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Vacation.com Urges Agents to Promote ExpertiseOctober 22, 2008 By: George Dooley
“Given the challenging economic environment, this is the time agencies need to focus on travelers who know and appreciate the agent’s expert services the most: past clients,” Stephen McGillivray, Vacation.com’s vice president of marketing recommends. McGillivray announced a record expansion of the 5,100-member agency group's Engagement program— its award-winning direct mail and e-mail consumer marketing program. The 2009 schedule for Engagement includes a record number of supplier participants.
“Since Engagement is funded by our suppliers, any member agency not participating in the program is leaving significant money on the table,” McGillivray said. Vacation.com members can take advantage of more than 20 million pieces along with enhanced discretionary income targeting.
The Engagement program consists of exclusive offers from preferred suppliers specifically negotiated for Vacation.com members. Vacation.com turns the offers into professionally designed direct mail and e-mail promotions and sends them to select clients with the member’s agency as the call to action.
For 2009, the Engagement program will include the largest supplier contribution in the history of Vacation.com, with promotions from more than 35 preferred suppliers. In Canada alone, there will be nearly twice as many Engagement opportunities as in 2008.
“The fact that our Engagement numbers are consistently growing—for agent and preferred supplier participation, and for total pieces sent—speaks volumes on the program’s effectiveness,” said McGillivray.
Available free to all Vacation.com agencies, Engagement relies on advanced household segmentation to drive results. This powerful tool assigns all U.S. and Canadian households into cohesive groups that share distinct demographic, lifestyle and consumer behavior characteristics, so that the right clients are sent the right Engagement offers.
Recognizing the value of marketing directly to targeted travelers, Vacation.com preferred suppliers are increasing the number of sales available to members through Engagement. In 2008, Vacation.com sent more than 18 million supplier-funded messages through the program—featuring exclusive offers from suppliers such as Holland America, Princess Cruises, Globus and Viking River Cruises—and that number will grow to exceed 20 million in 2009.
Vacation.com is constantly striving to improve upon the Engagement program, according to McGillivray. One such improvement for 2009 will be enhanced segmentation analysis that allows members to target clients with the discretionary income to travel. Also, members will be able to personalize direct mail pieces with “hand-written” client addresses. Additional enhancements are underway to streamline the ordering process for members.
Added McGillivray, “Engagement is easy and effective. There is simply no better way to make sure your agency is the first one your clients think of when they are planning their next vacation than to consistently deliver outstanding travel offers directly to their mailboxes— with your agency as the sole call to action.”
Vacation.com members can visit www.AgentNet.com to download the complete 2009 Engagement calendar or to enroll in the program. Order windows for 2009 promotions open November 18.