Everyone loves holidays. Holidays are a time for relaxation, sightseeing, sunny beaches and letting us unwind from our usually frantic lives. Most people in the UK try to “get away” at least once a year whether it is to some idyllic part of the UK countryside or to somewhere more exotic. For loyalty marketing purposes then, travel makes the perfect reward as everyone has the desire to have a holiday, and can but besides saving on money through deals like annual unlimited multi-trip holiday insurance, planning and traveling internationally can be one of the most expensive things we would like to do each year.
There has been a drop in holidays as more and more people begin to feel a pinch of recession and have other concerns they need to deal with. The average cost of a family holiday abroad has now reached an average of £2,725 whilst the equivalent in the UK would only stand at £1,103. This further demonstrates that loyalty marketers have an open market that can be readily tapped into by using travel as a key reward in loyalty programs.
Whilst traditionally travel reward programs have remained limited to the travel sector, with airlines offering air miles and many package holiday operators offering rewards in either vouchers, deals or redeemable points, more and more retailers and service providers are starting to use travel rewards and even travel reward programs as a cornerstone of their reward programs. These rewards are varying forms, with the most common being money off vouchers with travel agents, cheap flights and short city breaks. At the higher end of the scale businesses are offering all inclusive breaks to exotic destinations and cruise ship holidays to the Caribbean and other top destinations.
Businesses have begun to cotton on to the fact that travel and holidays form a big part of people’s lives and can be used effectively to create brand loyalty. Typically holidays and holiday related rewards come at the higher end of a reward schemes offers and this means that the customer will have to accrue a lot of points with your company before they can collect the reward. This means that by promoting travel rewards your company can ensure that they build a loyalty base of customers aiming to lessen their holiday expenses this year and in the years to follow.
Finally then we can take a brief look at how best to use travel in your loyalty programs. As already mentioned we made a distinction between the higher end travel incentives and the lower. Ideally your reward program should target both ends of the scale in order to maximise customer use of the program. Having travel incentives at both ends of the scale means that you will be able to encourage customers to aim high whilst still providing them benefits if they do not reach their target.
Secondly you will want to use the travel reward as a cornerstone of your loyalty marketing efforts. It has mass appeal and is a huge incentive to customer frequency and value. By making your travel rewards highly visible and a feature of your loyalty program advertising you are able to reach a wide demographic of potential customers many of whom will then become loyal customers.
Michael is a researcher who often writes about travel. ICLP provide loyalty marketing consultation, and was utilised as a source.