Let’s talk about an upsell that’s often overlooked. The coveted post tour upsell. The repeat customer. The goose that lays the golden egg. Remember that by definition an upsell is a marketing strategy that’s implemented with your customers – not your leads. A post-tour upsell happens sometime after they’ve toured with you.
I want to be really up front in saying that the post-tour upsell is not a good strategy to use with all of your customers. Heck, it may not be a good strategy to use with ANY of your customers. Read on to see what I mean.
The Target Market
Ashley and Jordan book a trip to the Caribbean and decide to go on a guided snorkeling tour of the reef. Should the tour company try to sell them on a “swim with the manta rays” excursion 60 days later? No way! Your target market for a post-tour upsell, especially when it’s been a significant amount of time, are either locals or those that visit frequently like vacation property owners. One-time vacationers are sure to delete or unsubscribe after getting an email like this.
If the majority of your customers are locals then the post-tour upsell is most certainly for you. But even if you have a smaller percentage – say 10-20%, AND you can identify who those customers are, you might want to consider this powerful campaign.
Now if you’re a company that rarely services locals, focus more on what we call the sweet spot – the time between when they book and when they take the tour. If you do decide to send anything post tour, do it immediately afterwards, lest they receive it while on the plane out of there.
So how do you figure out who those locals and frequent visitors are? Assuming you have no other data available, consider just asking!
For customers, ask during the booking process and pass the answer as a tag down to your email marketing system. For leads, ask on the sign-up form, either popup or embedded. In both of these cases, make sure the answer is optional. And don’t simply ask where they live – give them a very narrow set of options. Like “local”, “frequent visitor”, or “not coming back anytime soon”. Cities, states and zips are very difficult to deal with in an email marketing system.
The Perfect Upsell
What offerings should you try to upsell post-tour? Well it kind of depends on your business. But one thing for sure is that you should not try to sell them something they’ve already purchased recently. This is a no-no. It lets your customers know that you are kind of out of touch, don’t know anything about them, and perhaps a bit fast and furious with your marketing.
After that, take a close look at your various tour options and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. For instance, a sailing or hiking tour may vary seasonally, i.e., fall colors or migrating whales. This will work better than a food tour that’s going to the same restaurants.
Of course, any tour that differs a bit that they have not taken yet is a good option for your locals.
The Perfect Timing
The perfect automated post-tour campaign for locals looks like this. Wait X number of days after they visit. Check to see if they purchased “Tour A” recently. If no, upsell Tour A. If Yes, check to see if they purchased Tour B. And so on.
The timing and spacing of the post-tour emails also depends on the types of tours you offer. How often do you think a local would want to come back? A fishing tourist may want to go again in 40-60 days. A sailing cruise may be wait until next year.
Space it out the way that makes the most sense to you. Remember that they are locals and put yourself in their shoes.
The Rinse and Repeat
Continue the process in an automated fashion. Is it ok to offer up the same exact tour to the same exact local in a year’s time? Perhaps! It kind of depends on the tour. But remember this – that same local could have family in town and need to be reminded of fun things to do.
But don’t keep emailing, and paying for that local subscriber in your email marketing system if they are not engaging with you. Automate a Break Up Series which will nix the email if they’re not engaging with you via opens and clicks.
Leaving the corporate world behind (a bizarre domain where a 25 year resident can still feel like a foreigner) Daniel set his sites on full-time travel writing and digital marketing. His plans include building an amazing business or three, maximizing time with his partner for life Lesli and four spectacular kiddos, and writing and delivering dad jokes.