Words that Sell: 9 Ways Copywriting Can Drive Conversions, Engagement for Travel Websites

Posted by Optimization Team at Multiplica on May 21, 2019
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Sometimes, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.

Increasing online conversions or sales and building a loyal brand following rely in large part on how well you’re able to communicate value to users and persuade them to choose your services over competitors.

Travel websites can accomplish this by creating clear, powerful, and persuasive copy and choosing verbiage that resonates with audiences and encourages them to convert into paying customers and loyal followers.

Getting users to take a specific action or engage with your travel website can sometimes be as simple as tweaking the wording of your copy. For example, creating a sense of urgency for visitors by using time-dependent initiatives is a proven best practice that usually results in higher conversions.

Discounts that are communicated as available for a "limited time only" or that "expire in x amount of time" can also drive sales and persuade users to act more quickly. For example, Celebrity Cruise’s homepage emphasizes both savings and urgency with “Sail Now Savings" and a focus on price and urgency.

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The copywriting here is short and clear, but it works precisely because it catches the user’s attention and communicates both savings and urgency — two powerful copywriting tactics for travel sites.

Here are 9 other ways travel websites can produce more effective copy that increases conversion rates, boosts online sales, and creates a better customer experience:

1. Convey scarcity

The “scarcity principle,” a phrase coined by influence expert Robert Cialdini, refers to the universal human instinct to place a higher value on things that are rare or that are perceived to be in short supply.  By leveraging the scarcity principle in your copy, websites can appeal to users’ innate desire to acquire something that is rare or in high demand. Do this by creating copy that shows the opportunity is finite: "Only 3 left!" or "Limited to the first 100 travelers." Even "Sorry, this is no longer available" can have a powerful impact. Booking.com does this here with “Only 4 rooms left!" in blazing red font.

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2. Minimize risk, build trust

Reduce the risk of purchase to the user and give them a sense of comfort and assurance. If you are selling a travel package, offer a "satisfaction guarantee." Or, sometimes a conversion means an action other than a booking or sale. If you’d like users to sign up for your newsletter, for example, reassure them that your website "will never sell or share their email with another party." When brands are transparent and craft messages that are conscious of user’s doubts or concerns, they build a greater sense of trust and loyalty with their customer base. 

3. Encourage feedback

People love to share their opinions and recommendations, especially if they feel strongly about an experience they’ve had. Travel websites should offer users a clear path to feedback and encourage their engagement with copy such as "We value your opinion!" or "Like it or hate it? Let us know!” 

On travel websites, user-generated content can come in many forms, whether classic written reviews, surveys, forums or online communities, photo or video sharing, or question and answer formats. Whatever type of content or feedback you’re asking users to share on your website, make sure the copy is clear and to the point and users know exactly what to do. Princess Cruises does a great job on their website with a custom hashtag and creative call to action encourage user generated content.
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4. Get users to subscribe

Newsletters are the ultimate freebie for users. Your CTA copy for newsletter sign-ups should include phrases such as "Free newsletter" or "Sign up for the freshest news and discounts." The CTA copy should quickly and clearly emphasize the value or benefits that users will get if they subscribe, and a clear indication of what they are to do, like Royal Caribbean's short yet effective newsletter sign-up on their homepage:  

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5. Use language that incentivizes

A great way to boost interaction is to offer something special in return, which incentivizes the user to take some sort of action, like following you on social media or sharing something with their own network. "Follow us on Facebook and get entered in our monthly sweepstakes" or "Get special offers by following us.”

If users perceive an immediate and valuable reason to engage with your brand in some way — something that will be directly beneficial to them — they’ll be much more likely to convert and evangelize, so your language here should be value-driven and persuasive.

6. Motivate users

Crisp copy motivates users by appealing to their desires. "Learn about the newest hot spots," "Discover freedom on your next trip" or "Explore these cities" are all short and powerful calls to action that focus on the user doing something fun and enjoyable. 

For many users, they start to ‘dream’ about and visualize their getaway the moment they land on your site, so the language you use to move them through the funnel should be aspirational, inspirational, powerful, and vivid. In the same way that a travel site has enticing images or videos of destinations that encourage conversions, your approach to copy and messaging should also align and seek to inspire and persuade.

7.  Show them benefits

Always include the benefits with your offers. "Subscribe and get the newest deals in your inbox everyday" or "register now for our insider list of the best room rates" tell the user what they can get from taking action. Azamara Club Cruises clearly lists the benefits of signing up for their newsletter.

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8. Tap into emotions

Connecting with users’ emotions can drive their interaction with your travel website (as well as your social media pages or other channels). Using rich, descriptive copywriting that evokes images and delights the senses can help users to visualize themselves in the destination and prompt them to act

9. Create “FOMO” Language

FOMO (fear of missing out) is yet another natural instinct most people have. Leveraging social proof can make users take notice ("Over 85% of subscribers found exactly the deal they needed"). Jettsetter asks users to sign up for their newsletter by positioning themselves as experts and insiders who have exclusive information that you won't want to miss out on.

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Are you ready to improve your online marketing strategy with innovative, data-driven approaches to conversion rate optimization? Contact Multiplica or email us and optimization@multiplica.us to learn how you can increase conversions, improve your CX, and  grow your online sales.

Topics: Travel Industry Optimization, Travel, Travel Industry, Sales, conversion rate optimization, copywriting