Wordsmithing Wanderlust: Top 3 Insights into Travel Marketing Messages

August is a big month for travel and for travel planning! We've pulled together our top insights to help you create the most clickable travel-marketing messages this month.

  • August 24, 2023

By The Phrasee Team

Person booking travel on a laptop
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It’s August. In the northern hemisphere we’re relishing the last full days of summer and it’s a busy month for travel. But did you know that it’s also a big month for travel planning? Yup – travel marketers take note: this is the month when customers are very likely pondering “where to next?”

Back in July 2023, we published a big emoji review (based on 5 years’ worth of data). When we looked at the top performing emojis by month we noticed something interesting: the top performer in the month of August is the ✈️ . When it comes to using emojis in branded messaging, timing matters. And now’s the time when this one soars!

What other messaging magic can you conjure this month? We’re lucky to work with some of the world’s leading travel brands (such as P&O Cruises, TUI, and Premier Inn), so we’re able to draw on fascinating data about what gets travel fans engaging and converting. Let’s take a look at some other fun ways you can catch your customers where they are right now and start locking in their bookings.

1. Take the road well traveled

We don’t have to remind you that this industry is fueled by your customers’ imagination, so don’t hesitate to describe dreamy destinations in vivid detail. But remember to keep it clear sightseer. In the top 30 high-performing words found in travel messages, look at those old standbys go! We’re talking “vacation,” “travel,” “getaway,” “trip” and “holiday.” Bottom line: don’t bury the lead.

Travelers remain savvy when it comes to bargains: words such as “sale, “deal” and “special” also perform well. While people are even more keen to get away in 2023 than they were last year, they still want to do it without spending a fortune. So, keep experimenting with your offer messages to reassure price-sensitive customers that they can save on their next vacay with you.

2. Is it a bird? Is it a bubble?

It’s not wearing a cape, but that ✈️ emoji is super-powered! As we’ve already mentioned, this little plane really takes off in the month of August so get on board. And the emoji fun doesn’t stop there. While not clearly related to travel, those three enticing little dots appear to speak to travelers. So, what do you have to say 💬?

More travel-specific emojis are also great for creating waves in the doldrums of daily meeting requests and car maintenance reminders. Send your customers some sunshine ☀️, palm trees 🌴, friendly waves 👋 (or waves 🌊 ), and this cool dude 😎. Basically, keep it fun, keep it dreamy. They’ll love you for it.

3. Sometimes, the price really is right

In our January 2023 analysis of travel brand messages, we noted that while sale messaging has always been quite popular, messages including a specific price are either really popular, or really not. Our data from that period showed that in summer, engagement with price messaging shoots up, while it’s less effective in the winter months. But look at that upward trend starting in December of 2022! Traveling is back and travelers are open to exciting options that are transparently priced. So, as they plan, you should plan to play around with messaging that includes specific pricing, exciting deals, and special offers.

4. BONUS: We’re so excited, why would we hide it?

Bonus insight! There’s so much to love about going on vacation and your customers are feeling all the feelings! The top three sentiments for travel agencies and hotels are impressed, appreciative, and excited. It’s hard to imagine a more joy-filled set, so get ready to respond to them in your messaging. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to use active language (verb it up, baby!) and personalize wherever you can with customer names and specific locations.

MARKETER BEWARE: urgent language and scare tactics just don’t work for travel brands. Across the board for travel agencies, airlines, and hotels, we found that urgent messaging is by far the lowest performing. A tsunami of “going fast”, “act now”, or “ALMOST SOLD OUT” messages will just create stress for customers contemplating a Zen getaway. So, stick to visions of snow-capped mountains and sugar-plum experiences.

Travel brands have lots of potential customer touchpoints throughout the entire vacation journey, from exploring intriguing destinations to experiences after arrival. So why not experiment with the messaging you deliver at every stage of the trip, and enjoy amplifying the thrill of going on vacation?