How Travel Companies Can Use Educational Sales Funnels to Get More Bookings


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What goes into a truly exceptional travel business?

This five-part video workshop will show you exactly what leading travel companies are doing right now to consistently book more clients and grow profits.

In this first episode, you'll learn what it takes sell to the 97% of potential customers most travel companies are ignoring.

Trusted by tour operators all over the world


Co-Founder & CEO

Presented by

Hi, I’m Max. I’m a co-founder and CEO at 10x Travel. We help tour operators and travel companies grow profits on autopilot using smart technology, without hiring more staff for your in-house marketing team.



Episode 1: Stop Limiting Profits and Meet the Sales Funnel


So excited to have you here on this Get More Bookings workshop for travel companies.

My name’s Zack and I’ll be your host.

And I’m going to introduce you to 10x Travel’s CEO, Max Hardy, in just a second.

But before I do, I’d like to tell you what you can expect from your time today.

Over the next five episodes, which you can watch all in row if you want, we’re going to help you with a few things. You’re going to learn:

1. How to get the right visitors to your website.

2. How to get first time visitors to keep coming back to your website.

3. How to build trust and rapport with your prospects over time, and

4. How to effectively ask for the sale when the time’s right.

Ultimately, we’re going to help you, through this training, to grow profits in your travel business.

That’s what we’re all about at 10x Travel.

We’re here to give you the tools that you need to help you grow your business.

  • You know that getting the right visitors to your website is important, you just aren’t sure how to make that happen consistently.
  • You believe you could handle 2, 3 or 4x the number of inquiries and bookings you currently generate for your travel business each month.
  • You have an email newsletter, but you aren’t sure if you’re using it as effectively as you could be
  • And finally: You want to grow your business by becoming a trusted resource for your clients, not by using spammy internet marketing techniques.

So let me ask you… does any of the following sound true for you?

If any of those ring true for you, I’m very happy to tell you’re in the right spot, and we’re going to be talking about all of these areas today, during this Get More Bookings workshop.

Max has spent most of the last 10 years helping travel companies like yours grow their businesses. In that time...

+ He’s shared his expertise as a guest speaker at industry conferences like the Independent Hotel Show and the 101 Holidays Annual Summit

+ He’s personally provided consultancy to over 200 tour operators and travel organisations to help them get more bookings with digital marketing.

He’s also a co-founder of 10x Travel and leads an international team of more than 20 writers, marketers and automation experts who are here to help turn your travel website into a money making machine.

Today, we’re working with a whole range of tour operators and travel agents in five different continents - from tiny, boutique travel businesses to larger operators with 50 or more staff - as well as a few huge travel organisations like the Austrian National Tourist Office.

Using the 4 part strategy he’s going to share with you today, recently we’ve helped:

  • Bicycle Adventures, a cycling tour operator in the USA, generated $374,882 in extra revenue and $164,948 in extra profit from a $40,267 investment over the last 16 months.
  • Boat Bike Tours, a German cycling tour operator, added 1,254 subscribers their email list that resulted in 60 bookings and over 600% return on their investment in 2 months.
  • Boutique Japan, a US based travel company with a globally-distributed team, who have made bookings of $55,110 from a $7,445 investment in early 2018.

I’m honestly excited for you to hear from Max, but one last thing before we get started...

This is a time you have taken out for yourself to work on your business. Because of that, please eliminate your distractions; put your phone on silent, close your email, log out of Facebook, shut down any messaging apps.

You’re going to be fine to take a break for an hour to really learn how to attract and communicate with your prospects more clearly and effectively so you can 10x your travel company. Why not take this next hour and really focus on the smart content marketing strategy Max is presenting.

Now it’s time to hand you over to Max who is going to take you through today’s presentation:

Now let me introduce you to Max Hardy.

Our Goal: Turn more website visitors into bookings.

Hello! Welcome, good to have you here.

