Active Adventures: How to Double ROI and Make Over $171,000 in Extra Bookings in just 3 Months

This article forms part of our Get More Bookings® success story series where we interview clients and travel professionals to uncover tips on what’s working for them in business. Today we’re focused on showcasing the success Active Adventures have had voyaging through this renaissance of 2022 tourism, by modifying their sales process.

“We are seeing a 12:1 return on investment. Yes, we’re very happy campers over here” – Courtney Iannuccilli, VP of Global Marketing at Active Adventures

active adventures case study

The Active Adventures Story: Building on a Strong Foundation

For over 25 years Active Adventures, headed by Wendy Van Lieshout, have been running life-changing memorable tours around the world, and enjoyed bringing off the beaten path adventures to their intrepid guests.

As a team, they pride themselves on being New Zealand’s most globally diverse adventure travel company. Offering personalised, fully guided outdoor adventures to all who seek the thrills of New Zealand and beyond.

These are not simply tours, these are experiences designed to connect people to the very essence of Kiwi life. It can be said that the powerful Maori word ‘manaakitanga’ best encapsulates the warmth and hospitality Active Adventures brings to its tour offerings.

But how do you communicate this ‘manaakitanga’ to potential customers?

This is where 10x Tourism glides into the picture…

A Natural Partnership

Having previously launched two successful marketing campaigns (in 2020 and 2022) for Austin Adventures, their merger company, the Active Adventures marketing team spotted a natural partnership with us. Wanting to repeat the successes of the past and speed ahead with promoting the New Zealand segment of their business.

What’s the secret to running successful tourism customer acquisition campaigns, you ask?

The Get More Bookings System®!

(And Active Adventures agrees)

Why?

Because, it’s a tried and tested model that’s delivered ROI for hundreds of tourism businesses. We’ve spent over 10 years working out all the kinks, testing, and rejigging processes, in order to ensure that the system we’re delivering is one YOU can trust for generating a reliable pipeline of leads.

Of course, this process can’t be achieved without broadening the net. At 10x Tourism we work on the 3% rule.

Too many tour operators try to ‘sell’ everyone who visits their website in the same way, at the same time.

But only around 3% of your market is actively ‘shopping’ when they visit your site…

Which means if you try to sell them right away without addressing their needs, you’ll lose 97% of your new visitors almost instantly – and they’re unlikely to come back.

This makes for expensive and empty traffic. A total waste of your money, time and most importantly energy that could be spent doing what you love – running tours and creating life-changing experiences for others.

We didn’t want to catch all the fish in the sea, only the high value marlins. We also didn’t want to lose 97% of potential customers by selling too hard, and focusing too much on the 3% of active buyers. Instead, the Get More Bookings® sales system automates engaging potential customers who are not ready to buy right now, but who will be later. 

Sounds counterproductive right?

Another way to think about it, is that the people who are searching for ‘New Zealand tours 2023’ are in the 3%. We do target these people, it would be mad not to.

But people on social media discovery channels like Facebook or Instagram are looking for some good content that’s aligned with their needs and interests BUT they didn’t know when they signed in that they were looking for New Zealand.

So… it’s about selling to people that didn’t know they were looking for the tourism experience that’s on offer, and building their attention, interest and desire so they take action at some point. The Get More Bookings® sales system is designed to give Active Adventures potential customers what they’re actually looking for: information.

communications strategy

The result?

Lots more potential guests who are SERIOUS about planning and BOOKING their dream trip.

And it’s this alchemy we applied to Active Adventures to kickstart a killer marketing channel for their New Zealand tours.

However, the magic of generating tour bookings doesn’t stop at marketing…

The Challenge: Identifying the Kink in the Chain that’s Hindering Conversion Rates… and Bookings

“We’ve worked with companies that start off strong, and then service slows down. The 10x team are cut from a different cloth – they go above and beyond by helping improve our sales process, which has meant we continue to improve our performance.” – Courtney Iannuccilli

Active Adventures were finding that despite a successful pipeline of high-quality leads coming through as a result of the Get More Bookings system, very few potential customers were biting…

Serious inquiries were high, but bookings were suspiciously low…

It’s understandable that when this situation happens, the first port of call is to assess all elements of the campaign itself. Asking what could be tweaked within the content and the media buying elements to target an ideal audience even further.

We meticulously reviewed all aspects from the 6-part ecourse, promotional creative, landing page content, and the conversational intake survey. All were flawlessly aligned with the Get More Bookings system, and mirrored the successes we’d achieved before with Austin Adventures and multiple other ‘gleaming with joy’ travel companies..

With the pipeline looking healthy, we knew there was a lot of untapped potential in these sales opportunities.

So what was going wrong?

And HOW could Active Adventures harness the quality of leads being generated through the Get More Bookings system?

This is when it was time to look at Active Adventures’ sales process!

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The Opportunity: Approaching The New Era of Sales

Gone are the days when targeting the 3% through a Google Ads campaign was enough to guarantee bookings every time. In a world full of noise, this new era of post-pandemic tourism requires tour operators to become more innovative and proactive. Lead generation by itself just doesn’t cut the mustard…

The landscape of gaining bookings for high-ticket tour operators now requires a dedicated sales process to really push through the final hurdle, converting potential guests into booking guests.

