TravelHerd WordPress Interface

TravelHerd WordPress interfaceHome of the Herds hosted websites can use the TravelHerd WordPress interface for scheduled tours, specials, hotel descriptions and scheduled activities. The synergy between the two applications saves you from dual information entry and its maintenance. It also precludes the issue of scheduled tours, specials, hotel descriptions and scheduled activities having to be updated in each application when revisions become necessary, thus avoiding out-of-sync data between the two applications. Scheduled activities can generally be described one day or less tours (sightseeing, docent and self-guided) and activities (classes, cultural, sporting, spa and dining, etc.).

Scheduled Tours and Specials

When selling scheduled tours and specials, the information for each specific tour is entered once but the data is utilized in both TravelHerd and your WordPress website using the TravelHerd WordPress interface. The tour selling prices and accruals are entered into your TravelHerd application and dynamically display on the tour’s web pages on your WordPress website. The tour itinerary text, including embedded images, is loaded in your WordPress website and get utilized as the tour’s itinerary in your TravelHerd database. The TravelHerd WordPress interface process saves hours of maintaining dual databases in separate applications with the inherent issue of out of sync data. For companies not selling scheduled tours or specials, the TravelHerd WordPress interface can be used to display sample itineraries with “From” pricing or without any pricing component at all.

Hotel Descriptions and Scheduled Activities

Hotel descriptions and scheduled activities are loaded only once in WordPress posts. The hotel vendor set-up in TravelHerd utilizes the appropriate WordPress post for day to day itineraries created in the TravelHerd booking engine. This functionality includes XML hotel vendors accessed via the TravelHerd XML interface; if using multiple XML vendors for the same hotel, the same description taken from your WordPress post can be used across vendors. The same holds true for scheduled activities, wherein TravelHerd utilizes these WordPress posts, making them ready to book into your TravelHerd itineraries.

Using the TravelHerd WordPress interface also makes it a breeze to set up your scheduled tours and specials for on-line sales using the TravelHerd Book Now (B2C) and TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal (B2B) features. Both TravelHerd Book Now and TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal are excellent avenues to increase your bookings and revenue without the direct interaction with your staff. Contact us today for a TravelHerd demonstration and learn about these exciting features and the TravelHerd application for yourself.

Profile list segmentation

List segmentation extraction from your TravelHerd database is accomplished using the profile group module.  Profile groups can be created in TravelHerd based on the following search criteria:

Profile type
Profile creation date
Reservations by departure date
Reservations by conversion date (deposit received date)
Brochures requests
Marketing and Interest tags
States / Provinces
Sales territory
Major Markets (based on US zip codes i.e. Greater Los Angeles)
Zip code range

These list segmentation search criteria can be queried in a number of ways:

Inclusion: Combine search criteria,  e.g. Profile type: direct consumers plus States: New Jersey will yield Direct Consumers in New Jersey. Existing profile groups can be combined as well to form new profile groups e.g. Profile group: direct consumers in the NYC zip codes plus the profile group described above, yielding a new Profile group: all direct consumers in New Jersey and the NYC area.  Newly-created profile groups are then available for future use.

Exclusion: Exclude search criteria and/or profile groups, e.g. using the Profile group: all direct consumers in New Jersey and the NYC area minus Profile type: direct consumers with reservations departing in the current year yields a new Profile group: all direct consumers in New Jersey and the NYC area except those who have reservations departing in the current year.

TravelHerd prevents “blank searches” when creating profile groups by not displaying search criteria which do not yet exist; i.e. if no sales territories have been assigned, Sales Territories will not be listed as an available search criteria.

List segmentationProfile groups can be used to send targeted email campaigns from within TravelHerd using the email marketing module.  The TravelHerd email marketing module tracks marketing emails opened  and all click thrus on links in those emails.  All email addresses which receive hard bounces (email address not found) are automatically marked as undeliverable and will be excluded from future campaigns.  For all email addresses which receive soft bounces (recipient’s mailbox full or email server temporarily unavailable), TravelHerd  will make six more attempts to delivery the sent email, to maximize delivery.  All marketing email sent via TravelHerd’s email marketing module include a preformatted opt-out link.  Using this opt-out link instantly opts-out the recipient’s email address to from all future marketing email campaigns; this is done to comply with the Can-Spam Act. A profile with opted-out or hard bounce status email address can revise their email address status through a double opt-in process.