So the question we’re going to answer together over the next few episodes is one that the 10x Travel team and I have been working to answer for the last 6 years.

It’s likely one you’ve asked yourself after spending a small fortune on Google Adwords or hours tinkering with your social media, company blog or website design.

“As a tour operator, how can we consistently turn more website visitors into bookings?”

It’s unbelievably important that you know the answer here if you’re going to build the travel business that you want.

This question really gets to the heart of what makes a highly profitable travel company vs one that ekes out a living for its owner.

So here it is:

Consider your future.

So let’s be clear about that for a moment.

What kind of travel company are you building?

Think about where the business is right now.

Do you want to grow this year? How much do you want to grow by? When you imagine your travel company a year from now, how much profit are you making?

How big is your marketing and sales team? And what do you no longer do on a day-to-day basis to help generate revenue that you still have to do right now?

Now if you’re the owner or part-owner of this company, expand that further. Think 5 or 10 years out. What is the ultimate target for your travel company? What are you committed to achieving? What would hitting that target mean for you, your employees and your family?

Thinking about your future like this can be really energizing. That extra shot of energy and perspective can help you commit to a long-term growth strategy instead of bouncing around from one tactic to the next.

Consider your past.

Conversely, it’s also important to consider the past. What results have you been producing financially in the past year? What have been the obstacles that have held you back? Are you struggling? Are you fearful of the future?

Considering the past can be even more motivating. It encourages you to build on your successes and avoid repeating your mistakes. maybe you’ve not given this much thought before.

And that’s OK. Marketing is a vast, murky field. There are lots of big promises. There also seems to be a new ‘killer’ tactic to learn or tool to use every week.

If you’re devoted to providing the best possible trip for your clients, keeping up with online marketing trends and driving revenue growth can be a second full-time job.

And even if you have a dedicated marketing team, they’ve got other responsibilities besides market research. And if you’re the marketing manager, you’ll know what I mean.

So that’s why I’m going to give you the answer. I’m going to tell you exactly how to start turning your website visitors into bookings so that your company makes more money.

And you’re going to be able to take this away and apply it to your business today.

Sound good?

But before we get into the exact strategy that you should be applying, we need to let go of the two main things that are probably holding you back right now.

Problem #1: You’re using tactics, not a strategy.

So I have seen the marketing materials of hundreds of travel companies all over the world and I can tell you that so many of tour operators out there do not have a clear marketing strategy to grow the business.

Which is mad isn’t it?

And if you’re thinking “well we’ve got a strategy to grow this year Max”, here’s the thing:

We’re going to spend more on AdWords; we’re going to hire an SEO guy; we’re going to pay for a stand at World Travel Market; we’re going to redesign our whole website again…

…these are all tactics. They are NOT a strategy.

As Wikipedia says: “tactics are the means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan.”

And whist a tactic on its own may be enough to convince someone on the internet to buy a new pair of $100 shoes, you CANNOT convince someone to hand over thousands of dollars for their annual family trip without a strategy.

Because guys, travelers these days have so many choices when it comes to how to book, where to book and who to book with. In fact, a recent Expedia study showed that travelers typically check out 38 different travel websites before deciding on a trip.

So this is NOT a decision that is made on a whim based on one Google search. And if you do not have a strategy that ties that initial Google search to a grander, self-led customer journey of exploration and discovery, that takes place over weeks and weeks and weeks...

…then you’re not going to get more bookings. It’s as simple as that.

“Tactics are the means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan.”

Problem #2: You’re Ignoring 90% of Potential Clients

Ok, so that’s problem one. You’re using tactics without a strategy.

The second thing holding you back? You’re ignoring 90% of potential clients.

Sounds crazy right? Let me explain.

Whether you’re the owner or the marketing manager at your travel company, the marketing tactics you’re using fit one of two common patterns…

First, you could be an Ad Hoc Travel Company. You don’t have many tactics running week-in, week-out. It’s a little sporadic. You send a random email blast or publish a blog post when you have time. The inconsistency does not build trust or help the company stay front of mind. This results in poor return on ad spend, lost revenue and missed opportunities.

