How to Name Your Tours & Activities: A Data Driven Guide

Michael Folling|June 26, 2015

How much thought do you put into naming your tours and activities?

If you have your hands full running your business I’m guessing it’s not high on your list of priorities, but what if I told you re-naming your tours could make you more money? You’d be pretty motivated to put in those extra few minutes before you click “save” right?

A well written tour name could mean the difference between someone reading your tour’s description or not. How many of your customers do you think booked your tours without reading the description first? Not many I’m guessing.

Now that we understand why tour names are so important let’s examine what makes up a great tour name (using data) and how you can consistently create excellent names for your tours and activities.

In this week’s post I’ll show you:

  • Why a well written tour name is so important
  • How to create tour names that convert visitors into customers
  • How to decide which of your tour names is a winner

Let’s get started, shall we?

Why a well written tour name is so important

In today’s world of smart phones and social media first impressions are more important than ever. Did you know that the average person has a shorter attention span than a goldfish? It’s true, and it’s the reason why you need to create captivating names for your tours. You only get one shot to convince someone to give your tours a try.

You can probably overcome a lackluster first impression due to a poorly chosen tour name with a professional looking website, but what if your tours are listed alongside your competitors’ tours on an OTA’s website? In this scenario it’s an even playing field so what else, besides a great name, will help you stand out from the competition?

While it’s nice to assume that every customer who visits your website reads your tour descriptions the reality is they probably don’t. Let’s take this blog post for example, after I hit publish I’ll share it on our Twitter and Facebook accounts. On average, 80% of people who see it will read the headline and only 20% of people will actually read the post itself.

Since blog headlines are similar to tour and activity names in the sense that both have limited space and both are designed to entice you to read more we’re going to dig into some data about what constitutes a winning blog headline and apply those takeaways to creating tour and activity names.

How to create tour names that convert visitors into customers

So how exactly do you create the perfect tour name? Unfortunately there’s no one size fits all answer because the perfect tour name can vary based on a lot of different factors like who your target customer is and what kind of tours you sell.

Remember, when creating tour names, don’t write them for yourself and don’t write them for your resellers. At the end of the day, it’s your customers that will be purchasing your tour so if you don’t speak to them it doesn’t matter what the name of your tour is.

So how do you ensure success when creating names for your tours and activities? Follow the tips below:

1. Analyze your tour name to determine its “Emotional Marketing Value” using this free tool.

Why is it important to create headlines that inspire emotions? In a study of the most shared content on Reddit, i.e. content that had gone “viral”, one thing was consistent across the board, viral content always evoked high energy emotions like surprise and anticipation. So by writing tour names that evoke these emotions consumers are more likely to share them which will lead to more sales!

2. To take it one step further, borrow words from popular headlines that have already gone viral. Kevan Lee from Buffer analyzed over 3,000 headlines from 2 dozen websites to create a list of the most commonly used words and phrases in headlines that have gone viral. Take a look and see if you could incorporate any of these words into your tour names.

3. Force yourself to write 25 names for each of your activities before you decide on one. Vero follows this rule in order to help themselves dig deep and come up with great names for their blog posts.

4. Try to keep your tour name under 6 words (if possible) since people tend to only read the first 3 and the last 3 words of a headline. By limiting your tour name to 6 words you make every word count!

5. If possible try to include colons or hyphens in the name. A study of 150,000 article headlines found that this increased click-through percentages by 9%.

6. Consider using numbers in your tour’s name. One study found that readers preferred headlines that included numbers in them.

travel-agent-log-in

You can achieve the same results with a simple tweak, try “2 Hour Kayak Tour” vs. “Kayak Tour” or “7 Stop Pub Crawl” vs. “Pub Crawl.”

7. Lastly, make the name of your tour crystal clear. Here’s a great tip by Matthew Newton of TourismTiger reminding us to avoid a common mistake businesses make when naming their tours.

travel-agent-log-in

How to decide which of your tour names is a winner

Now that you know what the elements are for creating a great name and I’ve given you some ideas for how to generate them it’s time to see which ones work the best. Here are 5 tips to help you determine if all your hard work has paid off:

1. If you have multiple agencies who resell your products consider creating different names for the same product and distribute them among your various resellers. One company which sells pool and waterfall cleaners did something similar by selling their product with multiple different names on ebay in order to get real-time feedback from the marketplace. By taking the time to do this they were able to find a name for their product which increased their sales by 400%!

You can’t sell your tours on eBay but you can sell them on Craigslist. Consider listing the same tour on Craigslist, but create a unique name for each listing. Give each listing a unique email address so you can track the number of responses you get from each.

2. With ActivityRez you can easily create multiple booking engines to integrate into your website. Use this feature to display two versions of your tours and use paid advertising to drive traffic to each version, then measure the results.

3. Speaking of paid traffic, you can simplify it even further by using Adwords to A/B test tour names. Create multiple ads, each with a unique tour name, and see which ads people click on the most to help you pick the best name. Tim Ferris used this exact method to come up with the name for his bestselling book “The 4-Hour Workweek.”

4. Get feedback from your customers and fans. If you’re wondering which names will get a better response from consumers, post both names on Twitter and Facebook. If one gets more clicks than the other you’ve found a winner!

5. If your website was built using WordPress you could use the Headlines WordPress plugin to automatically A/B test your tour names until you gather enough data to see which one people click on more.

6. On your website create a duplicate of the exact same activity but with a different name. Install CrazyEgg on your website to see exactly where your visitors are clicking. Once you’ve gotten a statistically significant amount of clicks keep the winner and remove the loser from your website.

These are just a few techniques you can use to determine which tour names appeal to your customers. There are countless ways to determine which names work best but what’s most important is that you get real feedback from your target customers.

Conclusion

There’s no one thing you can do to sell more tours. If you want to sell more, you’re going to need to execute on a number of different levels. Creating tour names that generate more clicks is just one small step in the conversion funnel, but it’s important nonetheless.

So if your job is to sell more tours why don’t you follow the advice I’ve given above? Take a few extra minutes to create fun, exciting names that your customers will love and the extra effort will quickly pay for itself.


Michael is part of the marketing team at ActivityRez. He enjoys coming up with creative ways to help travel companies grow their business.

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