TravelHerd’s email marketing module include the option to create an email preview group.  Email preview group members can be selected from the internal list of TravelHerd users at your company; group members can be deleted from the preview group and new members added at any time.  TravelHerd users have to opton to queue email marketing campaigns to the email preview group for internal review and revision. Email campaigns are saved so they can be queued to selected profile groups as required. Once queued-out, email history details open and click-thru counts.

Profile groups can be used to create postal mailing lists as well in TravelHerd. Lists can be output in various formats including labels or MS Excel for either in-house or mailing house fulfillment.  All profiles in TravelHerd can be opted-out of postal mail.

TravelHerd’s list segmentation options are easy to use and will greatly assisted your company’s marketing efforts.

Book Now online reservation portal

Book NowSell scheduled tours and specials from your TravelHerd database online via the Book Now online reservation portal and boost your reservations!  The Book Now module utilizes a pre-formatted link on your website to the TravelHerd application. Tours offered may also have single or multi level itineraries and pricing as well as in-tour options and pre and/or post extensions.  When a visitor to a TravelHerd subscribing company’s website clicks on the Book Now online reservation portal link, they are presented with the large main image of the selected scheduled tour with a calendar detailing upcoming scheduled departures for that tour and an option to revise the room requirement(s) as needed. For those TravelHerd subscribing companies using the TravelHerd WordPress interface, the itinerary and database loading offers of scheduled tours and specials a more streamlined process.

  • Offer scheduled departure tours with single level or multiple levels (Deluxe, Standard) and pricing
  • Sell extensions and/or additional optional services (e.g. day tours, etc.) at time of booking
  • Tour inventory can be on either per person, # of rooms or room type; zero inventory shows as “On Request”
  • Flexible departures: daily, weekly, monthly, individual departures and more
  • Receive instant notification of new Book Now reservations/requests

The calendar display details the first instance of a scheduled tour which can be booked or requested, as you have the option to cut-off online sales x days out.  For days when the tour operates, it will display the per person double occupancy rate and indicate whether it is on request or available for instant confirmation. The room requirement is set to 1 double occupancy room with an option to easily revise the room requirement(s), both in quantity and room occupancy type, and the calendar will redisplay with the rates and availability based on the new room requirement.  The calendar can be advanced to other months, as required.  Select a departure date, to reveal the large, main image of the selected scheduled tour followed by a detailed day-to-day itinerary including any embedded images.

Book NowUpon selection of a tour departure date from the display, a total gross selling price with a per person breakdown is calculated and the visitor is prompted to enter their email address.  If the email address entered is known to your TravelHerd database, the visitor’s required contact details will be displayed. Visitors with email addresses unknown to your TravelHerd database will be required to enter their contact details. In either case, the passenger names, genders, optional dietary requirements, and country of passport issue must be entered prior to submission; these details can be updated later in TravelHerd by your staff, if required. Terms and Conditions, either for your company or tour-specific are also detailed at the bottom of the screen display.

Upon submission, a proposal is created in TravelHerd and the purchaser is emailed a combined itinerary-invoice which also details the payment terms. An email is also generated to the TravelHerd subscriber advising the proposal, tour and departure date, rooming requirement and the purchaser’s contact information. A unique email address at your company can be assigned for Book Now email communications.  The on-screen display will then update to a thank you message which reiterates the tour information which they’ve now booked.  The reiteration also includes pricing and, if the purchaser’s email address is a travel agent in your TravelHerd database, the commission amount.  When the reservation is completed, accruals are automatically added to the proposal, if they have been loaded into your database for the specified tour. Book Now reservations are tagged with WWW for easy identification.  TravelHerd’s Book Now online reservation portal is a boost to your company’s reservations and a great adjunct to your sales and marketing efforts!

Trade and Consumer Profiles in TravelHerd

Trade and consumer profiles in TravelHerd are categorized in 5 ways:

1. Travel Agency Master: Main office holding the ARC/IATA appointment
2. Travel Agency Branch: Associated with a Travel Agency Master profile by ARC/IATA but located at a separate physical location
3. Travel Agents with an ARC/IATA number: associated with a Travel Agency Master or a Travel Agency Branch
4. Travel Agents without an ARC/IATA number: Usually data collected from trade shows and other industry sources
5. Direct Consumers: current or past clients, brochure requests and other inquiries

Travel Agency Master profiles can be tagged with a consortium and an optional sub-affiliation. The sub-affiliation can be custom created to reflect affiliated travel agencies, each with their own Travel Agency Master, usually reflecting a joint marketing agreement.  For Travel Agency Masters without an ARC/IATA appointment, TravelHerd will assign a Pseudo ARC number.  Travel Agency Master profiles may also be tagged with marketing and/or interest tags.  Marketing tags are designated in TravelHerd by your company and assigned; they can be based on list sources, trade show promotions and other industry-defined matters.  Interest tags are designated in TravelHerd by your company but self-affiliated by the profile, e.g. European Travel, Safaris, Family Holidays, as needed.  TravelHerd profiles may carry multiple marketing and/or interest tags and are used to target your company’s sales and marketing efforts.

trade and consumer profiles in TravelHerdTravel Agency Branches automatically inherit all tags from their associated Travel Agency Master and are updated as additions, changes and deletions are made to the Travel Agency Master.  Additional marketing and interest tags can be added to a Travel Agency Branch as needed.