Second, you could be a ‘Buy Buy Buy’ Travel Company. You’ve got tactics in place, but you focus all efforts on driving sales right now. This means you spend a ton of money on Google AdWords, if you produce blog posts they focus on new destinations, tours and discounts, and every email you produce is about a discount or special promotion that aims to get bookings in the door immediately.

A ‘Buy, Buy, Buy’ Company can be a successful tour operator with 7- or 8-figures revenue. They stay front of mind with all those loud promotions, but the Always Be Closing style of messaging turns a lot of prospective clients off.

In fact, this approach really only allows you to capture 3% of the people who could buy your service.

You’ll never get access to the bookings who need more time and information to make an inquiry.

The Limitations of Google AdWords

Let me give you an example to explain this further.

Bicycle Adventures, based in the USA, are a customer of ours. They sell high-end cycling tours all over the world.

So a typical travel company in Bicycle Adventures’ position, might set up a Google Adwords campaign for the term ‘Cycling Vacations’ with a link that takes people from Google to the homepage of their website and call it a day.

Throw a few extra keyword phrases in there, and I’ve really just described the most common marketing tactic that these ‘Buy Buy Buy’ travel companies are using today.

  • 3% are active buyers. These are the people that have a need and are actively shopping for vendors. They want to make a purchase in the next thirty to ninety days. They are the Googling and getting picked up by AdWords.
  • 7% intend to change. These prospects have a need, but aren’t proactively searching for options. A well-timed sales offer can be very effective on this segment, because they are receptive to new ideas.
  • 30% have a need, but not enough to act. This group is not buying. They may look like and act like prospects, but they won’t make a commitment. They have other priorities. Until the need becomes more pressing, they won’t make a purchase.
  • 30% do not have a need. This segment of the market does not have a need for your products and services, and are not receptive to any sales messages. They may have just made a purchase, they may not have enough money, or they may not be ready for your services.
  • 30% are not interested in your company. There is a segment of the market that do not fit your brand. These people are probably never going to choose you. They may be loyal to your competition. They may have had a bad experience with you. They may use alternative options. Don’t sweat it. Just recognize that this dynamic occurs, and your travel company can’t be all things to all people.

Make sense?

The problem with being an Ad Hoc Travel Company or a ‘Buy Buy Buy’ Travel Company, is that the marketing you’re doing is normally focused only on the top 3% - 10%.

But the lower 90% is where a lot of the opportunity is.

In the lower 90%:

  • There isn’t as much competition for their attention,
  • Which makes it much cheaper, but
  • It takes longer
  • So you need patience to invest in those people who aren’t booking trips right now so that you can be the clients’ first call when they are ready to book.


If your tactics are a little more developed, maybe you’re sending the clicks to a high-pressure landing page specific to the phrase ‘cycling vacations’ with a big phone number and contact form.

This can [and does] work.

Because the clients you get from this approach are people that need your expertise. They were well-informed enough about their need to Google what they needed (so ‘cycling vacations’ in our example).

And we’re all well-versed in how to handle a customer with a need. Even if you’re not a professional salesperson, you can sell to someone who believes they need what you offer.

The challenge is that the percentage of people in your marketplace who are proactively shopping and looking for ‘cycling vacations’ is small. Only around three percent of your market is buying at any given time, the rest is not.

In a great book called ‘Sticky Branding’, Jeremy Miller calls this the 3% Rule.

The 3% Rule divides your marketplace into five buying segments:

Solution: End-to-end sales funnel.

And that is precisely why marketing tactics alone will never allow you to grow beyond a certain size.

Because anything that requires patience, also requires a strategy that looks beyond the next week.

So what is the solution?

Well, what I’m going to show you today borrows heavily from the system that we’ve built at 10x Travel to grow profits for the travel companies that we work with.

