SMS delivery—getting your mobile travel guide into the hands of your readers

Small businesses that have products and services to sell to travelers are aware that their success relies heavily on having a strong marketing strategy, and will often turn to alternate distribution channels, like inbound tour operators, wholesalers, and travel agencies, to extend the promotion and sales of their products.SMS Mobile Visitor Guide


As travel publishers, the burden is on you to ensure that you are getting the best possible visibility for their ads, and the way to do this is to make sure that your guides and brochures are made available through avenues that today’s travelers commonly go through to discover information.

According to eMarketer, Americans are increasingly turning to mobile devices when making travel plans. Last year, 62.6% of individuals who researched their travel options digitally did so using their mobile device— an increase of nearly 26% over the previous year. 2016 is predicted to see this percentage jump even further to 73%. As you can see, if you have not already optimized your travel guides for mobile readers then you are neglecting a huge proportion of your potential market.


“The future of mobile is the future of online. It is how people access online content now.”

– David Murphy, Mobile Marketing Magazine

Besides the many benefits that your optimized guide will allow readers, such as a heightened user experience and mobile-specific functionality, when you publish your content with mobile in mind you will also be able to tap into new delivery channels to ensure your guide makes it straight into the hands of your target market.


With an unrivaled open rate of 98%, SMS is proving to be one of the most effective channels for getting your content seen on mobile, even better than email, with an open rate of only 23%. Not only is SMS not as expensive as it once was, but compared to today’s print and distribution costs of paper brochures, SMS may even help you save in the long run.


“SMS text messaging has proven its marketing value in reaching consumers at scale.”

– Marcos Menendez, Momares Mobile Marketing


There are two common ways of leveraging SMS technology to deliver your guide to travelers. The most common is an SMS blast sent out to your mailing list. This will work in much the same way as it would if you were to send an email blast, except an SMS is short and to the point and will allow readers to launch the new edition in their mobile web app with a single tap.


The second way is by allowing travelers to SMS a keyword to a number and receive an automated response back with a link to the guide. When this method is leveraged in conjunction with a strong advertising campaign the potential to see a substantial increase in readership is limited only by your marketing creative. There are many situations where travelers would be looking to pick up a copy of your guide but may not want to carry around a print edition when presented with a digital alternative, for example, a hotel lobby, an airport arrival zone, visitor centers, festivals, or even simply on the subway as they explore their tourist destination. By advertising your travel guide here, all readers will need to do is text the promoted keyword and receive your optimized travel guide on their phone, on demand.


Once the guide is on their phone, not only will they will be able to interact with all of your content—click through to advertiser websites, share articles with friends, tap to book a tour, tap for GPS directions to a venue or event— but when your guide is optimized for the mobile web, readers will not need to go through all of the often discouraging, time-consuming steps of downloading and committing to an app in order to get the information they seek.


Most publishers will advertise their brochures for download on their website, or send them off so that their distributors can display them on their portals. Here is an example from Intrepid Travel’s website:


Digital Travel Guides
Downloadable guides from the Intrepid Travel website.


Advertising the SMS keyword distribution option here is another effective way of making your mobile content easily accessible to your target audience. By only sending out guides to those who request them, not only do you know that your ad impressions have a higher chance of conversion, but you are able to cut down on a lot of the fees generally associated with promoting and distributing multiple copies of your guide.


SMS distribution is just the tip of the iceberg. Want to find out more about how you can take your travel guide mobile to see new audience and revenue growth in the digital space? Click through to find out more about PARTICA– Realview’s new mobile-first publishing and content marketing solution for travel publishers.


Travel Mobile First Publishing PARTICA