For any business, the ability to get your marketing messages read by a large proportion of your audience rather than a tiny percentage can make or break a campaign. SMS marketing is one of the few mediums that can reach such an audience and be read by them. That’s why more enterprises are opting to include SMS into their marketing mix.

Few industries can leverage mobile communications like the travel industry. It’s an ever-evolving industry that is mobile in itself. By its very nature, users of the travel industry are often on the move themselves, meaning mobile communications are central to staying in touch. Reaching customers, offering value, adding services, and enhancing engagement are all something any business would embrace. The ability to do all that using technology we already have makes it an unmissable opportunity.

What is A2P SMS?

So we all know that SMS stands for Short Message Service- the ability to send text messages to other users through mobile devices. The A2P element of that is the ability for an application to send those SMS messages on your behalf, Application to Person — A2P.

Application to person is predominantly a business communications medium that allows an organization to push messages to a subscriber base regardless of geographical location and time zone. Typical uses include travel updates, banking messages and many other value-add messages. You can find out more in one of our previous posts, here.

So what are those five great uses for A2P SMS in the travel industry?

  1. Sales & lead generation: Run marketing campaigns to build an opt-in customer database. Opt-in consumers can respond to short code advertisements from print, television, online or in-person sources. Send last minute offers to segmented databases.
  2. Planning & reservations: Enable customers to choose a departure location, date and desired destination and receive a text message alert when the price drops below a certain amount or when it is the ideal time to buy.
  3. Ticket delivery: Expand your multi-channel offerings by providing customers with the option of receiving SMS alerts when their flight is ready for check-in, with their confirmation number and a link to their boarding pass and on-screen barcode. They can also select other important people to receive the same alerts.
  4. 24/7/365 customer service & emergency assistance: Provide real-time alerts when a trip has been delayed or cancelled and instructions for what to do next. Provide additional information such as gate changes, emergency information, and severe weather alerts. Encourage customers to text an agent with a request or complaint to cut down on call time as well as provide more automated self-service options. If the complaint cannot be resolved over a text message and the customer would like to speak to an agent on the phone they can go into a queue and be called within the next 20 minutes. Access bus or train schedules via SMS.
  5. Loyalty and rewards programs: Use online, TV, and/or print advertising to promote short codes for loyalty campaigns or sign customers up at check-in or when they go to cash out. When customers text your short code they’ll receive a message that they have been enrolled in your company’s loyalty campaign and directed to text YES to verify that they want to receive your text messages. The use of a compelling reward system and well targeted ads will help to build a high quality, double opted-in customer database. Then you can text opted-in customers with opportunities to earn double points during downtimes or on items that expire quickly such as hotel room availability, time sensitive promotions, event tickets, or meals. You can also text those who are close to earning a reward or who haven’t earned any points in a while but have been active at the hotel or casino with a call to action.

Sources: FortyTwo and Mblox

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