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Marketing your tours using TourCMS
This page is a guide based around what we would do in your position, using TourCMS, running a specialist tour / activity provider selling tours / travel services mainly directly to consumers
Work with your local partners
Or your fishing tours on a local fishing tackle shop website....
These may be companies you know and deal with already so asking them to feature your tours / services should be easy.
Learn more about the TourCMS widgets...
- Sign them up as a TourCMS Marketplace Agent - Sign up form
- In your main TourCMS account, find their agent listing and connect to them (in TourCMS Marketplace)
- When you change prices or change tours, their widget automatically updates (you can forget about it)
- They can login to their account and see clicks, bookings etc coming from their website to yours
- Automatically tracks clicks and bookings that comes from that source - you can give them a % of revenue or perhaps pay for clicks, or perhaps, if you know them well, they might just list your tours / activities for free
Track Pay Per Click advertising such as Google
- Setup Google as an agent in TourCMS (in Agent manager)
- Ensure that the agent is set to the lead customer paying the balance and no commission scheme
- Go to Tracking for the Google agent
- Enter a URL (e.g. your homepage or a landing page) in the Target URL form and click Generate tracking URL button
- Use the resulting URL (in yellow highlight) in your Google advertising
In the reports section go to the PPC Performance
report. There you can see how your advertising is working.
Expect Clicks per booking to vary between 300-800.
You can add Google's own tracking capability to your booking engine (so that the Google reports work too). Further information
The TourCMS cookie length is 365 days and Google uses 30 day expiry. Therefore the results from Google reports and TourCMS reports will not be exactly the same. We (TourCMS) also exclude from the statistics some clicks made by non-humans.
TourCMS works on a FIRST
click approach so if a customer is initially driven from a guide book website, visits your website and then sometime later revisits via a Google PPC link, the guide book website will be credited for the booking.
Launch an affiliate network
Imagine having hundreds of small travel websites all linking to you sending you focussed traffic.
That is effectively what affiliate marketing can do for you. Add a sign up form to your own website and watch the traffic start flowing. [You will also have to make some effort to find affiliates that match your product types]
Instructions and further details
Link up with leading travel websites
TourCMS is "hooked up" with a number of leading travel websites and tour distribution systems. Normally you need to be a large tour operator to get access to this kind of capability but due to the collective power of the many smaller tour operators using TourCMS we can provide a similar service to you (at no cost!)
Great sites to link up to:
- TourSift - Our demo site, so you can see how your content looks
- Viator - Travel agent
- TourRadar - Multi-day travel agent
Inside your TourCMS account you can see our listing of recommended agents. Do connect to them all!
Create a multiple channel strategy
Within TourCMS there are website channels. Each channel can be configured to enable you to sell the same product (or a different subset of products) (with the same shared central availability) to different people:
- Create multiple brands / product subsets - Do you have mountain bike tours and walking tours? Or tours in two completely different countries? Perhaps put them on separate websites so you can present as a specialist for each region?
- Alter prices by channel - Perhaps you want to have one channel for trade sales and another for direct to consumer sales
- Product descriptions - Different product descriptions can be configured (by channel) - e.g. on one you may emphasise the cultural aspects and on another the adventure version of the description
- Currency - Setup to sell with one channel in USD and another in EUR
- Source markets - Run one set of product descriptions / channel for one source market? E.g. do you sell to the USA the way you sell to Europe?
- Languages - Sell in French, English, Spanish etc.... each website channel has their own language setting and descriptions can be configured in separate languages
You do need to think carefully how you could use multiple website channels but the power is there if you need it. Probably not a day #1 question though!
Form a multi-TourCMS account consortium
In TourCMS you can run your own account (with separate business process, customer database and financial accounts) yet join up with other TourCMS accounts to market collaboratively.
Imagine you sell mountain bike holidays in a region and another company sells trekking holidays. You can easily feature your products on a single website (or within a single widget) - but bookings will go into your individual accounts.
This is quite an advanced use of TourCMS so if you would like any advice, please ask us!
An example multi-TourCMS account website is our Toursift
(our API demo). Toursift has a mobile demo too (m.toursift.com
How to promote services
The web is better at promoting products rather than services. i.e. if you say you can organise anything in a particular destination it is hard to get this out for others to help promote that service. Instead create sample products that reflect these services - e.g. multiple tours at known prices.
Create example itineraries and make them available for others to promote. You can always say they are example itineraries and that you are prepared to alter / adjust them to reflect individual requirements.
- Add a booking engine to your website, even if just to take date / product specific quote requests. That will make the tracking work. The tracking is fundamental to being able to do business with any kind of partner
- Turn on your TourCMS Marketplace listing - and add descriptions / images to several of your tours / activities / services
- Check how your tours/hotels appear by browsing around Toursift. Really invest time in creating great descriptions and choosing the best images. The better the data you have about your products, the more likely the leading partners will want to work with you
- Connect up to the leading marketing agents from the recommended agents list. Double check with them to see if you need to take any other action to be featured on their system. Don't just connect and hope. Some partners require commercial agreements to be sorted out
- Use the system to power your existing partnerships - don't just rely on the TourCMS centrally negotiated ones
- Read our tips book for general travel ecommerce advice and tips!
- Come and ask on SmallFishBigOcean if you have any questions!