How to do SMS Marketing for travel agencies

🕒 11 min.

When you enter a vacation reservation page, one of the main things that grabs your attention is that the page asks for all kinds of information to learn what type of vacation you’re are looking for – whether it’s pop-ups asking for your planned travel dates, or questions about what interests you. However, there is one crucial thing that they do not ask, and it is key in the interaction with them: your phone number.

Travel agencies must be in constant communication with their clients, so that clients end up converting and booking with them, and SMS is the most direct and personal channel for this.

Plus, according to studies by Phocuswright, the world’s leading travel industry research authority, 48% of travelers use the SMS channel to talk about their trips. So, why shouldn’t agencies use same channel to communicate with them?

Channels young people use to talk about trips
Source: Phocuswright
Travelers percentage who share about trips via text
Source: Phocuswright

In this article I’m going to walk you through the benefits of using bulk SMS focused on travel agencies, what is needed to start SMS marketing campaigns, real cases and how to do it with the Instasent tool.


Benefits of using mass text messages for travel agencies

People already receive thousands of emails about any and every subject. That’s why text messages attract more attention. And considering that the mobile device is viewed an average of 262 times per day (that’s once every 5.5 minutes!), ignoring this channel will be a huge disadvantage for your marketing plan.

Many travelers (44% of leisure travelers and 56% of business travelers) like to book last minute trips, and SMS can be your perfect ally due to its simplicity and immediacy – you can send them last minute offers with a link to the reservation page.

SMS messages are very effective for last minute changes notifications, such as flight delays or special weather conditions. Being the channel with the highest opening rate (on average, people open messages within 3 minutes of receiving them) you can solve this type of problem by sending them notifications quickly. This is especially important at night, when most people have already stopped checking their email.

They are also very practical in high tourist seasons. On dates such as summer or Christmas, the inboxes of clients’ emails are filled with promotional emails from many travel agencies (which ends up turning them into spam), so SMS can be your weapon of confidence to give you an edge in this situation – it’s the less saturated and more results driven channel.

It is a more interactive channel than emails, since you can maintain contact with customers who have made a travel reservation with you via two-way messaging. That way any questions they may have can be solved instantly. According to a study by Twilio, 85% of people want to be able to not only receive a message from a business but also be answered. And during the planning of a trip many questions can arise that can be easily resolved in this way, something that will also help you gain loyalty from your clients.

Use cases

The examples below are real cases where SMS is the basis of the campaign. Let’s analyze them:

This first one not only informs the client that they can get a discount by booking through the website, but also opens a way to have a true conversation with two-way messaging. This way the travel agent knows which clients are interested in the offer and which ones are not.

Holiday offer example

Sending reminders of future flights or tours of customers is a good way to make them feel appreciated and build loyalty to your brand. In addition, we can add QR codes or links to get a greater interaction.

Giving extra information once they reach their destination will also give them confidence in your travel agency. Send them information about car rentals, places to visit, restaurants, etc., to help them take full advantage of their experience in the destination, such as in the following two examples.

Cra rental information example

Information about restaurantes near the hotel

Important notices about delays in their flights or weather conditions at the destination are also a great way to make your clients feel appreciated, so that they don’t get the feeling that once they make the purchase with your agency you disengage.

SMS templates

If you are thinking of using SMS for your travel agency campaigns, here’s a series of templates that you can use, with different messages depending on the objective of your communication, to save some time!

Flight reminders

Show concern for them and make sure that they are aware of all the information about their trip, which will increase their trust in your travel agency.

Holiday package offers

160 characters are enough to write a concise message about offers and promotions that your agency can offer, always adapted to each customer segment.

Discounted flights

You can use SMS to send quick messages with FOMO content (fear of missing out) so that users are in a “rush” to book as soon as possible with your company.

Customer feedback

Give your customers the opportunity to participate in a satisfaction survey through text messages. It is a simple but very effective strategy to show that their opinion is very important to you while giving you the opportunity to improve weak points.

