Guest Post: Deploy data capture to turn online lookers into bookers

Guest Post: Deploy data capture to turn online lookers into bookers

Fresh Relevance co-founder and CEO Mike Austin on how to combat ‘purchase anxiety’

Fresh Relevance co-founder and CEO Mike Austin on how to combat ‘purchase anxiety’

Even those holidays planned on a shoestring budget tend to exceed what consumers would spend on an average day. Whether going abroad or staying closer to home, consumers want to feel confident that their holiday is going to meet their expectations, and ultimately be one they enjoy. As a result, most bookers extensively research, compare and consider the options available before making a purchase decision.

The pressure to choose the right holiday can often lead to hesitation when it comes to completing the final hurdle of booking. Whilst purchase anxiety may be a good outcome for a consumer’s bank account, it presents a significant challenge for marketers seeking to increase revenue by combating website bounces and improving visitor identification.

In order to nudge customers towards booking with them, travel companies must find ways to identify more website visitors and engage them using a combination of web and email marketing. By sending highly relevant and targeted emails once a shopper has left the website, marketers are in a much stronger position to take consumers from consideration to conversion. Email also helps travel companies develop a relationship with the customer that drives loyalty and repeat bookings.

One way businesses can entice customers to share their email is through displaying a data capture pop-up or banner on the website. After viewing the website for a certain amount of time or upon exiting it, visitors are invited to enter personal information – such as an email address and other details, like the types of holiday they prefer. From this and behavioural and contextual data collected about the booker, marketers can immediately begin to tailor emails to what is likely to capture the individual’s interest.

Pop-ups have had their fair share of criticism in the past. If served immediately once a customer has landed on the homepage, they can be perceived as irritating and have the customer looking for the “X” button straight away.

When deployed in a smart way, they’re a powerful tactic in persuading customers to share their data, grow your email list and ultimately generate more sales. With that in mind, we’ve looked at the key considerations marketers should keep in mind when implementing or updating their data capture strategy.

Make sure timing and design are right

For maximum impact, it’s important travel companies leave a bit of time for customers to browse the website before serving a pop-up. We experimented with pop-up timing and found that 30 seconds on a single webpage is an ample amount of time to give a first-time visitor before a sign-up window appears. This gives customers enough time to browse the offers on display and get engaged enough to submit their email address.

To maximise engagement, include a compelling call to action and clearly show the value you’re offering. A dynamic popover layout will help avoid interrupting the customer journey. For example, the overlay can sit at the bottom of the window as shoppers move through the website, with the sign-up box remaining hidden until a visitor chooses to expand the popover.

Keep content relevant

In the pop-up, brands could also ask visitors about their favourite destinations or types of holiday, such as family holiday or couple retreats. This allows marketers to deliver relevant content even to those shoppers who haven’t provided a lot of browsing and booking data yet. Using the provided preferences, brands could highlight hotels offering a kids club in their marketing for shoppers interested in family holiday, and wellness hotels for bookers looking for a romantic getaway.

However, it’s important to get the balance right – don’t ask shoppers for too much information as this is likely to deter them from submitting any information at all. Once marketers have a visitor’s email address, they can then follow up and get to know them better.

Don’t choose a one-size-fits-all approach

The more tailored a pop-up is to the website visitor, the more likely it is going to resonate. Consider delivering different data capture pop-ups to different customer segments. For example, you could tailor the data capture device to the visitor’s traffic source and show different pop-ups for direct traffic compared to shoppers who came to the website through Google AdWords. Also consider tailoring the pop-up content to the visitors’ interests, for example reflecting the destinations or types of holidays featured on the currently viewed page.

Popovers based on exit intent are a great tactic to keep shoppers engaged. These popovers can’t push a visitor away from your website as they’re already leaving, but might persuade them to stay in touch. When a customer is about to abandon a booking, an overlay can be triggered offering to send them an email reminder of their cart.

To give shoppers a personalised experience across web and email, it’s important to identify as many visitors as possible. By effectively using data capture pop-ups and banners, travel brands are in a unique position to build their email list, shorten the booking process and encourage loyalty.