It’s an end-to-end content marketing sales funnel that combines the latest email, social media, paid traffic, search engine and content marketing tactics into one cohesive, sales-generating strategy.

We call this funnel ‘Get More Bookings’. And we call it a funnel because, well, it looks like a funnel.

At the top of the funnel, you’re going to attract the right visitors to your website with helpful, problem-solving content.

The prospective future clients (let’s call them ‘PFCs’) who get the most value from this are going to keep coming back to continue their learning journey with you, as they discover how to make the most out of their limited travel time and budget.

This middle part of the funnel builds trust and rapport. Because if you want to sell a holiday, tour or vacation package online, you need to create trust between the PFC and you.

In the middle of the funnel travellers also have the space and time to really understand what they want and establish their needs before they take up any of your time.

Finally, the bottom of the funnel is all about encouraging the most engaged, qualified PFCs to make an inquiry when the time is right. You can then select a trip for them or plan a custom itinerary (if that’s part of what you do), and ultimately convert them into a booking.

So what do we know so far?

We know that:

Most of the prospective future clients we could have are not looking for a travel company right now.

So if we want to grow our travel business beyond a limited size, then we have to look at prospective future clients that are not ready to book right now.

What I’m suggesting is that rather than trying to engage prospective future clients when they already have a need, when they’re Google-ing ‘cycling vacations’, we engage them earlier in the Lower 90%.

The funnel I’m going to show you will help you:

1. Establish the relationship and develop rapport before they’re ready to book.

2. Create an opportunity where your PFCs know, like, and trust your company long before they have a need.

3. Keep delivering value, recognise when their need develops, and make an offer when they’re ready to take action (but not before).

4. Book more clients and grow profits.

Make sense?

So rather than spending the rest of this workshop on small tactics (like how to set up an ad campaign) that can contribute to the bigger picture of getting more bookings, instead I’m going to walk you through what an end-to-end sales funnel could look like for you.

So that you can map one for your travel business.

That way, whenever you see a shiny new marketing tactic or tool, you’re going to know where it fits into your funnel.

All four parts of this marketing funnel are going to help you break through the noise.

It sets you up to attract and convert clients in a natural way that doesn’t feel cheesy or spammy or impossible to sustain.

And actually, you’ll find that implementing this will make sales a lot easier in the long run.

Because your website visitors will start to think of you the same way that your best clients think of you.

And I’ll show you how to make this happen with the right content and a little bit of automation.

Sound good?


The 4 Parts of Your Sales Funnel

1. Get exposure to the right visitors

2. Turn first-time visitors into repeat visitors

3. Build trust and rapport over time

4. Ask for the sale when the PFC is ready to book

So, we’re now at the end of Episode 1 of this five-part video series. So if you’re excited by what I’ve shared with you so far and want to know the rest, I’m going to ask for a small commitment from you to show me that you’re serious about getting more bookings.

Somewhere on this page, there’s a big button that says “Give Me Episode 2”.

To continue our training, click that button and fill in your name, email address plus the name and website of your travel company. Then click ‘Go To Next Lesson.’

Once you do that, I will send you an email with the link to Episode 2 immediately, so you can watch it right away.

There’s no other catch if you want the rest of the training. There’s nothing to pay either.

But, full disclosure: if you continue to get value from this training, then on a couple of occasions through the next four episodes, I’m going to encourage you to schedule a video call with my company, 10x Travel, so we can talk some more about your company and see if it could be a good fit to work together.

If you’re not interested in that though, and you just want the training videos, that’s absolutely fine. Just click the “Give Me Episode 2” button, fill in a couple of details, and you’ll be watching the next video in seconds.

Next Lesson Instructions


This training is going to help you grow profits in your travel business.

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In this training, you're going to learn:

  • How to get the right visitors to your website.
  • How to get first time visitors to keep coming back to your website.
  • How to build trust and rapport with your prospects over time.
  • How to effectively ask for the sale when the time’s right.

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