10 Best Practical Growth Hack for Travel Startups

Travel Startup Growth Hacking
PC: etramping.com

1. Sharing is Caring: Host an event once a month (or fortnightly) that brings frequent travelers together. It could be about some of the exotic travel destinations, do’s and don’ts about trekking, backpacking etc. This will create lots of word-of-mouth marketing and visibility locally as well as among online travel communities. This will bring all the travelers from your city to your office (if you have one which can accommodate about 20 participants) and builds a community around it. Do this for 6 months and you would have generated enough brand and visibility equivalent to $20,000 marketing dollars.


2. Organize Walks: Could be for a few hours to half a day max, but you get to host a bunch of travel enthusiasts who will look up to you as a “go-to-person” for all their travel related queries. It could be a nice nature walk or adventurous trekking if you live close to a city with forests around it, or just exploring the city if there are nice architectural style of heritage buildings etc.


3. Lottery: Announce some lottery kinda offer to your customers where every day, at least one winner gets something valuable, like $20 off on their bookings or one free trip to nearby attractions in your city. Everyone likes to get lucky, so people might try your service just to get lucky. 😉


4. Partner with local businesses: Partner with businesses with complementary products or services. For instance, anyone who’s going on a backpacking trip may wanna buy a nice durable backpack, waterproof pouch, good pair of shoes etc. You get the idea! So it’ll be a good idea to offer them a discount coupon for a few products by partnering with a local business who sells these products. You can exchange your coupons with these local businesses and they’ll distribute your discount coupons to their customers. Win-win for both of you!


5. Compete on prices: Travelers are always trying to cut down on their expenses. Can you help them by reducing their expense by offering the cheapest prices without going under loss? Then you can offer “Cheapest or Free” challenge. It can get little tricky, but worth considering.


6. Offer discounts on their next order: You need to retain your customers for your business and you know that retaining a customer is much cheaper than gaining a new customer. By offering attractive discount coupons for their future trips, you not only get repeat customers, but they also feel exclusive and connected to your business.


7. Offer complimentary services: Pickup and drops? Online advice? Telephonic advice? Anything that helps a fellow traveler who’s in distress in a new city and needs the right information about a local city or traveling abroad.


8. Get active on social media: Given the nature of your business, I would focus on Facebook, Instagram and a nice little blog, but sky’s the limit. Regularly post informative content along with promotional offers without being spammy.


9. Engage with online customers: Someone got lucky with your discount offer today? Post it on Facebook and tag them. Organizing Nature Walks? Upload it all on Instagram and tag them. Did someone like your service? Ask them for a two-line testimonial on Facebook or a rating.


10. My last and favorite: Smile, be polite and nice. And no! I’m not writing this last point just to fill it up. This is super important in any business and trust me, no one likes rude or mean businesses whose only goal is to make money. A little kindness can take you a long way!

This is not an exhaustive list. You can always do more for your customers. Travel planning is one of the painful process for most people, so you can add value at a lot of different stages, but anything you do must help them in overcome tough situations.

Make their life easier by solving their problem once and your customers will always remember you next time they plan their travel.

After working with startups such as YourStory, OfferGrid, UnBuffer and more for 7 years, he's decided to fill in the marketing gap by helping them grow without breaking the bank through his growth hacking experiments.

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