The new generation of online travel resources and blogs

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On November, 10, 2005, I speak to a travel industry business group called SeeAmerica Committee Canada on blogs in the travel industry. Based on my initial research, there are incredible opportunities in this space. Travel is one of the most natural community builders. When my wife and I honeymooned in Italy, we instantly connected with almost every North American we met. We learned about their experiences and recommendations. It made our trip richer and more enjoyable. This type of connectivity has been happening online for years, but there is a new generation of online travel guides that take things to a new level.

One of my favourites that I recently came across is TravelPost.com. It is a community driven Web site that contains “178,895+ unbiased hotel reviews, travel journals, photos and itineraries.” The best feature is isabel sanford pokies the Travel Journals. These individual travel blogs allow travellers to share stories, post photos and rate destinations. The site then rolls up and cross-references destination reviews to create a catalogue of experiences and opinions. This may not be a blog in the “traditional sense” of the word, but the site publishers utilize a blog to cull the best journal entries and industry resources for visitors to the site. This will quickly become on of the most reliable types resources for travellers seeking inspiration or updates.

Similarly, mobissimo, “the ultimate travel search engine” that compiles results from 133 travel sites integrated a blog earlier this month (October 2005) that highlights online airfare, hotel and package specials across the Web. It is more utilitarian in nature versus the TravelPost blog which is more editorial.

Great email success story from HP

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I just read some great email tips in a MarketingSherpa article entitled “Behind-the-Scenes Discoveries from HP’s Email Segmentation Tests (Response Rates Up 300-1000%)” (link available until Oct.8/05). The program name was Target & Simplify. Smart, since most of us know that targeted and simplified messages resonate most with readers.

How do you target and simplify? The article identified some areas of improvement ranging from simplified copy to easy to use forms and streamlined access to content. Based on HP’s results, there were three key lessons learned:

  • Readers associate most with their job responsibilities versus industry vertical or organization.
  • Most people will click on links to help their immediate customer or client, but not necessarily their end customer.
  • Recipients scan email and don’t read every word.

HP also produced one-off demand-generation emails independent of monthly newsletters to drive more targeted results. This is an approach used to diversify the experience of an e-newsletter and keep readers interested.