What you need to start using mass text messages for travel agencies

The first thing you have to think about when preparing your SMS marketing campaigns is: What do we hope to achieve with this campaign? That is, the purpose. It can vary a lot depending on what you want to accomplish:

  • attract new travelers
  • up-sell (this could be getting a flight reservation PLUS a hotel reservation with your agency)
  • find out clients’ opinions about their trip and stay
  • get past clients to make another reservation with your agency

The best approach is to focus on each of the concepts and create a campaign that adapts to it.

The second point that you must consider is knowing who you are addressing, that is, to know your audience: if they are people with family, where are they from, where have they already been, do they travel for business or pleasure, etc. For this, it is necessary that you have an organized database (name, date of birth, what kind of trip each client made with us, etc.), so that it will be easier for you to know who your target audience is for the different campaigns you do for your agency.

When you have completed the step of segmenting your audience, you will only have two more steps to follow: create the campaign and send it. For both steps, Instasent will make your job easier.

One of the advantages of sending campaigns through SMS is that you do not have to spend a lot of time designing them, because they are only texts of 160 characters. You just have to know WHAT you want to say and think carefully about HOW you say it – decide the main objective of your SMS and write the copy. Our advice is to personalize messages (always greet the customer and speak to him as if he were the only one receiving your SMS) and that you get straight to the point (remember you have few characters for your text).

Finally, you will have to choose the tool you use to send your messages. With Instasent, you will be able to access your tool from any device since you won’t have to install any software – we are in the cloud. You will be able to schedule your messages, have delivery reports and analyze the campaigns to know what works and what needs modifications – all from any device.

How to do it with Instasent

Sending a bulk SMS campaign for your travel agency is easier than you think. Let’s have a look at the steps:

Step 1

Go to the Instasent panel and click on Send SMS. Within the menu, select Send Massive SMS. Here you must fill in a few sections such as the TITLE of the campaign that you want to send, and the country to which you want to direct your messages, so that the tool can more quickly recognize the numbers. Finally, you will have to import the telephone numbers of your clients. You can do that by copying and pasting, uploading them as an Excel sheet or as a CSV file.

Step 1

Step 2

When you have finished this first step, in “From”, choose the sender, which is the name or the number that appears to your client. It has a limit of 11 characters. Next, you have to write the Text of the message, but keep in mind that the limit is 160 characters (if you go over, it will count as two SMS).

Step 2

Step 3

In the last step you will see the Preview of the campaign that you have just created. Here you will have to check to make sure everything is written correctly and if so, you confirm and make the shipment.

Step 3

How to measure campaign results

It is essential that you analyze the results each time you carry out an SMS campaign, so that you can correct errors or repeat the actions that brought great results.

Among the data, you should measure the results of:

The SMS sent and delivered: It is possible that out of all the SMS you send there will be some that are not delivered to the recipients. Why is this happening? It is almost always due to a mistake in your database number. With our HLR Lookup service you can validate the numbers you have saved. Another option could be that the shipping route is not good (in Instasent we use Direct Connect routes).

The response rate: For example, if the SMS contains a link, you will be able to know how many recipients have clicked on it. IF the SMS campaign contains a CTA, you will be able to know who has accessed your campaign through it. And if you have included a phone number (like the Cineplanet example) the received messages will be recorded.

In our online panel you can analyze all the data you need in real time and from any device.


In Instasent you can customize your order based on how many messages you want to send or your budget. Your preferences can be applied to your bulk SMS campaigns, so that you pay only for what you need. 

You will be able to choose between the amount of SMS that you are going to send to your clients or the money that you are willing to allocate to your campaigns. With our price calculator you can get an idea of ​​how much it will cost you.




No. of SMS 0

Total Price 0 €

Price for each SMS 0 €

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For quantities of more than 10,000 SMS, get in touch with us and we’ll make you a great offer!

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