As the number of travelers rises year after year, the number of members enrolled for travel-based rewards programs continues to rise along with it: According to one survey, about 56% of travelers were a part of one or more hotel loyalty programs, while 54% belonged to at least one airline loyalty program.
What can brands take from this data? That travel can be leveraged as a way to strengthen loyalty among members with the right set of benefits, added value and perceived value of a personal connection to the brand.
In order to improve you brand’s own loyal base and increase engagement, you need to key in on the valuable offers from which users feel the most benefit or those which improve their connection to your brand. An à-la-carte travel club platform can build travel and auxiliary benefits around an audience that the brand believes would benefit or use the most.
Ultimately, these travel-based brands are able to market a membership product that touches on their lifestyle pain points or goals, while having one place to source their travel offerings, lifestyle benefits and loyalty play.
Here are three things a brand can provide users to boost brand and end-user connection, and, ultimately, loyalty.
1. Cost-effective trips
The simplest and most basic benefit of having a travel club membership is to minimize the travel expenses.
With more than 52% of millennials saving for a vacation, travel clubs help in designing the trip according to one’s budget. Exclusive deals on airfare and hotels make it more affordable and manageable. Users can earn and redeem rewards for airfare, hotel stays, dining, shopping and other travel necessities.
While this is a basic piece of the ultimate pitch, the right set of inventory is important to build a foundation from which you market savings to your (potentially) loyal users.
2. Personalized rewards options
Many users are willing to remain loyal to brands that give them access to personal experiences and desires, like travel.
A rewards program based around engagement, referrals, individual desires, buckets lists or travel trends allows you to connect with users and give a more valuable user experience.
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The connection of providing opportunities to earn more rewards, keep up with the rewards live and build up a bank of points to use are huge selling points to users.
The brand benefits from having a hook for those members that do want to disconnect; the idea being “why would you leave rewards savings on the table and waste them?”
3. Travel assistance
Travel clubs provide much-needed assistance throughout the customer journey in the form of visa assistance, 24/7 customer support, health assurance, easy check-in and user-friendly information exchange while emphasizing practicality and luxury.
Showing your users that you care and giving them extra connection points to your brand only increases brand value and recognition.
This is the deeper connection that, as a brand, you value as a way to appeal to your members, showing them that you are also looking out for their best interest.
If your users are in a paid membership platform with your brand, or in a play where they need to remain specifically brand loyal to receive the benefits, they will realize the savings far outweighs the cost or time invested in your brand.
A road to new revenue
In order to lengthen the user life span, we believe a brand needs to have a tight loyalty play that can reach members in a way that they feel they are being taken care of, connected to with personalized features and can request and receive assistance along the way with the knowledge that your brand has their back.
Travel membership programs have become a very important part of revenue makeup for these companies as it is a mutually beneficial relationship with the end user.
Travel savings and benefits are a huge appeal to the modern consumer, especially younger generations hungry for experience but potentially short on the funds to travel,
Travel savings and benefits are a huge appeal to the modern consumer, especially younger generations hungry for experience but potentially short on the funds to travel (for example, more than 80% of millennials prefer travel-based perks over any other reward).
The goal then becomes to present these users with the opportunity, through a more personalized loyalty play, to fulfill their travel goals by connecting them and their longevity as a user to your brand.
The attraction/exclusivity/uniqueness of travel benefits - connected to a brand they value - can be highly appealing to customers and potential customers.
Incentivized, engagement-based rewards like membership renewals and referrals are a great way to not only encourage engagement and retention, but reward in the form of “earn back”-style travel credits and rewards.