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How to Create a Successful Travel Affiliate Program

Travel Affiliate Program
July 5, 2016 By Trip-Smart
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Many affiliates believe that once they build a travel website and sign up for an affiliate program, the revenues will start pouring in. But sadly, the reality is totally different and once the affiliates realize that they are not getting enough traffic on their website, they start investing very heavily in marketing. This includes PPC advertising on Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, direct e-mailings, media buys etc. Despite investing so heavily in advertising, most of these affiliates fail to take off. Where does the problem lie? The answer is simple- Creation of helpful content for users and proper branding are the two important factors for the success of any travel affiliate program but most of the affiliates choose to focus on sales instead.

In this article, we will take a close look at the issues being faced by affiliates and how they can overcome them.

  1. Put effort into creating real value for the users: Most affiliates refer users to other websites in the hope that the user will make a purchase and earn them commission. Since, the focus is on referring the users to other websites, very little or no effort is put into creating a real value for them. Low quality content makes the user less inclined to become a regular visitor thereby minimizing the user lifetime value. Building a lasting relationship with the users requires you to create something valuable for them. At Trip-Smart Travel Solutions, we help our affiliates in building real value for their users. Larger players in the industry tend to focus on a wider demographic arena, affiliates can find a specific niche for themselves and create content specifically for the users who are interested in that particular topic. Designing your website and selecting an affiliate program keeping these users in mind will not only help you in increasing customer retention but also help you in becoming the marketing leader in that segment.
  1. Take charge of conversions: Most affiliates depend on their merchants for conversion. Once users land on their website, they are transferred to the merchant’s site, making it very clear to the user that they are not booking anything on their website. This totally affects the concept of customer loyalty. The users don’t feel that they belong to you and hence, you cannot expect any kind of loyalty from them. The better approach is to use a white-label travel solution that can be seamlessly integrated into your website and then focus on optimizing your website for conversions. The users will feel like they have completed the booking on your website and if they have a good experience with your website, they are likely to become regular visitors. In addition, you might even be able to use your own data for retargeting, which can be effective for cross-selling and customer retention.
  1. Focus on building a solid brand: The most successful travel affiliates have strong brands. People need to feel confident about your brand, only then they will make bookings on your website. Your focus should be on building a strong brand with a large subscriber base. Create interesting marketing messages with great offers, get coverage from the press and be consistent with your branding and communications. This will boost traffic to your website and help you lower the cost per customer acquisition.

Signing up for travel affiliate programs is only the first step in building a travel affiliate. The real challenge is building a robust business with a solid brand and loyal customers base. It’s time for affiliates to start focusing on building a business that will grow as their brand strengthens.

Trip-Smart Travel Solutions is a full service, bespoke travel solutions company focused on delivery to the B2B market with 60 years of experience in the online travel domain. We provide travel api, white-label travel portal and travel affiliate programs.

For more info, contact:

Mike Putman
mputman@trip-smart.com
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