5 Ways to Reduce Travel Marketing Costs
5 Ways to Reduce Travel Marketing Costs
The travel industry operates to wafer thin margins making it a high risk
industry at the best of times. Thomas Cook, one of Europe’s leading
travel companies recently described its margin figures of 4.2% as
‘industry leading’ giving some perspective on the ongoing pressures
facing the sector.
With such small room for error it’s no surprise that the recent economic
downturn has seen so many travel industry casualties. These include the
UK’s third largest tour operator XL Leisure group in September 2008 as well
as cruise specialists Gillett Travel, Scottravel, Holiday Options, Libra Holidays
and more recently golf holiday experts Inta Group.
It’s not just the tour operators who are feeling the pinch either. Japan
Airlines filed for bankruptcy in early 2010 whilst British Airways is currently
losing £1.6 million a day squeezed by falling demand and rising oil prices.
IATA (International Air Transport Association) estimates that the airline
industry will see a post-tax loss of £3.5 billion across the board in 2010.
It’s therefore clear why tour operators, travel agents and airlines are
looking to make substantial cuts without affecting the quality of the
services they provide.
One solution that the travel industry has neglected is digital publishing
(also called e-publishing) which allows companies to not only save
£millions but also make money on its marketing material. This whitepaper
outlines five key ways in which travel companies and airlines can use
digital publishing to slash costs and enhance business performance.
1 Use digital publishing to
typically cost £1.50
- £2.50 to print and
on size and quality),
a price that has been
due to a variety of
such as increase in
printing costs, raw
pulp inflation (up 24% in two years), coated magazine paper inflation (up
8% or more since 2008), ink prices rises (up to 40% inflation depending
on the ink mix) and increased transport costs due to oil price fluctuations.
These cost rises will soon be added to by Royal Mail which will increase
first class mail prices by 5.2% April 2010.
Not only are brochure costs high and rising, their effectiveness has been
declining. The BPIF (British Printing Industries Federation) recently said:
“ “Travel brochures have suffered a dramatic decline in value in a
short time, the printing of travel brochures still takes place and it still
forms an important part of marketing campaigns from operators,
agents and tourism agencies, but it is now very much on a targeted
basis for direct marketing rather than mass produced for dispersal at
With these factors in mind, a key solution is for printed brochures to be
turned into digital editions and the URL link sent by email to interested
prospects and customers. The process couldn’t be easier. Marketers simply
need to upload their Adobe Acrobat PDF file onto a digital publishing
platform and then send the link via email to interested parties. Prospects
simply click on the link and the digital brochure opens out into a page-
turning online version of the printed copy.
The costs savings are huge. Stripped of paper, ink, printing, envelope
and postage costs, savings are normally in the order of 75% or more.
Furthermore, customers can receive the eBrochure in minutes and not
have to wait days for the printed version to land on their doorsteps. And
finally, if an interested party needs a hard copy of the brochure, they can
print out full copies or pages in the comfort of their own home with a
Virgin Holidays appointed YUDU Media as its digital publishing platform
for a number of the company’s eBrochures including its Caribbean, African,
Middle East, Indian and North American brochures.
Over a period of four months, the company attracted over 57,000 visits
to its eBrochures with the average visitor spending more than 3 minutes
perusing selected holidays. It is estimated that it has resulted in a saving
approaching 10% of brochure marketing costs for Virgin Holidays.
View the Virgin Holidays Caribbean brochure
2 Use eBrochures to build
a prospect database.
eBrochures will allow marketers to collect email addresses as a
condition of prospects being allowed to view them. Whilst not a
mandatory requirement, most marketers select this facility because
it allows travel companies to collect email addresses and build a
One added key advantage is that because travel companies know what
eBrochures have been viewed, they can selectively target customers
using special offers promoting the holidays and routes prospects have
already expressed an interest in.
Using the Virgin Holidays case study earlier, the company harvested
22,000 email addresses over a four month period and they expect this
to grow to 100,000 over a full year - a phenomenal resource for future
3 Utilize cross-platform
eBrochures are not
just for viewing
solely on personal
digital technology is
developing, more and
more platforms are
for users to read
The recent launch of Apple’s iPad is a case in point and as people become
more attuned to digital publishing, the widespread general acceptance of
eBrochures and eBooks will become the norm.
As a case in point, the US Book Industry Study Group found that in 2009
one in five books purchased in the US was bought as a digital eBook.
A few ePublishing specialists are currently developing and trialing
applications that will allow eBrochures to be viewed cross-platform in
a single application and at no extra cost. This will save travel marketers
many £1,000’s as it does away with the need for a separate digital brochure
solution for each platform. ‘One size fits all’ online brochure technology will
become a key way to broaden reach whilst simultaneously saving money.
4 Use eBrochures for Search
Engine Optimisation. (SEO)
The vast majority of people begin their search for a holiday or flight on
the internet. For that reason, it is vital for travel companies to be highly
ranked on internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN and
other related resources.
eBrochures such as those provided by YUDU Media’s technology platform
allow companies to not only digitally publish brochures but to also
allow the content to be search optimised. This lets consumers find your
eBrochures directly over the internet as well as helping send more and
more traffic straight to your company’s website - via links - for free.
Reciprocal web links from an eBrochure to your main company website will
help your SEO ranking.
5 Bring your travel company
to life with eBrochures.
Rich media such as embedded videos, audio files and podcasts bring
a travel destination to life. Why settle for static photos when at the
click of a mouse a prospective customer can view video footage of a
holiday, hotel or the destination itself?
eBrochures allow travel companies to increase the impact of their
message, increase engagement and bring their travel brand to life. This in
turn helps drive sales and maximises booking conversions.
With margins squeezed and consumer discretionary spending badly
hit by the recession, travel companies will need to rapidly embrace
new technology such as eBrochures in a bid to cut costs.
However, Digital Brochures not only help travel companies cut costs, they
also offer a host of other advantages such as building prospect databases,
increasing traffic via SEO as well as generating revenue itself.
Combined with the fact that no additional technology or resource is
needed to create an eBrochure - all that is needed is a PDF – the question
to ask is ‘are you using eBrochures for your travel company?’.
If not, why not?
To try YUDU Pro technology for free, request a free preview or click here to
request a pricing brochure.
UK Tel: (+44) 870 760 9258 US Tel: 1-888-FOR-YUDU (367-9838)