10x Tourism was and continues to be a great resource for Active Adventures, helping them seamlessly implement impactful software solutions into their existing business workflows. We believe in taking a holistic approach to increasing bookings for our partners, and improving the sales process plays a vital role in this.

Through collaborating with the Active Adventures sales team we identified that coverage for inbound calls made by leads was great! However, at the time, there was little scope for making outbound calls.

This didn’t mean Active Adventures needed to spend time and resources on building out their sales team with more people.

No, no…

On the contrary, it was simply a case of reassessing how the sales team at Active Adventures was making use of their CRM software, and identifying the most impactful methods within the sales process to achieve the best results.

Before I jump into exactly how Active Adventures turned their sales slump around, here are 3 sales process statistics you need to know;

 

  • You have 5 minutes to contact a new inquiry. Take longer than this and there’s an 80% decrease in lead qualification!

 

  • 78% of customers buy from the company that responds first

 

 

Taking the 3 statistics above into account, what do you think Active Adventures could be doing to boost tour bookings?

If your answer included improving lead response time, you’d be on the right path…

Elsewhere, we’ve found that calling a lead minutes after they submit an inquiry is the single most effective move towards realising more sales.

We published a study on this, backed by Harvard Business Review data. The likelihood of establishing two-way dialog with a prospect is 60 TIMES greater if you call them in the first 60 mins versus the first 24 hours.

In other words, if Active Adventures didn’t try to move towards contact their prospects closer to the moment of inquiry receipt, they were leaving good money on the table.

how travel companies should communicate

The Solution: Going Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger With Lead Response Time

After working closely with the 10x team to finesse their sales practices, Active Adventures found an abundance of new avenues to explore. Particularly when it came to taking advantage of the newly emerged SalesRook sales enablement software.

Active Adventures, like many companies, found that their sales team needed to become more responsive and savvy with how they closed sales. In order to stay ahead of the curve, they decided to start using our very own SalesRook Calls on a trial basis. (As we already knew the results would be positive).

The SalesRook Calls’ features allowed Active Adventures to accelerate their speed to lead time. The intuitive software which links to their chosen CRM, makes sure that no inquiry gets missed.

How does it work?

Here’s a brief breakdown…

1. An interested lead completes the conversational intake survey, which acts as an inquiry. Here they’re also required to provide a valid mobile number, for which they give permission to be contacted on.

2. If this inquiry meets the triggers Active Adventures have set in place to qualify prospects, then this will trigger a notification to be sent to one of the sales teams’ business phones. Within seconds, your business phone rings!

3. This software will then give you the option to ring that inquiry, or automatically ‘park’ it if the call falls out of work hours.

4. The result either way is a pipeline of high quality leads that can be accessed at the click of a button on their phone.

 

At first there were some hesitations, especially regarding the anxiety around prioritising calling leads over using email sequences.

This is a common concern, but here’s the thing…

Whether you’re a natural at sales or not, many people within sales are worried about ‘annoying’ the lead and putting them off.

This mindset is a facade.

These people reached out to your tourism business for a reason, and it’s your job to find out why. Of course, there are techniques to soften the approach, but ultimately the inquiries 10x Tourism brings in for your business ARE looking to buy!

Another hesitation from Active Adventures was the disruption that such a software implementation could cause to its team’s workflow.

The good news?

We can do this without disrupting your current workflows. The ‘auto dialler’ solution connects to Active Adventures lead flow, and when a new inquiry lands, the Active Adventures team receives a call. When they pick up, an automated voice tells the salesperson the known lead information, and places the call to them.

I want to emphasise that at no point is a bot speaking to potential customers. The bot simply acts as a connector, a middle person between you and that potential customer looking for a once in a lifetime travel experience.

By using SalesRook Calls software, Active Adventures chances of converting potential customers into realised bookings increased by 80%.

The Results: And Just Like That…$171,190 Made in Extra Tour Bookings

When it comes to generating bookings for tours and activities, Active Adventures utilised both their CRM and SalesRook Calls to streamline processes and make them more impactful.

As a result, they managed to increase their bookings by a whopping $171,490 in just 3 months!

Not only this, but they also freed up their sales team’s valuable time to focus on enhancing the customer experience in other areas – instead of feeling bogged down by chasing leads.

The company is now reaping the benefits of using SalesRook software and is proud to be able to offer its customers and potential customers the best possible experience. So much so, that they’re now considering expanding this elevated sales process – alongside the Get More Bookings system – into the Latin American segment of their business.

Look behind every successful venture, and what you’ll find is not a one-man band, but a team of people collaborating to make things happen. I like to think of 10x Tourism as your tourism business’ extended team. Offering a wide range of support to make all aspects of the buyer journey flawless, and most importantly do what it says on the can…Get More Bookings for your tourism business!

experienced staff

Want to see how we can take the stress out of generating high-quality leads for your tourism business?

Click below to schedule your FREE strategy session with one of 10x Tourisms dynamic duo and Co-Founders Max and Remi.

They’ll walk you through how you can apply our proven process, and take your sales to the next level!

"10x Tourism has been a gamechanger for us."

Courtney Iannuccilli

Active Adventures

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