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Five Direct Response Copywriting Tips from the Airlines

Travel copywriter Steve Roller

Travel copywriting is my specialty, and I seem to get my best travel marketing and copywriting ideas while … you guessed it, traveling.

Last week  I spent six days in New York City and out on Long Island with my youngest daughter. It was a leisure/reward trip for her, leisure and work for me (I write wherever I go, and am almost always on assignment.)

I’m part of a rare breed of travelers who still loves to fly, even with all the hassles. This time I picked up some great ideas while in the air and waiting in airport lounges.

Five copywriting tips to boost your profits

1. Tell your prospect what to do. 

In my case, I was a captive prospect, belted into a seat at 25,000 feet in the air. Still, the small screen in front of me spelled out what I should do three different ways. After the free preview of the movie, I ready, “Your free preview has ended. Swipe now.” Then, “Swipe now.” And finally, “It’s not too late – swipe now.”

What does this have to do with you? Too often, I see tour and travel businesses hold back when it comes to a call to action in their email marketing or on their landing pages.

Tip: Be specific when you tell them what to do, and repeat it several times in different ways.

2. Give them service with a smile. 

I’m talking here about me smiling as a customer, not anyone in the airline industry (unfortunately, pleasantries are rare these days.)

Smiling at these overworked and over-stressed employees got my bags checked for free, an upgraded ticket, and double servings of snacks and drinks for me and my daughter.

Tip: If you “smile” in your ad copy and marketing messages, you’ll be more likely to get your prospects to do what you want them to do. (Not sure how to “smile” in your copy? It’s part of the style I’ve developed over the past seven years, and it gets results. Let’s talk.)

3. “Free” still works.

We got about the first 20 minutes of our movie free before the “swipe now” message I referenced above came on. You can do the same.

Give your prospects a taste of what you do for free.

Tip: Offer a free report, free tips on a YouTube video, or even just free, useful information in your sales copy (again, something I’m pretty good at.) You’ll have a much higher chance of converting them to paying customers by giving them something free first.

4. Appeal to emotions, not logic.

Logically, there’s no reason you’d want to fly anymore. TSA full-body checks and long security lines? No thanks. Plus nickel and dime fees for checking bags, picking your seat (yes, some airlines are doing this), getting any kind of food, and even carrying on a bag (Spirit Airlines.)

I suppose airlines could still make the logical argument that “we get you from point A to point B,” but how boring is that?

Instead, the airlines talk about anything but logical things. “Non-stop you” (Lufthansa’s new tagline), “Hello Tomorrow” (Emirates), or “Grab your bag, It’s On!” (Southwest).

Tip: People buy for emotional reasons, then justify their purchase logically. Sell first to the heart.

5. Thank your customers.

Sounds obvious, right? Well, it’s seriously lacking in most of the business world today, but I still have a glimmer of hope after watching the wonderful flight attendant on my Frontier flight from New York to Denver.

Tip: You can actually thank your prospects in your sales copy by giving them information they’ll find useful. Again, this is something I’ve learned to do as a travel copywriter, and it gets results.

World traveler, copywriting expert, keen people observer

Not sure exactly how to put these direct response ideas to use in your travel marketing? Or maybe you do, but your time is better spent elsewhere?

I help travel businesses like yours make deeper connections with prospects, increase response, and keep customers longer.

And since I’ve been on both sides – as a travel copywriter and a traveler to all 50 states and 28 countries so far – I’ll do it better than the copywriter who hasn’t.

Ready to roll?

Leave a message toll-free at 1-888-207-4916 and we’ll schedule a brief time to talk.

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About Steve Roller

Steve Roller started Web Content Copywriting to help you maximize your web content and get more customers.

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