By Louise Thompson
By Louise ThompsonPorts of call, excursions, room choices, dining options, timing—each of these decisions has a multitude of possibilities, making researching and booking a cruise a complex undertaking for travelers.
With shoppers using a variety of channels to gather information about potential cruise lines and options, the customer journey is just as complex. Despite the omnichannel nature of cruise shopping, mobile search is one of the most popular go-to channels for initial cruise research.
According to Google, mobile cruise searches in the US grew at least five times faster year-over-year than those for hotels or air travel. And when consumers research cruise options online, especially when using their smartphones, they often convert by calling.
When complex purchases combine with mobile search, it creates a natural need for one-on-one communication. Consumers want to talk to a person about a complicated and important decision, such as booking a cruise. This leads to the most natural next step—a phone call.
In fact, the more expensive and complex the cruise, the more likely consumers will call. For cruise marketers, following steps to optimize these valuable inbound calls is critical to driving quality leads and closing cruise bookings.
Friction in the consumer journey results in fewer conversions. Reduce friction and drive more calls to your booking office by ensuring phone numbers or call buttons are on all of your digital channels.
Google Call Extensions, which adds your phone number or a call button to your Google ads, is an excellent way to capture cruise shoppers early in the research process and provide them with a one-click solution for speaking with your business.
You can also add phone numbers to display ads, social profiles, and web forms to generate more call conversions.
Tracking digital advertising ROI is generally straightforward—as long as everything happens online. When digital shoppers make the leap to calling, conversions can easily slip through the cracks if you are not properly tracking each caller from marketing source to sale. Maintain the integrity of your ROI by using call tracking to capture information on the caller and marketing channel, ad, keyword search, or other marketing source that drove the call. Connect this data—along with rich insights such as what was said on the call—to any resulting cruise reservations.
Incorporate this data into your existing CRM and digital advertising tools to get a holistic view of the cruise shopper’s journey. By having call data integrated into the tools you use every day to drive and track leads, you’ll have deeper insights into how to allocate budget and optimize campaigns to reach the greatest marketing ROI. A quality call analytics tool provides a wide scope of integrations with various tools and platforms.
The ability to refine ad targeting is a powerful capability of digital marketing. Activate this capability further by using insights on callers to find new audiences of potential cruise customers and further engage with those who have already reached out to book a cruise or get information on cruises.
Treat high-value inbound call leads with care. Consumers are accustomed to seamless digital experiences. As a cruise marketer, you can use data to ensure the transition to phone is just as frictionless. With personalization, you can create an experience that converts callers into customers.
Direct callers to the best available and most appropriate agent by routing them based on the keyword or webpage they called from, their location, day and time of call, and history of engagement with your business. Take this approach a step further by identifying the converting marketing channels and allowing callers from your most lucrative marketing campaigns to “jump the line” and connected right away with a high-performing agent.
Arming agents with caller data before the call even starts is the finishing touch to creating a seamless online-to-offline experience. By knowing a caller’s name, location, and the marketing interaction that drove the call (channel, ad, keyword search, webpage) before answering, agents can better serve the caller and more quickly and efficiently determine which cruise options are the best fit.
Analyzing what was said on a call provides a wealth of information on callers, their intent, and the value of calls from each marketing source. This allows you to make smarter optimization decisions by knowing which ads, keywords, and programs drive the best sales calls. It also enables you to know the next best action to take with that specific caller — should you retarget them with an ad campaign, use them in lookalike campaigns, or exclude them altogether from seeing your ads. This information can then be fed back into your personalization strategy to continually refine and optimize how you reach and communicate with cruise shoppers.
To learn more tips on how cruise marketers can drive revenue with inbound calls, download our eBook, The Secret to Travel Marketing ROI: Inbound Calls.
Learn more about how travel marketers are driving revenue with inbound calls.Get More Tips →
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