also show display ads on multiple channels, such as YouTube, mobile devices, and Twitter.

See Also: Tour and Activity Business Marketing Strategies With the Highest ROI

7. Cross-Sell with Area Hotels and Resorts

Sell more tours with less direct marketing efforts by partnering up with hotels and resorts in the area that can list your company as part of their "recommended activities" on their website or refer more business to you through their concierge. Even something as simple as placing your logo or a small ad on the hotel or resort's website can generate more traffic and a direct booking.

How to do it:

Reach out to hotel and resort owners or managers to discuss co-marketing ideas and insist on having an ad or direct link placed somewhere on their website. If you want to offer a discount for referrals, set up a promo code specifically for the hotel or resort guest that you can honor at checkout.

See Also: 5 PR Tactics to Help Increase Bookings of Your Tour and Activity Business

8. Strengthen Your Facebook Presence

Selling more tours online requires opening up as many channels as possible for customers to get to know more about your business, stay up-to-date on new offerings and specials, and keep you at the "top of mind" when making a booking decision. Stay active on sites like Facebook so that you can communicate directly with prospective travelers while showcasing your business in creative ways. You can also encourage customers to send in photos or testimonials of their experience for you to promote on Facebook. This type of content provides some "social proof"— a valuable asset for any independent company or small business looking to attract new customers or build their online presence.

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides in Kissimmee, Florida, maintains an active Facebook page with a following of more than 32,000 fans. The tour operator posts everything from videos from the captain to random shots of animal encounters during a tour. Paradise Boat Tours in Sarasota, Florida, does something similar but takes things one step further by offering one-click online bookings directly through its Facebook page.

How to do it:

Install a booking app on your Facebook page for easy bookings and update your Facebook page regularly with fresh content, customer reviews, and photos sent from customers capturing fun experiences or memories. Be sure to tag any customers that provide content you share so that the content appears in their Facebook News Feed upon publishing.

See Also: 6 Facebook Marketing Mistakes Tour and Activity Operators Need to Avoid

9. Develop and Promote Custom Tours for a Specific Market

From shopping tours for a girl's weekend getaway to fishing tours on Father's Day, consider putting together themed packages at a discount to cater to the needs of a very specific market. Create individual ad campaigns for these packages as part of your display ads online marketing strategy and promote the special packages across your website, in blog posts, and with links in any offline marketing materials that you distribute regularly. For example, Captain Lou Fleet Fishing in Freeport, New York, runs a Father's Day fishing trip special and 4th of July trips at a discounted rate. Shop Gotham NYC Shopping Tours offers a custom Sweet 16 Shopping Program specifically for young girls and their friends celebrating a sweet 16 birthday.

How to do it:

Think about different customer segments that may benefit from a specialty tour or custom package of tours you offer and promote these tours across all of your online marketing channels. Make sure to include direct booking links to the tour package for fast bookings.

10. Invite Local Celebrities to Share their Experience Online

Local celebrities are rarely shy about sharing new experiences and may be more than willing to promote their experience with your company on their social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, or in a blog post. This can be a simple and effective way to generate some interest around your company and encourage people to book a similar experience.

A reporter from Fox 26 Houston Morning News tried the Sky Trail experience and posted it on Facebook. The post generated more than 170 likes and 90 shares. Videos like these can be very valuable for any tour business and can generate instant attention around your business — and traffic to your website.

How to do it:

Invite radio hosts, local news station anchors and reporters, community leaders, and other local celebrities to experience one of your tours or activities free of charge. Ask them for a video testimonial or online review that you can share in your online marketing materials, and make sure to include a link to landing pages to complete a booking.

And finally, you can effortlessly sell more tours online by using an online booking software like ZOZI Advance that guarantees new customers. ZOZI puts your business in front of millions of passionate and active customers who are looking for tours to book. To learn more, request a free demo below.