Travel Agents with an ARC/IATA number inherit all tags from their associated Travel Agency Master and Travel Agency Branch, if a branch exists.  Additional marketing and interest tags can be added to Travel Agents as needed to reflect their specific situations, e.g. attended a specific seminar or traveled on a specific fam trip.

Travel Agents without an ARC/IATA number can be tagged with marketing and interest tags as needed to help identify their source.  For Travel Agents without an ARC/IATA number seeking to make a reservation, it is required to associate their profile with a Travel Agency Master or Branch.

Direct Consumers can also be tagged with marketing and interest tags, e.g. specific brochure requested, consumer trade show attended or social/professional affiliation (Rotary Club, AARP or local trade group).

TravelHerd reservations are tracked by the individual Travel Agent profile as well as any associated Travel Agency Master and Branch.  Sales territories can be set up based on ZIP range or State/Province code; Travel Agency Masters are auto-tagged in this process.  As trade and consumer profiles in TravelHerd incorporate email addresses, postal mail addresses or both, they can be used in list segmentation extraction for email marketing and postal mailing lists.

Travel Agent Portal

Select travel agents can book your products via the TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal.

Travel agents have moved toward becoming destination and category specialists (think Africa, honeymoons, pilgrimages and more); indeed many have become as knowledgeable in their areas of expertise as the tour operators themselves.  The TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal TravelHerd Travel Agent Portalallows tour operators to invite select travel agents, on an individual agent basis, to book your tours and specials for their clients, by themselves without the direct involvement of your staff.  Travel agents logged-in to the secure TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal will also have access to additional functionality.  Here’s how it works:

  • Authorize select travel agents on an individual basis and invite them to log-in with their email address and create their own password to access the secure TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal
  • After logging-in, travel agents are presented with a display of featured promotions and news on the portal’s home page along with a menu of actions available to them including the following:
  • Click image to enlarge

    Travel agents can book tours and specials, including up-sell options and extensions, from within the secure TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal by themselves without the direct involvement of your staff

  • Travel agents can review their upcoming reservations, including those booked via your sales consultants as well as those booked via the portal
  • Travel agents can enter passengers’ names and other information to their upcoming reservations
  • Travel agents can issue invoices, client invoices and itineraries for their upcoming reservations
  • Variable commission levels can be set in the TravelHerd scheduled tours and specials database for reservations made 1) via the Travel Agent Portal, 2) via your in-house sales consultants or 3) combination reservations (initially booked by the travel agent via Travel Agent Portal but later requiring revisions by your sales consultants) as a means to incentivize travel agents to use the portal
  • Travel agents can initiate brochure requests from within the secure Travel Agent Portal, which are then transmitted to the tour operator

Select travel agents will appreciate the ease, convenience, and functionality which the secure TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal offers them without the direct involvement of your sales consultants.

Profile history and profile date tracking

Profile history and profile date tracking make TravelHerd  profile management easier

Profiles of Travel Agencies, Travel Agents and Direct Consumers are elements of TravelHerd’s profile management module. They are key to your marketing efforts and sales, so being able to view the history of profiles’ additions and revisions, include the dates attached to these actions, is a very important part of profile management.  Profile history and profile date tracking are standard elements of TravelHerd’s profile management.

Simply put, all additions and revisions to profiles are now logged in the profile history within your TravelHerd database. The profile history enables the TravelHerd user to see what revisions have taken place to a profile. Revised profiles display the date and time of the revision and which TravelHerd user made the revision.

Profile history and profile date tracking

Click on image for expanded view

While it is a truism that “change is the only constant”, it can also lead to confusion when there is no history to fall back on.  Fortunately, profile history and profile date tracking in TravelHerd does away with this type of confusion for your staff when dealing with profiles.

All in all, the profile history and profile date tracking elements of TravelHerd’s profile management module provide key practical information for your Sales and Marketing, Reservations, Accounting and Operations departments.