Yay, someone has filled out your booking inquiry form! You check the details and it seems like a hot lead. You follow up immediately.
But you don’t hear back.
So you follow up again.
What do you do?
Do you assume they’ve chosen a competitor and give up? If so, you risk missing out on a sale.
Do you keep emailing them? Then, you risk chasing a ghost who never really intended to book in the first place.
What you need is a way to do both: to follow up but without wasting your precious time doing so. This is a job for email automation.
What is email automation?
Email automation is marketing technology that allows you to send pre-written emails on a set schedule. If you use even the most basic email marketing software, you should have access to this option. These emails can be programmed to send automatically any time someone fills out your booking inquiry form.
How email automation can help you deal with ghost booking inquiries
You may never know why a prospect turns into a ghost. Maybe their travel plans have simply been delayed. Or maybe they are paralyzed with indecision.
What email automation does is give you the opportunity to gently persuade them to complete their reservation (without taking up any of your time).
What should your email automation say?
This isn’t the time to make a hard sell. Use your email automation as an opportunity to educate your guests and make them feel more comfortable booking with you.
Here are a few templates to get you started.
Email 1: sent immediately upon receiving the booking request
Thank you for inquiring about [fill in your service] with us. One of our friendly representatives will be with you shortly to [fill in the next step in your sales process].
In the meantime, I thought you might find these resources helpful:
[Insert link here]
[Insert link here]
[Insert link here]
The links you include will ideally be brochures or blog posts you’ve created to market your business. But if you don’t have any of that, it’s OK to rely on third parties. Consider linking to information from your local tourism ministry, a local transportation provider, or one of your strategic partners.
Email 2: sent the next day
Here at [fill in the name of your business] we are committed to helping you enjoy [stress-free/ family-friendly/luxurious/adrenaline-pumping] travel. This commitment is born from [provide a few sentences on your company’s background and values].
We truly are looking forward to serving you. Please email me and let me know what we can do to make your trip a success.
Email 3: sent 3-5 days later
Did you know that [fill in an interesting fact about your destination or service]? This is something that you really have to experience for yourself. And we can help you make those arrangements for you. Just reply to this email and let me know you’re interested so I can add this to your itinerary.
Looking forward to serving you,
Email 4: Sent 3-5 days later
Making travel plans can be a real chore. But that’s why we’re here. Our knowledgeable staff can help you with:
Item 1 [example: finding transportation to and from the airport]
Item 2 [example: finding the best local restaurants]
Item 3 [example: planning a romantic evening]
We’re always here to help and if you have any questions you can simply reply to this email and I’ll get right back to you.
Email 5: Sent 1 week later
Sometimes our travel plans change. If you’re still interested in [fill in your service] you can email me at any time and I’ll help you book your trip.
Until then, you can expect to receive occasional updates and offers via our newsletter.
These templates are just a rough outline. Ideally, everything in the email is tailored to your business. If you need help figuring out exactly what to say to entice ghosts to manifest into real, live bookings, please get in touch.