EVANSTON, Ill. -- Agents of all specialties are finding that the
Internet is a great tool for customer support, supplier
communications and even some transactions.
However, for most agents the true measure of any effort is the
number of new sales closed, so many agents are searching for
effective ways to acquire new customers on line.
Recently, a number of companies started offering consumer
marketing services to agencies. Although the details of each
service differ, each offers agencies the opportunity to make sales
to or get leads from prospective travel clients who visit the
marketing company's site.
When evaluating these services, ask tough questions, including
the following:Are the leads qualified in any way? In order to please
investors, these services want to produce a large number of leads,
but you should be more interested in quality than quantity and be
discriminating in your responses.How is a sale closed? Is it done automatically (as in an
auction), or is it done off line by e-mail and/or phone?Who owns the client? Will the service provider have the
incentive and means to contact and do future business with the
client in place of you?What does the service cost? Is it free or does it charge a
fixed-price subscription or a fee per lead or sale?
So far, the existing services seem to have a ways to go before
they can give consistently satisfying answers to these questions,
but some agents have found services that work for them.
Below is a list of some companies that provide Internet consumer
marketing services to travel agencies. More companies are listed on
the PositiveSpace.com Web site.
iWant.com brings buyers and sellers of various products together,
All Cruise Auction
This is an auction site for cruises posted only by travel
The site provides a means for buyers in 3,000 product categories
(including travel) to submit requests to registered sellers.
This is an open-to-all global exchange for travel and leisure
services, products and ideas allowing for business-to-business,
business-to-consumer and person-to-person trading.
Consumer listings, Web page design and hosting for travel companies
are available here.
This is a consumer Web site at which travel agents can post their
specials for a fee.
This service submits travelers' requirements to travel agents,
effectively driving business into their offices.
This list was compiled by Greg Merkley, president of Evanston,
Ill.-based Travel Technology & Magic, which owns and operates
the PositiveSpace.com on-line directory for travel agents at www.positive
space.com. All of these sites, along with complete contact
information, are listed on PositiveSpace.